Part I Part II Part III Part V
Well, let's get down to brass tacks. Or is it brass tax? As I was leaning on a chair during a contraction I started to feel pressure down low, as in my butt-region. In short, I felt like I needed to poop. It is estimated that about 30% of women do in fact poo in labor, and if you are familiar at all with my history, then you know it's a "gift" of mine. I poo, and then out comes a baby. Gross, but reassuring if you think about it. Because as I got that sensation part of me thought "Eh, it might just be poop," but most of me thought, "Alright, almost there!!"
But having the (neurotic) desire to remain cool & calm all the time, I said something like, "Carol I'm feeling pressure down low. I might have to go poop." And we talked it over & came to the conclusion that I would sit on the toilet for a little bit and see what happened, with strict instructions not to strain or push. And oh-by-the-way, to give a yell if a baby came out. It was a good plan.
Well, I sat on the toilet through a couple of contractions, but the results were, um, miniscule at best. It was so disappointing. But soon another contraction came, producing a higher quantity of mucus than before, simultaneously grossing out and encouraging me. As I was coming out of the contraction the Cat Daddy knocked to see how I was doing, and I told him to hold on a minute, that I was in the middle of a contraction and would talk to him when it was over. Except in way fewer words. I left out the part about the mucus, because he is squeamish about a lot of things, and talk of mucus right then might have put him over the edge.
Now by this point I knew birth was imminent. Things were moving along nicely. And what did my brain choose to obsess over? Whether or not to put my underwear and jammy-pants back on. I mulled it over for probably a few seconds, but it felt like ten minutes. Seriously, I couldn't decide and then I was all "Who cares, Skerrib, you're in labor for heaven's sake!" So finally I kind of settled in the middle, walking out with my pants draped over my shoulder and explaining myself: "So, I think my pants are staying off, but I still have my underpants on for now." And I told Carol about the mucus. I can only imagine the things that Carol & Marte hear in the course of the labors they attend. I mean, to me it's mildly outlandish, discussing the state of my pants/underwear and the quantity and hue of my mucus, but it has to be something they deal with all the time, which might explain why they took it all calmly in stride. That, or they are great at pretending to take it all in stride and then giggle about it later on the way home.
So as I was walking out of my bathroom, through the dining room, toward the living room, the next contraction came on. I stopped and grabbed a chair, and within my brain there occurred great chaos, as I could feel everything happening at once. The baby was dropping suddenly, and was going to come out shortly, and the reason I knew this is that the real poop was coming out, and I swear I wasn't consciously pushing, but there my body was, making it all happen. What I consciously thought was, "The baby's coming out." And I think in my desire to be overly-precise and not mislead Carol into believing the baby was coming out at that exact moment, I actually said, "Something's happening."
Over in the living room the Cat Daddy sprung into action, recruiting Marte to help him get the plastic sheet down on the rug. To an extent this made sense, as I gave birth to the Littler One in there. However, in my mind I said, "I'm not making it over there; the baby is coming out here." I don't know how the poop got removed, but I know that it came out into my underwear, and I know that I did not do the removing. I'm not sure exactly what I said, but I know in my mind I was thinking about how to tell Carol that she was going to have to remove my underwear for me, and somehow they ended up about halfway down, right around my knees.
This might seem incredibly gratuitous and unnecessary, but there's a reason to remember it; I promise.
As far as I can tell, Carol put down a chux (?) pad and some towels on the wood floor where we were standing. And then began the yell. With the last birth it snuck up on me, but this time around I was ready. The baby was coming out, and somehow a little yell gives me the oomph to get the baby out as well as the patience not to push too eagerly. I think so, anyway; you'd actually have to ask Carol because she said she didn't remember me yelling too loud, but to me it seemed pretty loud, so it's one of those things that is just whatever it was. And with the yell came the ring of fire, and feeling increasing relief as, still standing in my dining room with my underpants down around my knees, I felt the baby's head come out, and then her shoulders, and then there was one last hangup--I think she had her arm up against her chest or something--and then she was out. Carol might have said "The baby's out," but I don't know. I do know that I thought in my head "I know she's out, because I feel so much better."
Carol had caught the baby from behind me and sort of fed her thru so I could pick her up from the front, but my gifted baby delayed things slightly because she reached out and grabbed onto my underpants on the way! I think this is rather resourceful; I mean, for all she knew she was falling, and when you're falling you save yourself by grabbing onto whatever you can find. She had no idea that she wasn't falling, so it's understandable. But I'm trying to pick her up, and thinking (saying?) "Let go of the underpants so I can hold you!" and I pried her tiny hand open, and then I had to sort of maneuver the cord around her leg a bit (giving me a chance to verify that she was in fact a girl), and then I know I told her "I am so glad you're here!!"
The others rigged up some pillows and towels and such so I could sit down/lie back for a bit. In the dining room. The Cat Daddy took a couple quick photos with his phone, and Carol and Marte did their thing. I know there was observing and charting out the wazoo. There may or may not have been Apgar scores; I don't remember. I might have babbled like a brook or just sat there taking it all in. The things I remember vividly, as with all my babies' births, are the intense relief and gratitude to be not only not pregnant anymore, but also holding a healthy and perfect little kiddo...
Part I Part II Part III Part V