To read Part Two, click here
Ornesha immediately starts yelling at me - BREATHE INNNNN THROUGH YOUR NOSE, OOOUUUTTT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH! INNNNNN THROUGH YOUR NOSE, OOOUUUTTT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH. Surprisingly, I didn't mind her drill sergeant style.
Despite Angela's calm demeanor and Scott's quiet presence, I felt out of control, and Ornesha's volume and cadence were somehow comforting. I did exactly as she said, because I've always been a people-pleaser, and Angela assured me that we'd gotten the best nurse in the hospital.
Ornesha said she needed to check to see how far dilated I was. On the hospital bed, on my back. There was only one problem with that, I couldn't lie on my back, or I WOULD DIE!
The pain and pressure were so intense that the only comfortable position was hands and knees, but again, I am a people-pleaser, and Angela and Ornesha both assured me it would be quick.
They helped me get on the bed, on my back, and then Ornesha quickly checked. She said I was at a 7 and right then and there I died.
Not really, but I distinctly remember saying, I CAN'T DO THIS! To which Angela and Ornesha both replied, YES YOU CAN. YOU ARE DOING THIS! YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT NOW.
They quickly helped me get back on my hands and knees, strip down to my tank top, and resume breathing. Scott assumed his position at my head. Holding my hands and breathing with me. I remember that being so helpful, him breathing with me, and I remember the smell of his breath. It was sweet like the citrus flavored gum he was chewing.
Angela was busy doing what doulas do and I remember her praising my breathing and wiping my face with a wet cloth. Ornesha continued yelling. The only time in my life that someone yelling at me was welcomed.
This whole time my bare butt is waving in the air, and you know what? I didn't care. Not one bit. For once in my life I didn't care how my butt looked or who saw it. I was in so much pain and so focused on breathing that nothing else mattered. Not even my butt.
Before long someone said the doctor was in. I didn't see her because my head was buried in the headboard, but your daddy told me that she stood in the back of the room and watched.
(Side note: The morning after you were born I noticed a bruise and scab on the bridge of my nose. It wasn't until that afternoon that it dawned on me, it was from having my head pressed into the headboard during labor!)
A few minutes later I felt the urge to push and my body took over. My exhales became grunts and then I was informed that before I started pushing, the doctor needed to check me.
I was still on my hands and knees, a position I don't think she's used to because her checking me took a few tries, if you know what I mean. My anatomy was upside down so I got poked in the wrong spot a few times. Fun.
When she finished, she said I was at a nine and I could push if I wanted to. IF I WANTED TO?! I was so ready to meet you!
Next contraction, I breathed in and pushed out. Ornesha, still yelling at me, and I mean that in the nicest way possible, told me that if I wanted to get this baby out, I was going to have to breathe in and then push for ten seconds.
So, as we all know by now, I am very obedient, and I did just as she said. I breathed in and pushed for ten seconds. Next thing I knew, your head was out. I vaguely remember people cheering me on, but honestly, I was so focused on pushing that I don't remember much else.
I think I had to push once more to get the rest of your body out, but you might have just slid out at that point. I'm not sure. Either way, you were born in just a few pushes, at 11:59 PM, and I have never felt so much relief in my life.
Some people claim to feel orgasmic as they're pushing their babies out un-medicated. I did not feel that at all, but the cessation of pain combined with the adrenaline coursing through my veins, made for a feeling I don't think could ever be replicated by a drug. Then again, I've never done drugs, so what do I know?!
Everyone in the room was telling me to turn around to see what I had done, and all I could think was, I DON'T WANNA SEE THE POOP! I DON'T WANNA SEE THE POOP!
Finally, the doctor passed you up through my legs to my arms and I held your warm, wet body against my chest as I tried to catch my breath.
You began to cry and everyone helped me turn around to get into a reclining position. They helped me get my tank top off and I held you up to my breast so that you could eat.
We sat like that until the placenta slid out on it's own and the doctor stitched me up. I had a grade one tear, just like I had with your brother, which I've been told, is not bad. Although, it felt pretty bad to me. I was sore, and for the next two days my only complaint to every person who entered our hospital room was that my butt hurt.
As I mentioned above, I was very concerned about seeing the poop, but I didn't see any poop. Instead I saw you. Six pounds, 14 and three-quarter ounces. A striking resemblance to your brother. Red hair and all.
That didn't quench my curiosity, though, so the next morning I asked the nurse if I had pooped during pushing. She smiled and said something like, it was just the size of an almond, as she demonstrated with the tip of her pinkie.
I'll never think of an almond the same again. And neither will you.
Jane Alice, your birth was an awesome experience. One I had planned on and prepared for. Although, nothing could have fully prepared me for the miracle it is to give birth. Even a second time. Naturally or otherwise.
I am so thankful that you came quickly. My labor was only two and a half hours, if that!
Your birth gives me the confidence that I can do anything. Whenever I feel nervous or anxious, I try to remember how strong I felt during those two and a half hours, and then I press on.
I wish that confidence and strength for you too. After all, I couldn't have done it without you.
I love you,
Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain,
because her hour has come,
but when she gives birth to the child,
she no longer remembers the anguish because of the
that a child has been born into the world.