In honor of my FABULOUS students that I’m having a blast teaching on Wednesday nights, I’m posting Zeke’s birth story. Just like with Bubba’s birth story, if you are squeamish, don’t like babies, or plain just don’t care about this birth junkie’s birth stories then turn away now.
Zeke’s due date was around 1 September and I think a key to his story is that I was praying he would come late. About a month before his due date, we sold our house in Colorado Springs and bought a house in Denver. Our closing date for both houses was 28 August and that wasn’t all we had scheduled. We scheduled the Army movers to pack our belongings in boxes the 26th and load everything into their trucks on the 27th. We thought this timing would be perfect. Pack everything prior to our closings, unpack it all on the 31st prior to Labor Day weekend, then have a baby and relax.
What were we thinking?? With my dad in town to help with the move, we drove up to our new house in Denver on the 23rd for our final walk-thru. That morning before the drive I told Haus, wow, check my stomach out. Sure enough, my “torpedo belly” as Haus called it, looked at least six inches lower than it did the day before. With all the extra lung space, I had fun showing my dad our new house, heading back to the Springs for a long family nap, then that night taking a trip to Home Depot for some stuff we needed prior to our final walk thru for the Colorado Springs house.
While walking around the Home Depot, I had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom and realized I was slowly but surely wetting my pants. My dad was off somewhere else in the store with Bubba so I pulled Haus aside and told him I had lost bladder control. Being the logical guy that he is, he told me that really my bag of waters was probably leaking. I told him no way and continued to shop and pay. By the time we got back to the car, my black capris were damp to the inside of my knees. I let my dad in on the situation as we loaded everything in the trunk and watched his eyes grow to the size of small saucers. ”Hospital… now?” he questioned as Haus and I got in the car with him. ”No worries, Dad,” I said, “I’m not having any contractions yet.” We left Home Depot around 7:30p.m.
Fast forward to later that night, contractions were there but not painful, Dad and Bubba had gone to bed, and Haus and I were debating whether we should go to the hospital. Our doula from Bubba’s birth volunteered to come over and check on me and, after she observed a few contractions, we decided to head to the nearby hospital. Our only comparison was Bubba’s speedy birth and I was not doing the “hold-the-baby-in-on-the-way-to-the-hospital” thing again. Imagine my surprise after checking in at 1:00a.m. and realizing I was only 3 centimeters dilated. As I tell my students, however, I don’t believe that dilation gives you any firm estimation on when you’re baby will arrive.
From 1:00a.m. to about 3:45a.m., Haus coached, cajoled, encouraged, and made me move from tub to toilet to birth ball to back of the hospital bed, until I was ready to push. Around 4:00a.m. I was more than ready to push, but the on-call doctor was refusing to come and catch. We chose to check-in to a nearby hospital instead of trekking down to Fort Carson because we just weren’t sure how quickly this birth would go. Haus listened as the nurses persuaded the doctor to come in while I was miserable trying not to push. When this guy finally did arrive, disheveled with one sock tucked over his scrub pants, he told me I could not push from my current position, leaning my forearms on the back of the hospital bed almost on all fours. Instead I was forced onto my back and within two extremely painful pushes (I’m convinced because of the supine, on my back position), Zeke was born. The pushing was so fast in fact that after Zeke arrived, I told Haus there was no way I could do labor anymore, not realizing the little dude was out at around 4:10a.m.
Our little 8 pound 12 ounce baby boy had a full head of hair and a curious birth mark, we later realized was a salmon patch. I asked the doctor if I could have a tiny bit of anesthesia during the stitching of my small tear at which point he patted me on the thigh and said, “Don’t worry, your epidural will cover that.” Maybe it was my glare or the stuttering of the nurses that made him realize I had just completed an intervention-free birth. Wide-eyed he burst out a second later, “What?? She didn’t have an epidural??” Did I mention this doctor is lucky that I’ve never seen him again since Zeke’s birth?
So there you have it, labored from about 10:00p.m. to 4:00a.m. before birthing my little dude in two crazy pushes. After this birth experience and some of my doula work, I told Haus that I would NEVER give birth without a midwife in attendance and really never wanted to set foot in a hospital for birth again. Haus is in complete agreement as I didn’t mention how hard it was for him to coach me through the pain when the entire 3 hours he was told he couldn’t have me here or I had to be here needed to be checked again for this chart, etc. Not very conducive to keeping someone relaxed through painful contractions. Anyhoo, I’m happy that Zeke was born perfectly healthy despite all of the prodding and am also SOOOO glad that Denver has an amazing birth center that shares our birthing philosophy dare we ever try this labor thing again!
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