July 8, 2013

His Story, and Mine


It almost unfair, strangely enough, for a mother to write a birth story. I was so wrapped up in it physically that I may not be the best storyteller for Walter's beginnings. And yet, my heart was also the most invested. So if only for his sake, I'll try.

*

The day before was calm and normal. My mom had flown into town the night before, and we spent time at Target, had Steak n' Shake for lunch, and I was able to have a quick nap before the homemade spaghetti and homemade bread she whipped up for dinner. We had dessert at my aunt and uncle's custard shop, then stayed up watching a comedian late into the night. I also had my 40 week appointment that morning, where my midwife predicted I would go into labor within 48 hours. While I was hopeful for that, I didn't feel any different that day, and planned to go out for pancakes with my brother the next morning. I quickly blogged my maternity photos, turned off the light, and settled in for sleep, joking to my mom that I'd wake her up about 2 in the morning to go to the hospital.

That was 12:30am. At a little after 1, I realized I was feeling contractions. It took me a minute to decide that I wasn't dreaming, but they were definitely more painful than all the ones I had felt in the months before. After waiting a few minutes, I drank a half glass of water and began timing them on my phone. There was a reason they felt constant to me- they were coming every 2-3 minutes, sometimes even faster, and the pain wasn't going away. After about 30-45 minutes, I called Sky at work and told him to get home soon. I walked down the hall toward my mom, still unsure of waking her. But after having to stop at one point to wait out a contraction, I decided I should. I knocked on the door right about 2am like I promised!

After that, I called my dad to watch Millie and my doula, Katie. They got here quickly with Sky a few minutes behind. By the time everyone was here, I was having to stop and breathe through contractions near the front door. I had originally wanted to labor at home for a few hours before going to the hospital, but when I brought it up to Katie, she looked at me calmly and said, "Your contractions are coming every couple minutes...I think we can go in now." We got in the car, and Sky sped off. I'm not sure if we had red lights because I don't think he paid a bit of attention to the traffic signals. It was the shortest trip through town we've ever had. He circled into the ER drive, and I was wheeled upstairs to labor and delivery.

*

Despite the contractions, I had an irrational fear of being sent home. After the nurses checked me, I asked them if I was staying and they laughed. (I threatened to camp out in the hallway if they said no.) Only a few minutes later, I was sitting in my hospital gown, grabbing Sky's and my mom's hands during contractions, listening as everyone told me how to breathe. I tried to use the jacuzzi tub but was there just a short while before I felt an enormous need to push (something I had never felt with Millie, because of the epidural I had with her). It was overwhelming and urgent, and I somehow got back to the room and into bed.


The midwife was paged, the carts full of instruments were wheeled in, and the light for the baby bed switched on. The excitement in the room was so real, I could have held onto it, even through the labor pain. After four hours of contractions and an hour of pushing, the midwife leaned closer to the bed. My mom, humoring my certainty that it was a girl, began whispering, "She's almost here!" I felt scared to push, but couldn't stop it either. And then, suddenly, I saw a crying baby held up and someone in the room saying, "It's a boy!" I had asked Sky to be the one to announce it, but afterwards, neither of us were sure if he said it loud enough for me to even hear. He was set on my chest, crying and looking so beautiful.

*

I glanced over at the window and saw the sky changing from the electric blue of night and into a hazy glow. How fitting, I thought, that he ushered in the sunshine. The room's activity faded into the sweetest calm, and we all sat in the filmy light just taking him in.

A boy. A little boy. I had been so sure I would be having a daughter that the shock of it lingered for a few whole days afterwards. No matter what girl names we had discussed during the pregnancy, nothing ever felt right to me. Nothing sounded like my daughter. We had decided months ago that if it was a boy, he would be Walter (my mother's maiden name) John (my dad's name). Girl names were loved briefly, then nixed, then loved again. But it was always Walter.

And little did I know, it really was.

*

I began feeling gushes of blood and remember asking someone if it was normal. The nurses decided it wasn't. The room quickly changed again from peace into a flurry of blood pressure checks, IV fluids, more contractions, and Sky held Walter while the nurses buzzed around. They told me I was hemorrhaging, and warned I would have to go to the OR if things didn't improve. The emotions of the past hour began to overwhelm me, and while Sky cried at the first sight of Walter, it was my turn to cry now. There was some very real fear for a while, but the nurses were amazing and quick, and the IVs did their job. 

