Still no baby, :( so my dream of playing doula has not transpired. Sigh. I know ev'rything bout birthin' babies because I had 7 and 63 months of pregnancy and watched Gone With the Wind which is almost the same as medical school, right?
When I had my last baby almost 11 years ago--by the way I am still excluding heavy lifting and strenuous exercise from my routine to avoid hemorrhaging--I was under the hormone induced notion that it would be a good idea for my children to be present at the birth. Being present includes witnessing. Funny how that works.
The plan was to stoically labor while my children sang songs, held hands and shared treasured family memories. When the big moment came, I'd have everyone step north of the equator as their brother miraculously made his earthly debut. Did I mention that I planned to have this baby natural? You know what "they" say, "The best laid plans of mice and pregnant women or something like that. Okay, these plans were not "best laid."
Here's the 411. We are at the hospital. I am laboring gracefully. The kids are excited. I am dilated to a 4. The kids get hungry. Kids go to cafeteria. My mid-wife leaves to check another patient. My water breaks. I dilate from a 4 to a 10 in 2 minutes. Graceful laboring turns into loud, cow-sounding, guttural moans. Nurse informs me that my mid-wife is delivering a baby across the hall and that the mother has previously delivered 2 stillborns. I am low priority. (Did I mention that of my 7 children, only one has been delivered by my chosen provider?) I inform nurse that she will deliver the baby.
There is much screaming by me. There is much silence by her. I am pushing and pushing and nothing is happening. When I look down, something is happening. Baby's entire head is out and he's rooting from side to side. The four daughters born before him with perfect rosebud lips did not do this.
If you're wondering why you pay the doctor/mid-wife the big bucks, this is why: They can multi-task. They can focus on the baby and you at the same time by saying things like, good job, the head's crowning, breath, one more push, etc. I do some more screaming, and when I'm not screaming I do some biting of my husband's finger. I push some more and the baby is FINALLY out. The pain is FINALLY gone.
This is the moment I turn to my whole husband (not just his finger) and say, "Where are the kids? Did they make it back from the cafeteria?" He does not say anything. He points to the end of the bed. At the foot of my bed my children are standing in a line, pale, wide-eyed, jaws on the floor. It was a moment they've never forgotten but wish they could. At some point they will most likely need therapy. I just hope it's when they are off my insurance.