Monday, August 16, 2010

The Best of Just By Living; The Birth Story


I went into Labor on a Friday evening.....

Michael was working. I started to have contractions that hurt a bit. I took a warm shower. They didn't go away. I walked the house. They didn't go away. We headed into the hospital at about 6 pm.
The contractions were a fierce tightening in my belly. The rock hard sensation of your abs while straining to do a sit-up. The pain was dull just a deep menstrual cramp.
I was checked in and found to be dilated at 4 centimeters. That was one more than I had already been.
Michael and I settled into our room. Florescent lighting, tacky wallpaper, pure white sheets, and a lumpy pillowcase. I walked, I bounced, I stretched.
Michael pulled open the blinds. Turned down the lights.

A beautiful view. Nighttime city lights. Cars racing. People moving and around us the world was paused. Just pain and beauty in a hospital room.

Michael put on Death Cab.

If I could open my mouth
Wide enough for a marching band to march out

I pace the room.

They would make your name sing
And bend through alleys and bounce off all the buildings.

I sing to you. Can you hear me?

I wonder what you are thinking in there. Are you scared? Are you nervous? My tiny love curled into a ball. You have no idea the hell we are about to go through. I'm so sorry I think. I'm so sorry for this. I wish I could keep you in there. But selfishly, I want you here. I will make it up to you with a lifetime of kisses and understanding and complete and total devotion. I promise.

I lay down to rest. It's nearly 2 am. Last call. Do you hear it my sweet? Last call for you too. Time to finish up and clear the area.

You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

Then it comes. A pop. An explosion inside my body. I flinch. You jump. It's as if the floodgates within have opened. Your tiny Ocean is drained out of me.

A Flood.

A Tsunami.

I am Mother Earth.

The warm liquid that has been your security blanket puddles around me. Leaks onto the floor. They mop it up.



How can these words apply to something so precious?

I wrap my arms around my belly. It is practically half the size it had been. It's all you in there now.

Then the real pain comes. By now the sun is rising.

It comes on strong.



Mother Earth.

The pain is so deep. It's like your heart breaking only it is in your core. It's your whole body breaking. I swear it's your body mourning the loss of your womb. Crying out. Grieving.

I scream. I beg my husband to call the nurses.
"press the button" I plead
"help me"

I panic.

My husband pulls me up and we walk. I bounce. I get on top of the pain. I control. I listen hard to the music. Every word is a slight morphine drippity drop. A sentence can cure a backache. A lyric can ease a contraction.

I float. I skim by the pain. Every contraction I swear I can not take another. Then while my body rests I swear I can bear more.

By now I have been awake over 24 hours. I start to see things out of the corner or my eye that aren't there. My cat slinks by the bed. A bouncing, shooting star grazes the ceiling. A tall man stands in the corner. I am delirious with sleep exhaustion.
I give in.
I'm waving my white flag.

I remember little. My husband refuses to leave my side. He is not squeamish. If he is, he hides it. He is strong for us. I see pride in his eyes.

I fall asleep in between contractions. I giggle at the thought of pain relief. I am not scared of the big needle but I am scared It'll harm you. All the you feel them? I say a silent prayer to whatever God is out there to take care of you. I feel enormous amounts of guilt as I wait for the pain relief.

The epidural doesn't work. They give me a shot of something. It does not work. They give me another epidural. It does NOT work.

I am not dilatingg so they give me Pitocin.

In between contractions I doze. I listen to the music. Hang on every word to get me through the pain. I recognize the voice. My husband is playing me Beck. The songs we fell in love to.

Let the window down
Feel the moonlight on your skin

My stomach folds and creases within itself.

Let the desert wind
Cool your aching head

Twists and turns.

Let the weight of the world
Drift away instead

Oragami. Mishapes.

The Pitocin brings on contractions that have no break. They last 5 minutes. 10 minutes. Forever. Today. Tomorrow. It feels as if its been years.
The pain is maddening. I envision myself being carried away on a stretcher. Locked in a padded room. Crawling up the walls. Scratching at the door.
I swear I will go crazy if it doesn't stop.

I have no concept of time. I have no sense of direction. I am so lost in the pain that I forget why I'm there. I forget where you are.

Finally they relieve me with a spinal. It won't last. I sleep. I wake because I am growling in my slumber. The contractions are back. I hear my gutural noises before I realize it's the pain I feel.

They give me more of the epidural. It numbs my toes but not my tummy. They up the Pitocin. Finally I am 10 centimeters. You are coming. I remember you. I am not lost. I focus. I pull it together. The bring a large mirror over so I can watch you emerge.

I see someone I don't recognize.

I am war torn country.

A natural disaster.

Mother earth.

I push. I push for days. I push. Then I vomit. The I let my eyes roll in the back of my head and I pass out. Over and over I proceed. Push.Vomit.Sleep. All three provide some relief. An hour goes by. I see your little head. It its covered in dark hair. Just like I knew it would be. Like you were in my dreams.

'I know you!" I say. "Ive known you all along"

to be continued...

Read Part Two Here


  1. Wow, you're an amazing writer. I can't wait to read part two.

  2. wonderful post! passed by from SITS - may you are having a great day

  3. Oh wow. This post completely sucked me in an evoked so much emotion. Can't wait to read more.

    Happy SITS day - glad I've found your blog.


  4. Stopping over from SITS, wow this is so amazing, I love the way you write, it's captivating. I'm off to read part two...

  5. Congrats on your special day.

    Your birth story reminds me that I need to take the pill as I type. :) Can't wait for part two.


  6. Wow. You are a beautiful writer!

    Stopping by from SITS!

  7. Read both parts... what an incredible birth story... I'm so glad he's ok now! Congratulations on your SITS Day!

  8. No! Don't stop now! I want to read more!! You are a beautiful writer. Stopping by from SITS!

  9. Your little man is just divine.

  10. I HAVE to say Congrats on you Feature day over at deserve it...hope you get lots of visitors!!!

  11. I too remember falling asleep between contractions. I said happy Birthday to my little ones the first time I saw them.
    happy SITS day!

  12. I love reading birth stories!! Hope you have a great SITS day!

  13. Happy SITS day my dear! Good lord almighty! You can WRITE! I SO enjoyed this post. Thank you.

  14. I had a very similar experience 20 years ago. My girl turned 20 on Saturday. I know you hear this all the time, but please, please enjoy every minute with Henry. It goes by very quickly!

  15. I agree. You are an amazing writer. I am hooked but scared to read more. I am glad I know there is a happy ending.


  16. Wow. What an amazing love letter to your baby. What a gift to treasure (and hello?! what great writing for us in the meantime!). :) Happy SITS day!

  17. Stopping by from SITS! This post totally sucked me in! I need part #2!!!

  18. Holy cow! Yep, that's exactly how I remembered it!

  19. HAPPY SITS DAY! This is beautifully written! I got to experience my baby's "birth"day just 2 weeks ago, so this was timely for me to read! Loved this post and brought tears to me eyes!

  20. What an incredible, beautifully written description of your experience. It sounds very similar to my own so far...(but I've never been able to articulate it anywhere near as well)

  21. Beautifully written... Love this story!

  22. Wow this really hit home with me and brought me right back to my own labor experience. Very well written!

    Stopping by and wishing you a happy SITS day!

  23. Thank God You and Hendrix survived the ordeal you are sharing in 2 or more parts. You are a strong lady and that gorgeous boy's survival instincts are equally strong. Blessings to you, Michael, and Hendrix!