There was an Office marathon on TBS. It could not have been more perfect.
Contractions started in the morning, like I said they would.
I spent the whole day watching Steve Carell make a fool out of himself, and finding reasons why I wasn't in labor.
You see, it wasn't that I didn't want it to happen. In fact, I felt overly prepared for any scenario that may have arisen. I just didn't believe it was happening.
It didn't hurt. Everybody told me it would hurt. It didn't hurt. It was uncomfortable, but far from what I would call painful.
Before too long, my husband and my mother picked up on the strange faces I was making at about eight minute intervals, and they decided it wise to call the midwife. She said to "keep her updated", and told us she'd come whenever we were ready for her.
I told them they were crazy, I was NOT in labor.
Around 6:00 that evening, my contractions moved to about five minutes apart, and we moved the Office marathon to the TV upstairs in the bedroom. A friend came and took our puppies (after I kissed them both goodbye, of course), and mom called the midwife and told her she'd better come soon because we were gonna have a baby.
I still didn't believe them.
After several more contractions, the midwife arrived and checked me. I told her if I was dilated at all, it'd only be 1 or 2 centimeters because I really didn't think I was in labor. I was dilated to 7.
I believed them.
After that, I continued watching The Office and I paced up and down the hall. Our midwife read a book on gardening, mom took obscene pictures (both in the amount and in the content of the shots), and Nathan paced with me. He was an excellent pacer :) He was the best birth partner a girl could ask for. He never left my side. He was literally right beside me the entire time (mind you, he was armed with his Blackberry so he could make regular Facebook updates, but he was with me nonetheless). I love him for that. He ended up seeing a lot more than he planned, and he never once complained about it.
When things started to get serious, they got really serious. Everything I had read and heard said that pushing was supposed to be the "easy" part, the relief after the pain of contractions....it was not a relief.
They neglected to tell me (and I'm thankful for this), that Mayah was coming out posterior (face first...against the massive cone head she had acquired, having dropped 6 weeks before). They neglected to tell me this because I've heard the story of my own birth so many times.....the 32 hours my mom labored with me (in a similar posterior posotion), the last minute hospital transfer they had to rush into, the forceps, the pain, etc....and I guess they knew it would have scared me. They were totally right.
From about midnight on, I pushed. And I pushed. And then I pushed some more. I pushed for two solid hours.
It hurt. A lot.
Apparently the 12 hours I spent having contractions were the calm before the storm.
The bruises on Nathan's arm might tell you how much it hurt.
The neighbors might tell you how much it hurt.
My mom had to leave the room to cry, which could tell you how much it hurt.
In my head, I had no idea how close she was. I had been pushing for so long and was so completely exhausted, that when the midwife told me she could see her, I didn't really believe her (it was a trend for the day). I wanted to be done. I wanted her to be out. I wanted to breathe.
Then I finally saw her head for myself.
I knew I was close to the finish. I took a deep breath and pushed for everything I was worth. I could feel the end, and I was so thankful. Her head was out, and with one final push, the rest of her 8lb 12oz body came right out.
She made some peaceful little squeaky noises to let us know she was alright, and as we cleaned her up and marveled at the size of her cone head, she grabbed my finger.
Her tiny little hand wrapped completely around my finger, and she looked up at me with her giant eyes, and I was in love :)
The first thing her daddy noticed is that she shares his dimpled chin. He'll also tell you that it only took holding her for a second to fall completely in love.
I could share more gory details, but if you really wanna know, I'll tell you in person...I'll spare those who read my blog that really DON'T wanna know the rest of the story :)
Here's some pictures from our first few days as a family: