a birth story, part 4
February 24, 2011 by stephanie
I immediately started shaking from the adrenalin as they tried to pass her underneath my legs to me. It all felt like too much — the shaking, her wetness, the cord, my gown — I didn’t think I could take her safely and turn around. The gown I had brought from home to labor in suddenly felt like too much to me to handle and I WANTED MY BABY. “Get this off of me!” I yelled, and threw my arms up over my head. Charlotte pulled the gown off in one motion, and then they passed me my baby and helped me turn around on the bed.
No matter how much emotional, mental, and spiritual preparation I had for this moment I had no idea what to expect. It was magical. Hubby and I had certainly gone on a journey together and emerged with this beautiful new life that was part of both of us. I don’t know how to put the feeling in words, but it was absolutely incredible. Her hair was thick and dark, and her eyes a dark blue. They gave her Apgar scores of 9-10. She laid on me skin to skin and with help from Charlotte and Anjli we nursed. Hubby cut her cord. We spent an hour or two bonding before they took her to be weighed and measured, and checked by the pediatrician. She was born 7 pounds and 0.5 ounce, 20 inches, and is perfectly healthy.
If I could say anything to moms who are about to have a baby, it’s that emotional, mental, and spiritual preparation for this experience is so important. I didn’t use all the coping tools I learned — only slow paced breathing, really — but I had them if I needed them. I knew about the phases of labor, and so I knew what was happening in my body. I had connected with our baby on a spiritual level and that made the experience that much more incredible. I also was committed to the idea that the most important end result of labor was “healthy baby, healthy mom” and that all the other stuff were just details. That meant that I wasn’t disappointed that we didn’t have a water birth — maybe next time!
One thing I thought might happen but I didn’t realize would happen to such an extent would be how Hubby and I would bond through the process. We shared a lot of tears together in the days after coming home from the hospital. I would say as couples go we are very close, but this just made us closer than ever.
It took several days to feel like we had lifted out of that trippy post-birth fog. The shimmery effect that the world had seemed to take on started to fade, and reality returned. Our new reality is so much more beautiful with her in it.