I can’t even believe it’s been six weeks since I had Oscar. Each hour of breastfeeding, burping, rocking and soothing is long and tedious, but the days and weeks FLY by. Parenthood is a crazy ride so far.
I thought it would be fun to tell the story of Oscar Drew’s Birth Story, to record it for my own memory, as well as to share it with you all.
During my pregnancy, I decided that I wanted to have an unmedicated birth if possible. Up until that point, I hadn’t felt strongly about it, but the more I thought and researched, I decided it was something I wanted to experience if I could. It had been quite the journey to get pregnant, and I didn’t want to numb out any part of the birth experience…I wanted to feel it all and I was honestly just curious if I could handle it.
So I worked hard during my pregnancy to prepare for an unmedicated birth…I took an online course, practiced breathing techniques, strength trained regularly, meditated, drank all the teas, ate all the dates, etc. etc.
I had an incredible pregnancy, and was lucky to feel strong and healthy through the entire nine months. My due date came and went, and I started to get a little nervous that I’d have to be induced, which would make an unmedicated birth a lot more difficult to handle. My doctor would let me go 10 days over, but then would induce me for the baby’s safety. I tried EVERYTHING to get that baby to come…spicy food, long walks, stair climbing, bouncing on the ball, evening primrose oil, reflexology foot massage, you name it, I tried it. Nothing was working.
The night before I was scheduled to go in for my induction, (9 days past my due date), we went to my parent’s house for Sunday dinner. I’d been having mild contractions for the past day or so, but nothing significant or painful. Throughout the dinner, things started to ramp up…contractions were coming faster and getting much more painful. I started timing them…they were two minutes apart and lasted about one minute.
We left my parents and headed home to pack our bags in case this was the real thing. Once we got home, the contractions were one minute apart, lasting one minute, and getting very painful. I decided that YES, this was labor.
I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but with how close the contractions were, we weren’t sure when to leave for the hospital…so Patrick decided to YouTube how to check dilation…yes, he’s a straight-up SAINT. ;) I was dilated to a whopping 2 cm. Woof. That was extremely discouraging, as the contractions were still coming hard every minute. But at least the baby was coming!
I labored at home for the next three hours…took a bath, bounced on my ball, squeezed Pat’s arm until my fingers were white and he was losing circulation ;) and when I was finally dilated to a 4, we decided to leave for the hospital. Pat made the 10-15 minute drive to the hospital in 6 minutes! Thank goodness it was past midnight on a Sunday night.
By the time we’d checked in, I was somehow dilated to a 6. That was very encouraging. They hooked me up to the monitor…baby’s heart rate looked good, and my contractions were coming super strong, still one minute apart. I gritted through each contraction, trying to relax and breath and focus my mind on opening my body. Two hours later, I was dilated to a 9…this is when things got really intense. I could feel my abdomen beginning to contract on its own…it was ready to push out this baby! I felt like I was starting to lose control…the pain was extremely intense. Finally, the doctor came in, and said I was fully dilated and effaced, and could start pushing!
Three pushes later, and baby was out. They placed him on my stomach, and I fell back in complete relief. The pain was instantly gone. I had done it. Baby was here, safe and healthy.
I took a huge breath of relief and brought my attention to this tiny little human on my stomach. He had long, dark hair, a squishy little face, and was absolutely perfect. My baby.
Pat cut the cord and they moved the baby to my chest. I was overcome with the strongest feeling of relief and pure joy.
My labor had lasted six hours from the time things got intense, a relatively quick labor for a first-time mom. If it had been much longer, I don’t know if I could have handled an unmedicated birth. But I was so grateful that things had gone smoothly and quickly, and that I had the opportunity to experience such an incredible thing as childbirth.
I am SO grateful for Patrick’s support and coaching…I couldn’t have done it without him. And of course, for all my incredible nurses and doctor for getting baby here safely.
The experience of creating, growing and birthing a child leaves me in complete awe. I am amazed by what a woman’s body can do, and I will never take that ability for granted. This entire experience has been a very humbling one, and I can already feel the heat of the refining fire that motherhood is.
Pregnancy forced me to let go of ALL control, a lesson I so badly needed to learn. Labor taught me that I am capable of more than I think. It taught me endurance and the importance of being in-tune enough with my body to trust it. And so far, over these past six weeks of motherhood, I’ve received a butt-whippin lesson on patience and selflessness.
What a beautiful, humbling, breathtaking ride.
Oscar Drew Romero.
7 lb. 14 oz.
*Photo cred: A huge thank you to my sis-in-law Beth who offered to take photos during the birth!
*Stay tuned for my thoughts on postpartum, coming soon!
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