A Birth Story

It doesn't matter how long you've waited for a certain moment or anticipated its arrival, when it comes you are inevitably surprised.
The expected unexpectedly happens and the day turns into a whirlwind of events.
And so it began with the coming of our little Renly.

I roll over in my make shift bed on the couch and like the gunshot signifying the beginning of a race, feel the tell tale gush of waters breaking.
I call for Matt, who springs into action despite the 2:45am wake up call.
Towels are thrown on the floor, I awkwardly roll out of bed shaking from the cold of being wet from the waist down and partly from knowing what is to come this day.
I stumble through phone conversations, trying to arrange all that needs to happen next.
Eventually, the grogginess wears off and I jump into action - shower, blow dry my hair, check that the hospital bag is packed, kiss my sleeping girlies goodbye.
Now I've gathered myself enough to stop shaking, to push my fears aside and look forward to the fact that this day I will hold my third born child in my arms.

photo by Mya L.

Reinforcements arrive and I'm off, holding toast in one hand and my husband's hand in the other.
Our last baby came in less than 3 hours after my water breaking so we don't waste any time.
We chat with nervous excitement, and laugh together at the memory of Matt missing the exit to the hospital when we were on route with our first.
Before long we are there, meeting up with parents and making our ascent to labor and delivery.
The nurses are expecting us and I'm whisked right into a room.
All is quiet this night.
I look at the clock. 4am. I should be holding my baby by 8am, I decide.

photo by Mya L.

But the hours pass and the day dawns.
Contractions are slow and I am bored.
I bounce on the exercise ball and make small talk, pausing now and again as a contraction passes.
There is a shift change and still no signs of baby.
"It has to be a boy!", Mom jokes.

photo by Mya L.

Eventually, I'm informed that I'll need some pitocin to speed things up.
I'm also told I'll likely change my no drug policy.
I balk at the idea. I need control. With drugs, I loose that. And to top it off, they're unhelpful when it comes to my low blood pressure issues.
Instead, I beg for one more hour to see if my body will look after things itself.
I'm given until 11am.
And so I walk. And bounce. And hope.

photo by Mya L.

The deadline arrives.
I dread the "extra strong" contactions they predict but sneak a nap in despite my fears.
Soon it begins.
The black waves of pain come flooding in.
I remember this well but this time I am prepared for the onslaught.
I make Mom get in my face and do the breathing so I can follow her lead.
Matt is tasked with the job of applying counter pressure to the small of my back.
Then I close my eyes and labor.
They named it well.
Ever my own motivator, I remind myself "I can do this!".

Lunch passes by outside and I gag at the smell.
My nurse returns from her break to hear me grunting, "Push!"
Alarmed, she exclaims that I should not be pushing yet until another nurse explains that it is my husband I'm yelling at.
Darned, back labor.
In a different situation, I would laugh at the whole scenario!
Instead, I panic at the new smell that has entered the room.
When it is identified as the flavoured coffee that the nurse brought back with her, I assume a tone of authority-
"Out! Get it out!", followed by a scrambling to remove the offending article!

photo by Mya L.

Suddenly, the unbearable pressure that is my body's exclamation that it is time, immerges.
I struggle to get on the bed.
My legs won't work properly.
Everything is screaming but somehow I get there, legs held back, chin to chest.
One push, two ... and I'm commanded to stop.
I blubber that I can't! Impossible!
But the nurse insists and with complete control guides me through the breathing that enables me to do what she demands.
Everything around me is black.
My vision like a camera taking one snapshot after another.
It feels like an eternity but seconds later, at 12:45pm, I feel the relief of my body releasing the sweet blessing that it holds.
Someone states that it's a girl but I am still in a state of emergency until....
She is plopped onto my chest, all vernix-y white and flailing.
I envelope her in my arms and the world stops.
She is so small!
I giggle at her double chin and say hello.
Mom is crying, Matt is beaming.
"Her name is Renly Soleil.", I say, unable to take my eyes away from the beauty of her.

And so my little one begins her journey.

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Josh & Blayre said...

Gina; that is beautiful. I don't know whether to be drop dead terrified of labor (V was a section baby) or beautifully inspired. I suppose that I'm both.
Congratulations, again!
- Blayre

andthatsfamily said...

Wow, your post brought back so many memories. Your story is beautiful and your little one is lovely. Congratulations!

Suanna said...

Well written! I was there with you through your words. Back labor isn't fun, but crawling around on hands and knees helped me immensely.

Gina said...

Thanks, all!

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