Asher Wilde - Birth Story
Asher Wilde, my littlest love.
He came barreling into the world, all 9lbs of him in two pushes at 4:04am Monday May 5th. My Cinco De Mayo baby.
After an incredible home birth experience with Sam just months earlier, I was so looking forward to the same experience. Unfortunately it was not to be and with 3 months of hard core morning sickness, 10 weeks of very scary (but really not that bad) progesterone shots and then a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes, I began to lose faith in my body. Every day I was angry that it had been so easy before and now it was constant, pain, daily pricks, an intense diet, constant doctors appointments and monitoring. My Sacred Pregnancy had become a chore, and I’d slip into bed at night exhausted by it all and riddled with guilt, so heart sore that I wasn’t able to give this new boy the same devotion while growing him as I had done for his brother.
36 weeks came…. 36 weeks went and I was sad and frustrated and worried. My wonderful OB, my 4th care provider for this pregnancy hit the nail on the head when at my 37 week appointment she told me it was ok to be frustrated, after all to my heart and my head, I was now overdue. The progesterone had done it’s work and I was considered full term, and while I should have been happy that this was the case, Sam coming at 36 weeks at set a precedent.
38weeks 4 days, Saturday night, we were celebrating a birthday with family, I was told multiple times that I looked “done” and ready to pop, but I wasn’t so sure. I was having contractions 4-5 mins apart, but that was normal for me, I’d been experiencing this for weeks. I was so convinced that I’d be pregnant forever that I couldn’t discern whether these really were more intense or if that was just wishful thinking. We came home that night and I took just one teaspoon of castor oil for errrr, some relief. I washed it down with a few sips of ice cold coke and went to bed worrying about my blood sugar readings for the the next morning.
The nights sleep was fitful, I’d wake up to cramps, and then fall back asleep, wondering to myself if this was it… We called on grandma in the morning, I needed Sam to be taken care of, I was so worried about being cranky in front of him, we ate breakfast together, our last as a family of 3. I was weepy, and moody, frustrated and, wait, was that a hint of excited too?
Once our big boy was safely on his way with Granny, Rommy and I set about our day, slowly packing hospital bags, feeling so awkward about it…. Packing for the hospital felt so wrong, we had never done this with Sam. What do we need? When do we leave? So much doubt. When things slowed down a bit we headed out to run a few errands, I’d have to drop to my knees now and then with a contraction, but we just kept on going, we walked hand and hand through the rides and food stalls of a school festival across the road from our home, both tearing up at the tiny bodies on stage singing and dancing in a contest, all the while I rubbed my belly, excited to meet my boy but filled with doubt about whether this was really it. We walked and walked and walked some more and for minutes at a time it felt like we were going to be first time parents again, smiling, giggling, flirting, but my heart would get heavy and I’d miss my big boy, wondering if today was the day we’d blow his world wide open, wondering if I’d given him enough kisses, truly gotten through to him how much he meant to me.
The light began to fade on the day and we made our way home, I spent a long time in the shower. Clearly things began to pick up because Rommy began to bother me about going to the hospital. I became panicked and snappy and demanded to know why he wanted to push me into going. Poor boy, ah the emotional roller coaster of labor. I demanded that I get a pedicure first. I swear. I did! And so we walked up the street, past tables of people having dinner, past our favorite frozen yogurt shop, past a bar filled with smoke and scantily clad women. I breathed deeply and repeated my Hypnobabies prompts. I giggled a little to myself. Oh how funny life is. The nail salon was closed but the owner knows me and when she saw I was in labor she ushered me in, gave me a pedicure with an extra long and vigorous massage (while also teaching Rommy how to perform a good labor foot massage! Surreal!).
Back home I was struggling to find a comfortable place to labor and I agreed that it was probably time to head to the hospital. The ride there was fine, I relied on my Hypnobabies and felt mostly comfortable. L&D were expecting us, we were taken straight to our room.
4-5 centimeters. I had checked myself at home so I was not surprised. My wishes for an intervention free birth were totally respected. No initial monitoring, no IV or hep lock, I ate, I drank, I moved around and showered. It was great! I remember saying to my nurse that I felt like I was cheating, that this was too easy.
An hour or two went by and I was checked again, during this check I was 6cm and my water broke! I was wondering when that would happen and prepared myself for things to ramp up.
My God I had no idea. A contraction hit immediately, either that or someone had kicked me in the belly with a steel capped boot and I all but leapt off the bed and ran back into my dark, hot shower, another one came before I got there, and then another and then another. I was climbing the shower walls, laying on the floor, doing everything I could to find the sweet spot that would slow things down, quiet the searing hot, pulling, pushing, oceans crashing, world turning, erupting pain. I was going down and going down fast. I had gone too far and couldn’t make it back out, I should have asked for company, for coaching, instead I howled, screamed, begged to be checked and when the nurse was finally able to contort herself and check me in the shower she called it at still a 6. I couldn’t see or hear anything but relief. Epidural. EPIDURAL. Get me the God damned drugs (sorry Lord!) and with a promise of sweet relief I crawled back to bed. Still screaming, still cursing, demanding to know why?
And then I felt it, I knew it instantly and gave in. Ppppppuuuuusssshhh. I couldn’t help it. I ignored the nurses and did it again. Puuuuuuuushh. I was checked again,the nurses hopeful I had progressed to a 10. No, only 7. Do not push they screamed. In between the pushing, the screaming, I demanded to know where the meds were, I was convinced they were never coming and I had been lied to.
The anesthesiologist finally arrived. Nice man, he set me up all the while I lay on my side pushing my brains out. Before he hooked up the meds I was checked again, 9.5cm… In minutes…. They all tried to tell me, through sheer terror, pain, I don’t know what it was, I did not hear it and pushed and begged for the meds. I couldn’t breathe through all the kicking, pushing, screaming and I wanted out. I begged to go home…. And then I began to shake, and my body went cold and sweet, precious, delicious relief swept slowly over me. I was so happy for the respite, but couldn’t stop apologizing, crying. I was so weak and I was so sorry for it. As the medicine spread, things calmed down and I slowly stopped apologizing. It dawned on me only now that the pain fog was clearing, that I was about to meet my littlest love. Rommy and I looked at each other excitedly, our love was about to double.
I felt my hips widen, I felt my son move down… I loved feeling this with Sam and I was so happy to feel it with Asher even through the epidural. I said I wanted to push and did so, the Dr told me to reach down and feel my son, and there he was, all sticky, matted hair. I pushed again and his head was born, he got a bit stuck at the shoulders, but with a little help from my doctor he slid right out. In the epidural-calm minutes before he was born, I asked the doctor if I could catch my own baby, she said of course, and so I did, I was the first to touch him. I held onto his slippery warm body, just under his arms and lifted him out, up onto me, up to and into my heart. I knew him, I loved him. Rommy and I looked at each other crying, in awe of having done this again. Our love, doubled.
I don’t regret having the epidural, this was Asher’s birth and pregnancy. Planned and hoped for one way, gone completely another. Still precious, still beautiful and such a lesson for parenthood. This life, motherhood, is raw, it’s painful, it’s unpredictable, but it’s the most worthwhile beautiful thing I have ever done.
To my boys; with your births I was reborn, made over, remolded, fixed, forever changed. Forever better for every minute of growing you, birthing you, meeting and falling in love with you. I owe you the world and plan on being good for it.