How Baby S Got Borned (Part Three)
Geez, this kid is not yet born yet? This is more of an epic tale than a birth story, but I have been busy feeding my insatiable baby every two hours. This is the final installment, I promise.
We are in the super-deluxe birthing suite.
MC is hallucinating, but not in any pain. She is lying on her back (a truly awful way to labor) and hooked up to monitors.
Mr. MC is thinking that MC is a losing it as she is talking crazy. He is also very tired and is trying to sleep on the pull-out couch.
Baby S is still not born, but is on his way. MC is 3-4cm dilated.
Everyone, given that this is a first baby, anticipates a 12-24 hour labor, which means Baby S will presumably be born about lunchtime.
It is about 2AM.
Baby S was born at 5:30 in the morning, and I really have very little recollection of what happened for the three hours between 2AM and 5AM, when I got ready to start pushing. Yes, I slept through most of my active labor. At some point, the following things happened: they could not consistently get Baby S’s heart beat, so they placed a scalp monitor on him; my contractions were not registering well, either, so they put in an internal contraction monitor; I was given some IV Pitocin as I was so relaxed that my contractions started to space out; I talked more crazy to all the nurses and my midwife (I was told this at my 6 week check-up as I am apparently very funny when I am stoned and hallucinating).
What I do remember is waking up and feeling a lot of pressure in my bajingo region. It wasn’t really painful, but considering that I had been completely numb, I thought the anesthesia was wearing off. The nurse said she would page the anesthesiologist to come and have a look at things. A few minutes later my midwife came in to check my progress and told me I was 8cm dilated but to push a little — which I did — and then I was instantly 10cm dilated. Voila! According to my midwife, I was ready to start pushing. I honestly thought she was messing with me as it was only 5AM and women in my family are not known for speedy labors. I kept asking her if she was serious, and I didn’t really believe that she was until she started putting on the gown and glasses and getting the tray o’birthin’ stuff ready. “MC,” she said, “you are going to have a baby now.” “Now? Are you sure?” “Yes, I am sure.”
My water had broken about 11:45PM, I started pushing at 5:10AM, and Baby S was born at 5:30AM. Throughout this entire pregnancy, it only now felt really, really real when she told me to reach down and feel his head crowning. It was all squished up, hairy, and felt like leather, but it was then that I realized that I was actually giving birth to an actual live baby. Mr. MC held one leg and a nurse held the other, the one that was completely numb because I had been sleeping on my left side, while I pushed. Five contractions later and he was born. Once his shoulders were out, she let me reach down and pull him the rest of the way. I only needed two stitches in my bajingo, even though Baby S entered this world with both of his hands in front of his face (the “prayer” position).
I was sure that would cry as soon as I saw him, but I was too overwhelmed and too out of it to process all the emotions (don’t worry, though, as I bawled for days when I got home out of sheer joy). I remember that he was taken to the warmer and was mewing like a kitten, but I don’t remember giving him to anyone. Thankfully, Mr. MC took video of Baby S getting weighed and cleaned up so I could go back and watch that once I sobered up. I remember holding him in my arms and just being stunned, partially because he was early but mostly because he was alive and healthy.
I put him to my breast but he did not feed. He was so sleepy that he didn’t even try to latch on, and my midwife assured me this can happen with babies that are early. Technically he was full-term at 37 weeks, but his sucking reflex was still immature and he was drowsier than a typical full-term baby. Breastfeeding was rough for the first two weeks, but we both eventually got the hang of it.
Mr. MC and I had both imagined that he would look like my nephew and be born with dark eyes and lots of dark hair. Instead, he had blue eyes and, once they got all the yuck of birth goo out of it, blond hair. He had Mr. MC’s face shape and weird toes but my coloring. He looked up at me and seemed to recognize me, or at least to recognize my voice. He felt simultaneously like an old friend and a perfect stranger. He was no longer that tiny flickering heartbeat on an ultrasound machine; he was my son.