Thursday, January 29, 2009
In The Flesh
EEEEK!!! I saw a BABY get borned! AAAHHH!!! *jumping up and down wildly, with cheeks so flushed you'd think I'd been into the wine*
Okay. Deep breath. Give vital information in coherent sentences. My friend Jess's second son, David Nicholas, was born at 4:56 AM this morning, has tons of dark hair, weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 20 1/2 inches long. And did I mention I was THERE? (Hyperventilating again as I relive the excitement.)
I got to the hospital around two thirty this morning, jacked up on caffeine and adrenaline, and Jess's mom, doula and I just hung out with Jess and talked and walked the halls and did all the normal labor stuff for about two hours. Her midwife was really cooperative and didn't make her have an IV or stay on the monitor all the time, so she was pretty free to labor how she wanted. Jess stayed very centered and calm; it was impressive. But I remember after our final lap around the mother/baby hall, Jess's mom and I realized that her contractions had gotten really close together, and that she wasn't talking through them anymore.
When we got back to the room, at four thirty, we could tell she was transitioning, but her water still hadn't broken so we thought there was awhile yet to go. Still, I went to get her husband, who was resting in the waiting room, thinking Jess was in enough pain at this point that she'd probably appreciate his comfort as well as ours. As we reentered the room, I heard a nurse from inside scream out the name of the midwife, then saw her rather frantically push Jess back onto the bed and tell her, "Don't push yet! You're complete!" Apparently she had gone into the bathroom while I was gone, and as soon as she got there could feel David's head crowning. She yelled that she had to push, and a nurse came in to check, tsk-tsking all the way that it was IMPOSSIBLE she had to push yet, she had only been FOUR centimeters at last check, her WATER wasn't even broken, but then lo and behold... It was time to push!
The midwife came shoving past us, literally smashing into me as she was scrambling for her gown and mask and I was running to find the video camera. For a minute there it was all very movie-like and loud and surreal, especially to Jess, I think! But her doula was just wonderful, very soothing and encouraging. She just kept stroking her face and holding eye contact, reassuring Jess as she pushed and yelled and pushed some more. David came very fast once they got the bed set up; less than ten minutes, I think. It was a very intense and moving ten minutes, too, let me tell you. My hand was shaking so hard I had to steady it with my other hand in order to get the camera to hold still!
The moment they handed Baby David up to his mom was so amazing. I had chills all over, watching her laugh and cry and exclaim as she cradled her son. It was so crazy to think that literally moments before he had still been safely cocooned in his amniotic sac, oblivious to the roomful of people awaiting his arrival. He was so alert and peaceful, blinking his little blueberry eyes up at us all for awhile, then nuzzling into his mom again. He barely even cried after those few initial protests, just snuggled in his parents' arms as all the REST of us got a little teary.
David, you are just beautiful, just the sweetest little boy, and I am so thankful to your parents for letting me witness your arrival! Jess, you did a truly amazing job, and you have renewed my awe for the miracle of childbirth, painful though it is! I have never seen a birth live and in person like that, and it truly a rush like nothing else. Thank you for one of the best gifts anyone has ever given me!