Clover was born on October 29th, at 8:28 PM. 7 pounds, 14 ounces, 20 inches long. Happy and healthy.
I will eventually write all of the details- but for now I want to get down my favorite parts. The ones that are pure emotion and are sure to fade if I don’t document them.
My husband was my safe place. He was the grounding force with all his love and support while my body was roaring with power/pain. The tub was not nearly warm enough to provide relief, but that might have just felt that way because my water broke (which makes contractions feel more intense) as soon as I got in, and I began transition. A huge obstacle to my peace during labor was being hooked up to monitors and an IV. The nurse had to find fetal tones during contractions and her hands digging into my uterus while it was doing birthing work was a little hellish and felt like a violation of my humanity… but in reality, she was doing her best to help me achieve a natural birth without having to lay in bed, which would be more agonizing than anything. I did not achieve that. The midwife mentioned me being in “active labor” and I was looking for the word “transition”. I felt that I must be in the hardest part, because we were all under the impression at that point that the water hadn’t broken and for me to think that the water had to break and make the contractions bite even harder on top of this pain meant it must, must be the end. After this “news” I cried- it hurt. I missed my daughter. I’d been through weeks of pain of anxiety and couldn’t do this anymore. I knew the baby was badly positioned and felt it through every contraction, when I focused, “Down, down,” and felt her move down. Every time. We ordered the epidural. I roared through each contraction. The epidural did not work for about 45 minutes. They kept pushing more drugs. The midwife checked me and my waters had broken, I was at 8 cm. I had been in transition. I had an oxygen mask because I couldn’t regulate my breathing. But one hour later, the baby had been pushed nearly all the way out by my body. I laughed, and the midwife said to laugh again. One little grunt after that, and I caught Clover myself. She had her cord wrapped around her neck, twice. Nearly 24 hours after the induction started, 12 hours after the Pitocin started. She had turned from posterior to anterior at the very last minute. There were no “birth injuries”. The placenta came out in one perfect piece soon after Clover. I was able to hold her, skin to skin, and nurse her as soon as she wanted. I was brilliantly happy to meet her, and I was grateful to have had the epidural at that moment- I was still high from the relief and enjoying the baby, rather than licking wounds, like I had been with Gwenna. I would have forgone the epidural, had I known that my water had already broken, but the experience of so much power ripping through my body to bring a life into the world, that was enough for me to appreciate.
Every bit of pain was beautiful, a ripple in a wave that would change the world.