20 Nov Birth Story
I have never felt very maternal. I was never the person who wanted to hold or soothe your infant. Crying babies make me nervous; and as far as having children of my own was concerned, I knew it was in the future, but I didn’t know how far away it was. Or how it would look on me. Could I handle a child? Am I suited for motherhood? Am I prepared for the changes and transitions that come with maternity and postpartum life?
The answers to all of those questions came so suddenly once I saw Cillian for the first time.
My birth story, thankfully, is a short one. I had no idea what to expect as I have never been part of anyone else’s birth story, and the birth class I signed up for didn’t work out. The only plan I had was: go to the hospital, get an epidural, have a baby. If something went wrong along the way, I was 100% prepared to trust my doctor’s recommendation and ultimately, her decision. Thankfully we didn’t experience any complications and my birth plan went as planned.
I started to feel contractions early Saturday morning. They were mild and 20 minutes apart, so I walked all day. My mom accompanied me as we walked up and down on the curb. We visited a bakery and stopped by a local street fair on that drizzly Saturday morning. It wasn’t until 9 PM when the contractions were starting to become quite painful. I wasn’t sure what my pain threshold was, or what a severe contraction felt like, but I knew I was in pain. We went to the hospital just to be safe.
When I arrived I was dilated to 3 centimeters. The doctor sent me home telling me that I could remain at 3 centimeters for another 24-48 hours. I knew that wouldn’t be the case (but I didn’t really know because I’ve never had a kid before) so we went home. Thankfully, we only live a few minutes from the hospital.
We went home and put on Friends to distract us as the contractions got stronger and stronger. Paul dutifully wrote down the time and length of each contraction. They were about 7 minutes apart now. I was able to hold out for two more hours until I finally couldn’t take the pain anymore. At this point I was really struggling to walk. (I struggled to walk the first time we went to the hospital, but I especially struggled now.) Paul talked me through the idea of having to walk all the way to the car. I did it, even though I felt like I was going to have the baby right then and there.
When we arrived at the hospital it was the same thing. I had to stop and sit down every few feet because the pain was so strong. Paul grabbed a wheelchair and whisked me into Labor & Delivery. I was now dilated to 7 centimeters. I was ready for my epidural.
I can’t remember exactly, but I feel like it must have been a good 30-45 minutes until they were able to administer the epidural. It was definitely the most pain I’ve ever experienced, but it was not unbearable. There was no screaming, but there were definitely grunting and moaning sounds as each contraction came and went. At one point my dad and sister tried to come say hi, but I remember saying, “No! Not now, not like this!” It was not how I wanted them to see me.
Once the blessed doctor gave me the epidural it was as though it were a normal day. Almost instantly the pain was completely suppressed and where five minutes ago I had sworn off having any more children, I was now prepared to have five more. (I know not all mothers are keen on the drugs, but I greatly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.) By that point it was 2 AM. The nurse said she would come back in two hours to see how I had progressed, so we all tried to nap in preparation for Cillian’s arrival.
4 AM came and went and he was still not ready to come out. Cillian had turned sideways, so he wasn’t in a safe position. We did some more waiting and around 6 AM the nurses had me on the peanut ball trying to reposition Cillian. That did the trick because we started pushing around 6:30 AM, and at exactly 7:04 AM he arrived.
Cillian Neil Morgan
September 10, 2017, 7:04 AM
8 pounds, 15 ounces, 20.5″
The moment I saw his sweet face I was overcome. They placed him on me to establish skin-to-skin and it was as though we had known each other for years. It’s 2.5 months later, and I still think about that moment with amazement. I never realized how beautiful child birth is, and how amazing women’s bodies are for being able to carry and then deliver a child! All I could say to my mom was, “I did it! I can’t believe I did it.”
We are so blessed to have this child in our lives. He has brought out my maternal instincts and increased my capacity to love.