Child birth is intense, or at least was for me and I think I actually asked Joel at one point, "Why would anyone do this more than once?" But it was very shortly after Kai actually emerged that I understood. In my effort to possibly have a natural childbirth (sans epidural) I gained such an admiration and am in awe of anyone who has done this in the history of womankind without any pain medication. In fact, I keep thinking things like, Man, Eve's labor must have been miserable, not only did she not have any drugs, but she was basically roughing it and other things like what did she use as nursing pads? She must have been so uncomfortable and wet ALL THE TIME.
These are the things I ponder.
But back to modern day. Kai let me know he was ready the afternoon of October 12th. I had spent a couple of days trying to coax my body into labor. I did the cliche things that probably don't work like eating spicy foods, and drinking teas and going on intense walks uphill and climbing stairs and general exhausting myself. I then gave up. The pressure I was putting on myself to go into labor was making me too anxious, so we spent a day of running light errands and taking it easy, and while we checked out an awesome baby consignment store I started feeling actual contractions. We went home, made the quiche that we had just bought groceries for, and diligently timed the contractions. I ate a serving of quiche (bad idea in retrospect seeing as how I barfed later) and Joel was about to put the rest away when I told him we were taking it with us. I wanted quiche after this baby came out. We arrived at the hospital around 8pm and were admitted and I got into the soaking tub that I had been so excited about. I labored in there for at least a couple hours and was in active labor for a full twelve hours and in increasing amounts of pain only to have it revealed that I was not progressing at all. It was exhausting. I was in the hot tub, walked the halls for what felt like years, labored in different positions, and nothing. I was beat. So I tried the narcotic thing that you can get a few doses of. Helped a little, but I still wasn't getting anywhere. Kai's head would come down and then just move back up, and my water DID NOT want to break. I finally begged for an epidural and they put me on pitocin, which was heavenly at that point (epidural, not pitocin), got a nap for however long it took for the epidural to wear off, water broke just as I was asking for more and thus began the 3 hours of pushing. I have to admit, I was a baby (Joel says I was a rock star, but he is being nice). I had a fever and was really struggling and yada yada yada, three hours later his head popped out and I felt the biggest relief of my life. 24 hours after we arrived at the hospital, on October 13th. It's so amazing how this thing that grows inside you for so long and it feels like forever, and then you labor and push for what feels like forever, and then he emerges and it seems like a nano second. I only got to see him for a moment as I was bleeding quite a bit (from internal stuff, no external tearing) and that had to be tended to. He ended up staying in the special care nursery since he was at risk of infection because of my fever, and his blood sugar wasn't ideal. But he ended up being in perfect health, and hearty at 8 pounds 8 ounces (and only lost a couple ounces of that in the hospital). Kai was 13 pounds 5 ounces last week (6 weeks old) and in the 97th percentile.
There is not an hour that goes by that I don't marvel at the miracle that he is, that he came from me, that all his perfect little features were created inside my body. Life is stressful and tiring with all the changes that happened all at once, but we are smitten with this little man. Sometimes I am just dying for someone else to hold him so I have 2 hands or just a rest, and it only takes moments for me to miss having him in my arms.