Random moments that I didn’t include in the previous birth story posts but I found interesting/funny looking back on them now:
- At one point right at the beginning of the pushing stage was squatting right in between the couch and the now abandoned birthing pool, which made it difficult for Cynthia to see anything that was going on, so she asked me to move to into a more optimal position. In that moment moving felt totally impossible, so I yelled “Just move the pool!” I got a resounding NO from everyone in the room, literally all at the same time. I did eventually turn my body enough so she could see our progress, but at the time I was like why are you asking for the impossible??
- In early labor, while eating a scrambled egg, I felt a contraction coming and for some reason I could not handle chewing or even having food in my mouth while riding that wave so I asked for the plate and I spit the egg out. When the contraction was over I thought well, I barely chewed it so it’s fine to just eat it. And I did. I ate my previously chewed egg, like a weirdo. I think I’ll blame that on labor brain!
- I created three different labor playlists but ended up only playing one because by the time it had finished I was in laborland and didn’t have the brain space to change it. Since I created it on spotify it went right into playlist radio, so I have no idea what music was playing when Aminah finally made her entrance into the world. I hope it was a good song, with minimal cursing.
- At one point after an intense contraction I started to cry and lament because it was just so intense, and my mom consoled me by saying, “I know it’s so hard, but you can do it! I did it and thought the same thing but I got through it, and then I did it AGAIN!” She was right, you totally do get through it, even when it feels endless and you can’t take anymore.
- Everyone asks me this so I’ll just answer now, for the record: I did not tear. I think it’s because I was 1) unmedicated, so I felt everything, 2) I was not coached so I relied on my body’s cues to tell me when to stop pushing, and 3) I birthed in a squat so I let gravity do most of the work! Of course, people can and do tear even when they are unmedicated and not coached, but I think it probably decreases your risk of tearing. I also did not have a particularly large baby (6lbs and 4oz) which was helpful, although I feel optimistic that if I have a larger baby in the future that I will still be able to avoid tearing if I listen to my body and take it slow.
- Midwives are amazing! I have a memory from when I was pushing and everything was happening, Cynthia was right in front of me, letting me know very calmly(as I’m bellowing right in her face) that I was doing great and that she was going to put a hot compress on me, and I just yelled “OKAY” because I could no longer control the volume of my voice and she was not at all phased. Clearly she’d done this probably hundreds of times before, I was definitely not the first birthing person to yell in her face uncontrollably. Also, even with a sprained foot Cynthia was there with Kourtney putting counter pressure on my hips for almost every contraction during transition. I wonder if strength training is part of midwifery curriculum?