Walter was taken to the nursery for his first check-up, and I was monitored in labor and delivery for a few extra hours, but after that, we were moved to a postpartum room and he was back in my arms. I had a daughter, and now, a son. Millie and Walter. This was my new family. All was well. 

*

His face is full of wonder. He looks at me with the widest, bluest eyes I've ever seen on a tiny newborn face, asking me questions he can't yet say out loud, waiting patiently for the answers. It's humbling and awe-inspiring to be so loved and so trusted. He is so calm and sweet, wanting only to be snuggled into us for hours on end (hence the reason this post has taken so long to publish). Millie hasn't always been a perfect angel during the transition, but she has been adoring towards him when she asks to hold "the baby". The first time they were introduced, she sat on the hospital bed with me and recited "This Little Piggy" while touching her fingertips to his toes.

*

It was hard for me to watch the evening news during this pregnancy. I don't like bringing him into a world like this, scary and cruel as it can be. But like all parents, I (maybe naively) hope he can make it a little better. I know my own world is better for having him in it.

This year has brought many moments of wondering how I could be so lucky. Walter's birth was the biggest of those moments. Holding a baby always has a bit of magic to it, but that magic is multiplied times a million when they place a baby in your arms and say, "He's yours." Never will I deserve Millie or Walter. Neither, though, could I be more grateful for these two little hearts, or the way their faces combine Sky's and my own and make something so amazing and so perfect.

This is the beginning of Walter's story. I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

24 kind comments from you:

Jen said...

What a wonderful story! I am so glad that you are ok though, I'm sure it was scary. He is a precious boy and you are so blessed. :)

jax from the harmon squad said...

This was perfect.

Marcella{The Life After "Trust Me"} said...

Thank you so much for sharing your l&d story. I love to hear them and I am so glad you are ok. He is absolutely precious!!!

Kaylee said...

Ok, it's certain - I have turned into the emotional woman I always swore I would not be - that brought me to tears. Beautiful telling of Walter's beginnings. Thanks for sharing his precious story!

Mrs. H said...

Welcome baby Walter!:) What a truly sweet and amazing story. You did it friend! You're a mother once again :)

erin said...

So beautiful. Welcome to the world sweet Walter <3

Birdie said...

I know how you struggled with girl names, it's funny how you can knowvwithout knowing :) he is a gorgepus baby, just like his sister. I'm so glad that his entry into the world was a little calmer and that you are both well. I can tell he's goubg to have a long, epic story and I don't doubt he'll bring only good things to the world

Chantal said...

I love reading birth stories! How sweet. Thanks for sharing!

Cat said...

What a great story! Did your mom think you were joking at all when you woke her up??

Also, I'm glad you're okay and get to snuggle your precious baby boy all day now.

Missus Elle said...

That's an amazing story! Your children are little angles!

Mrs. K said...

Beautiful words, beautiful family. Thank you for sharing!

Fran said...

Thank you sharing <3 I'm going to go finish "chopping these onions" over here now...

greaterexp said...

You have two beautiful, wonderful little blessings in your children. They both bear your stamp, so no matter what the world may look like, those two little beings hold so much promise. I'm so glad God sent them ... and you.

Mrs.B said...

Usually I don't read birth stories but I HAD to read yours. Thank you for sharing it with us. He is such a perfect little boy.

Sarah said...

What a sweet birth story. :) Sounds like it went well, and you ended up with a perfect little boy! What could be better? Congratulations!!!

Jenn said...

Love this!! So glad this cute boy joined your family. :)

Kaye Putnam said...

Beautiful!

Mel Buchanan said...

Beautiful girl, you have me in tears over my morning tea - ah well, my colleagues will just have to deal ;). Thank you for sharing your story with us. And I adore that photo so much. Love you, Mel.oxo

Shell said...

Oh, he is so beautiful!

beka said...

love your story! so beautiful. :)

Erinn C.D. said...

This is so good. Your family is even more beautiful and I can't wait for more of his (and all of your family's) story :)

Steph said...

Congrats! I hope you are both doing well.

Mrs. B said...

Thanks for sharing your story, sounds like you had a great experience minus the hemorrhaging incident. I LOVE the photo!

Michelle said...

Beautiful. I am so happy for you.

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