“Do you want to just go straight to the center?” he asked.
“No, let’s give it a few minutes and see what happens.”
I had a few things to return, and I grunted through one contraction as the greeter tagged my items. Then, I winched through another as the customer service gal processed my return.
“I can’t find this item in our system.” she said. “Would you like me to go check on it?”
“No!! Umm…no, that’s fine. I’ll just keep it.”
Between contractions, I was fine (and amnesiac-ly forgetful). I wanted to look at pjs. I remembered all sorts of random things that we needed. Then a contraction would hit and I’d grab the cart and visit loopy town for about 45 seconds. I know people were looking at me in horror. Well, it serves them right. They’ve been staring at me like I was about to explode for about three months now!
Before heading to the center, we called my parents, my good friend Rachel, and, of course, the midwife on call. My contractions were about 2.5 minutes apart, but they were only lasting 30-45 seconds. It was almost 7:00 pm.
We showed up at the center laughing hysterically (although I can’t remember now about what). For the next three hours, that was pretty much the drill. In the time away, I had dilated to 7 cm! We were so excited and the mood was just perfect. By 9:30 or 10:00 pm, my birthing party had all arrived. I heard a rumor that someone in the living room didn’t think we were taking things seriously enough, and from that point on, I absolutely could not stop laughing (except every minute or so during the contractions). Never tell a silly person to get serious. It just doesn’t work!
Around 11 pm, I began squatting though contractions. At one point, I really thought he was going to be born right there on the floor. But, as it turns out, natural birth is not that easy! Ha! The contractions were so intense by that point, and so close together, that I think I inadvertently kicked everyone but Papa Bear and the midwives out of the room.
I’d have to say that natural childbirth was a little more intense than I had predicted, or at least than I had hoped. But what an incredible experience! My mind was literally swarming with Biblical analogies (none of which are clear on my first day postpartum).
I specifically remembered Jennifer’s post about offering it up
. I wanted to sob as I prayed that Jesus would be glorified through my pain. I can only hope that He was.
It took about 30 minutes for me to push out our 8lb 6oz blessing. It only took me twenty-minutes to push out both Lil Prince and Bay Bit combined. I’ll write more about this later, but let me just say that the epidural might not be everything it’s cracked up to be. It gave me a completely pain free birth with my second set, but the recovery was weeks of horrendous pain. Today, just one day postpartum, I can honestly say I am in no pain at all.
The baby formerly known as Womb Dweller emerged from his 38 week incubation at 12:15 am (fifteen minutes into his due date). I was ecstatic and felt absolutely wonderful.
For about half an hour….