On my birthday in 2008, I received a precious birthday gift in the form of Little Mae.
06/07/08. Not planned that way. At all.
I was hoping that she would come before I turned 37, but she had other plans. Hard as I tried to make it work that June 5 Thursday night in the hospital, it just wasn’t happening, and I reluctantly headed home Friday morning. Few things are more humbling than being sent home (or choosing to go home and wait for things to start back up) when birthing child 8.
I gave Steve a head start to the car with my suitcase, following behind at a tasteful, nonchalant distance. I still got false alarm, sweetie? from a lady on the elevator, as I was doing what I termed the walk of shame. Really, moms out there, WHO wants to be sent home after a night of labor without a baby in their arms? But then I remembered that I still had one in my belly, and immediately became grateful.
Just 4 months earlier, Little Mae’s cousin and future playmate, Porter Silas, was born into the arms of Jesus. My sister-in-law went home with empty arms and an empty belly and full breasts and buried her little boy.
In the early, early Saturday morning hours of June 7, things began to happen. Things. If it wasn’t real labor, then I was just done with this pregnancy. Finished. We headed over the mountain to the hospital.
Here’s the deal. I had given birth 7 times before in various and sundry ways. Home birth. Physician-assisted hospital birth. Water birth. Hospital midwife birth. All without drugs just because that’s what I thought was best for my situation. No judging here of anyone else’s.
This time I thought how nice it would be to try an epidural. I had already pushed 7 various and sundry baby sizes ranging from 7 to 10 pounds through my birth canal (tmi?), so really, that whole thing about having trouble pushing the baby out being a possible issue? Nah. I was just so ready to not go through feeling birth one more time.
Darn if I needed to feel birth one more time.
Of course I was too far along, and the anesthesiologist was unavailable anyway (I think there was a conspiracy, actually), and what the heck? My nurse had birthed 7 kids and chosen an epidural with the last and wished that she hadn’t? What’s up with getting that nurse?
Into the tub I went. I had this all figured out. It would be a beautiful water birth like Roo’s. (Which, btw, at the time I thought, What a beautiful last birth as she gently slid out in the water, and I pulled her to my chest. There was to be one more birth.).
Something was not right. I will spare details, because birthy people can imagine them, and others might be eating lunch or something, but needless to say, my body was having nothing of a gentle water birth, and I flew up out of the tub. Once again, the amazing Donna Vinal, contorted herself in such a way as to catch whatever I was expelling from my body, which happened to be a baby girl with a 15 1/2 inch head circumference. It was the largest head on any of the babies my midwife had caught. We were all surprised.
Okay. Okay. So maybe she would have been slightly trickier to birth had I not been able to move around and to contort into whatever feats of expansion my primal instincts were calling forth.
She was out and beautiful and precious.
It was only 6:40 am, so I could enjoy the rest of
my our birthday.
Happy BIRTHday to Us!