My baby is a week old today! I can’t believe it. It feels like just yesterday I was pregnant and thinking this day would never come! He was 7 pounds, 1.5 ounces, 20 inches long and puuuuure perfection if I do say so myself!
He has surprised me in so many ways. I thought for CERTAIN that I would go overdue, but I was actually a day early. I also thought he would be AT LEAST 8 pounds because of my size during pregnancy and my family genetics, but I was so wrong! I had a natural childbirth, and while I pushed for nearly 2 long hours and my body tore in all the wrong places, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. Really, I would!
My Birth Story:
After on and off couch sleeping being awoke by contractions, taking three different hot showers, and throwing up in my kitchen sink, we arrived at the hospital around 5:00am. My husband wanted to make sure this was “the real thing” so he left our bags in the car which I brought “ just in case.” After finding out I was 4cm dilated, my husband asked the nurse, “ So is this it?” (Bless his heart, he really didn’t know!) I’m just telling him, “ Go get the stuff babe and hurry yourself up!!” I gave my nurse my birth plan, which explained that I didn’t want an IV or anything hooked up to me. She was so wonderful and respectful of my wishes and let me do as I pleased.
I walked around, sat on the birth ball, and spent a lot of time in the tub. The water was a lifesaver. It felt amazing. I focused on my breathing and kept telling myself that I could do it, I am strong, the Lord is with me. My husband and nurses were wonderful supporters. I had nurses bringing me cold wash rags, water, helping me get in and out of the tub, and everything. I was in and out of the tub for the majority of the time. It really helped me control the pain.
I labored in different positions for about three hours until things really picked up and I was like, “ I need to push!! I can’t help myself!!” The doctor checked me and I was 8 cm. dilated. Hearing that made me so unbelievably happy! I knew that something was actually happening! I sat on the birth ball for a while, bouncing up and down, walked around a lot, and did lots of squatting. At one point, I was squatting and I peed on the floor, all over my doula’s shoes. (Sorry about that!) I probably peed an entire liter worth. I remember saying, “ I’m peeing! I’m peeing! I can’t control it, it’s just coming out!!!” And my sweet doctor said to me, “That’s okay Samantha. You might even poop and that’s okay too.” And I just looked at him with such a blank face and said, “ Oh, I know it is.”
Then, I really needed to start pushing. I wanted to stay off the bed as long as possible(whoever thought pushing while laying down was a good idea??) but finally ended up on the bed. It was so uncomfortable and made pushing more difficult, but at this point I just didn’t care. I pushed for an hour or so and became so physically tired. I had no energy. I actually told the doctors I wanted to take a nap and come back to pushing. Ha!
I managed to find every last bit of strength and energy I had to push and push. I don’t even remember much of the pushing stage because I was so tired and out of it. It’s all a blur to me at this point. I remember things started to finally progress and the doctors had to give me oxygen at one point. That was pretty scary for me, breathing into a plastic thing, but apparently I wasn’t giving enough oxygen to my baby. I was pushing so hard but not taking enough oxygen in. It was a blur to me, but I faintly remember words of “ she needs to breath more” and my doula was encouraging me to take deep breaths. My doctor encouraged me to touch his head so I could feel how close I was. I felt it and immediately got a burst of energy to push as hard as I could.
After 90 minutes of pushing, he finally came!! I wanted him immediately on my chest, but the umbilical cord was so short that he had to lie on the lower half of my stomach. Even though it was only a minute until my husband cut the cord, it was sill so hard for me to wait to hold him! Once I was able to hold him and I knew that he was safe and healthy, I knew my world was complete.
Labor is a beautiful and empowering experience. Yes, it hurt, but truth be told, I was so tired that I don’t even remember it hurting that bad. It’s funny how somehow, you almost forget the pain. I remember asking my doula later on after he was born if I acted liked it hurt, because I can’t remember any vivid feelings of the pain. She told me I was definitely in a lot of pain and it definitely hurt! By the grace of God, I was able to deliver my baby boy exactly how I imagined it and I’m so thankful for that!
“…you knit me together in my mother’s womb, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalms 139:13