How you came into the world lil one…
(post date changed to your birthday love since I can’t seem to find it on the blog anywhere?!)
This weekend you are a month old and I don’t even know where to begin. I have wanted to write these words so many times (and started once as you’ll see below) but could never completely get everything out. The change of you coming into our lives has been so much, so many emotions and so many changes! It’s taken me these four weeks to really process everything and be able to organize myself to have to time to be able to get everything from this heart and mind to this computer. I guess I will continue with where I left off three weeks ago…….
You were born March 28th at 2:24 am and you were 5 pounds 5 ounces and 18 inches long. That was six days ago and now here I am with you sleeping on my belly and listening to your daddy play his guitar in the other room. The past 6 days have been the most amazing time of my life. My prospective on so much has been lightened. As a few people have mentioned to me over the past week having a child can be a renewal for some woman, a moving forward and a release of the past and I truly feel it was that for me. I’ve felt so light and happy so positive over the past week and I can’t believe how good it feels to be here with you and your dad. My life is so much more complete then it has ever felt and I’m so thankful. You’ve brought us SO much sunshine over the past six days…but more on that in the next post now it’s time to tell you how you came into this world!
Last Sunday your Dad and I went to work at his office on some work stuff I’ve been meaning to catch up on. I was feeling good all day but something was just odd in the air. I was looking out his office window taking in the view of the east river and the Manhattan sky line when I said to him “we’re having a baby tonight.” He smiled, didn’t take me too serious and continued his computer work. We walked home from Dumbo which went a little slower then usual since I was having random surges but no pain on my cervix so I thought they were braxton hicks contractions. One thing that I always worried was that I would go into labor and not know it, everyone reassured me I would “know” so being I didn’t just “know” I figured it wasn’t time yet. We made it home and settled into watch a movie as I polished off a pint of cinnamon ice cream then my water broke and I looked shocked at your father. At first I wasn’t sure but just in case we went to do laundry being we still had not washed your clothes yet since we were still two weeks till your due date and called our midwife Cara just to be safe. On our way out to the laundromat you dad bumped my tummy by mistake and then I “knew” my water had broken because of the water balloon effect the bump produced. We did all your laundry yet still I did not feel like I “knew I was in labor” so we settled back into finish our movie being it could take days from the moment your water breaks till going into labor. Just to be safe though you dad took our kiddie pool out of the bedroom and put it in the kitchen.
After again 15 minutes of the movie I felt pain and it came on quick. One moment I was fine, cheery actually since we knew you were on the way to rushing to the bathroom and telling your dad to call the Doula Johanna. I found comfort on the bathroom floor of all places while your dad started filling the pool. See, he had to fill it with a big pot being we hadn’t had the time to buy the hoses just yet so he had A LOT of work ahead of him! All the while my contractions were getting more and more intense and I was becoming more and more needy.
Johanna made it over from Queens in record time. It was not a minute too late also being she thinks I was already about 7cm by the time she got there. It’s very hard to explain a contraction to someone who has never had one. I remember back when I was pregnant and day dreaming about this magical day and imagining what all this must feel like. It’s beyond anything I could comprehend. It was at this point we called my midwife who stayed on the phone for a solid hour listening to me to know if I really was going so quickly through labor, no one believed I had moved so quickly through the beginning of labor! I was so engulfed in contractions I couldn’t have cared at that point who or what was on any phone so Johanna handled speaking to Cara for me. I moved briefly from the bathroom floor to an air mattress in the nursery. This is the point where I went into transition and this is also the point where I started to panic. Yes, I had prepared for this birth with Hyponobirthing classes but what I had not prepared for was a labor SO quick I didn’t even have time to breath between contractions let alone warm up to them so I could stay focused and relaxed. The thing about Doulas is they can not legally tell you how far along you are or examine you. Actually through my WHOLE pregnancy and birth I never had a single vaginal exam I realized a few days ago. A part of me really likes that. But, it didn’t help me much when I was in transition kicking my leg up in the air, pushing on my stomach to help you out (total natural instinct BTW), and grunting according to Johanna which is a sign the baby is almost being born. Here I am hearing thousands of stories about woman in labor for 24 plus hours with their first child and I’m thinking “OH GOD! My labor just began and this is only the beginning, it gets worse! I CAN’T DO THIS.” And the world came crashing down around me basically. I am sad I panicked being I was so looking forward to using my hypnobirthing but honestly it hurt and I thought it would get worse. Little did I know I was actually very very close to giving birth.
My midwife wanted me to wait to get in the pool till she got there but Johanna being she attended so many births knew what a woman about to have a baby looks like and helped me into the pool and seconds later Cara walked in. The rest from here on out is pretty much a blur for me. Im not sure how long it lasted but here’s a few moments I do recall. The best of which when the song “Black Bird” came on in the back ground. Your Dad lifting me up onto my knees, we’re actually pretty sure it was this shift that brought you down second before you were born and the most intense fear I have ever felt. It hurt, it felt like my body was being ripped in two. At no point did I regret doing a natural birth at NO point did I think I wish I was in a hospital or that I wanted drugs. But, I did want to get away from it I wanted to close my legs and keep you up there for ever because it was scary what my body was doing and when I say my body I totally mean I had no control over anything. As Johanna later said I “got primal”. I’m proud to say I was never during my labor told how to “do it” or when to “push” or how to lay by anyone besides my body, my mind was just along for the ride with my body and had no say in anything that took place that night. I was loud and screaming so much I was surprised none of the neighbors didn’t call the cops. As your Dad put it later he’s never heard anyone shriek so high then go into hard core singer lows in such a quick amount of time. I don’t know why I was yelling, I don’t even really remember it nor do I remember my dog Johnny howling along with me or round house kicking your Dad in the face a breaking his tooth! What I DO remember is just an amazing energy taking my body over and while I was panicking and terrified, I no longer controlled my body and there was something awe inspiring about that looking back. It took a total of two pushes to pass you out of my body and into this world. Cara told me to take it slow but I knew with how scared I was there was no stopping after that first push. I remember saying to myself “I’m not taking it slow! I have to just do this and do it quick” it was then I shut my eyes and just put every single thing in me into myself and birthed you into this world, I remember that moment so vividly. You came out of the water and onto my tummy to let out a little hoot. You never cried you just make a noise to let us know you were OK and settled onto my chest. One of the first things you did was grab my finger and hold on tight, it was amazing and just perfect in every way.
After ten minuets your Dad cut your cord and I was able to had you over to him for the first time. I’ll never forget the image of him curled up with you on our kitchen floor leaning against the cabinets, you so tiny in his arms. Your first moments together, so magical. I’m so happy to have been able to give that to your Dad, carry you and birth you and create our perfect little family, I’m proud of myself.
While I do wish I had remained calmer through the birth and I do wish I could have practiced the hypnobirthing techniques, I only had a 3 hour 29 min labor that felt like 20 minutes and with the pain I was in I appreciate that for what it is. So I’ll wrap up this story with how the night ended up. After 10 minutes I was up and out of the tub and in the shower. Within the hour the house was clean and our little family was wrapped up in bed by our birth attendants to spend our first night together. You slept on my chest peacefully all night to wake with us the next morning with smiles when we kissed your forehead. Those smiles changed my life, changed who I am and make all the pain in the world worthwhile to have you here with us. You are a true blessing to us and I hope you know and feel that for all of eternity lil Ruby.