Today our little Bamm-Bamm turns one month old. In the newborn haze that envelops my brain at the moment days and weeks are melting together, passing so slow and so fast at the same time. It’s been a month of little sleep and many adjustments, but more about that at another time. Today, to mark this first big milestone, let me tell you the birth story of our little baby boy. After all, I already wrote about my choice between a natural birth and a c-section and the story isn’t complete without telling also about the birth itself.
Before I begin, let me clarify that when I said that I wanted to have a “natural birth” in the aforementioned post I definitely didn’t mean an unmedicated birth. I know that it’s the goal of many women, and I have the utmost respect for that, but I don’t count myself among them.
I generally don’t see a point in suffering through pain, if I have a headache I take a pill. When discussing ways of relieving pain in the birth class, I was the first who mentioned painkillers, largely because I was getting tired of hearing about breathing techniques, music, and massages. The filled out form for a PDA was among the first things I packed in my hospital bag.
Little did I know that the birth will work out quite differently…
The birth story
My contractions started on Saturday evening, just before midnight. They weren’t very strong but were immediately 3-4 minutes apart. As I couldn’t sleep anyway I figured that I might at least check whether it’s the real thing and hubby called a taxi to take me to the hospital. The plan was that he would join me later if necessary, this way we could at least let Birdy sleep.
A CTG, an exam, and an ultrasound later a midwife and a doctor confirmed that it was indeed the real thing, but I hadn’t started dilating yet. They were both extremely nice and didn’t make me feel like an overreacting pregnant woman (which, in hindsight, I totally was). I was even offered to stay at the hospital if I wanted to, but I decided to call another taxi and go home. The nice young doctor provided me with a painkiller to help me sleep and by 4 am I was back in my bed.
We had a wonderfully calm rainy Whit Sunday. We lazed around on the couch, watched TV, and played with Birdy. As the night had been short I had a nap and later went for a walk when the skies briefly cleared up. We skyped with my parents and friends, and in the evening my mother- and sister-in-law brought over some dinner and played with Birdy while I napped again. All throughout the day the contractions were some 10 minutes apart and more uncomfortable than painful, during my second nap they even stopped altogether.
The contractions suddenly picked up again around 10 pm as I was done putting Birdy to bed. From one moment to the next they went from very mild and infrequent to 3-4 minutes apart and too strong to sit still. We told my sister-in-law that she’ll need to come over in the night, and I order hubby to get some sleep. (Do I get any brownie points for being such a wonderful wife even during labor?)
Remembering advice from the birth class to stay in bed as long as possible, I attached our TENS device to my lower back to help with the back pain and tried to make myself comfortable. When that was no longer possible I moved around a bit and decided to try having a bath. It pretty quickly turned out to be making things worse rather than better (and the idea of having some professional supervision sounded better and better) so just before 1 am I woke up hubby and told him that it was time to get going.
My sister-in-law was there in record time and, for the second night in a row, we were calling a taxi to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. Just like the night before we arrived at the hospital around 1.30 am but this time it was clear that the baby was definitely coming.
Lying still for a half and hour during the CTG was no fun but, once that was done and the midwife examined me, I was completely shocked to find out that I was already 9 cm dilated. I hadn’t expected anything beyond 5 or maybe 6 centimeters from the necessary 10. It was certainly too late for painkillers but at least I knew that I wouldn’t have to wait long! Meanwhile my better half, who had successfully avoided going to a birth class, inquired: what scale are we talking about here?
Indeed, the midwife had just left the room when I ordered hubby to call her back – my waters had finally broken and all of a sudden it had become impossible not to push. At 3.30 am, just two hours after we entered the hospital door, I was cuddling our wrinkly and crying baby boy.
Could it have been different?
The birth of Bamm-Bamm was so different from that how Birdy was born. Instead of a bright room filled with medical staff, Bamm-Bamm was born in a completely quiet hospital in the middle of the night, with only a midwife and a doctor attending the birth in the dimly lit birthing room.
In hindsight, I’m very happy that I didn’t schedule another c-section and chose to try a natural birth. Of course, my opinion would likely be completely different had it not been such an easy birth! But everything turned out fine and I certainly felt much better and my body recovered much more quickly this time around.
We couldn’t help but wonder – how would it have turned out had this been our first child? I certainly wouldn’t have gone to the hospital alone that first night and it’s quite likely that we’d have chosen to stay the night there as the pre-birthing room accommodations look super comfortable. Spending the Sunday at home definitely was much better than spending the whole time in the hospital. And who knows, maybe they would’ve offered drugs for inducing labor to make things go quicker. Either way, I’m happy that everything happened exactly as it did!