I asked my friend, D, who was at Eliza's birth, to write a birth story for me. One, because it's sometimes tricky to really remember things correctly in your own birthing mind. Pain tends to blur the boundaries of time. 3 minutes seem like 30. It's neat, and special, to have another view of Eliza's birth to post here, and to put in her scrapbook to read when she's older.
I may interject with my own personal thoughts through out her narrative. Maybe throw in some pictures, too. :) I hope you don't mind, D.
There's something really special about watching a new person join the world. I was lucky enough to have T at my birth with C and part of my labor with Miss L and she was kind enough to let me join her and E for her labor & delivery with Miss E.
I can't say that I wasn't nervous, because although T is my closest friend, I've never actually seen a birth before. Also, I have absolutely no experience helping people (besides myself) through having a baby!! I was hoping I would end up being some help, or at least a distraction. (in a good way!) I knew that at the very least, I could take some pictures!
Poor T had contractions for days (not even exaggerating!) and when she texted me that night that she was going to the hospital to be checked, I had a feeling that she would be staying. I got dressed (yes, I was in my pajamas) and waited to hear from her. When she texted again she said she was about a 7-8 and was staying. I think that was about 8:30 PM and I was ready to go! I got to the hospital around 9, maybe a little later... I really can't remember. (you have a good memory, D! I just checked my texts and you asked for my room number at 9:10)
T had had her water broken by the time I got there and the contractions were painful. We chatted a bit, and she was doing great breathing through the contractions. We talked about names, I think, but I still didn't know what they were going to choose. In my head, I thought they would pick the name Amelia so it was a lovely surprise when I heard her real name!
Then, transition hit. How do I know? Because T said she couldn't breathe and was going to die. I know that feeling and you really think that you will die. (T here again. Seriously. There's no way to explain it to someone else. You just have to experience it to know that you really think you might die.) I have to say that T's husband E did an excellent job of coaching her. There were a couple of times during the night that E turned very pale, but he sipped some soda and seemed to recover just fine. He tried to make sure that getting an epidural was what she really wanted, and I tried to mostly stay out of the way. I know from my own experience that when I felt like dying I really didn't care about a drug free birth, or my husband, who else was in the room or anything but making the pain stop or getting the baby out. NOW.
At this point I felt like I was mostly just getting in the way. (You weren't!) I couldn't think of one good thing to say or do that would actually be helpful so I erred on the side of trying not to annoy anyone. Now I know how my husband must have felt when I was in transition!
I'm sure it felt like an eternity, but from the time the nurse (who was very good, by the way) went to get the anesthesiologist and the time he got there, it could not have been more than 10 minutes. He was very friendly, and thankfully for T, very fast. I tried not to watch the epidural all that much, because I saw the needle and it looked... really big.
My curiosity got the best of me and I did watch a little. It was interesting, being on the other side of it and just getting to watch. It was at this point that I was pretty glad I wouldn't be having any more babies!
I simply cannot recall what time it was when T got the epidural, but it was definitely at some point after 10 PM. Maybe 10:30? I'm sure T remembers better because that was probably when she realized she wasn't going to die after all. I could tell instantly when the medicine hit her. She could breathe again and open her eyes and the contractions were bearable, although still obviously painful.
It wasn't that much later that T said Miss E was coming. At this point I was really trying to stay out of the nurses and doctor's way (There are a lot of people in there during a delivery. A fact I never noticed nor cared about when I was on the delivering end.) and have my camera ready. Some of my favorite pictures are those that T took for me during C's birth, and I wanted to get some for her.
I remember at some point the doctor said "Don't push!" and T assured them she wasn't. (I wasn't!) It was clear Miss E had taken her sweet time getting to the labor stage, but now she was ready to come out and she wasn't waiting! It seemed like there was basically no pushing and there she was! A sweet, screaming, dark haired little beauty! At this point I changed my mind and I was quite sad that I wouldn't be having any more babies.
It was still before 11PM - 10:53 I think? - when she was born. E cut the cord and they whisked her away to be weighed and measured and cleaned up a bit. (Did I tell you that this is the FIRST child he's ever cut the cord with? He thought since she was probably our last he should do it once.)She screamed a lot for a newborn; I think she just wanted her mommy. It's amazing to think about meeting a little person that just 9 months ago, didn't even exist. A brand new little miracle!
I think it was while you were taking these pictures, D, that you kept telling me she had hair, but I didn't believe you.
Birth is a lot of things; painful, messy, uncontrollable, amazing, & miraculous! I feel pretty blessed to have been able to experience it in a new way. Thank you, T & E, for sharing it with me!
Thanks, D, for being such an amazing friend and writing a birth story for me! I can't imagine anyone better to share the birth of our daughter with! Muah!