Ingrid's Birth Story, Part 4
I was getting pretty far along at this point, so Danielle suggested I get into a warm bath. I laid on my side in the tub with a wet towel over me. It felt nice and relaxing. I was so exhausted at this point that I actually fell asleep a couple of times in the one minute break between contractions! But the contraction themselves were getting more intense. Up to this point, I had only breathed deeply and spoken one-word commands to Kirk, like "push!", "right!", "down!", etc... But with each of the last few contractions in the tub, a low groan came out of my mouth. Finally, I couldn't lay in the tub anymore. I needed to get up.
|Mr. Crispy was Kirk's high school punk band. His sister Kari made this onesie for Ingrid.|
Throughout my labor, Robyn and Danielle would come in to check on me periodically. They were always available just outside the door, but they let us have our privacy. I appreciated this. Labor took so much of my concentration and focus that I didn't want any distractions. The fewer people the better. I know some women want a whole support group in the room with them as they go through labor. I only wanted Kirk. No one else. But I didn't want Kirk to leave me for a minute. Even when he stepped outside the door for a few seconds to tell Danielle that I was ready to push seemed like an eternity. I remember thinking that he must be hungry, but I couldn't bare the thought of him leaving to go get food. Luckily for me, he didn't.
Now I was entering the pushing phase of labor, and I was glad for Robyn and Danielle to be there, too, with their expertise. They told me to start pushing on the toilet. My bag of waters was still intact at this point, so Danielle used something that looked like a crochet hook to break it. (Very convenient for that to happen while I was sitting on the toilet, don't you think?) Just a few minutes later, they told me I needed to walk back into the room and sit on the birthing stool. At that point, it seemed like a monumental task to have to walk from the toilet into the room, around the bed, and over to the stool. But Robyn and Danielle each took an arm and guided me there.
Let me just say that at this point, my hospital gown was long gone. If you know me, then you know that I am a shy person when it comes to nudity. I'm the one who changes clothes in the bathroom stall instead of next to my locker at the gym. So, for me to be 9 months pregnant, stark naked, and crouching on a stool in front of my nurse and midwife -- well, it's just funny. But at that point, I didn't care at all. It was the least of my worries. I just wanted to get my baby out!
|As you can see in this pic, Ingrid had "Queen Elizabeth hair", so last week, I buzzed it.|
I wanted her out so badly that I pushed and pushed and pushed. I kept pushing even when the urge subsided. Kirk later told me that he could feel every muscle in my body harden and strain. I pushed so hard that I began tearing fairly quickly. Robyn and Danielle had been putting warm compresses on me and doing all that they could to keep this from happening, but they couldn't stop me from pushing so hard. They moved me into the bed and had me lay on my back to try and keep the tearing from going too far. As Ingrid began crowning, Danielle had me reach down and feel the top of Ingrid's head. It was almost unbelievable to think that after 9 months, she was finally so close to coming out. Then Danielle asked me to slow down so that she could help stretch out my skin. I tried for about 2 seconds, but couldn't bare it. I had to push. She was worried that I would tear all the way, so she asked me if she could do a small episiotomy. As soon as she made the snip, I pushed again, and Ingrid came spiraling out into Kirk's hands.
Kirk laid Ingrid on my chest, and I distinctly remember the feel of her tiny, wet behind cupped in my right hand. It felt so surreal. "There's a baby on me!" I said in a daze. Kirk leaned over us and kissed us both, tears streaming down his face. That state of euphoria that people talk about so often in the moments following birth? To be honest, I don't think I really felt it. Yes, I was relived that labor was over, and yes, I was happy to have my little girl in my arms. But I had lost a lot of blood, I was still in pain, and I think I was in shock. I did see it in Kirk's face, though. I'll never forget how full of love and joy he looked at that moment.
Throughout my 12 hour labor, I had never complained or said anything negative. But now that I had the prize in my arms, I no longer felt that intense focus and determination. I winced as they stitched me up, and complained about the pain in my back (which was caused by the placenta that was still inside me). Once the placenta came out, I felt real relief. Kirk cut the cord, they cleaned Ingrid up a bit, then put her back on my chest and covered us in warm blankets. She latched on soon after, and I nursed her for the first time.
For the next several hours, Kirk and I held our little Ingrid and tried to take it all in. We were completely captivated by her. We felt no need to read, watch TV, or do anything for entertainment other than stare at our beautiful baby. If I had been in shock at first, that feeling had worn off and been replaced by a tired, but deep happiness. I knew that I would do anything for Ingrid, and that Kirk felt the same way.
We finally got to hold our baby in our arms, and it was the best feeling in the world.
Ingrid May Jorgensen. Born November 16, 2010 8 lbs 9 oz, 20 in