Thoughts on Calvin's Birth

Calvin was born on Friday, June 16th. It was 4 days before his due date, which made me so happy. I had always wanted to have a baby early since going late is horrible. James was also born on a Friday and for some reason I love that both my babies are Friday babies.

Labor and birth itself, from a medical standpoint, was fairly straightforward. I had contractions all day on Thursday, and went to the hospital after they had been 5 minutes apart for a while. Unfortunately, I wasn't dilated at all and they ended up sending us home.

But the contractions continued and I woke up at 1:30 am on Friday with horrible pain ripping through me. We went back to the hospital around 3 am. For some reason, I always remember that as we drove there, I was having these awful huge contractions and was urging Brock to hurry. The streets were deserted and one of the lights turned yellow as we approached it. Instead of going through the intersection to, you know, get to the hospital to have a baby, Brock slammed on his brakes to avoid the red light. At 3 am. With no other cars around and his wife in active labor. At the time I was like, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHY WOULD YOU STOP????" but now I laugh every time I think about it.

I still wasn't dilated at the hospital, and when the nurse told me that I thought, "If they send me home again I will die. I will actually pass away from all this pain." But instead, after making me wait through some horrendous labor, I was able to get a shot of morphine. It made me feel like I was a soldier in the Civil War (does anyone else always associate those two things?), and only barely took the edge off the contractions.

But after about two hours on the morphine I had dilated enough to get an epidural, and from there it was fairly smooth sailing to birth. Smooth sailing is of course a relative term, as birth is not easy or particularly enjoyable, but all in all once I got the epidural I felt like a new woman.

Calvin was born around 11:15 am (technically 11:14, but only his mother cares about the exact time), so in all it was about 10 hours of real labor. I suppose I shouldn't count the contractions I had the 24 hours previous, although whenever someone asks how long labor was I say "About 10" and silently add the extra 24 in my head because I just can't forget about it.

A weird thing about this birth is that my water never actually broke. They kept checking for it but it was intact the entire time, and in the end I pushed it out just before I had Calvin. It was really gross but also cool to see.

After Calvin was born, the nurse was reading back what happened to the doctor and she said, "11:12 water bag came out, 11:14 baby born." I thought, "NO WAY were those two minutes apart." The pain in getting him out was so intense that I couldn't stop screaming. I felt like I was getting ripped open. I'm shuddering at the memory and wishing I didn't remember pain so stinking well.

But then I got to see his sweet face and I couldn't stop drinking him in. I loved his tiny fingers, his perfect upturned nose, his sweet little chin and adorable cowlick. His ears were folded just so and his hair was dark. I loved him instantly and was so happy to have been made a mother the second time over.


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