"At 8:00am, the midwife from my doctor's practice arrived and we were thrilled to discover that not only was the crazy midwife not there, but it was the one that I absolutely love! :) At this point I was wishing for a good 6 cm, but was told that this wasn't likely since it had only been 6ish hours. So, you can imagine everyone's surprise when she told me that I was 8 cm!!! My contractions were so inconsistent and definitely not close enough to allow me to dilate this much, but the body is an amazing thing and I was blessed by this dilation. During this check my water actually broke, and that is when things really got intense!" - From Part I.
For the next hour and sixteen minutes, every few minutes, I felt the worst pain of my life. Once my water broke there was no longer that shield protecting Gavin's head from my pelvis and the pressure and pain I felt is truly indescribable. It was very similar to the Endometriosis pain I felt in the past, but on a whole other level. Through each contractions I was moving all over the place trying to find the best position to be in. I had a squatting bar at the end of my bed and I would go from that position, to laying on my side, laying on my back, to even getting on all fours and hugging the back of my hospital bed. This last position really helped to move things along. I kept telling Keith that I couldn't do it anymore. I just couldn't take the pain. But, I had made it to 8 cm and it was too late to turn back now. There was only a little left to accomplish and I was determined to do this!
Luckily, the time it took to get to those last two centimeters flew by and before we knew it my midwife was being paged to my room for delivery. I began to push a few minutes before she was able to get to my room and Gavin was there, ready to enter this world. The nurses were telling me to stop and wait for the doctors and I couldn't believe it! I was literally experiencing the "ring of fire" and they were asking me to wait! Lol I remember not listening and yelling "HURRY UP!!!" They did, and with a few final pushes Gavin was in this world.
My eyes were closed for the majority of the time at the end, but I did see his big debut and they handed him to me right after. I immediately began sobbing. I was so overwhelmed that my sweet baby boy was finally here. And that I had just given birth the way that I wanted. I only held Gavin for a few moments before he was brought to the side to be cleaned up and checked out. I thought that I'd mind, but in reality I was a bit traumatized. The pain was gone but not forgotten. I was exhausted and sweaty and while an episiotomy wasn't done, there were stitches needed. Then came the placenta and a whole bunch of blood. To be honest, I was a bit scared. I was worried that something was wrong, but apparently this was all normal.
Once my midwife was finished making sure that I was okay, Gavin was brought over to me and it was a moment that I never wanted to end.
I was finally holding the precious child that had been kicking me for the past 4+ months. I had never seen anything so beautiful, and in that moment I finally understood God's love for me. It was completely amazing.
Gavin was born at 9:16am and Keith and I stayed in the labor and delivery room until around 3pm. My sisters and Keith's Dad and StepMom came visit and we spent the day in awe of our son. Once we were moved to our recovery room my Mom arrived and we visited with her for a bit. While I should have been beyond exhausted (I only slept one hour the night before) I was on cloud nine and running on adrenaline. Due to hospital policy for new moms we were required to stay for two days. Keith and I didn't mind at all and we enjoyed resting and learning as much as possible about how to care for our son.
Overall, my labor and delivery experience could not have gone better. I was able to have the natural birth that I wanted and had a pretty quick labor, at around 9 and a half hours, once we arrived at the hospital. Even though the natural birth wasn't exactly what I had in mind, I absolutely do not regret going this route. I was able to experience the true process of giving birth and feel incredibly grateful for both the good and not-so-good parts. Besides the soreness, I felt truly amazing afterwards. Lol and actually, I was eating lunch (a Big Mac) an hour after Gav arrived. If anyone is thinking about going natural, I highly recommend it. It's not easy, but it sure is worth it. At this point I feel like I can tackle anything I set my mind to. Taking the LSAT? Law School? Climbing Mount Everest? Psht. No biggie. (I'm obviously joking a tad, but I do feel so empowered) I also had a doula present during my labor and she was such a big help. She offered encouragement and advice on pain management when it was needed, and Keith and I don't know what we would have done without her.
Another factor that contributed to our experience was the hospital that we delivered at. Keith and I were so impressed with all of the nurses and staff at Northside Hospital - Main Campus in Atlanta, Georgia. The kindness and hospitality that we received was fantastic. Each and every person we came into contact with was especially helpful and made our experience so special. To our nurses -- Janice, both Jennifers, Maggie, Connie, Darlene, Rebecca and Fabira -- THANK YOU! You guys are superb.
And while this isn't an award show, I'd also like to express how grateful I am for this experience and for the love and support I felt from my husband. Keith, I love you so very much and appreciate your strength during my times of weakness. You had just as much to do with the success of this labor and delivery as I did. I love you. And last but certainly not least, I could not have done any of this without the strength of my Lord and Savior. Without a doubt, His love, mercy and grace carried me through.
Dad and son.
View from our room