When I imagined the birth of Oakley I pictured us (the people i wanted at the birth) in the living room, having a fun time, looking radiant (like how the women in "Spiritual Midwivery" are discribed), and me feeling a beautiful baby exit my body... then having the baby laid on my chest and nursing the perfect little person and enjoying all that I had done with my friends and wonderful husband.
This isnt what happened. Pretty far from it, in fact.
After spending my 9th anniversary in the hospital, alone, being induced, I got to wake up to have my water broken. But I did get to wait for Thomas to be there. Then Rachel showed up and we were rolling. Not the labour, but us... walking around the floor desperately trying to have contractions start on their own. But they didn't. Instead, we broke the final rule that Thomas was standing by and that was to be induced by oxytocin. And so the contractions started. I felt so excited to have things under way... and so excited to have Cathy there to join us.
I loved being in labour. I loved how it felt to have these productive contrations that were working my baby into position to be born. We were just hanging out and laughing like we always do when we are together... only I was naked. I loved that when I got into the shower, they were right there with me, laughing and enjoying themselves too. The energy that my body was putting out due to the drugs amazed me. And I was even more amazed by how comforting it was to lay my head against Thomas while in the shower. I really wanted to feel like it was just Thomas and I, and the rest of the world was far, far away. And it was! It was so peaceful and lovely, and I know Cathy and Rachel facilitate that.
Through it all I was (and am) so grateful that Rachel and Cathy were there to support Thomas as much as me. While in the shower, resting on Thomas' chest, he started talking to Cathy. I was shocked by how his voice resinated, and how furious it made me feel... yet, when he talked o me during a contration it felt like energy. Pure, glowing energy.
Unfortunately, the contractions started to hurt more in my incision. And after trying to labour without oxytocin, and them still hurting it was decided that another cesarean was in order. In between the time that we decided that and Thomas getting dressed into scrubs I was wondering if I was just being a chicken and cowarding out of labour because the contractions were easier again and not nearly as painful. But when Thomas got back, I had the worst contraction and felt very scared because it hurt so much on the scar tissue.
I felt even more scared in the operating room (eventhough Heather, our midwife, was there). But those feelings disappeared when Thomas came in and said everything was alright... telling me I looked beautiful... and then I was able to feel the true atmosphere of the room... Calm, joyful and anticipating the exciting arrival of the baby. I could feel everything... like when ones foot falls asleep, all the pressure, but no real sensations. And his head emerged, crying. As soon as I heard his little voice I couldnt stop myself from crying. Thomas held him close to my face, and he was perfect. Thomas gave me a little kiss with his mask on. I had stopped feeling beautiful when we said I should have the surgery, but I have never felt more beautiful than when Thomas held him close to mmy face and Thomas looked us both over.
As soon as we were able to leave the OR and be moved, we started nursing. Heather held Oakley to my breast for me (i was numb from the ribs down and couldnt position my body to hold him properly the way I was laying) and he nursed like he had done it before a million times. Heather and I laughed at how quickly he latched as we got him only close to my nipple.
So, eventhough some would say i didnt get exactly what I wanted, I would argue with them. I got everything i wanted. And it was perfect. Absolutely perfect.