*Please note: This is long. And possibly kinda boring. This record of the day is more for my own sake than for fascinating reading material. But I divided it up to make it easier to digest... and I tried to keep it free of the more graphic moments of labor and delivery, cuz let me tell you that stuff can get ugly. Even still, if you are likely to be offended by things of that nature: read at your own risk.
I am pretty sure I cheered and threw my hands in the air. The nurse laughed at me and said I wouldn't be cheering for long. She started prepping the room... pushed a button and lights and mirrors started unfolding out of the ceiling, it was crazy! Yes-- I said mirrors.
Initially I was all, Ew, mirrors, no thank you, I don't need to see that hot mess. But then when we were there and in the middle of it, my curiosity got the better of me. I told the nurse to leave it there...
She pulled the big stirrups out, and put my legs in there. I looked at my feet, and over at my husband, and said, "I'm so glad I got a pedicure last week."
The nurse laughed at me again-- "Really? You are thinking about your toenails right now?"
Well, not exclusively. But yeah. I had to stare at my feet in the air for the next who knows how long, and I am glad I had pretty, clean nails with silver sparkles on them. It was something non-messy to be thankful for at that very moment. Because let's not lie-- having a baby is messy business.
It was 9:05 p.m. when we started. I looked at Z and said "Remember how our baby is perfect and smarter than most, and an over achiever?" He just nodded, "Well, this is gonna go fast-- over-achiever style. I am going to push extra hard, and he'll be here in just a few minutes." He said, "okay." I was trying very hard to tap into the power of positive thinking... because I felt anything but positive about my ability to do this, but there was no turning back at this point.
Every contraction I pushed so hard. I was focused and determined, but my body wasn't keeping up with my resolve. The nurse suggested I rest through a couple, but I shook my head no. Z would spoon ice chips into my mouth... and I begged for a drink of water, but they wouldn't let me have any. I was sweating and dizzy and starting to get frustrated. (no longer cheering or appreciating toe nail polish) Z and the nurse kept encouraging me, "You are doing great! You are making great progress! That was a really good one!" I kept looking at the clock in front of me and seeing the hands move around the circle. I knew how much time had passed, even though it didn't feel like time was moving.
Finally the nurse said she could see his head. She said he had lots of hair! I tried to believe it, but I was so tired. 50 minutes had passed. This was supposed to go faster. Z stepped to the end of the bed to look, Yes, he assured me he had see his head as well. "You are doing so good, you are so close." I didn't see it, because I was so focused on my task, but Z later admitted to me that he got a little choked up at this point seeing baby's head and knowing we were so close to holding our baby boy.
The nurse told me just a few more pushes. And I was so tired and frustrated, and my body and my resolve were giving out. But I took another deep breath and gave it everything I had... and suddenly the nurse was saying Whoa! Stop! Stop pushing!
Stop? Stop pushing? Right now? Right here in the middle in the exact moment it is absolutely hardest to stop?
"I can't!" I said, and I started crying as she explained that last push had pushed his head out, and they had to go get the doctor to deliver. I didn't want to wait for the doctor though! I was in the middle of it-- I knew this was the moment! The most important part! The hardest part, and I didn't want to stop and wait for the doctor!
I thought about the mirror for the first time and looked into it... I could see the top half of his head. The nurse was right. Lots of hair. I wanted to cry and scream and laugh all at the same time. I wanted to hold my baby NOW and I wanted to be done with this. It hurt so bad, and my body wanted to keep going and I was so mad, and all of a sudden in the middle of everything else a wave of nausea hit me. I asked for a drink of water, and the nurse said, "No, not yet."
"I think I am going to throw up!" I cried.
And I did.
And I felt his head slip out as I did. And I was apologizing and felt embarrassed that I had thrown up in front of everyone--of all things to feel at that very moment! But the doctor was finally in place, and she was laughing telling me it wasn't the first time someone had puked out a baby. I looked up in the mirror again and I could see his grey head, and his little face. He was such a strange looking creature.
But they were telling me to push again, and I didn't think I had it in me to push again. I told them I needed to rest first, and they said no, I can't rest at this point. I grabbed the bucket and puked maybe once or twice more. Then I took a deep breath and pushed one more time... and saw his body slip out.
I cried out victory and relief! And baby boy did the same! They put him on my belly. He was red and screaming--no longer grey--and I was laughing and crying. And Z kissed me on the forehead... then he got to do his dad duties and cut the umbilical cord. Much too soon they took baby boy over to clean him, weigh him, and do all that official stuff. It was just on the other side of the room-- a few feet away, but it felt like miles! Z was still standing by my side, holding my hand, and we were listening to baby boy cry watching from where we were. He was torn, and I said-- "HE NEEDS HIS DAD!" And he smiled and ran across the room where he stood staring at our perfect boy.
Ah, the question we had been asked hundreds of times over the past month. And even today, every doctor and nurse had been trying to get it out of us all day. I looked at Z and smiled. We had been waiting a long time to share this information with the world, and even this last moment we were hesitating just a little... "SAMUEL!" I blurted out, "Samuel Ellis." And everyone oohed and ahhed their approval.
To be continued...