Panic---Get the bag, get to the hospital....is he just gonna fall out now?! Little did I know that most babies don't just fall out and the term laboring is literal. I labored in a hospital (*FUN FACT: I was born at home as well as four of my other siblings!) for 13 hours, throwing up and telling the staff and my mom and my husband that I am pretty sure you die after that much pain...then I requested an epidural. Bliss. Relaxation. Pain-free (well mostly). Why had I waited this long?! I slept and then four hours later was told I could push..really?! And boy did I push...for FOUR hours straight with no breaks...oh except the 30 secs I had in between contractions. No water to quench my unquenchable thirst, just ice that made me even more thirsty!
Time and time again I was approached for the "C-Section"..."Would you like to just get this over with?!" "Yes, I mean NO..." I had it in my head, my heart...I would hold this baby on my chest after I delivered him. I had worked that hard for him....I would hold him immediately afterwards. I was given a time when my choice would become the Dr.'s choice and I would have the dreaded "C-section"...8pm. I had an hour to get him out. But push as I might...even on all fours against the top of the metal hospital bed rail..he would barely come down.
Because of my narrow pelvis and him being face up..he would only come down a little and then go back into my pelvis. A few minutes to 8pm, the Dr. asked if he could perform and episiotomy and suction him out...I replied "YES!"
After two attempts, the third one worked and our little one was out. If you have experienced that you know the feeling is indescribable. Emotion overtook me and I sobbed like a little baby. Tears of joy, tears of fatigue...just tears.
I will never forget the taste of sweat on my lips, the feeling of the room, the Dr.'s faces around me that had so much surprise on them that I pulled it off against their advice, my husband's tears and "I love yous", my mother's hand on mine and the other caressing my head and then my baby on my chest....warm, wet, snuggled up against me. He was mine. I did it. We did it. (You can read more about how we got to this place here, in our introduction.
I'm also an advocate for breastfeeding. Our journey getting their in the beginning was a difficult one too, with latching issues and sore nipples that I joke had such craters in them that you could see my nerve endings...but I kept with it. I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed my baby and the goal was one year.
But as the first year approached I knew that our journey would be longer. Nowadays it is taboo if you nurse longer than six months. I can defend my decision to not go along with this norm. It is healthier than anything a scientist can conjure up, creates a bond between a mother and baby unlike any other, helps a mother to lose that baby weight, releases special chemicals that help mother and baby relax as well as fending off those post partum blues. Although, so much of this is vital for the first year and then after it is more of a comfort and less to sustain.
It's a bittersweet thing that this beloved journey is wrapping up for us... over 2 years later. We are in the process of weaning, and it has proven to be an emotional struggle for us both. I honestly felt like I could nurse forever, it is such a wonderful thing...but someone once told me that I would know in my heart when it was time...and I feel it. Oh how I will miss it though!