I love birth stories. I love reading blog posts full of them. I love reading book after book of them. I love watching them on the TV version of Call the Midwife or on the rare occasions I get to watch an episode of TLC’s A Baby Story. Jeez, guys, I even love 16 and Pregnant minus all the drama and heavily scripted “But why didn’t you just, you know, use birth control” conversation with bad-actress friends (no offense, bad actress friends).
I have long, beautiful (to me) birth stories from each of my first pregnancies that I get ready to share here every few weeks. But for some reason I just can’t bring myself to do it.
As much as I love birth stories and am so madly in love reading other women’s birth stories I just can’t seem to put so many private, special details of my own out into the world.
Today I’m sharing a super truncated version of Baby A’s birth story and I’ll share a just-as-truncated version of Baby B’s soon too.
Ryan needed to use the Internet on his lunch break so he sent me a text and said he was heading to the library soon and needed my library card number when I got a chance. I sent it back and wished him luck, then decided just to head over there and hang out with my guy. I walked the two blocks to the library to surprise him and sat with him while he did what he needed to do.
He offered me a ride back home and I thanked him and took him up on it. He dropped me off right at our apartment’s doors and I was thankful as soon as I started to climb the stairs because the lower half of my belly was suddenly sore, I assumed from the walk.
I started to feel not only crampy but also sick to my stomach so I laid down for a nap. I woke up very confused and disoriented three hours later.
I told Ryan I was crampy and not feeling well when he got home from work. I had trouble finishing up simple chores and he was convinced I was in labor hours before I was.
We went to the hospital, walked the hallway for an hour, and were sent home. Ryan and I climbed into bed to rest but my lower back was killing me during each contraction so I got up and took a warm bath, then squatted in the shower with warm water running over my back. He had managed to fall asleep by the time I got out so I went out to the living room for a while and kept a heating pad on my back.
My water broke (it was a Hollywood-friendly gush, not the light trickle I was told it would be if it even broke at all) about two hours after they send us home so we went back to the hospital and this time I was admitted.
I had planned to birth naturally and was chanting to myself over and over again that everything would be fine once I got into their big tub. They told me their policy wouldn’t allow me to sit in the tub since my water had broken so I burst into tears and told Ryan I didn’t know what I was going to do and that I needed that tub.
A few hours later I didn’t think I could take anymore and I got the epidural. I felt an immediate physical relief and an immediate burst of guilt. We napped, called our parents once we knew they’d all be awake and getting ready for work, and even played a game.
We made gender guesses with the nurses (Ryan and I, and every nurse but one, guessed girl) and repeatedly talked about how by the end of the day we would be holding our son or daughter.
Once it was time, I pushed for 2 ½ hours. Everything went quite smoothly and when I looked at the precious little face of the person placed on my chest, Ryan told me we had a son. I couldn’t believe it. My heart just burst with love and joy.
It was a beautiful, amazing moment I think about all the time. If I could re-experience any moment in life, I’d definitely choose that one.