While it is fresh in my mind, I will try to recount the story of my precious baby girl's birth.
First of all, let me say that before I anger any mothers who's first labor was long and terrible, I only had a quick labor because I had "false labor" for FOUR days. Yessiree Bob... Four days of contractions, mucas, cramps... oh honey, my midwives [Ann, Abby, and Angela] were most certainly cringing when they checked their cell phones YET AGAIN just to tell me, "Ok, well have you tried taking a hot bath? Alright well just keep on eye on it and gimme a call if you notice any changes."
Wah wah wah...
Sad trombone, every time.
I just checked the call log on my cell phone, just for the heck of it. Ann ALONE had received..one, two, three, ELEVEN calls from me since the 4th of July. SORRY :]
So, amongst all of the false labor start ups and screeching halts, you can imagine my hesitation to call Ann on the night of the 7th when I thought I was gonna have this baby FOR SURE...like I had the past few days :D
That afternoon at 1:30 I had an appointment with Ann. With all of the practice my body had been doing is was PRAYING for some decent progress on the dilation front. Lucky for me I was dilated 3 centimeters and 90% effaced. [It took almost everything in me to not tell her "Damn right I am!"]
Contractions had still been frequent and manageable all that morning and afternoon, but that evening, I noticed "The Change." Suddenly a small person inside me started to bellow resulting in a dull moan coming out of my mouth during each contraction, and for some reason this small person began to make his presence known quite frequently. At about 7:30 I started to have very regular contractions and at about 8 I had Eamon start timing them. Sure enough, they were 3-4 minutes apart.
My sweet husband went in to daddy mode. He started to clean up the house. He did a load of dishes, cleaned up the bathroom, readied our bed with a layer of trash bags (I told him not to, we were going to have the baby in the tub-why ready the bed? Little did I know...)and made sure I was drinking my body weights worth of water.
By this point I could hear the neighbors who frequently lounge about the sidewalk outside our apartment laugh every time I had a contraction. They must have thought we were trying for another child, but let me tell you there was nothing enjoyable about these contractions, other than I knew I was this much closer to meeting my first born.
Eamon started to fill the birth tub with hot water as a breathed through some more contractions. I quickly got down to my tube top and hopped...ummm, waddled in. At around 10 p.m. I finally convinced Eamon it was time to call Ann.
Our conversation went a little bit like this
"Hi Ann, it's Mae"--apparently I was unaware of caller i.d.
"Hey Miss Mae"
Ann- "Well that was a good one, whatchya thinkin?"
Me - "I'M THINKIN I'M GONNA HAVE A BABY, ANN"
Ann- "That's a good thought to have!"
"Well have you taken a hot bath?"
Me- "I'm in the tub right now!"
I have to admit, if I were her, I wouldn't rush right over either!
After a few more minutes of deciding what we needed, Eamon and I decided that it would be best for us to labor alone for just a bit longer, a decision that set the night off splendidly.
There we were, just the two of us.
We were sitting in our new home, in an inflatable tub, working together to bring our daughter in to the world.
I remember Eamon opening the evening up in prayer before he let me call Ann, still asserting his place as Spiritual Leader in my life, making sure that I knew that our relationship with Our Father was what was going to get us through the night.
He held my hands, stroked my hair, reminded me to breathe at all the right times. I'm so privileged to say that my husband was my biggest support.
But after a while I needed some Estrogen!
I let Eamon know that it was getting a little too hard, and that I needed more support. We called Ann again at about 11:00/11:15 pm and let her know we were ready for Angela to come.
My husband led me through some more contractions and before I knew it Angela was there at about midnight.
I got out of the pool, bare butt and all and waddled back to our bedroom so she could check my progress.
I was expecting her to tell me I was at 4 or 5 centimeters and that I still had quite a while to go before I could meet my child.
I laid down on my bed with my head in my husbands lap, my hands in his, awaiting the news.
I was 7 centimeters! We were almost there!
