Birthing E

Because last month my first born turned four years old, I feel I should finally share her birth story. I have written and rewritten her day so many times, never fully satisfied that it captures all my feelings and emotions adequately. As it is with every birth story, there is a bit of a rawness to it. And a touch of oversharing perhaps. I tried and failed miserably at keeping this short, so with a smile, I'll say 'consider yourself warned'.

My husband's cousin and I were pregnant a week apart and throughout our pregnancies the whole family was joking we'd have our babies in the same place at the same time. The morning she was induced, I waddled across the hospital parking lot slower than usual. It was a Friday morning, just past 9 o'clock - and I stopped by on my way to work for a visit with her. Despite all the excitement going on about a soon to be here baby cousin, I felt an ache deep down in my belly that was distinct and noticeable,
In the course of the morning at work, the low ache decidedly made its way up my spine, centering on my back. Now there was a distinguished hot tingling beginning from my back and wrapping itself around my belly. I decided it might be good to head home early, after all, it was a Friday afternoon and I still had an hour long drive ahead of me. Just long enough to time the ache with the digital clock on my car radio {An hour long drive, so first-time mom-ish.  Ha!}.

Somewhere on my way home, I had turned a specific kind of restless and upon pulling in the driveway I decided it was time to clean the house - laundry, bathrooms, floors and all. Nesting kicked in worse than it had ever before. I completed my list of chores and because my back was still hurting, I drew myself a hot bath in hopes of it soothing the pain as it had always done before. 

Feeling finished with the bath about as promptly as I had sat down in the tub, I dried myself off and laid down on our bed, stopwatch in one hand, paper and pen in the other. A few minutes into timing I grew restless. And as our home slowly lost all its light to the night falling in, the pain kept me from laying still for too long.

JC had been keeping up with his cousin, and so far no news of a baby had reached us as of yet. We decided to head to the hospital to join her and the family for the waiting. And we took our own bags, just.in.case. 

And since I'm boring myself, I will spare you the long details of hours in the waiting room for Baby Cousin, during which I waited for a break in my own contractions long enough to run {litterally} to the bathroom to throw up. My Aunt-in-law graciously joined me, holding back my hair and drying my tears while I sobbed wishing my own mother would live closer to support me during this time. I knew I wasn't too far from giving birth now, but I still tried to convince myself that labor was not underway yet. I was only concerned about this being Sam's day and not about the fact that the low back ache I felt this morning had continuously manifested itself to real, now uncomfortable, contractions.

I was outnumbered all to one and we finally signed in, during which our Baby Cousin was born.

The moments in the monitoring room are a blur, my water broke {just about midnight then} immediately followed by an intense contraction {I cried} and a - in my eyes - not very encouraging  PA {2 cm and a "you've got hours to go, Honey"} and skip right on into the delivery room, which happened to be next door to where Sam was in recovery. Our own private joke of we'll be having our babies in adjoining rooms was actually happening. 
There are more details to laboring {it really hurts} and a nurse's "let me check you" {please hurry} and an "I have to push" {don't push yet, let me get the doctor} followed by lights coming down, an encouraging husband {what a blessing} and an aunt turned birthing coach {like mother like daughter}. 

It was intense but it felt so focused and good. And then a final roar coupled with the most intense toe curling push, she was here. A mere hour and a half after the modest gush of when my water had broken on the cot in the monitoring room. Everyone said ten pushes and she was out. I didn't count. We had done it. I had done it. A baby girl created so beautifully and perfect in God's own image, she was here nestled on my chest while the doctor stitched up some tears. 

The next morning we moved to the mother and child floor. Sam and her family were already up there. We spent the remainder of our stay visiting each other and being visited by family and friends. The doctors and nurses already knew if we weren't in our room, we'd be in the other. It was quite funny actually. What was even funnier, was finding out hospital door securities do work, as we were pushing e back to our room in her sterile clear hospital bassinet.

And then it was time to return home. The first few weeks at home with her were incredibly wonderful and painful at the same time. I was obsessed with her tiny feet and oftentimes found myself just staring at her sleeping little self {which I still do to this day}. But it was also painful because I hadn't considered my own recovery with the tears that had needed stitching and the swelling. Don't get me wrong the focus naturally and rightfully is all about the tiny human being and all the joy they bring. But as much preparation, as I had done prior to her birth, I had naively never fully thought about my own recovery. That said, recovering from j was much more pleasant.

I will leave with that and I hope we'll one day be able to add a couple more members to our crew. If you've made it this far, thank you so much for reading. I'm very glad you did.

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