By noon, I had endured contractions for the past four hours and was really getting antsy (and hungry)! On the hour, the midwife on duty came in to check me and see how dilated I was. When we had first arrived, I was not dilated at all, but surely something had happened over the last four hours.
With the examination over, the midwife sat me down and explained that I was 6 cm dilated and would probably give birth late that afternoon at the earliest, most likely sometime during the evening.
Umm… that was a lot closer than the next day?
Calling Momma, we told her to be prepared for the possibility that the baby might not wait until she got here to come. It was a very sad moment, realizing that my mom wouldn’t be here for “the moment” that our first child was born. But knowing that she would BE here (which almost didn’t happen) eased some of the aching of my heart.
Over the course of the next hour, Micah and I paced the room, talking in between my gritting my teeth, trying to help the time go along. But there wasn’t a topic that could alleviate the weariness of my body. With over 30 hours having passed since I last slept, my body was being pushed past its limit of endurance and I didn’t know how much longer I could last. If I did have hours ahead of me then I was going to need rest of some kind in order to stand, much push.
Paging for the nurse, I asked if there was anything that could help me get some rest in spite of the contractions. Saying that she would have to examine me first, she looked to see how far along I was. All of a sudden she jerked up and said, “Honey, you’re fully dilated and fully thinned out. You’re having this baby now!”
Umm… could you repeat that?
In less than an hour I had dilated to the full 10 cm and gone from roughly 30% effaced to 100% effaced. Baby had moved into the birth canal and was on his way out!
I will admit that at this point, I began to panic. Instead of hours, I had minutes. Was I ready for this? Were we ready for this? It obviously didn’t matter because Baby was ready!
As soon as the nurse told us the news, Micah jumped on the phone and began to call everybody before the action began and we were both too caught up to contact people. Back when the nurses had first checked me, Micah had called to let his brothers know that it was time to make their way to the hospital. Now that it was “the time”, he went out and let them know that this was it… he was about to become a dad.
The next thirty minute were climatic as I could literally feel each and every movement that Baby made as he prepared to make his entrance into the world. The contractions were barely a minute apart and were becoming more and more forceful with each one. Even if the nurse hadn’t told me what to expect, I would have known because it felt so different than before.
By 1:30pm I was ready to jump out of my skin because the need to push was so strong. The nurses had had me move up into the bed and get into whatever position was most comfortable, which ended up being my sitting up, with my legs spread out in front of me. All the other methods and positions that I had research went out the window as we came down to the moment. Baby didn’t care about all my research; he just wanted to get out of that cramped space!
Suddenly, the need to push became I-AM-GOING-TO-PUSH-OR-I-WILL-SPLIT-WIDE-O
Our lovely nurse from earlier finally strolled in and I had to try very hard not to yell at her for being so calm. Hurry up, lady, can’t you see I’m having a baby! In the end, her calm was more unnerving than soothing. Thankfully, Micah was as revved up as I was, so that helped balance things out. With the other mom also in the process of delivering, the midwife was busy with her, so the resident OB actually came along with several other nurses to help me give birth to this anxious kid.
Micah stood on one side and a nurse on the other, and I lifted up my feet to push against their raised hands. Curving my back, I began to breathe, just breathe, as I tried to listen to the instructions that they were giving me.
You’re doing great, Megan. You’re having a baby.
*whooo whooo whooo*
Alright, when a contraction comes, I want you to squeeze our hand and push with your abdomen
*whoo whoo* ARGH!
Okay, okay, relax. Don’t strain. Channel all that pressure into pushing. Don’t clench your teeth, don’t try to scream, just breathe. Push. You can do this.
*whoo whoo whoo* whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
That’s it! Great, just keep this up.
The nurse at *the* position broke into a grin and cried out, “I can see the head!” Micah and I looked at each other and smiled big, even as sweat poured off my forehead. The nurse guided my hand so I could reach down and feel the soft baby hair just pushing through.
And it all became real. A baby. We were having a baby. A tiny, little human being.
Micah took a peek and I think was a bit traumatized by the sight. He didn’t look back down there again.
Finally, Baby moved until all that was holding him back was the shoulders. It was time for the final pushes.
With each contraction I felt coming, I squeezed Micah’s and the nurse’s hands, pushed my feet into their palms and exhaled, feeling the little body move a little bit further. Then, I pushed one more time and with a disapproved-yelp, I felt the pressure release as Baby slid from my body. Collapsing back against the bed, I just breathed as the OB held up the squirming, crying baby and proudly announced, “It’s a boy!”
We got our boy….
Micah looked at me with tears in his eyes as the OB quickly wiped the baby off and handed him to Micah who gently laid him against my chest, and together we whispered the name that was held in our hearts for the last nine months:
“Caleb… our son.”
------ Part 4 to come tomorrow!------