To my first-born son,
Here is your birth story:
First, we had to prepare for the big day. We made a special bed in the extra room with a shower curtain under the sheets so that we wouldn’t make a mess. We got together our birth supplies in a big box, and we took birthing classes so that we would know what would happen. A lady named Crystal taught our birthing classes, and she told us all about the stages of labor and how to try to relax during contractions.
I eagerly anticipated the day of your birth. From the day I found out that I was pregnant with you, I wanted to know what you would look like and how you would act. I expected labor to be long and hard, but I knew that I would be greatly rewarded at the end with a beautiful baby boy. I had hoped we would be able to get things all set up for the birth, but everything wasn’t quite ready when the day came.
Monday July twenty-fifth, 2005 was the big day. I woke up at 5:25 in the morning and realized that my water broke. That means that the little water bubble that you lived in started leaking. Your dad and I called your midwife and told her that my water broke. The pains of birth hadn’t started yet, so she said to take it easy and call her as soon as the pain started. Your dad and I went back to bed and then went about our day. Your dad had to go to work, and I had a meeting planned with someone at 9 a.m. at the house. After my meeting, I took a nap until your dad got home for lunch at noon. Your dad and I had sandwiches, and at about 12:45 my labor pains started.
My contractions started at five minutes apart, and honestly, they were extremely painful. First, I was on the extra room bed, but I was beyond uncomfortable so your dad suggested I get into the bathtub. I got into the bathtub, and I was writhing from the pain. In birthing class we had learned how to relax during the beginning of labor, but because I skipped the early stage of labor, it was very difficult to relax. Your dad told me that I really needed to relax, but I said, “You really need to be supportive.”
Your dad wanted to leave me in the bathtub so that he could go fill up the birthing pool, but I grabbed his arm and begged him not to leave my side. I told him to call your grandma so she could do the work and he could stay with me. Dad quickly went and got the phone to call your grandma. He calmly asked her if she could come over when she got a chance. She heard me making noises in the background and caught on to the urgency of the call. When she arrived, I was still in the tub, and your dad went out to meet her. He later told me that your grandma had a terrified look on her face when she arrived. I could barely stand when your dad would leave my side for a second, and grandma was a little bit of a distraction to him. She was a big help though.
She filled the birth pool, while your dad stayed by my side. She ran a hose from the backyard into the living room where the pool was. The water from outside was quite warm because it was the end of July in Arizona!! Although the water was warm, we wanted the water to be a little warmer so your grandma hooked the hose to the warm water faucet for the washer. While she ran warm water, she had to dip water out of the pool with a pan to make room for the warmer water.
In the midst of all this, I moved back into the guest room and finally into the birthing pool. When I got into the pool, my contractions were three minutes apart, and they quickly progressed to two minutes apart and twenty seconds long. With each contraction, I writhed with the pain. Your dad was by my side the whole time. He held my hand and made sure I was drinking fluids. He was very supportive.
Your dad decided to call your midwife to make sure that she was not far. It had been two hours since we had called her to tell her that I was in labor, and she should have been able to arrive in that time. I still would not let your dad leave my side, so he called her while he sat next to me in the pool. He asked her if she was close. I could here the conversation, and she had gone the wrong way and was still about 45 minutes away. I was stressing at that moment, and so was your dad even though he didn’t want to show it.
Soon the worst part of my labor came. In the midst of the two-minute contractions, I had the urge to push you out, but the midwife had not yet arrived. Your dad was very nervous that it was too early to push, so he told me not to push. The urge was overwhelming, and I looked your dad in the eye and told him that if he didn’t want me to push he would have to help me breath. I brought him close to me and put his face in mine so I could mimic his breathing exactly. This whole process was making your grandma very nervous. She prayed to God to help us all and especially me. She made sure I couldn’t see her, but she was down on her face praying hard. She couldn’t handle her baby girl, me, being in pain.
Finally, the midwife arrived. Your dad told her that my contractions were two minutes apart and that I had the urge to push. Your dad said that she looked like she didn’t really think that could be true. She got some of her supplies set up and then bent next to the pool to check how far dilated I was. She said that I was dilated to 10 centimeters and that I could push. This made me extremely happy, and I got a big smile on my face. The midwife thought it was a little strange that I was smiling, and she said, “People don’t smile in labor.” I was just happy to be able to push. I pushed for about 20-30 minutes. While I was pushing, your grandma called your other grandma and grandpa to tell them that your would arrive soon. I could hear her calling, and I told her to please not to tell them to come over until the baby arrived. I was not exactly clothed, and I would feel a little embarrassed if too many people were there. A lot of people told me that you lose all modesty while giving birth because you lose awareness of the world around you. I was still very aware.
One of the things I was aware of was that when your head came out, I could feel you moving. It was a very strange sensation. When your whole body came out, the midwife caught you. I got to hold you as soon as you came out, and I said, “He’s beautiful.” You were still attached to the umbilical cord. That was how you got food in the womb. You also had vernix all over you. Vernix is a gooey, whitish substance that helps protect you in the womb and slip out easier while you are being born. You didn’t want to open your eyes because you were facing the window, and as soon as we faced you the other direction you opened your little eyes.
The midwife clamped the umbilical cord, and your dad cut it. He said it felt like cutting through a thick rubber band. After the cord was cut, a lot of blood went into the water. When I handed you to your dad I saw all the blood. The midwife reassured me that it just looks like a lot because it spreads throughout the water like chocolate in chocolate milk.
Many babies have to be suctioned when they are born so that they can breathe. One of the cool things about you is that you breathed as soon as you came out of the water, and you didn’t need suctioning. That was because of the fetal Heimlich maneuver. That means that when you came out, you basically spit out all the fluids because my muscles were nice and tight. Another cool thing about you was that you got a perfect APGAR score, meaning that you got a perfect score on your first test!
After dad had you, I got out of the water to deliver the placenta and the sack you lived in while you were inside of me. The midwife had me squat down, and the placenta looked very weird when it came out. The midwife said it looked like a giant ace of spades.
The midwife then examined me to see if I had torn because of the birth. She said that I had a tiny little paper cut sized tear, but it was nothing to worry about. I was blessed. Your dad and I prayed every night before we went to bed that everything would go well with the delivery and that I wouldn’t need an episiotomy or tear. God answered our prayers.
It was then time for me to nurse you for the first time. Well, it didn’t hurt as much as giving birth, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience. It felt like a grinding, twisting vacuum. You were a powerful sucker.
After she made sure that I was fine, the midwife started cleaning up. When she came into the room, I asked her how much you weighed and how long you were. She said, “Just hold on. I’m getting to that.” When she did weigh and measure you, she told us that you weighed 8 pounds and 12 ounces and were 21 and 3/4 inches long. You were a big baby.
All in all, we were very proud to have a beautiful baby boy. We were also proud that you came in three and a half hours. Many people wanted to come and see our new son. We had many visitors that day.
Your proud mama!