Story of birth
I was wrong. That night, I *felt* my water break while lying in bed. It felt like two larger than normal kicks of the baby or "pops," and then leakage of fluid. It wasn't a lot - maybe 20-30 mls in my estimation, but enough to know something was up. I woke John. We leisurely got our stuff ready. I started having contractions about 5-6 min apart almost at once - at first - I wasn't quite sure, because I didn't know what contractions were supposed to feel like. However, soon it became obvious. I got a shower.
We got to the hospital, and I was already in a fare amount of pain. It felt like intense menstrual cramps. During the labor classes, they said pick a focal point to focus on, to help deal with the pain - the teacher suggested watching the second hand of the clock - that's what helped me.
As things continued, I went into a kind of numb state where I ignored everything except getting through the next few seconds. I was terrified, but John was always there to hold my hand. John did really well. He got a little faint initially in the beginning and then had to step out, but came back in. He even stayed to watch the birth and cut the cord, which I wasn't sure he would be physically able to do.
The pain was awful - the worst I've ever known - and I was so scared it would get worse and I wouldn't be able to go through this. I was constantly shaking, I was so scared.
They finally got an epidural in, and it didn't seem to work right away. Then I got really scared. But it finally started working about 30 min in. Sensation and pain didn't completely go away but it was more numb and less intense. I could still feel and move my legs. They got it in just in time for the worst of the contractions and the pushing part. I was only in labor for 5 hrs 17 min.
Pushing the baby out was bizarre. I first of all didn't know how he would fit, and asked this. Dr. Pohl ignored me. It was a dumb question, but I have always wondered - how will the baby fit??? John watched the whole thing. I had the good grace not to need to - as I really didn't want to know what was going on. The weirdest thing I've ever seen is the baby get finally pulled out, and to really see him for the first time. It was surreal.
When they put the baby on me, it was very special, but also extremely surreal. I didn't feel like a mother instantly or have any warm fuzzy feelings. I think I was just mostly in shock. But I do remember feeling in awe - I was in total awe of the whole situation. I was in awe at the baby - in awe I had survived the pain - in awe that he had managed to fit through me - in awe that John had not fainted - in awe that I was now a mom - in awe at everything. In total, I had a vaginal deliverly with a minor first degree internal tear, which Dr. Pohl stitched to keep it from bleeding.
The next two days, John and I got two hours of sleep total probably. It was exhausting. And it started to sink in how life changing this event would be and was. I was afraid to go home and be with him on my own. And that, people, is the general story of the labor and birth.