They say that you never forget the day your child was born. I have to agree with that statement! although I don’t remember the actual pain…funny how hormones do that to you!
I feel the same way about the 2 marathons I’ve ran and several half marathons….I remember the race, I remember being pushed beyond my “limits” only to finish, happy, relieved, and oblivious to all the hard work…ready for more!
Trout’s birth was nothing short of amazing. Besides giving birth to Bodhi, (a birth-center, 24 + hr. birth…that left me scoffing at the idea of running 26.2 miles as being hard) there is nothing that makes you feel quite as “burly” as when you birth a child, (I don’t care how you do it…it’s all a miracle in my eyes!)
Trout’s birth day started off the evening before. I was sitting around the Christmas tree with Ryan and his mom and husband. Bodhi was playing with his new Christmas toys and I was feeling very aware that something was about to happen. Talk about a mother’s intuition…it just hits you, a sinking feeling like you are beyond yourself and powerless to what is about to happen…all you can do is surrender and let it happen, (it could also have been the feeling like I was sitting on a bowling ball and my stomach was contracting every 10 minutes into a tight ball of muscle…that could have also been a huge indicator…but the intuition part sounds so much more spiritual, right!)
I excused myself from the conversation and said I needed to go lie down. Ryan and Bodhi followed. Bodhi was still nursing at the time, so he began his usual night time, wind-down nursing session and I tried patiently to let him be, but inside was writhing in pain…nursing makes your uterine muscles contract…contractions were amplified at that moment. After Bodhi wrapped up, I whispered to Ryan,
“I’m in labor, it’s time…I’m going to go into the other room…you sleep…could be along night.”
I passed a sleeping Bodhi off to Ryan to be snuggled for the night and left my boys to rest…After Bodhi’s long labor I was prepared to put in another long labor…I wanted Ryan to be rested!
I got in to Bodhi’s bed and put on iTunes, “Colbie Callet” radio station…the music was peaceful, quite, and helped me focus every time I needed to work through a contraction and soothed me during the rest in-between.
For not being a surfer…that night I felt like I had been doing it my whole life! Every time I would be hit with a contraction…I would imagine riding a wave…I would start right before the wave began to rise and would follow it up to its peak and ride it back down until I was not contracting again. I did this all night!
It’s funny how if you let nature be…it does what it needs to do…I didn’t realize until after giving birth that I naturally changed positions based on the stage of labor I was in…during the early part I wanted to have my bum up in the air…I guess my body knew it needed to Trout in the right position to get him ready for birth.
I had started “laboring” at 8 pm…labored until 5 am and that’s when I got Ryan up and asked in a very tired voice if he would grab his mom to help me labor..I was annoyed at trying to start and stop the contraction timer!
Rosemary came up and joined me as I walked laps around our stairwell. I would walk until a contraction hit, stop and either lean on the railing, countertop, or her until I was finished and then I would continue walking. We did this until I was tired and wanted to sit. At this point I was in active labor and contractions were long and frequent.
During our “walk” I remember a moment where Rosemary said something to me that only my dad and I had ever talked about..at that moment I knew he was there in spirit and I was even more confident and peaceful about what I needed to do to birth my son.
Rosemary and Ryan tried calling our midwife and my friend, doula, and birth-photographer who came to capture the moment, ( I never wanted to see myself in labor..I wanted to remember the day from the perspective of what my boys were doing..so glad I hired her!).
When she arrived, she took over and really had me start to embrace labor. She had me get into positions that allowed Trout’s head and gravity to get the ball rolling quickly. 2 hours into her help and Ryan’s…we were ready to hit the tub and I was closer to meeting Trout sooner then I thought.
For all of you that love water birth, hats off to you! I wish I could be that woman who feels insane relief when I hit the water, but all it ever gives me is a brief moment of false hope and then I’m reared back into reality that I’m in pain that I can’t run from. I lovingly call this moment…transition!
My poor husband, friend/photographer, and doula knew I was ready to push as I was obviously pushing with every contraction now…I kept saying that I was worried I had another night of this…they probably thought I was crazy, as I was making a noise that I can only equate to as a person being punched in the stomach while simultaneously dry heaving through every contractions…it probably sounded horrible…I didn’t care! it got me through the fact that my body felt like it was being wrung out and my midwife was not around yet and I didn’t want my horrified looking husband to have to worry about catching our son.
Thankfully 20 minutes before Trout’s birth my midwife showed up. She asked if she could “check” me and quickly realized that there was no need…babe was on it’s way fast. I hopped in, as gracefully as one could in the heat of labor, in our tub and with not a lot of pushing…Trout was in my arms and once again giving me that overwhelming feeling that there was never going to be love for another person as much as I felt for him, (the same way I felt about Bodhi the night he was born).
Giving birth was nothing short of the best form of condition for any “marathon” type event. It is a true test of a woman’s ability to embrace pain, use it to her advantage, and trust when sometimes things don’t go your way. It is the only time in my life where I felt like even if I didn’t have a conscious thought of my own..my body would have taken over anyways to get it done…I try to reflect on that feeling every time I am headed out in the bitter cold for 16 miles or running a race that I nursed all night the night before and was already physically drained….your love and instincts to survive, if allowed, tend to take over, (and I love to do both labor and run!).
A few more, because I just love every thing about this day!