Birth Story (not for the faint of heart)
Congratulations to jdm13 from livejournal who nailed it with her prediction stats.
Also, good guess, Braxto, who sent me a myspace message saying I would give birth on 30 May and then got the phone call that I'd popped.
5 days late, labour was an uncomplicated 13 hours, he has a decent amount of dark hair, weighed 6 lbs 13 oz, and he has slate blue eyes (which will change to brown or brownie-green soon enough). I swear no one in my family had blue eyes at birth (my mom says my little sister's were, although I totally thought they were black -- then again, I was 5 and that was 26 years ago), maybe it's Mark's anglo blood.
Anyway, labour kicked off at about 10 minutes to 2am (I told you I'd start going before I got a chance to get any sleep). Contractions were 8 minutes apart straight off the bat. After an hour, I phoned the hospital to ask when I should go in, they said to phone once contractions were 5 minutes apart. I thought I'd take a bath, but Mark had taken a shower and there wasn't a lot of hot water and even after 3 teakettles of hot water, the bath wasn't doing much for me and contractions were 5 minutes apart anyway. The hospital said to come on down, so we phoned an ambulance (you can do that in the country here) and by the time we arrived at the hospital (a) I was huffing on a little gas and air, which only took the very edge off contractions, but was great at keeping me focused (b) having contractions every 2-2.5 minutes. It was maybe a quarter to 7am at this point.
I'd been having reservations about giving birth in a hospital, but this was a great place -- my whole labour was midwife-led and no doctors were involved (they were on-hand in case of an emergency, but I only ever saw them in the hallway). The midwives were REALLY respectful of my birth plan and when shifts changed or new girls came in to assist or give other midwives a break, the more particular bits were pointed out (no episiotomy under any circumstances, no injection to help deliver placenta faster). The first thing they did was offer me a bath. My contractions were coming on hard and strong and -- okay, I wussed out on the original plan and took a morphine injection in the ass, okay!? I was shaking and mildly panicking from the strong and fast contractions. Anyway, they monitored the baby's heartbeat and the morphine (not to mention all my contractions throughout the labour) had no effect -- he was going strong.
Here's the thing about morphine -- like gas & air, it doesn't take the pain away at all, but takes the edge off it. I'm not sure it even took the edge off it in my case, but it helped calm me down from mild panic (I wasn't expecting the contractions to come on so hard and fast) to just gimping out over being in labour. Plus, it wore off in a couple hours. My next injection was due at noon and I didn't get one (although I would have taken one if offered). I was fully dilated by then and they had me try out a bunch of positions to get the baby further down the canal. The one I hated the most, left-side, worked the best. Those contractions were really painful and hurt my hips.
Eventually, it was time to push. Yeah, they really don't call it the ring of fire for nothin'. It was scary, but once his head started to poke out and they let me touch it (and that head of hair -- partially-birthed baby heads feel like boiled eggs), I started feeling a little more hopeful (I'd been pushing for a while -- it is exactly like taking a big shit). I was on my hands and knees when the head popped out and the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice so they had me flip over and sit up for the rest of the delivery. But really, once the head is out, it's all downhill. He looked a lot cuter than I thought he would. I'm not saying he's the cutest baby ever, but I've seen some downright scary newborns and I was expecting to have one of those. ;p
While Belly Baby and I did some skin-to-skin contact, the midwife helped deliver the placenta and Bertie took a big poop on me.
Other than that, my nipples are a little sore (the midwives say it's normal as I get used to breastfeeding and that he has a good latch), I have 2 VERY angry haemorrhoids, and a wiggling son who poops a lot.