these past 3 weeks have been a whirlwind! i can't tell you how many times i've heard "you aren't a real parent until you have more than one kid." while i don't agree with that, i will say there are definitely some challenges to having more than one little person around now. as i enjoy my maternity leave that is passing way too quickly, i wanted to make sure i got this birth story down before it disappears from my mind...
the day started pretty much like every day had been near the end of my third trimester. i was increasingly uncomfortable but staying active and busy. generally i had been avoiding making commitments to events but i should have known that the moment i did would be when he decided to arrive. i made plans to attend a scrapbooking convention on friday morning and Saraya's daycare luau that same afternoon. so of course my water breaks on thursday afternoon. much like my previous labor, contractions didn't start before my water broke or even shortly after. concerned with the increasing chance of infection, we headed to the hospital early thursday evening.
initially, the plan was to use a midwife at the hospital. 8 months into my pregnancy, the hospital announced that midwives would no longer have privileges at the hospital. after delivering babies at said hospital for over 15 years, my midwife would not even be allowed to be there! i was pretty upset about this turn of events but felt that it was too late to do much. i was also comforted by the fact that my midwife was part of a practice and the doctors were at least familiar with her methods. i decided not to stress about it and instead made sure to have my "birth plan" available to the doctors and nurses once we arrived at the hospital.
i'm not naive enough to think we can control things like birth. my plan was not about trying to control his birth so much as it was about letting the staff know my limits and expectations. for instance, i knew i did not want an epidural but i never discounted the possibility that i would want or need some kind of painkiller. and like my previous labor experience, my labor progression slowed down to the point of needing a bit of help so once again i was given pitocin to help my contractions. unlike before, i didn't have over 37 hours to labor, slowly building up my pain tolerance. although 17 hours is still not a very short labor, it was extremely fast and intense compared to my previous experience and i felt like i needed something to take the edge off. i was administered fentanyl and very shortly after was ready to push.
pain is an interesting thing. so is exhaustion. some people never experience really high amounts of either and therefore have no real concept of what they are capable of enduring. i don't know what is considered a lot of pain. stubbing your toe and paper cuts are not permanent or devastating but they sure do hurt like hell in the moment and can be annoying in their lingering. torture seems like an obviously extreme amount of pain for any person to experience. but when you mention labor and childbirth, the reactions you get vary greatly. yes, i would consider it the most pain i've ever personally experienced. but, like survival school, i knew it wouldn't last forever. focusing on the bigger picture and keeping things in perspective helped me manage the pain in a way that breathing techniques and painkillers couldn't.
Nakoa Leander (brave little lion) graced us with his presence 4 days before his due date on June 28th at 647 am. he was a healthy 7 pounds, 1 ounce and 19 3/4 inches long. we stayed in the hospital for the requisite 24 hours and were able to go home without any issues. though i still didn't have a water birth and wasn't able to use my midwife, this experience was a hundred times better than before. we were more confident about our rights and i was more confident about my body and my ability to bring him into the world. now on to our next adventures in parenthood!