We waited in the van for a few minutes before my midwife arrived & she got the door unlocked, the tub running & all the welcome cozy lights on by the time we walked the few steps to the door.
i couldn't decide if i wanted to be checked or not - i thought maybe if i got checked and i was only 4cm, i would be discouraged. Right before i got in the tub, Neil told me to go for it - just to get an idea where we were at.
It's at this point that i lost all concept of time - it could have been 4 hours, or 4 minutes - i couldn't tell you. My midwife sat back & quietly encouraged me - & Neil kept telling me how well i was doing... but i was in my own little world... Me & baby. i was imagining his descent - & i wondered if it hurt him too - i felt totally connected with him in our joint efforts to birth and be birthed. My eyes were mostly closed & i regretted that we had forgotten my music in our urgency to get to the birthing center. i imagined the chords and the melody & the lyrics of the music i had wanted - & as the contractions got heavier - i found myself sinking further & further into the water, coping however i could, moaning & yearning for the little one coming.
The contractions became unbearable - and i felt myself in urgency, begin to push. With the first push, i felt his little head descend. The second midwife whispered to the first, "do i write, 'assumed complete?'" "Yeah," responded my midwife, "i'm sure i heard a pushy sound there..." but they just sat in the corner & encouraged me to "listen to my body"...
With each unbearable contraction, i bore down - and each time i was rewarded with the feeling of baby coming nearer. My midwife asked me to turn so that she could help guide him into my arms. i asked for one more contraction as i didn't want to break my groove - slowly, laboriously i made my way into a different position & to my shock, i felt his head crown. i wasn't expecting it so soon & i felt grateful that i would soon have my beautiful baby in my arms.
"What's this?" i heard the midwife say... "Ohhhh, baby, that's not very nice..." She murmured - as another contraction broke my body in two and i pushed with all my might. i felt his head slide from me & i expected his body to follow soon.
(As soon as he was born, he wanted to try to put his hand back in the position he was born in - little sweetheart, how can that be comfortable?)
"Paige, he has his arm wrapped around the back of his head with his hand on his face, you're gonna have to work a little harder for this one... "
My body began working independently of my mind - & i gave everything i had to free him. Slowly, slowly, slowly, we made progress - pushes that wracked my whole frame & with more effort than i thought i had in me brought his little body into the water.
"There we go..." my midwife said quietly, "He's comin' up your way, you got him?"
i reached into the water... & in that darkened room - with the sounds of chirping birds coming from the bedroom - i pulled my son up from the waters & put him to my chest. His cord pulsed between us - & i felt like i could hardly breathe. i couldn't look at him - i just sunk our bodies into the warmth of the water and held on. It was 11:11 pm. My entire labour and delivery had taken just under 2 hours from start... to achingly beautiful finish.
He was floppy and tired - & i don't think he felt like crying... or responding at all. We rubbed his sweet body with a warm wet towel & tried to get him to respond for what felt like forever.
Finally my midwife asked me if it was ok for her to suction him to get him to respond a little bit. i agreed, and finally, finally - we heard that sweet, thin wail. He got 8 & 10 on his apgars - but isn't it funny how those moments are eternity when you're living them?
After awhile - & after the cord had stopped pulsing - Cai got the chance to cut the cord
& we wrapped our sweetness in warm towels & passed him off to daddy while i finished off in the tub.
My placenta had separated a bit & caused some bleeding, so my midwife was wanting me to finish off that little job - & once that was finished and i was rinsed off, i wrapped up warm and snug too & climbed into the bed to enjoy our beautiful babe.
By the time we bothered to get him weighed and measured, he had pooped all over his towels & made a big mess...
Just made Neil happier we were at the birthing center and not at home! hehe. He seemed happier once we got him all clean and warm and snug in his "cocoon" that my friend had sent me only the day before he was born! Neil brought me toast & apple juice & i felt good, happy & strong.
After an hour or so, Neil came to me & said, "i'm not trying to rush you - but i'm feeling ready to go home..."
Funny enough, i was too - i felt like i would rest better at home & i was eager to get home to the rest of our small fry. By the time we were packed up & ready to leave, it was 1am. We had only been at the birthing center for 3 hours....
... but what a wonderful 3 hours it had been...
& this is just the beginning.