There's so much that I want to say, but I really should start at the beginning. Hence, the birth story.
You all know that Baby J was born Tuesday, September 8th at 5:02pm. He weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 21 inches long. Now, for what I didn't have time to type the first time.
My water broke at 6pm on Monday, September 7. I took Tylenol and Gravol to get some sleep that night. I woke up at 4am the next morning with my first contraction. I spent the next 3.5 hours breathing through them and sleeping in between, but by 7:30am I was scared to fall back to sleep because they were coming quicker and hurting. I woke up J who immediately jumped into action, grabbing his watch and a notebook to write down the times. My contractions were 4-6 minutes apart lasting 30-60 seconds. I was able to breathe through them for a while, but the pain was getting worse and worse. We tried different positions and called the midwife at around 9:30am. She said that they weren't close enough or regular enough yet to go to the hospital. I tried the bath, which totally slowed them right down so I got out. Eventually they sped up again and we hooked up the TENS machine, which is a nerve stimulator thing that basically confuses your brain and lessens the pain from contractions. It was like I was that bad little kid whose parents have to have on a leash in the mall.
The contractions sped up and got more painful so we called the midwife again around 11:30am and were told to head to the hospital. J scrambled around getting everything together and we headed out. It felt like we hit every red light on the way and every single pothole. I was having contractions the whole way and again right outside the hospital, and another in the elevator. It was only one flight up so I finished up my contraction squatting on the elevator floor in front of a bunch of concerned people.
We met the midwives in triage and got assessed. I was 3-4cm dilated (10 is go-time). We were admitted and moved into our room. I had another contraction on the way and was squatting in the hallway. We got into the room, after a few contractions I tried the tub but got the urge to push so quickly got out. Had to have my blood taken, which they somehow did while I was contracting.
Soon I was on all fours on the bed labouring like mad. Three hours of labouring in different positions without drugs. An hour of that was trying to not push because things weren't quite ready for pushing. Fighting that urge was one of the hardest things I've had to do. Finally I was able to push and after about an hour of pushing and the most intense pain of my life, including muscles cramping and the occasional emotional breakdown, Baby J was born.
He was whooshed - according to J - onto my stomach where he stayed for the first 2 hours. J got to cut the cord. I was given some drugs to help with the placenta - the quick labour and muscle failure meant my body couldn't do it without them. I was stitched up while we stared out our new little man. It was unreal, having a squirming little person on my chest, squeaking and burbling and sometimes crying. Jerky arm movements and head twitches that were all brand new.
Eventually they took him to be weighed and measured and tested (reflexes and other stuff). He passed with flying colours and was back in my arms in no time.
J and the midwives were awesome for the labour and delivery. I was at the point of physical exhaustion, muscles cramping and failing in the middle of contractions, and mental exhaustion, thinking there was no way I could do this and was I going to have to have a c-section? Why didn't I ask for drugs when I had the chance? Ow! But the three of them helped me through it all. It was the most intense experience of my life. And apparently I don't even remember half of it - J told me that I was myself for about half the time and primal-get-this-done K the rest of the time. He was telling me all sorts of things I did and said that I don't remember.
I'm very proud of myself for accomplishing my goal of having a drug-free labour, I'm so proud of J for being my rock through the whole thing, and I'm incredibly proud of my new little guy who is absolutely perfect. Welcome to the world, Baby J.