March 4, 2012

"You are officially no longer pregnant"

That was the best news I'd heard all day. After 22 hours of labor, my son arrived early last Sunday morning screaming and healthy, and was placed on my chest while they wiped him off, just as I'd requested.

At 3:55 Saturday morning my water broke, and so began the journey down the tunnel called the birthing process. I'd planned to keep my medication options open and alerted our doula as we drove to the hospital. Some hours later, my dilation had still not progressed so they gave me two doses of a medication to help this process - a medication that also had the effect of intensifying my contractions and bringing them closer together. My doula arrived just as I was having the epidural administered - I knew I was not going to cope well enough to endure this without it, but it didn't bother me because it was my choice. In fact, it wasn't the horrifying experience I'd built it up to be in my mind. It was kind of a non-event. So, even though it meant losing mobility and having a catheter, I conceded. No regrets.

The doula was still very useful and a great aide to us though. We talked about our mutual experiences with miscarriage, she massaged my feet quite a bit (which sped up labor, actually), and she was a great source of calm and inspiration during an uncertain time. My mother and good friend also hung out in the room until it was time to push, and even though I wondered how I'd feel about having people in the room it was a welcome, warming distraction to be surrounded by their love and support.

I'll spare you the details of the rest, except to say that the epidural never quite took effect in one area of me so it was by no means a painless experience. In the last couple hours, I pushed with each contraction and didn't have the energy to open my eyes in between them - in fact, I'd let myself doze off in between them to conserve my strength - so when the final moment came I was able to muster the strength to finish. I did insist on drugs right after, as the epi had been disconnected and I got some stitches to repair five tears (yeah. ouch.).

All things considered, it was a perfectly normal birthing event with no complications.

Now, here I am a week later lost in a haze of round-the-clock feeding, burping, changing, adoring, praying, praising God, posting photos on Fac.ebo.ok, crying, and crying again because I cannot believe the unfathomable depth of this blessing that God has given my husband and me. It really is one of those things that everyone says is wonderful but no one can really articulate. I'm grateful and terrified, confident and conservative, wanting to learn and wanting to just rest. But all I can really do is live in the moment whether that means wanting to rip my eyes out of my head from lack of sleep or gush love and gratitude as I take another pic of him being completely wonderful and beautiful, and beyond anything I've ever known.

Oh yeah, I'm hooked. Smitten. In love. My heart no longer belongs to me. Pardon me while I go cry some more and hold my son.