September 28th. Dennis and I have been discussing about our birth plans in case I deliver within the week. I was already considered full term at 39 weeks and I can pop out the baby anytime. As much as possible, I don’t want to get epidural or any pain killers during the labor process because I want to know what it feels like to actually give birth. I’ve been watching videos online and reading a lot of information about giving birth but I can say now that no matter how you have prepared yourself physically and mentally, one cannot really be fully prepared..especially if the pain is already in progress.
October 3rd. I woke up at 2am with a menstrual-like pain in my abdomen. I timed this and I’m feeling this kind of pain every 5 minutes with a duration of 60 seconds. My midwife told me that labor usually starts with menstrual like pain that increases intensity as time passes by.. After a couple of hours, I found myself waking up Dennis since the pain is becoming more intense. I waited for 2 hours because I want to make sure that what I was experiencing was indeed “first stage labor” so as to save ourselves from being ask to go back home because it was just a false labor. We headed to the hospital and arrived there with a 3 cm dilation.
Fast forward. In a dim-lighted room, there was just the midwife, the nurse assistant, my husband and writhing-in-pain me. I do not think I have truly and whole-heartedly know for sure that I really trust a man until that time with my husband as my active birth partner. He was giving me back massage that eases the pain, held my hand and gave me liquids in between contractions because I was really parched from thirst, helped me change positions, and in a strong, calm voice reminded me to breathe in slowly instead of my panicky ones. Looking back, I can say that giving birth is not that bad at all and it’s because of Dennis who helped me through with it.
Pushing the baby out took me 18 minutes (which my midwife said was really fast). I was still hooked up to the blood pressure monitor when the midwife put the squirming, wet baby on my naked belly. The nurse assistant clean her up while I was delivering the placenta. It’s worth noting that contractions continue while you pass this “afterbirth.” I was surprised by the size of the placenta the midwife laid on a tray. It looked like a big liver.
Anyway, her name is Haydee Emery and she was born on October 03, 2015 at 6:08 PM weighing 7.4 lbs and 49 cm in length.
While I was kissing Haydee’s hairy head for the first time, the doctor was repairing some tears I’d suffered. During the pushing stage my midwife had given me a perineal massage, rubbing the muscles between the vagina and anus, which helped me avoid an episiotomy. But I tore a bit anyway, which is common. Even if the midwife delivers a local anesthetic before stitching, I can still feel the sewing she does. I remembered screaming once and startled Haydee of my scream because of it.
Dennis took some pictures, and although I’m sweaty, exhausted and half-naked, I still managed to grin like an idiot.
After birth, I was asked to pee which I did manage fine except for some assistance in putting on some pads. I lost some blood and I cannot walk properly without falling. I breastfed Haydee right from the very start and although there was a little bit of pain on the nipples, it was nothing compared to the belly contractions, which was supposedly just normal as the uterus tries to get back to its pre-pregnancy shape.
The next day, we were given a green light to check out of the hospital. For the first time, we were all together in our safe haven called home.