Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our Birth Story
Imagine it being 9:30 in the morning. I’m slumped on the couch in front of the television, wearing my uniform of oversized stretchable clothes and tacky dollar store slippers. Suddenly there are twinges going on in my belly. Nothing fancy but unlike all the other mornings I have spent in this position. And then before I realize I am compelled to pencil down the time 9:55. The next time I wrote was 10:05, then 10:13, then 10:17. Okay, this feels like some kind of strange period cramping hiccup but obviously I’m not expecting my period. 10:21, 10:26, 10:29, this is not my imagination I am going to have a baby…finally!! And to think I had woken this morning full of disappointment when I had not been disturbed by some crazy contraction madness. But it was happening so now what do I do??

The moment was coming every few minutes lasting only a few seconds. The moment I had been waiting for, for the last few weeks. The surprise that was making me itch with anticipation and questioning how could I stand this for another day. This waiting has been the hardest part of the whole pregnancy. The moment that I had jokingly said was going to happen every several days for any given reason: snow, a birthday, cause it’s Tuesday, cause I said so. The moment seemed to arrive and I wasn’t even expecting it, not at that moment anyway.

Just a few days before January 15th at 9:55 am I had a conversation with my midwife, Kerri. We discussed what the next step would be if baby continued to be all warm and snuggly in my belly. It would include trips to the hospital for different kinds of tests to make sure everything was still okee-dokee and I was just not digging that. But as these moments of bearable pain kept calling on me, I knew that the worry of what if was not on my list of things to do today.

So what did I do?? Well first I called my mom and told her that she would need to maybe rethink her lunch plans in St. Augustine cause today I was actually, really going to have a baby. Then I called soon to be dad. I informed Barry that he would be attending a birth today and he replied that it would be great if I could do it at 5:30—6:00 pm. I laughed and said sure. Next I called my sister Celena and told her she was right about the baby waiting for the warmer weather. Excitedly she ran through her to do list and asked if 1:00 would be okay to arrive. I responded with a probably not and maybe as soon as possible. Then I called Kerri and told her that today was the day. She asked me about my contractions and said I needed to start drinking mass fluids and to call her back around 1:00, or sooner if needed. I then called Barry back and told him I needed two large bottles of yellow Gatorade. I called my other sister Ciji and my father. I then packed an upstairs bag since I would be somewhat confined to the second level of the house for the next few days, went outside to play with my dog, and made a phone call to my accountant.

It was about noon when Celena and Wil arrived. The contractions were increasing in their intensity and staying very much in the every three to five minute range. We started to fill up the tub when Barry came in with my essential liquids. He looked at my sister with a very confused countenance. I told him again that the baby was coming and to prove it we actually were filling up the tub. The look on his face was priceless!! He thought I had been joking or just wishing maybe. Suddenly his casual demeanor tensed up as he stammered out, “Do I have 40 minutes?? I have to go back to work but I’ll be right back!!” I wasn’t surprised that he hadn’t taken me seriously and told him to hurry.

My contractions were lasting a smooth 30-45 seconds when I called Kerri back. She said she would be here in about an hour and that sounded good to me. That next hour was spent filling up the tub, chit-chat and some good moaning. By 2:00 things were getting exciting and I no longer cared for conversation. I was distracting myself with music and finding a comfortable position to wait out the pain. At precisely 2:34, which I know for sure because Wil was keeping track of my contractions on their iPhone by recording them. So yes at 2:34 my water broke as I was bent over on the stairs. Can you say freaked out!!! I started hollering somethings coming out!! I’m having a baby!! Where is Kerri?? I want to get in the tub!!

What do I do?? Yes, I believe I lost my composure there for a moment. Barry, who had been rubbing my back for me, urged me to get in the tub. Funny part is that we made it really, really warm so it actually needed to be cooled down before I got in. So there I am naked with one foot in the tub, one foot out, moaning through a contraction it’s too hot, it’s too hot!! Kerri arrived and started setting up. My sister was busy finding all the ice possible and Barry had grabbed the hose. Finally I was in. The water definitely made me feel calmer but the pain was just crazy. The cool part is that it only lasts for a moment and then I was delegating my music selections out. I only cussed once through ordeal saying, “This Shit hurts!! It was a moment I recalled from the night before of a videoed hypnotic birth in which the women never even made a sound. Can you say Bollocks!!!!!!

I did find myself thinking could I really do this? Then I realized it was almost over. I called out, “So this is what Johnny Cash was singing about—The Ring Of Fire!!!” And her head was out. Another push—the easier one—and she was laying on my belly looking at me in the calmest manner. She barely made a peep. I looked at Kerri and asked her if the baby was okay?? She said she was fine, just really mellow. It was beautiful and it was 2:54 pm. 7lbs 13oz, 20 inches long, and amazing. The rest of the evening was serene. She ate right away and barely left my arms. I couldn’t believe I had a girl. Her new big brother Korvin came home an hour later with no idea what awaited before him. My family celebrated her arrival with smiles and tears and wishes. What a beautiful and unexpected day it turned out to be.

The last really funny detail of this story is when after giving birth your uterus begins to contract back to its normal size. This is quite painful even after popping a human out of your vagina. So Kerri tells me that Tylenol is okay to take to help with the discomfort. As the pain seems to increase and my enthusiasm diminishes, I breakdown and long for just a couple of these pain reliever fever reducers. My father looks me in the eye and says No. Carrying on about, “I wanted to have this birth naturally why now take something.” Well if I could describe what I felt with a color it would be red. The amusing part is that nobody had any Tylenol and when Barry left to find some he discovered that all the Tylenol, probably in the world was being recalled. So when he visited three different stores they were actually pulling it off their shelves. Talk about some Voodoo!! But it all worked out and now I get to spend all my waking and sleeping moments with this wonderful new person. I am so very lucky :)

>>>>>>if you dare :)!!
This is an audio file of the last contraction..just crazy!! it'll open with your itunes account--cheers!http://www.supload.com/sound_confirm.php?get=1135024088.m4a


  1. oh my goodness is all i have to say.
    that sounds like the easiest births i have ever heard about. fun story. you captured it!
    and you are a roll model for all the women who just want to take drugs. love you carla. thanx for sharing with me. chris

  2. WOW!!! how wonderful to hear our familys talking and you moaning in the background.

    much love to you!

  3. Carla - that audio file brought tears to my eyes. I love how it really shows that the birth of a baby is this wondrous mix of total magic and everyday normal life.
    Was she born in the water?
    Funny about the tylenol. I'm glad no one kept me from the tylenol - those afterpains were terrible the second time round. Way to go - You Rock!!