Labor of Love

As I sit to write this birthing story for Kelley, I have to think back to how the day actually went. For those of you who read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien in high school, you’ll remember he talks about real truth and story truth. The book was about combat during the Vietnam War and how the men each recounted their experiences differently. And not merely from a different perspective, but literally, having the memories form uniquely in their minds.

I’m sure the memories of my daughters’ deliveries are more on the story truth side of things. It would have to be, otherwise women would only ever have ONE baby after the trauma and pain. But the bundle they place into your arms magically washes all of that horror and gore away, doesn’t it. Thank goodness. Otherwise we’d be laid up for a lot more than 2 days in the hospital!

Here’s what I remember from the day Avery was born:

I was induced, just like I was with my first. I was contracting and dilating, but not always at the same time, so at my 38 week check, I was at a 5, so my doc scheduled an induction for two days later (when she would be on-call and available to be present for the delivery)

For Olivia, we brought in a portable DVD player because we’d have all kinds of time to relax in the hospital after the baby was born. HA! I used it to watch Ocean’s Eleven in the early stages of my labor and that was the only time that sucker ever got switched on.

This time, I planned to distract myself with movies again. Worked well enough the first time. I packed Ocean’s Thirteen (in honor of the first go-around) and The Hangover. Don't judge.  The Hangover is hilarious and laughter is the best medicine. I wanted to try to go a again without an epidural. 
I’ve done this before, how bad can it be.
Wait, this kinda hurt. 
I don't remember it hurting this bad.
I am an idiot.

My labor progressed rather quickly; all told I’d been in the bed for about 3 hours now. I went from mild discomfort to overwhelming agony – I called the nurse back, who was just in checking on me. I went from a 7 to a 10 in a contraction.

I am ripping in half.

My water still hadn’t broken at this point, and when my doctor poked her head in the door, my nurse said “You’d better go change before I break her water, or you’re going to miss it.”

Yeah right lady. You’re just trying to be encouraging and make me think things are going faster than they are.
Wait, you're taking the bottom of the bed out - that means we're close, right?

They broke my water, and I swear it felt like Avery was just going to come out with the rest of it. The pressure was so intense and I was scared to move, let alone push because I didn’t want it to hurt anymore. My nurse encouraged, "Push against the pain, it will feel better."

Easy for you to say, lady.
It still hurts, but I don't hate you as much as I did a moment ago.
Four pushes,
five minutes
and out she came.

Now, if you’ve read my blog, you’ll remember that Avery wasn’t exactly in the schedule and I had a lot of anxiety about her arrival and integration into our family. {more here and here} To this day, I have a lot of guilt for that, but know that it was a stepping stone in our relationship – required to make the bond that she and I have today. In that moment, that first long moment she was wrapped and handed over, when she and I were the only people in the whole world – I knew she had chosen right when she picked me for her mom.

After everyone was cleaned up, I looked at my doctor and said a very tearful “thank you,” and she choked up and said “You’re welcome.”

My baby was here in this world. And I still work every day to make her proud that she made me her mom.


ruthy ann said...

beautiful story...made me tear up as I'm hoping my little girl will join us any day now!

Katlyn Larson said...

This is such an awesome birth story! I love reading things like this so I'm glad I found your blog!

I am your newest follower from Mom's Monday Mingle, whoop!


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