Tuesday, September 21, 2010

and it burns, burns, burns -the ring of fire -the ring of fire

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 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.


Krissa said...

oh i love you... i love your birth story... because i like that you let me in your head...hahaha... i would of totally thought of lorelai..i remember that...and then singing that song..oh perfect!!!! haha...
so happy and excited for you!!! beautiful pic!

val of the south said...

Ring of fire...describes it perfectly. And so does Lorelai (all important life lessons are taught in Gilmore Girls!). And I like that balloon thing - I may have to try that!

Thanks for sharing - I love the "I am so much stronger" - giving birth took me way beyond what I thought I was capable of - I felt so strong and amazing when it was over.

Congrats on such a great experience and such a beautiful baby!

Josh and Melanie said...

Love your birth story!! What a great experience you had. I would like to have a medication-free birth, but I'm afraid I might chicken out! I haven't taken any birthing/relaxation classes, but I'm sure hoping I can relax enough on my own and/or that my labor will be fast enough that I will be able to endure it. Hope you're enjoying every minute with your baby!

Sara said...

AWESOME! I Love the Gilmore Girl Reference! 4:21 a.m.....on Rory's birthday every year! POOR RORY! But power to you for making it all natural! SO happy for you and that you have your little boy!

Walters Family said...

Oh I am so excited to hear your birth story... I have been waiting for it. I kept in touch with your mom all that day while you were in labor... waiting to hear something from you to her, her to me. I included you in my prayers too, since we never heard anything. What an awesome story. You did so AMAZINGLY awesome! You are truly amazing! I love the picture and am looking so forward to seeing a LOT more pictures!! Hope everything else is going good for you... nursing, sleep, breathing, etc. You're awesome and truly have a writing talent. I would totally read a book by you!

Momza said...

And you were calm and focused, sweet and kind the whole time.
And I am grateful to have been there for every minute of it with you and your loving husband. You two make a great team and baby Will is blessed to have beautiful parents.
And it wasn't me who called out the ring of fire--it was the CNM. lol
I just never liked that image, no matter how accurate it is--maybe it's my aversion to Johnny Cash or something. lol
Hope to see you tomorrow!

Amanda Joy said...

I love this birthing story! I am glad that everything went well and you could enjoy the experience. I want to go natural on my next pregnancy. To prove something to myself, and to see if I feel anything because my body doesn't have contractions. I will have to try the hypnobirthing, thanks for sharing:)

Laurie said...

Beautiful story!

Heidi said...

This is so beautiful and sweet. My first and last babies were c-section so I didn't experience all of that. The one in the middle was just horrific and I have forgotten most of it but I DID have some kind of anesthetic. I doubt I could do what you did and with such grace.

Sue said...


LIke Momza, I have an aversion to Johnny Cash, but I sure don't have an aversion to this beautiful birth story. Thanks so much for sharing it. And I agree...giving birth made me feel as divine as anything else I've ever done, and i mean that in the spiritual sense.



Garden of Egan said...

Came over from Momza's blog. She told me to come on over so I did.

Beautiful story!!!!

The Roberts Family said...

congrats!!! im so glad the Hypnobirthing worked for you too! i loved my birth and as crazy as this sounds i MISS it! its the most amazing thing ever:) if i didnt have to be pregnant i would do it over and over again!

Sam said...

Congratulations. I am so happy for you. Bringing a child into this world does change you. I remember the exact feeling you are talking about. The cool thing is that you are reminded of that power every time you have another. Good job!

Melinda said...

Heather, I had a HUGE smile on my face reading this--ESPECIALLY when you talked about feeling stronger, that is SO true! Congratulations, I loved hypnobirthing and I loved your story. I totally get the weird things that come into your head trying to get through it, I was making up rhymes and thinking about how my mom's hair looked for a wedding she was going to! haha Congrats again, thats wonderful!

Erin said...

Yay, you did it!! I am so happy for you. It was a neat experience (for both of us). And now you have a beautiful son. Yippee!

Kaylynn said...

Beautiful--especially your last sentence--yes you are a mother!

Cherie said...

I am visiting from Momza's blog.
What a wonderful and peaceful birth story. Much happiness to you and the new baby and your family :-D

Rachel Sue said...

I love it. Isn't hypnobirthing the best? That was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. And you know what? If I had it, I would so pay a million dollars to have Dawn as my midwife.

Kazzy said...

I love how Johnny helped you get through the most difficult thing you have had to do yet in life!

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

Yeah you have a baby boy! Sooo happy for you! I liked the lines "And I can tell you now that I am not the woman I thought I was. I am so much stronger.

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."

You are awesome! Congratulations. So nice that Dawn was there with you.

Charlotte said...

I felt the same way after giving birth naturally, like it showed me how deep my strength truly lies. I must be living in outer space, though, because I've never related the term ring of fire with the head coming out, but it does fit. Weird.

Stacy said...

I'm a birth story junkie, and a doula, and loved this! I'm expecting #4 in a few weeks, and though I've had two natural births- one in a car and one at home- I still start to doubt that I can do it again. You're amazing, and your son is beautiful!

Here from MMB.

The Pearce Family said...

Yea, for Will being here!!! Heather, you are amazing! I am so proud of you!!! That is such a great story! I too thought of Johnny Cash during "the ring of fire" my hubby said he did too :) The funny things that run through our mind during labor. Congratulations again, he is so handsome and you did it!!! :)

Gina said...

Congratulations! I came over from MMB and I gotta tell you... you make me glad I had c-sections. Yikes. I am so glad that it was an empowering experience for you! :)

Kyla said...

What a great memory for you! I wish I would have had the opportunity to even think of pushing/labor (Even though it is a huge fear) but I have been forced into c-sections... He is so beautiful and I hope you love and treasure your time as a mother

Aunt Merrilee said...

What a great story! You put words onto paper so well. It truly is a divine experiece. We talked in church today about women and their responsiblity in raising our families. And it has been entrusted to us by our Heavenly Father. He will show the way! You did a super job and now you can reap the benefits!! Love you and can't wait to see all of you. Give Will and Hubby a hug from me.

Dixie Mom said...

What a beautiful story. I love the way you told of your experience. All those descriptions are so perfect. And congratulations!
Stopped by from MMB

Hilary said...

It could be the L&D nurse in me talking, but I really think this it the first of 10 billion-kajillion powerful/painful things you'll have to do as a mom.

I hate the ring of fire. I wanted to close my legs and walk home, never to open them again. :)

Shawn and Tasha said...

Laughing and crying for you all at the same time. That was beautiful Heather! Congratulations on your new sweet bundle of heaven. Love you Heather!

crittersandcrayons said...

Congrats on the DailyBuzz Moms Top 9! I'm finally getting around to reading all the entries! My birth story was on the other end of the spectrum- not nearly as serene- :) I'll never hear Johnny Cash's words properly in my head again. :)