Apparently catnapping in a super uncomfortable position is what I get to do tonight. Calli already has views about how she wants to sleep which delights me because she fits right in. So I babble at you, dear lj, my safe home on the internet.
This was quite the intense experience for me in a number of ways. As you are all well aware, I have ‘mother’ issues and those have been especially hard just lately. She hasn’t ever actually called, for which I am grateful, but I have been longing for her fiercely all week as I went through this painful experience. Like many abused/neglected children I’m very very loyal. The thing that finally kept me from calling her is the knowledge that she would welcome me back with open, sincere love… and I would abandon her again and hurt her very badly because she is a toxic person. I don’t actually think she deserves that roller coaster ride. It’s just not fair. So I spent a lot of time crying and wanting her. I think that was a big part of the constant contractions being so stressful. I really couldn’t relax.
I woke up at about 6:30 unable to find a comfortable position at all through the contractions and feeling kind of frantic about it. I had Noah check me and I was a hair shy of 4cm so I decided that it really and truly was active labor and I called my midwife. It takes her a while to get up here and she’s been very afraid of me having a super fast labor once things got really going. So much for that. 🙂 I was very happy to have her here. In an amusing twist of events my doula was at a different birth so I got to see one of her partner doula’s instead. After that mess. oy. She was helpful and gentle and fun so things were great until my original did show up hours later. It worked out fine.
During the early hours I spent as much time laughing between contractions as not. It was very intense and took a lot of processing, but if I kept up a steady patter of talking during the contractions I stayed very calm and centered. Most of what I was saying was variations along the lines of, “We can do this. Come down baby. We can handle this together” and other things in the same vein. It was very calming and centering. I would go so far as to say most of that chunk was even fairly pleasant because I was so excited to be finally making progress and I felt like things were going really well.
Side note: most of my in between contraction conversation was talking about bdsm stuff and porn. I was getting the biggest kick ever out of educating my birth team. 🙂
Transition was flat out terrifying. I more or less went into shock and I felt like I was dying. At that point the contractions couldn’t be managed anymore and my leg muscles were twitching and cramping on their own regardless of what I did. Noah and Sunshine sat with me and very very gently and delicately talked me through it. I have no idea how long it went on, but I think probably only 10 or 15 minutes. They were really wonderfully supportive in exactly the right ways.
Then of course I hit pushing. Woof. Having to force myself to stay in very uncomfortable positions because those helped me make the most progress really sucked. I could mostly do it though. I went back in the tub and oh boy was that the right call for me during pushing. It took noticeably less than two hours to push her out but I’m not sure how much more than one hour. By the end I was crying and begging the baby to just hurry up already. It was amazing how pushing was psychotically intensely painful in one minute and then just uncomfortable in the next breath. (This was while the head was uhm not fully through and I was stretched around her head. She doesn’t have a small head.) Once she was out we did immediate skin to skin and no one bothered to look at her gender for quite a while.
As it turns out we were too busy getting me out of the tub fast because I was losing a lot of blood and it was hard to tell how much. So from what I can tell I had a minor hemorrhage. By minor I mean I didn’t die. But we were all pretty scared for a few hours because I needed a lot of oxygen and Pitocin injected and I really really wanted to go to sleep in a way I probably wouldn’t have woken up from. Obviously my midwife stayed and was incredibly attentive for many hours. I have zero complaints about her professionalism and care. She absolutely earned her money and then some. I was weak enough during this time period that Noah was cuddling Calli because I really and truly couldn’t. Yeah, I think that is maybe the closest I have ever come to dying.
I am 150% glad I had a homebirth even with the scary part at the end. Sunshine did everything right to keep me alive and she allowed me to have the empowered decisions about everything every step of the way. I have a very minor tear that didn’t need suturing. I feel pretty ecstatic about the fact that I was allowed to go with what my body needed and when. It wasn’t a short labor by second timer standards and I suspect it would have not gone well in a hospital strapped to a bed. I moved from the tub to walking to rocking on the floor to the toilet to the bed as I needed to for pain management. It was really awesome to just do what my body needed.
At this point I am even weaker than average after birth. The blood loss is really a big deal. I can’t stand and walk to the bathroom. No really, I can’t. I would probably pass out. So I’m crawling if it is important but mostly I’m lying down because even sitting is not great. This is going to be a longer than standard recovery. Thus I throw aside all hints of pride and say we will accept any and all help people want to offer. Noah is pretty worn out from the harrowing pregnancy and labor and he is going to have basically all Shanna care and a lot of Calli care for a while. And I… can’t even sit up well. It’s worth it though. Looking at my daughters is enough to make me weep with joy. I will recover. This will be a blip. I get to have these wonderful people forever.