Waiting for the contraction...
After getting permission to push, it was maybe 2 pushes and Caleb’s head was showing! J____ had to called the doc again and tell him to hurry. I told her to tell him to hurry because I wasn’t going to wait any longer. They said I could push, and by golly I was going to do it! Just the knowledge that I could push made the contractions much more bearable. J____ told me it would probably take him 5 minutes or less to get there, that Dr. C was known for moving quickly when need be. I prayed to myself that he’d skip the elevator and take the stairs. Once J____ had called Dr. C the room suddenly filled with people transforming my labor room into a delivery room. I don’t even know where they all came from but there were probably at least 7 people who flooded into my room and got to work like crazy ants, readying the baby bed, pulling out lights, and literally taking apart my bed to make a delivery table. It seemed like an eternity but in reality Dr. C arrived very quickly, suited up, and I was pushing. After only a few pushes and less than 10 minutes later, at 5:30pm, Caleb Michael S____ entered this world. Right before he was born one of the nurses asked me if I wanted to touch my baby’s head. I quickly and a bit harshly replied, “No!” She must have thought I was nuts, but my thinking was why don’t I just push him out and I can touch his little head all I want. After 37 hours of labor I was very eager to be done with the process. I remember that last push where Caleb came out all at once and the total relief that labor was finally over and my son was here. There is no feeling like that in the entire world, and I felt every moment leading up to it.
End of the big push...he's HERE!
I did not get to have the Kodak moment of Caleb being placed on my chest, Zach cutting the cord, and the both of us reveling at this new little life. Caleb was not breathing when he was first born and the doctor quickly cut the cord and got to work to get that little scream out. To be honest, I did not entirely know what was going on at the time, only that things seemed to be going differently than I had thought. After a few minutes, or maybe less, Caleb was screaming at full volume and announcing that he had in fact, arrived. The doctor actually rubbed Caleb’s back raw trying to get him to breathe. He apparently took a big gulp of fluid right as he came out which hindered his breathing abilities. The cord was also wrapped around his body. Not his neck, but he was tangled up a bit and this might have been the reason he was so small at birth. He likely was no longer getting the proper nutrition through the umbilical cord near the end of the pregnancy.
Caleb being born
Relief and probably some confusion
Our wonderful doula, Megan!
Once he was breathing and bundled up, I was finally able to hold my tiny little man. There was nothing like seeing his little face for the first time and holding him close. 9 months, 37 hours, and in one moment I became a mom. My labor was longer than most and shorter than some, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I am so glad that I made the decision to have a natural birth and even more glad that I was able to stick to my goal even when things changed and strayed from what I had planned. Labor certainly would have been easier if it were faster and much less painful without the pitocin, but in the end that is what it took to get my son into this world. The pain of labor is something that I still can’t really describe even after experiencing it. There is nothing I can compare it to in order to make it understandable to someone who hasn’t been through it. Labor hurts. I think that is the best thing to tell any mom-to-be. Not to scare them, but to be truthful that the delivery of their baby will likely be painful and emotional, but neither are a bad thing. God has equipped women with all of the resources necessary to grow, nurture, and give birth to human life. That includes the ability to handle the pain of childbirth, both physically and emotionally. In a strange way the pain of labor is a good pain, a productive pain. It is not pain without reason. Each contraction is one step closer to meeting your baby. You will never have to do that contraction again once it is over. All of the pain is towards an end goal, that, without fail, will be realized; a baby will be born.
Getting Caleb presentable
My precious little man, so perfect!
I understand that not all women want to feel the pain of childbirth. Those who do not have their reasons just as I have my reasons for wanting to. For myself, I am thankful that I experienced a natural birth and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There were many times throughout labor, especially when my contractions were hard and on top of one another that I thought, “Why am I doing this? I must be nuts. Why on earth didn’t I get an epidural?” I did not necessarily enjoy the pain of each contraction, but I am glad I felt that pain. I want to feel every contraction of each of my children’s births. If I don’t experience those aches and pains I cannot fully experience that wonderful euphoria just after delivery that no drug on earth could ever create. I have arrived at my destination and labor is finished, but an entirely new journey has just begun.
Together at last