One year ago, at around 8:25 pm, I gave birth to the sweetest, coolest little girl ever. Today, I feel like telling a short version of birth story, since it's been on my mind all morning. If you don't wanna read it, just scroll on down to the pics. They're the meat and potatoes to the site, so I don't mind. I remember her birth like it was yesterday. Around this time I was starting labor. I remember the midwife Amy, telling me over the phone during a contraction, "you don't sound like you're in enough pain." I remember thinking "no way! because this hurts!" Little did I know, this was just the beginning.
It was around 11:00 when we went to the birthing center. We had to stop for juice and I was having contractions in parking lot. The feeling of adrenaline and pain is an interesting combo. I remember just trying to tell myself that this might just be a false start and not to get too excited or overwhelmed until we got checked and knew where we were at in the process.
I wasn't far enough along when we got to the birthing center plus I had an issue that was preventing me from going as fast as I should, so I was instructed to walk. So, I did. I walked briskly around the block. I went up stairs, down stairs, and around every part of the birthing center that day. I was determined. I cracked jokes between contractions to help ease my mind. It had to be hilarious to the cars driving by to see some giant pregnant woman chuckin' it down the side of the road, arms swinging and legs waddling. Periodically, I'd stop to have a contraction. After about an hour of that, we checked again. Not much had changed. Then it took a turn for suckville.
I was instructed to lie on my side for a while to see if the baby could put pressure on the right places to get me farther along, which was torture. I remember squeezing Ryan so hard, fighting the pain. I was writhing. Then, during a contraction, I heard this loud "POP". It was extremely audible to me. I freaked and said "DID YOU HEAR THAT?" and Ryans like "what?" and I wait a moment, feel a bunch of warmth down south, and I'm like "Oh, my water just broke!"
At this point, I knew we were in for the long haul here. For me, this was when labor truly began. See, I'd seen hospital births before. They seemed a lot easier than this. During most of the ones I've seen, the woman could lie on the bed. Me? NO FREAKING WAY. Laying was the last thing I wanted. I wanted to MOVE, and move I did. I fought the pain a lot though, instead of accepting it. My midwife caught this early on and gave me some positions to get into while contracting. I hated giving in. I wanted to face the pain like a bear, not like a ballerina. I wanted to squeeze things, and push things, and bearhug things. Turns out, it hurts more for us bears. You gotta go with it, not against. You gotta stretch your arms over pillows, and giant exercise balls. I just wanted to squeeze the bedpost and lean over things.
This next part is where it starts to blur together, up until go time. There was a point when I took a shower. That was the part where I doubted I could do it. I told Ryan I thought I needed to go the the hospital and that I couldn't. I was pleading through the steamy windows of the shower. In retrospect, the whole scenario cracks me up, to know that I had reached the point where I wanted to throw every plan out the window. I didn't care. I just thought I couldn't possibly handle it getting any worse. It helped me later on to find out that both of the midwives did the same thing during their first borns birth's. It's common to freak out like this. These were trained professionals, and even they thought they couldn't do it at some point. I think every woman reaches this point to some degree. I remember watching "The business of Being Born" and Ricky Lake did it too. I was not alone.
The next time the midwife checked, I still wasn't very far. I had an issue with some scar tissue that wasn't allowing me to progress. She had to take invasive action. After that, things went really, really fast. The part between 5 and 10 is the part that is the fuzziest. The pushing I remember vividly, but the part before, I just remember thrashing around in the birthing tub trying to get comfortable, until it was time. When she said it was time to push and get the baby out, I was determined. Scared, but determined. It took me somewhere around 3-5 good pushes during contractions. I screamed like a banshee. I watched tons of videos of women giving birth where they didn't scream and were pretty dang quiet. I was hoping to do that, but it totally didn't happen. I was a screamer.
Ryan caught her when she came out. They laid her on my chest and it was over. She was a part of this world.
From that day, to this moment, learning how to take care of a baby went from completely foreign and alien, to something routine and comfortable. After all the sleepless nights, work interruptions, and overall general exhaustion, we've reached a happy place. We're starting to have a lot more fun. She's starting to learn things and walk everywhere. She's a little more independent everyday. She can point to things and copy what I say. She can say "Yay!" and "Kitty Cat" and "Dada" She tried to walk in my shoes yesterday. She can go up and down stairs and get off the bed and couch by herself. She can wave at people when they wave at her. She is 1 now. A whole number.
Here are some pics from the last month or so, leading up to her birthday party on Saturday.
Happy Birthday Moxie. You wont remember any of it, but I sure will. :)
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