I was hesitant to write about my birth story. I needed time to process everything and how it happened. I wasn't sure if it turned out as I was expecting, but none of my births did, and I still cherish those memories. So here I go on my third round.
It was a Saturday morning, 6 am, to be more exact. I woke up feeling some leaking, not continuous or abundant, just a bit more than usual. We had a very busy day. The boys had their baseball games with their daddy-coach, and my mom invited some family for lunch. Everyone was hands-full, but my little guy had other plans.
I called the doctor and told him about the leaking, making sure to point out that there were no contractions. He recommended me to go to the hospital to check if it was amniotic fluid. And here's where the bargaining/denial started.
- "Can I wait till around 11 so I can set up my kids?" I asked.
- "Yes. But if you start feeling more contractions or more leaking, please go straight to the hospital," he answered.
It was around 11, Yair came back with Eyal, celebrating their very first victory. They were super excited. As far as for me, it was all still the same. I even sat to work, and I wrote an article for my blog.
- "Shall we go? You don't look like you're giving birth today…" "Let's call back the doctor," Yair said. But his answer did not change much… "go to the hospital to make sure!".
We headed to the hospital. We say bye-bye to my mother and the boys. "We'll see you in a couple of hours," told Yair. He was entirely sure they'll send us back home.
At the hospital, they checked me, and, as I was suspecting all the time, it was amniotic fluid. I mean, what else could it be? But still, no contractions at all. Oh, and 2-3 cm of dilation!
The doctor ordered Pitocin to induce my contractions, which I begged not to. I never needed it with my other two births; I was confident my body would do the job on its own. So we settled for a few hours of walking, breathing, and jumping to see what happened.
They put us in a nice delivery room, brought us food (liquid, but still, food!). That was a nice surprise, knowing from my previous experiences that food -even water- was out of the table, and I forgot how much I LOVE jello!
I began to walk, move; we put some music from an unfinished playlist I started a few days before. We were joking and just hanging out. I did some of my hypnobirthing relaxations. Oh! Yes, this time we took a hypnobirthing class. I know it's a bit odd for our third child, but the truth is that the previous times we could never work with our schedules. This time I really wanted to do it, I was dreaming with those calmed births from the videos, and for five consecutive Tuesdays, that class was our date night.
So, contractions -in hypnobirthing, they called it "waves"- so the waves began slowly, painless. I noticed that when I was lying (half sat) on bed, I feel them more than when I was on my feet. We finally began to feel progress. Three hours later, another check-up, I was still in 3 cm. It was a little disappointing, but I was confident that we'd see progress soon.
However, the doctor didn't agree this time. He stressed that I was at risk of infection because my water broke too many hours before. He wanted to start me on Pitocin. I tried to persuade him to give me antibiotics instead, but as with every bargaining, at some point, it has to come to an end. We settled. I agreed to the medication, as long as it was in low doses, to see how my baby and I would tolerate it.
An hour later, waves were getting stronger and more consistent. I kept doing the breathings I practiced. I moved and changed positions; my favorite was sitting on the toilet. But still, I tried not to stay in the same position too long, so my pelvis relaxed, and the baby started to descend.
The doctor arrived two hours later. I was sitting on the toilet when I started to feel the need to push. Then, I knew the time was close. He checked me again. "You're 8 cm now." But because my amniotic sac broke from the top, there were still some membranes at the bottom preventing me from dilating quicker. So, he proceeded to break my water from the bottom and swipe the remaining membranes. That was more painful than the whole birth. It almost broke my sacred state of concentration and calmness.
All this time, I was concentrated on my breathing; I was barely talking; I could hear the noises outside from doctors and nurses, but they didn't disturb me. Yair was next to me the whole time; he made sure nobody took me out of my state. I can tell he could understand what I was going through, and he could translate to others. I remember he said to the doctor when he asked me how I was feeling, that I was not in pain, that I was concentrated on my journey and connected with my baby, and that was the reason of my silence. I couldn't have said it better. The truth is that it was hard for me to concentrate on anything else, even what the doctor was telling me. I could hardly tolerate a few words from the outside.
And the time was there. They asked me not to push when the nurse pointed to my baby's head. Two more pushes, and he was out. The doctor told me to stretch out my arms and catch my baby. That was the only instruction I followed instantly. I grabbed my baby and brought him straight to my breast. I hugged him, I cried, I kissed him.
For a few eternal minutes, doctors around rubbed him hard so he'd start crying. He did. He was taken to the table to examine and came back right away. That was it. The end of my baby's birth; the beginning of a new chapter. It was 8:18 pm.
I spent the whole night holding him, kissing his little head, smelling him. No words can describe becoming a mother; it's like being born again. No joy is comparable to watch such a miracle.
So this is my birth story. It might not fancy like in a pool at home, or eccentric like giving birth in a car on the way to the hospital, but it is mine, and the day I'll remember as the four happiest of my life.
I want to thank a few people who made this day wonderful as it was:
To my mother. For watching the boys and giving me her blessing before I left home.
To my boys, my true source of strength.
To my doctor and nurses for listening to all of my desires and always ask for my consent.
And most of all, to my love, who took my hand and read my mind and was my voice and at the same time, he managed to tape it all as I asked him for. Seriously, who else can coach a baseball game and a birth all in the same day?! One and a thousand times, thank you for so much.