Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Birth Story of Iris Eve: Part Three

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Me and Anson in my newly painted bedroom before labor started.

By the time dinner had ended, and a great deal of bulgogi beef consumed, my contractions were heavy and progressive. As Christopher and I drove home I had a recurring thought that I should call my mom to come down to our house.

As we pulled in the driveway I called her and then took the babysitter home up the street. Christopher meanwhile prepared the bedroom for birthing. It was a relief to me that he knew exactly what to do.

When my mom arrived my contractions were rolling along steadily. I asked Christopher to say a prayer and as he did I closed my eyes and saw another vision: I was in a hospital, surrounded by nurses and doctors in white robes, and I was in the middle of them all on a birthing bed.

When I opened my eyes I told Christopher I was worried we were going to end up at the hospital. He reassured me that we had homebirthed safely and easily before, and there was no reason we couldn't do it again. This was helpful to me because I love having my babies at home and his job was to coach me to that end. That's what I wanted and needed him to do for me.

Then my water broke. My contractions started coming fast, long and complete. I found relief in whispering prayers out loud every time a contraction drummed through my body. And the three of us sat together talking in between my bodily tremors about how amazing and quickly things were progressing.

But I could still feel the baby high up in my body kicking around. And when I checked myself there was nothing coming down birth canal.

"The baby isn't moving down," I said.

And then, suddenly, my contractions became sporadic. Instead of long, laborious sensations like I had felt for an hour or so before, my body would start to contract and stop. There was no satisfactory finish to each episode--it was just shots of excruciating pain.

"I think the baby is stuck," I said over and over between periods of desperate panting and moaning. The pain brought with it a warning that something was not right. It didn't feel normal. Healthy contractions had always felt like a rainbow--with an arch in the middle and a golden relief at the end. This felt like sporadic convulsions pushing me towards a torturous outcome.

I knew this feeling. I had with Anson and Ever--both babies were posterior and stuck. But their labors stalled early on in the labor and given time, they were able to rotate and come out just fine. Erin was born posterior without any problem. But I knew I was too advanced in labor to hope for more time. And this baby was not moving down.

I asked my mom to pray this time. Again, when I closed my eyes, I saw the same vision at the hospital--surrounded by staff helping me. This time instead of anxiety, I felt enormous peace.

"I think you should go to the hospital," my mom said after she finished her amen.

"I do too," I said.

Christopher was reluctant.

"Are you sure we can't help you here?"

"I think I'm in too much pain, it's wearing me down faster than I thought it would. I don't feel emotionally or physically capable of doing anything but getting help." I explained.

As I dressed I told Christopher about the vision I had seen twice, and how it made me feel peaceful and calm to think we were going to the hospital for help. Then a quick contraction shot up through my body and Christopher instinctively put counter-pressure on my back.

"I'm here to support you in whatever choice you make," he whispered in my ear as the pain whirled inside of me as though someone were relentlessly and mercilessly beating me down.

And with that we were in the car, rapidly driving to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, leaving my mom behind to stay with our children as they slept unaware, becoming that couple in the dark of night seething, writhing, hoping they'll make in time.