Thursday, April 8, 2010

Look What We Did!



Today was the day, and what a day it has been!  I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude, love and amazement that it will be hard to put it into words just yet.  However, I wanted to blog about our birth story while it was still fresh, so here are the nitty gritty details.

Our plan was to have a natural birth, but I didn't want to go around proclaiming that to the world beforehand because I tend to cry when I stub my toe and I wanted to have complete freedom to say "Okay, I can't do this!  Bring on the epidural, please!" without feeling like a failure.  Turns out there was no time for any of that "I can't do it" nonsense.

We were lying down for bed when I asked Sylvain to rub my back.  Then I had to go to the bathroom about ten times and after each time I needed my back rubbed again.  Finally, around 11:30, we decided there was something to this and we should probably start timing what must be contractions.  They were very sporadic, some were eight minutes apart, some were five, some were three.  Some were 70 seconds long, some were 45, some were 30.  We had absolutely NO IDEA WHAT WE WERE DOING!  So finally, around 1:00 AM we called the hospital.  When we told them how far along I already was, they said we could come in any time we wanted to and I wanted it to be soon!  I was so worried about getting to the hospital too early, but considering I had no idea how to get through those contractions without freaking out, I really wanted to be around some nurses and other professionals.  "But didn't you take childbirth classes?" you ask.  Why, yes we did, and we forgot EVERYTHING.  It came down to me saying "Let's go to the hospital - NOW!" so that's what we did.

The ten minute car ride in the pouring down rain was excrutiating.  I could not make myself relax, I could not get comfortable during contractions, and even thought I knew it was dangerous, I was pleading with Sylvain to drive as fast as he possibly could.  We arrived around 1:30, they took us up to our labor and delivery room and we discovered that I was fully dilated!  We arrived just in the nick of time - yes!  I got the urge to push a little after 2:00 and the midwife and nurses had the room all ready to go.  We collapsed the bed so that it looked like a chair and they hooked up the squat bar.  I sat on the edge of the bed between contractions and when I felt like pushing I just leaned forward, grabbed the squat bar and gave it all I had!  We did that for a while, then changed to the half lying down/half squatting position and that worked really, really well.  So well that she was born at 3:19 AM!  I helped pull her out and put her on my chest, they cleaned her up and we spent two hours together just staring at each other, trying to get her to eat (which she did) and trying to pick our jaws up off the floor while we figured out what in the heck just happened.  She was wide awake, trying to pick up her head, looking right into our eyes and it was beautiful.

Sylvain was amazing.  From the car ride, to the registration desk, to standing by my side while I labored and pushed, he was cool, calm and collected.  There were times where I was freaking out, where I thought "Stop this right now, I can't do it!" and he would say, "Rach, you ARE doing it, just keep going."  The nurses and midwife, Allison were also amazing.  Mom made it down in time to see the last few pushes, and the whole room was full of cheerleaders telling me how well I was doing and that was the biggest motivator of all time. 

And I won't lie to you, people, it HURT.  I have never in all of my life imagined that kind of pain...but at the same time, it didn't hurt.  It was a hurt with a purpose, it was the weirdest, most amazingly empowering feeling in the universe.  When it was all over, I just laid there and thought, "Wow, I could conquer the world right now."  I felt so GOOD.  They gave me a shot, they numbed "the area" and they gave me a Motrin.  I was on top of the world and still am!  After a couple hours they took us down to our recovery room and Sylvain got some sleep.  I laid down and closed my eyes, but certainly didn't sleep a wink.

The little girl is eating (or trying to, at least), she's pooped, she's all wrapped up and sleeping like...um...a baby!  She is the most precious little wonder and I can't stop staring at her.  Sylvain has already changed her diaper, swaddled her and rocked her to sleep.  I feel like we were meant to do this!  I know we'll run into all kinds of problems when we get home, but for today, we're all okay.

And we did it.  With the help of God, nature and our family.  And I'd do it again, too.  It was amazing.

13 comments:

Meredith said...

Rach! how amazing! I am in awe of you, as I am of every woman who gives birth, but you make it sound so easy! I am proud of you and Sylvain. Congrats and lots of love.

Madonna said...

WOW! You rock. I think you were definitely meant for having babies. I've not known anyone to have such a quick delivery the first time. Way to go girl!

Congrats! I know you are going to enjoy every moment of it.

ann matilda said...

First off, congrats sweetie, you kick ass and i am so happy for you and Sylvain!! Second, really, you couldn't wait a day or two blog about this, you need to get some rest (if she lets you). and we will be down to visit very soon!

krissy said...

ha! That's a wonderful story! I'm so thrilled you opted to go to the hospital right away. Kara and I were just saying yesterday, "I hope she doesn't wait long cause that baby was ready last week." :-) I'm so happy for you. Maria and Peg and I were all chatting and giggling over it together this morning. :-) Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

You are awesome, Rachael! That is definitely the way to have a baby! Congratulations...she is beautiful!
~Amanda Henry

the mama said...

Praise God! What a really fun birth story. I cannot wait to meet your little sweetheart. Given the length of labor and the early start, I think she must have been born with your enthusiasm for life!
Much love, Pam

Erin Lynne said...

Ok, so now I think that everyone will agree with me when I say "Don't go back to work on Monday!" LOL

Congrats Rachael, she is beautiful.

JennRN19 said...

Rach...
Thank you for your story, it made me relieve my experience all over again. I'm so proud of you for going natural! I think it was the most amazing experience for me too, being able to be in complete control of your body is amazing. Yes we had pain, but as soon as you hold your baby...it vanishes. Going natural is the way to go!!! Good job Momma. Can't wait to meet her and if you need any advice/help ask, I find asking other moms is more useful then going to a book. Congratulations and thank you for letting me re-live my little miracle, we are truly blessed.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful birth story. I am so impressed that you were up for writing so soon. How much did she weigh? What is her name? You left out the best details. Much love to the three of you!

Rachael Koontz said...

What a great family picture! Congratulations!

Tate said...

I am SO happy for you! Coming in complete...You are every Triage workers nightmare! ;o) What a dreamy delivery, and your mom even made it, how amazing! Congratulations!

Beth S. said...

Oh Rach, what a story - I cried! Congratulations to you and Sylvain; your journey has only just begun. You are one diligent woman too - having a baby and on facebook just hours later! All that stamina/devotion/multi-tasking ability is going to make you a fantastic mommy, ha, ha! Sylvia is a beauty and I look forward to meeting her.

melanie said...

oh rachel!

what a lucky baby to arrive in your arms! warmly, -melanie-