It’s been awhile since my last blog and we have a lot of catching up to do and a lot of pictures to share. I’ll try and catch up but it may take some time. For now, here’s the most exciting news we have to share.
The week I found out I was pregnant, we were in Virginia at a campground that had cable. We spent an afternoon cleaning out the Airstream and while doing so, watched a show called “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant.” I know, right? Crazy. How does one NOT know she is pregnant? We were intrigued, of course.
In one scenario, a woman showed up at the hospital complaining of severe abdomen pain. That pain moved down into her pelvic region and then suddenly disappeared while she was on the ER bed. When the doctor cut open her pants, they exclaimed with great surprise, “Ma’am, did you know you have a baby in your pants?” Seriously. And, given the title of the show, of course the woman was all’ “Wha? No! A baby?”
In another scenario, a woman went camping and woke up with stomach pains. She rushed to the campground bathroom only to discover the baby was making its entrance into this world. In the bathroom stall. On the toilet. Obviously, I’ve seen my share of campground bathrooms. All I can say to this is “Ew. I SO wouldn’t want to have a baby in a campground bathroom.”
Thankfully, I neither had a baby in my pants or in our campground’s bathroom. On July 5, 2010 at 2:53 a.m., Chris and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Emerson Skye, into this world…at our designated birth center near Keene, NH. It was an intense, magical, crazy, humorous (now), and beautiful moment. (For those not interested in my birth story, you should probably stop reading now….)
My due date was July 3, and coincidentally, I woke up that day with early signs of labor. I told myself for months that I would not be THAT woman that panicked and called her midwife too early. Alas, I was totally THAT woman. I called her right away actually. I felt she needed the warning that labor was underway. I’m polite (and annoying) like that.
On July 4, the contractions grew more intense so we met Mary the Midwife at the birth center that morning only to learn that I was only in the very, very, very early stages of labor. She sent me home. D’oh!
The day progressed slowly but the contractions grew worse. I was sure I was moving along at a good pace. I was doing an exceptional job of using my breathing techniques learned in class and my hypbirth CDs. I considered myself the model woman in labor. Seriously…I was thinking positive at that point.
Mary called around 8:30 that night and asked if we wanted to come back in to be checked. You bet I did! This was it! I knew it! We got there and I had only dilated one more centimeter…to a big, whopping 2. Mary said it could be quite awhile before active labor began (days, even) and recommended we go back home. But, I refused. I didn’t want to go back home. We got permission to stay the night and we all agreed that I would probably be going back home in the morning. All this happened around 9:30 p.m.
At 11:30 p.m., my water broke. Mary checked in on us and told me to try and get some rest. We all still believed it was really early. I promise, I tried to relax. Chris was amazing at helping me try to breathe properly. I was listening to the hypbirth sessions on my iPod and struggling to take those deep breaths that the woman in my ear kept telling me to take.
In my perfect labor dream, I was silent throughout labor. I had fears of being vocal. In one of the birth videos we watched in class, one woman yodeled her way through labor. I didn’t want to do that. And, I didn’t yodel. But, somewhere around 12:45 a.m. or so, I became demon-possessed, channeling my inner Sigourney Weaver from the movie, Ghostbusters. You know, “There is no Lani, there is only Zuel.” And, I did what I really did not want to do…ever. I screamed. At the top of my lungs. Probably the loudest I have ever been in my life. I began telling Chris in my Zuel-like voice to take me to the hospital. I needed the drugs. If this was early labor, I was so not prepared for natural childbirth. Yes, we both still believed this was early labor. I had visions of Mary coming into the room and saying, “You are only dilated to a 4. Get some rest.” Right. Rest? I don’t think so. So, we both avoided calling her into the room.
My screams continued and Chris tried to calm me down. Around 1:30 a.m., however, the screams and my pleading for a hospital and drugs became too much. Chris finally called Mary and we waited for that dreaded news that I had not progressed into active labor yet.
Mary came in and once again I screamed like a baby and begged for drugs. In her calming voice, she, too, told me to relax and then checked my progress. As I yelled out, “I can’t do this!” Mary uttered words that were music to my ears. She said, somewhat shocked, “It’s not that you can’t do this! You’ve already done it!” No, there wasn’t a baby in my pants but it was time to push. And, pushing I could do! My superhuman strength kicked in at that point (just ask Chris) and my screaming ceased. And, it’s true…a woman immediately forgets the pain of labor once she sees her baby for the first time. The experience was incredible.
So, that’s my story. Emerson is beautiful. We are blessed. And, really, really tired. We look forward to seeing how this next chapter of our lives progresses. For now, we continue the Airstream life and are very excited to start our travels once again with the newest member of Aluminum Bliss. Stay tuned…