Finally, Sunday night around 8 pm Marve came over again to check on me. She said it still seemed like I was in early stages and not progressing so she was going to have to collect her things in case another mom went into labor and needed her. No! I have to have this baby, and soon! I knew I was in labor so I thought well I better play it up a little bit so she will stay, because at this point the contractions were about 6-7 minutes apart and I could still talk through them. So I said to myself OK I'm just not going to talk any more and make everyone wait until I'm done and close my eyes. So I did that a few times, and Marve said "Oh OK never mind. I think I'll stay." "Thank God!" I thought but I was still nervous that she would leave so while I was laying down I kept asking Marc to time the contractions to make sure they were staying consistent.
We laid on my bed for a few hours and I finally believed that OK this is it and she's going to stay. I think I needed more reassurance that I was doing it and it was working. The whole time my mom kept saying yes in just a few hours you will have your baby "With me it was so fast and you and Sterling were here!" Well I am definitely not my mom!
After a while Marve put me to bed again. AGAIN with the going to bed?!! When am I going to have this baby?! Much later that night/early morning the contractions became more intense. Marc and my mom were a great team and at this point we were all so tired we were laying in our bed together. With my mom on my right and Marc on my left we all tried to sleep between the contractions. This is a moment I treasure: me in the middle of two of the most important people in my life, all waiting in anticipation for the joy of our lives to grace us with his presence. That was one of the sweetest and one of my favorite moments during my labor marathon.
Finally at about 4 almost 5 am I made Marc go down to ask Marve who was sleeping on the couch if I could get in the tub. I kept asking at what point she thought I could get in. She told Marc " Oh good she's getting pushy she can get in now!" "What?!" I thought, "All I had to do was be a bit more adamant?"
Let me tell you ladies who are about to have your babies. Get thee to water! It completely changes the game! Seriously, get in a tub, the shower, some form of water, trust me you'll thank me when you feel the soothing relief.
So, I stayed in the tub for about an hour and watched the sun come up.
Then I decided that I was done and I wanted to have my baby. Now, please! So I told my mom that I thought I needed to push. I got out of the water and went to the bathroom. I squatted a bit and I felt a bit more pressure, but I wasn't sure if it was time to push. My mom frantically got Marc to get Marve. She came upstairs and checked me... nope I was just 8 1/2 cm. Not yet but close.
She instructed me to visualize the baby in the right position so his head will put the right amount of pressure on my cervix so it will finish dilating. I labored for about an hour and a half more and the contractions started to get really intense. I thought to my self, OK wow, if I was in the hospital I would ask for and epidural! (But on a pain scale it really wasn’t that bad until that moment and I could still cope but I could just empathize with wanting some relief from all sensations.)
That’s the blessing that I think God gives laboring mothers- no real sense of time or reality. There I was thinking I was having a great and lovely labor. I remember thinking I made it to 8 1/2cm this really isn’t that bad! Also, I thought I was the pro giving birth woman! This is so easy and the best labor ever!! Again evidence for not being completely there. I don’t know, it’s like some part of your brain shuts off to help you cope with what your body needs to do to deliver a baby. All I could focus on was what was going on with me. I would close my eyes and know someone was with me but each time I opened my eyes it was someone else- Marc or my mom or Marve but I had no idea when they came or left.
Marve said that I really needed to concentrate because if he didn't move she would have to move him herself. I really didn't want that to happen (doesn't that sound atrocious?) and I tried as best I could at getting him to move. But sadly he didn't move so half an hour later Marve said “OK get out now; we have to move him!” (Thank goodness she was there! She used her authority and knowledge to deliver my healthy baby.) Marc was trying his best to be supportive and loving, I told him I didn't want to do it and he said OK you don't have to. So sweet. My mom on the outside was sweet too but she told me later that she wanted to yell at me to get OUT of that TUB! No need to do that because Marve just said "OK, get out now!" Although it was said very nicely, I knew I had no choice.
She did this technique she had learned as a rural doctor in the Amazon among the Yanomami Tribe. She went in and pushed Frederick's head up and twisted him around while her assistant had a sheet draped around my belly and twisted his body from the outside. I'm not going to lie. I think that was the worst part. It was pretty excruciating, but I knew that we had to get him out or I would need to go to the hospital for a c-section. And I was not going to the hospital! (You know unless it was an emergency.) They worked for about a half an hour I'm told. Thankfully it only felt like about 5 minutes to me. So she finally got him turned and through my cervix into the canal. Now, it was time to push! Finally!
I got back in the water and my mom started to cry a bit. I told her not to cry because I needed to concentrate and if she cried I would cry and I wouldn't be able to pull it together so I needed her not to loose it! I tried pushing with each contraction while squatting. That was too hard and I needed support so that didn't work (we were all too tired) so I pushed the remaining time on my hands and knees. I thought that when it came time to push I would push for about 5-10 minutes and be done. Wrong again! I pushed for about a hour and a half. Luckily I had breaks, I only pushed when I had a contraction and my body was pushing, but still it was a looong time. I said "How long is this going to take?! On TV and in the Movies they push for less than 5 minutes and then they are done!" Naomi suggested I not watch anymore TV.
Marc was so sweet he stayed by my side and encouraged me each time. As he was applying cold cloths to my forehead he forgot to ring them out. I said "Marc?" "Yes?" "Although that feels really nice and I thank you for being so helpful, will you please ring out the water before you put it on my head? It's dripping water all down my face and it's uncomfortable!" "Oh! So sorry honey!" "Wow!" Naomi said "You are the nicest woman in labor! You didn't even yell at him!" My mom laughed and said I know... and she keeps saying "please, thank you and oh excuse me let me help you find the baby's heart beat!" I just really didn't feel like yelling or snapping at anyone, I was so tired!
So I pushed and I pushed and I really didn't think I was really going to have a baby. But, finally I hear exclamations "Oh! we can see his little head!" "Really?!" "Yes! Feel it!" So I reached down and felt the top of his sweet head and he had hair and a lot of it! I was so surprised! I just really didn't think he would have hair.
I thought OK I'm almost done. If we can see the top of his head then we are so close. With the next contraction I used everything I had left and with a scream (the biggest scream of my life, I really couldn’t help it) he was out! I had to wait a second while Marve took the umbilical cord from around his neck and that was the strangest feeling: to be able to differentiate a neck, but then I was able to push his body out and that was so much easier.
It was still astonishing when Marve said "OK catch your baby!" "Baby?" (It's really like you think you'll never have one.) "Yes! He's floating to you!" So I looked down and there he was! I picked him up and out of the water and the first thing I said was "Oh hi! Wow, you have my eyebrows but my mother-in-law's expression!" He was looking around and started to whimper a bit. "Oh! Don't cry!" And we sang him the first song that was sung to me "Yes Jesus Loves Me." He had heard that song quite a bit in the womb so he quieted down and I nursed him.
One of the best most astounding days of my life.