Then….out of nowhere, this thing called labor…….this event that we have read about, talked about, watched videos about, taken classes about, anticipated…LABOR starts.
We grabbed the watch again and started timing. Eight minutes apart, seven and a half minutes apart, five minutes apart! It was 4:30 in the morning and I was POSITIVE that the baby was about to crown. We called the midwife, anticipating that she would wildly scream for us to call an ambulance and while we’re waiting, boil water …..maybe for hot chocolate!
The midwife insisted that she talk to me.
Me. The mother in labor.
I was SO proud at how calm and collected I was, and I cooly informed her of all my inward labor-like symptoms. She rather crankily insisted that I did not “sound” like I was in labor,and to please go back to bed.
The indignity! I AM in labor….I just have a high pain tolerance! How dare she tell me to go back to bed on this very-important-and-life-changing day! WE are having a baby today! Alert the maternityward that we are on our way!
I went back to bed.
It was 11:00 a.m. I was exhausted. Contractions had been steadily coming every five minutes for what seemed like weeks. We called again. My midwife consented that we might “possibly” need to come in. She was WAY too calm. We made the drive and I groaned dramatically at every bump in the road. Chris speeds. We waited very anti-climactically in a room for the annoying desk lady to enter our info.
A woman is in labor here, people! Let’s hurry it up! And would everyoneplease stop acting so CALM!
We were shown to a room set up with two beds and three chairs. I was hooked up to some impertinent machine that somehow tells the doctor how much pain I’m in. A doctor who was about 12 years old came in and calmy checked my chart. I gazed at him crankily and wondered if he was old enough to shave. My midwife perkily decided to check how many centimeters dilated I was.
I began mulling over the fact that maybe they should have a different measuring system for how big things need to get for baby to come out. Something like feet....or yards. “Oh, she’s measuring 2 ½ feet! Baby is ready to enter the world!”
No such luck. Cervixes are measured in centimeters for some strange reason, and mine was only FOUR! They will not even admit you at 4 centimeters! I groaned and wondered if I was caught in some kind of labor twilight zone.
We drove home not saying much. I crashed on the couch imagining all kinds of awful things. Baby is stuck….baby is stuck…..baby is stuck….the thought ran through my addled brain rhythmically. It was 3:30 p.m. My contractions were SO strong that I could not even speak through them. We called.
When speaking to the midwife, I gritted my teeth and groaned through contractions and told her in no uncertain terms that I WAS dying, it WILL BE all her fault,and my pregnant ghost WAS going to haunt her until the day she decides to kick the bucket.
She said that I sounded like I was ready. How magnanimous of her. She was lucky that I was so busy having a baby or else I would have strangled her.
In no time, my capable husband had me back at the hospital, I was admitted at eight centimeters and before I knew it, it was time to push. My first pushing contraction comes and after it ebbed, I glanced at the clock. “How long will I push? “ I asked….. My guess on this subject consisted of pushing two, maybe three times, definitely no more than ten minutes, tops.
“Oh,2 hours is normal for a first,” I was calmly told. I glanced at my husband. He looked alarmed.
Over my dead body was I doing this for 2 hours! Another contraction was coming, and I reached down and tossed the baby monitor off my stomach, smacked my husband’shand for rubbing those irritating repetitious circles on my arm and met it head on. I had that child in ½ hour.
She’s here! I was foggy, exhausted,sore….and it was the happiest moment of my life. Tears ran down my face and the new daddy was laughing and crying at the same time. She was wrinkly,purple and red. She had wispy dark hair and perfect nails, a rosebud mouth and a little cone head, such tiny ears and huge dark eyes.
Chloe Elizabeth. Born on a sunny, crisp autumn day, October 17 at 6:02 p.m. And so commences this journey into motherhood, parenthood…..so ended my carefree days and so began my maturity in life.
Nothing has stretched me more than motherhood. This child has changed my life and I will never be the same. I would die for this small person. And in the tumultuous times of parenthood, strong and unbreakable bonds are formed. For somewhere in that amazing cycle of life, there are timeless lessons that we learn. There is a breaking process and a growing process. We are forever bound up in the happiness and failures of that one little person.
Our children not only hold our hearts, they are our hearts….a part of us…..a walking, breathing symbol of our love for each other. ……and yes, we mailed the midwife a picture. It is a picture of me, in a flimsy hospital gown. My hair is matted, my eyes bloodshot, my smile oh-so-tired….BUT there is a brand new person peeking out of that white striped blanket. Our journey has begun and who knows who she’ll be….