Angela called our birth photographer, Lynsey Stone, and she arrived shortly there after.
(At least I think so... the whole time thing has me baffled)
I struggled my way back into the pool and waited.
Several of you told me what a blessing the naps between contractions were, and all I could think at the time was "ok...so for the minute between contractions, you just take a cat nap? Right..." But, there I was continuously being woken up by contractions. At one point I was on all fours, and was woken up because my face hit the water!
At this point I turned to Angela and asked her a perfectly legit question in my mind - but I guess I sounded like a loon. I learned in my birth classes that sometimes they use homeopathic remedies or herbs to help ease the pain. So after telling her I felt like I could push, I asked her "Is there anything for the pain?"
She gently laughed and said "No Mae, there isn't anything for the pain."
I WASN'T ASKING FOR AN EPIDURAL OR ANYTHING...maybe some weed or something... But sheesh, is that so much to ask?
We decided it had been a while since I used the restroom, so through the contractions we took the five steps to the bathroom that took five minutes.
While on the toilet my husband saw me dozing off again between contractions and decided that we should go lay down in our bed before we continued in the tub. From this suggestion two things came to mind. One- we were going to have this baby in the tub. Gravity helps when you squat, there is any easier transition for baby when they are born in water, and it might help sooth the pain. Two- I was going to get to take a nap. I've seen it happen at the birth center. A mom will be in labor for a while and need to rest so they let her take a nap, the way I figured it I still had many hours to go.
Eamon helped my lay down in our bed and helped me through another contraction. Angela said she wanted to check me again since I said that I felt like I could push.
Drumroll please....FULLY DILATED!
Eamon and I were so happy (Yet in the back of my mind I was kinda pissed that I wasn't going to get my nap...priorities right?) His eyes were so big, and I could tell he was tired but so relieved that this gave him a new burst of energy.
It was 3:00 am and Angela called Ann to let her know that we were going to try some "experimental pushing." Again, I was ready for the two hours of pushing that I was promised as a first time mom, so Eamon and I readied ourselves. When Angie came back into our dimly lit room, I began to push.
The next couple of hours were the best of my life.
My husband, the man I have wanted to give a child to for years, was laying beside me propping my leg up with his. His face was glowing with excitement, I could even feel him start to shake. Smiling, he asked how I was doing. I replied much calmer than I meant with a "I could keep going, this is good."
Eamon later told me that towards the end of the pushes I would start to smile.
I could feel my child's head pushing down, down, down...
C'mon baby... we're ready...
Down, down, down...
My water breaks...All over my husbands leg, too!
Down, down, down...
Ann walks in the door with an excited "Mae, when you say your ready, your ready!"
The midwives tell Eamon the head is coming soon and that he will be able to see.
Down, down, down...
I push a head out (and a hand!), strangely enough it felt so relieving.
Eamon's face is in such awe after seeing it, but I pull him closer to me. He tells me I'm amazing, that I'm doing SO good.
I cried out to the Lord one more time...
It is 3:40 am.
Eamon and I are now parents.
Angela and Ann lift our baby and place it on my stomach. Ann says "Oh Mae, he has so much hair! He's gorgeous!"
I'm so excited and ask "Its a boy?!?!?!"
Ann laughed, "Oh, I dunno, Eamon, come check!"
I will never, ever forget his reaction.
"NO, ITS A GIRL. BABE ITS A LILY! ITS A GIRL!"
The rest of that morning, all the way up to right now, has been a blur.
I am a mom. I get to take care, to nurture this small child. I have been allowed to raise this BEAUTIFUL child before giving her back to the Lord in the few short years that will be known as her lifetime. I don't have to give her back at the end of the night. I don't have to worry about whether she is being loved enough once she left my care.
We are so very honored and humbled for you all to meet my daughter,
Lily Annette Burke
7lbs 11 ozs
20.5 in long
I...We can't wait for you all to help in finding out more about this little girl.
Mae and Eamon
You can go here to view Lily's slideshow :]