The shock of being a mother to two, yes, but also the shock of having just gone through a birthing experience beyond my wildest, most optimistic dreams.
This birth story won't be as long as the last one - but no one's forcing you to read it anyway, right?
This time around my birth plan went something like this:
1. Spend as much time at home as possible
2. DO NOT BIRTH A POSTERIOR BABY
And ... that's about it. Seriously.
Of course, I was hoping for as little intervention as possible. (Who wants pitocin? An episiotomy?)
I've been there, done that and after last time, I just wanted something better. The Hypnobabies preparation gave me confidence that I could handle anything.
So last Wednesday the real "pressure waves" (HB speak) began. It was 3:00 a.m. and they were intense enough that I couldn't sleep through them. (Unlike my faithful contraction-friends, that plague me from month five onward.)
I woke Slice.
They were coming 7-8 minutes apart; Slice decided to take the day off work. He left for a quick meeting, I put on a hypnosis track and eventually fell asleep. By the time he got back, they had slowed to 10-15 minutes apart. I spent the rest of the day laboring that way.
Thursday morning just after midnight, the waves woke me again. I got up and started timing, changing positions between each one, relaxing as well as I could. (Also eating and drinking. See, I learn!)
At 3:00 again, I woke Slice and told him we needed to go. My mom came over, I packed and showered and dressed and labored, still feeling pleased with how well I was managing the pressure waves.
I didn't start to doubt myself until we were en route to the hospital. What if it was too soon? What if I was still in early labor, and didn't progress? Could I do it without anesthesia? If I was on pitocin? WHAT IF SHE WAS POSTERIOR??
We checked in around 4:00 and the nurse checked me. "Six or seven," she said. I about died.
But she couldn't tell the baby's position, and neither could the Doctor when he came in shortly. He broke my water, declared I was at an 8, and told me not to push until they were ready to catch her. Ha!
A few more hard waves and I was clinging to my husband for support through them. That blasted back labor. The nurse came in to check me - but I was ready to push. They scrambled, I lost any relaxation/concentration I was still employing, and two more birthing waves later, my baby girl was born.
It was INTENSE.
She weighed a perfect 7 lb. 4 oz. with a head of thick, dark hair. Born at 5:32 a.m. the day before her due date, she came earlier, quicker and easier than I even dared hope. The little darling.