It’s been just over two weeks since the little man has entered our world (and what an entry it was!). Woz shares her perspective here. 😀
We had everything planned out. Xion was due on March 9th and that was going to give us plenty of time to be moved into our new home (move in date of February 26th) and be settled before his arrival. Well, all that changed the weekend after the babymoon when our doctor said that due to my medical history, his birth date was being moved up by two weeks. Okay, we can roll with those punches and said a-okay to the change in schedule. What’s two less weeks, right? Fast forward a week ahead when the doctor said that because of my itchy skin (also known as Cholestasis), that X was going to be induced…the very next day! *gulp* So before he was even born, he had us on our toes already and telling us that we can’t always plan everything no matter how much we want to do so.
So, on Wednesday, February 16, we headed to the hospital with what seemed to be a crazy number of bags in tow. We weren’t going on vacation for goodness sakes, but you’d think we packed for a 10 day cruise! On the bright side, we didn’t forget anything we needed. 😉
The staff set us up in the room where Xion was to be born. It was pretty nice digs and we settled in right away. We chowed down some sammies because once the medical procedures began, there was going to be no more solid foods for this gal. Full tummy in place and next came the not so fun IV (still not a fan of those AT ALL) and then they hooked me up to the contraction monitor. “Oh, you just had one, did you feel it?” says the nurse to me. “I did?! Nope, didn’t feel a thing!” I replied. I thought that I was just about the luckiest gal in the whole world. My contractions were rolling along and I wasn’t even feeling them. Oh this was going to be a piece of cake! (Yeah, I’d be eating those words right along with that cake.)
They officially induced me at 6:30 p.m. and from there, we just waited. Not much happened over the next several hours. Still more contractions that I couldn’t feel and around 11 p.m. Russ and I decided to try to get some sleep until it was time for delivery. To dream land we went.
Fast forward to just minutes before 3 a.m. I wasn’t sure what it was going to feel like when my water broke but I was pretty sure it had (flashbacks to wetting the bed!) and I woke up Russ. “Honey, I think my water just broke.” It had, indeed. Oh, and remember those contractions that I couldn’t feel? Well, I could feel them now alright. HOLY CATS! It was like night and day and I’d never experienced anything quite like the pain of contractions. For some reason, I didn’t actually think contractions would hurt. I thought the entire pain of giving birth was going to be the actual giving birth part. I stand corrected as my contractions felt like the sharpest jabs being thrown at my insides. We are talking Rocky Balboa jabs to the uterus and it wasn’t pleasant. The calm, serene Woz that Russ saw go to sleep in that hospital bed was nowhere to be found. Enter screaming, what-the-heck-pain-is-this-inside-me crying Woz was the only version of me to seen for miles.
Apparently, I went from 3 cm dilated to 8 cm in that short slumber. Most women who opt for the epidural will do so around 5-6 cm dilated (I seemed to sleep right through that window!). I’d made it a point to not read too many books about labor or ask anyone about their nightmare births (people do seem to just share unsolicited, however) because I didn’t want to freak myself out. I figured that whatever was going to happen was going to happen and having read about other people’s pain wasn’t going to make mine any different. I had indicated on the birth plan, however, that I was hoping to go as long as possible without any sort of pain medication or epidural. Long as possible was a window I’d slept through, remember? Give me an epidural and give it to me QUICK!
Here we were at 3 a.m. I’m screaming with every contraction, holding on to Russ’ hand as hard as I could and begging him to take the pain away. He calls up Mom Flint and asks her to head to the hospital in case the baby was on his way as she was part of my support team during birth. By the time she got there, they were just about ready to give me my epidural so everyone but hospital staff was asked to leave the room. My doula had already arrived (thank goodness) and was helping me through the pain.
A small side note here: I’d had high blood pressure through my pregnancy but it had been regulated by medication. The stress of the contractions, though, put my numbers through the roof and they had to put me on medication to prevent me going into seizures. I really didn’t know how high my numbers had been at that point but Russ said later that they were so high that he’d never been more worried about anything more than he had during that time.
Once I got my epidural, it wasn’t long before the contraction pain was less and less. It was like night and day. I was finally able to catch my breath and my blood pressure began to go down to far less scary levels. The down side to getting the medication was that the process of our little guy had slowed down. Now, we wait. (And thankfully, sleep.)
As the sun began to rise, I wondered when Xion was going to make his appearance. I was nearly 10 cm dilated but not ready just yet. We all tried to sleep a little more but by 10 a.m. were all too anxious to get much sleep. By noon, the doctor told me that I was fully dilated and it was time to rock and roll. Okay, here we go…
I can honestly say that giving birth was the craziest thing I’d even seen (the doula provided a mirror to motivate me) and the craziest thing I’d ever done in my life. There’s really no way for me to explain what the next few hours of pushing were like exactly. It was like time stood still and zoomed by all at once.
The room where I gave birth to Xion was warm, filled with love, laughter, encouragement, and music. Russ DJ’ed the event and started with some nice, calm Over the Rhine (because they are my favorite!), followed by Coldplay’s first album, and then “our song”. It would have been nice for Xion to make his entrance to our song, but as he already let us know, he has his own plans and we shouldn’t try to push ours on him. 😉 He was coming along fine (slowly) so Russ decided to put on some faster tunes to see if that would help. Enter the King of Pop’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” and the doctor saying “I’ve never had a delivery to Michael Jackson before.” Grin. Well, she hadn’t met the Flints yet. 😉 The faster tunes seemed to do the trick because just a song and a half later, at 2:58 p.m., Acenxion Russell Flint entered the world to the sound of “Smooth Criminal” in the background. This still makes me giggle when I think about it.
I remember that last push and hearing Russ say over and over “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!” and the next thing I see is a very pale, wrinkly, full head of hair Xion! The doctor handed him to me briefly and in the moment, his very little hand wrapped around my index finger and he squeezed. I’ll never, ever forget the feeling I had in that moment. That squeeze changed my life. I looked up at Russ, who had been by my side the entire time and told him how much I loved him. I don’t know that I’d ever loved him more than I did in that moment.
The umbilical cord was wrapped around Xion’s neck so the staff whisked him away (but still bedside) to help the little guy get started on his breathing. Our little guy had a lot to take in as his whole world just changed, too!
I don’t think I’d ever been so tired in my life but, as cliche as it is, the whole experience was entirely worth it. I would do it all over again to have Xion in this world. Let’s just say thank goodness that I don’t have to do it all over again for that to happen. 😉
Looking back at both the pregnancy and the labor, I had it pretty darn easy. Yes, there were times when I felt like a bloated marshmallow while I was pregnant. Yes, those contractions were crazy as crazy can be during labor. I don’t think, though, that if anyone were to ask me about either, that I’ll end up mentioning those things. What I’ll mention is how amazing it was to have him grow inside of me. What a miracle it was to see him being born. What a gift he is in our lives and how becoming a mommy is one of the most special events of my entire life.
Let the newest chapter begin…