I went through a burning ring of fire,
I pushed down, down, down,
and my hips got wider
and it burned, burned, burned
the ring of fire
the ring of fire
(I heart Johnny Cash. Also, I'd never heard this term until they told me I was there... and the song has been stuck in my head ever since.)
As promised: The Birth Story
There is this episode of Gilmore Girls where Loreli is on Rory's bed recounting the day she had Rory. She says something along the lines of: It was as though someone lit dynamite between my legs. Laying there on the hospital bed with knees up around my head following the command to "PUSH" I literally remember thinking, "Loreli had that right!" I also thought that whoever it was that told me it was going to be like taking the biggest [#2] of my life, was right too.
Yes, those were my actual thoughts after 23 hours of labor. The mind is a strange thing, don't you think?
There are two things I did that were probably the two best choices I've ever made.
One: We took a Hypnobirthing class & I practiced the relaxation & visualizations & breathing faithfully.
Two: We hired a Doula.
I really wanted to give birth naturally. Yes because I think it's probably better for the baby. Yes because it's less likely that I'd end up in C-section. Yes because I'm not a fan of needles, but mostly because I wanted to prove something to myself.
And I can tell you now that I am not the woman I thought I was. I am so much stronger.
I've decided that labor and delivery is where women are more Goddess than human. Giving birth was the most empowering experience of my life. I wasn't the Heather who stresses & panics. I was the woman I've always wanted to be -and I will never, ever be the same.
Labor began around 5:30 on Wednesday morning.
It was steady progression all morning.
I went to the my OB appointment at 10. She thought I was remarkably calm, she said to wait a couple hours before heading to the hospital. So we did.
I was admitted to L&D around 1:00 at a 5.
And then I lost all track of time. I relaxed and went into myself. Between "surges" I breathed and reminded my body to stay relaxed, during them I filled different color balloons with my breath & watched them float away into a blue, blue sky -just like the hypnobirthing had me practice.
We stood in the shower, we rocked on the ball, we reclined in the chair, we leaned on the bed, we enjoyed leg massages, and light touch massages, and we threw up. A lot. We took it all just one at a time.
Then there was pressure. Only we weren't progressing anymore. There were some kind of fears in me that I had to acknowledge and let go. I don't remember what they were, but I'm glad Dawn was there to say whatever it was she said to me.
I do remember the CNM breaking my water.
Then there was pressure like I'd never known and I was being told to push. And push. And push.
And finally, finally there was something there. A head! "Look at all that hair!" someone said. Then more pushing, and more pushing... and I think about Loreli and the biggest poop of my life. Then someone says, "This is the ring of fire. The head is half out!" And I swear I start singing the Johnny Cash song in my head. Someone else is telling me to push, but I don't because there is nothing to push with. So I wait for the next wave. Then his head is out, but his shoulders are big, so more waiting and more pushing and then they are all telling me to "Look, look, look!" and I do, and there he is. Half inside of me and half outside of me and I grab his hand (or I think I did) and Hubby helps lift him onto my chest, and he is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.
And I am finally a mother.