Isaac Nathaniel Lawrence
9lbs. 2oz., 20.5 in.
When we have to change plans.
My due date came and went with not a sign of labor. A little after 2:00AM the next morning I found myself wide awake, I got up to go to the bathroom and had a little bloody show. As I walked back to bed I started my first contraction. Tom was up, I think we both just knew something was in the air. I was surprised that my contractions were 5 minutes apart from the start. I thought they were supposed to be all spread out at first. They were like clockwork so I called Paula (after feeling the guilt of waking up another human being at such an ungodly hour). She sat and talked with me awhile to try to gauge the intensity of the contractions. They were strong (of course I didn't know what strong was until much later). I wanted to take a bath, she had told me they might slow down if I did. I took a bathand they accelerated from every 5 minutes to every 4 minutes. We called again and Paula told us to come in.The drive to the birth center is about 50 minutes, and I really don’t remember much of it. I was already zoning. We got to the birth center after 6:00 AM. Four hours had past so quickly. We brought our gear in and went outside to walk to the lake. I didn’t feel safe out and walking down the sidewalk, so after I while we headed back in. At this point the contractions were strong, painful. Paula checked my progress and I was at a 4 and mostly effaced. My Sister and Mother arrived at the birth center, but I wasn’t really present. I did a lot of walking around the birth center. Up the stairs, down the stairs, around the room, back up the stairs. At noon Tom ate, I remember really wanting some food, but not. Time seemed to stretch…Pacing, bathroom, huge claw foot tub, out after next contraction, all the clothes off because they were irritating me, back to the toilet, into bed, back and forth. I remember thinking “I am in transition”. It hurt, I felt like an animal in birth. Karen would come and get me to drink, help take my vitals.
At 4:00 PM I reached 10 cm. At 5:00 PM Paula asked if I wanted her to break my waters. I agreed but I was nervous. I thought “Is this going to hurt?” The water gushed forth like a wave. It escaped the pad, went everywhere. After that the contractions got stronger.My babe was engaged, but didn’t want to budge. Up and down the beautiful old staircase I walked, I did lunges, I squatted, I growled, I sat on the birth chair, I leaned on Tom, I got in the tub and then out of the tub. I did all of these things for 4 hours and no baby. This couldn’t go on forever. We eventually tired and I almost passed out. The pain had gotten unnatural. At times I couldn’t squat for the shooting nerve pains in my pelvis.
Paula decided that I needed something extra. Even though I was fully dilated, I was holding the baby back or he wasn't willing to drop. Either way we were at an impasse. I got dressed. I walked like the dead out of the door, into the car, down the road to the bright shiny hospital. I had no fear, I had no feeling at all, well, I was impatient to see my baby.They ushered me into this room with a birthing bed. So different from the birth center’s atmosphere. Mike Feigal was my backup doctor and it seemed like every nurses in the department was there. Also there was Tom, Paula and Karen. I had 7 or more people in my room. We tried doing the old pushing trick for awhile. They put this odd bar on the bed that let me stand on the bed and push. This wasn't good. It was like I was on a ski lift looking down at all these people telling me to push. I got back down pretty quick. Next there were people holding my legs back, telling me to relax as searing nerve pain pretty much made that impossible. They got out a vacuum assist device. I cannot describe the type of pain that I experienced when they would “assist” my contractions. Just that it was unnatural and bad. I was certain something had happened to my baby and no one was telling me. An Irrational thought since I had a monitor on my belly to keep track of the baby. After a few contractions with the vacuum assist, I heard a pop and Mike lurched back a bit. Scary when you aren’t in your right mind. Luckily the device is designed to pop off after so much pressure so that the baby doesn’t get injured.At that point I felt the urge to push. I had thought it was there all along, but this was so obvious I had no choice. I had a crowd telling me “C’mon, push”. Those contractions just piled up on each other hard. I had an oxygen mask over most my face and a washcloth that had fallen over my eyes. Did I mention I yelled the whole time? I yelled because afterpushing that long, grunting just wasn’t enough.
Isaac's birth was great. He didn't tear me with his head, but he did when his shoulders emerged. They laid this beautiful pink baby on my stomach and I was in shock. He was massive and he didn't look anything like I had imagined. He weighed in at 9 lbs 2 oz and had dark red hair. He was beautiful. We weren't sure of his gender before birth, but I had a feeling that it was a boy from his size. Tom held him while Mike sewed me up. Paula had to tell him to give the baby back after awhile so he could nurse. He didn't want to give him up.
Everyone cleared out, went home. One nurse stayed behind and asked if we wanted her to give Ike a bath in the room. After that I sat there trying to dress this child for the first time. It was all so alien. We were taken to a room since it was late and we needed to sleep. We were too excited to sleep. Every time we put Isaac down he would cry and cry, so Tom picked him up and held him. He stayed with Tom for hours while I napped. He came out a daddy’s boy and that has never changed. We had breakfast at the hospital the next morning and then headed home with our new little boy. We waved at the birth center as we went by, thinking about our last childbirth education class we were going to miss that night. Our transport was a positive experience that left us intact and happy. This wasn't because we were lucky, it was because Paula, Mike, Karen, and all the nurses at Red Cedar, made it happen. We are grateful that we could have such a team for our birth.