12 July 2010
The Emancipation of Mimi: Part 1
I love me a good birth story. It seems as if they would get redundant because, hello! We know what happens in the end and there are only a handful of ways the babies can come out. But each woman’s experience with her labor and delivery is so vastly different, which is why I can never get enough of them.
I love both of my birth stories. Jonas’ labor and delivery was straight out of a movie. Water breaks in the middle of the night. Hard contractions start immediately at 3 minutes apart. Worried about making it to the hospital on time. Patrick freaks out and misses our hospital exit. Doctor is on vacation. Minor complications. Vacuum. New screaming baby. Overjoyed, crying parents. It was beautiful.
I wasn’t sure what to expect the second time around. Everything about this pregnancy has been different than the first, so all of my preconceived notions and schema went straight out the window months ago. But for all those interested, here is the first of a four-part saga of The Emancipation of Mimi (or perhaps Mimi's Dramatic Entrance if you are not a Mariah Carey fan).
Thursday started out like most other days, except I was actually feeling good about my morning productivity. I woke up at a decent hour (finally) and cleaned out the fridge, scanned and put away all my documents, and even made lunch for Jonas and Margie before 8 am arrived. I was starting to feel human again.
And just like almost every other day during the pregnancy, Elizabeth came over to do our workout for the day. I was doing a modified version of Cindy (part of CrossFit’s The Girls WODS—high intensity benchmark workouts with girl names)—as many rounds of 5 pull-ups (ring rows for me), 10 push-ups, 15 squats as I can get in 15 minutes without overheating or allowing my heart rate to get too high.
After 3.5 rounds and during my 8th squat, I felt a familiar pop; a pop I had only felt once before. Stopping dead at the bottom of a perfect 90 degree angle, I felt a warmth spread across the lower part of my body.
Uh-oh. I’ll be right back.
Being past my due date and still exercising, I was no stranger to peeing my pants in a workout (oh, is that too much information? If so, please understand you are reading a birth story and it will get much worse before it gets any better). I couldn’t determine if my water broke or if I drank slightly more water than normal before heading out to exercise.
Hard contractions didn’t start immediately like they did with Jonas, so what I thought would be a firm excuse for quitting early was null and void. I cleaned myself up, went right back outside and pounded out 2.5 more rounds (for an even 6) before my time ran out.
After finishing up, I was fairly certain I was in labor, so Elizabeth took Jonas to her house (armed with his already-prepared lunch, I might add) while I showered and determined whether or not my water had broken. I called Patrick to warn him since his commute is about an hour and after my 20 minutes of water-breaking research, I called him again to come home, hoping he wouldn’t meet me at the hospital with a baby in my arms.
45 minutes after the pop, it began.
10 minutes later, another one.
Elizabeth brought Jonas home and was readying herself to take me to hospital. Michelle arrived as our trusty babysitter. Despite my quick progression, I dawdled around the house, not really wanting to say good-bye to Jonas and still hoping Patrick would make it home in time to take me.
God must have heard my silent prayers because my contractions held steady until Patrick came home and could get himself ready, at which point they promptly moved to 3 minutes apart and Elizabeth was forcing me out the door because they were so close together.
Before we left, I squeezed Jonas for what simultaneously felt like forever and no time at all. This was it. All of my sadness and anxiety about to manifest itself in a few short hours. The next time I would see him, his world would be forever changed. And mine, too. How could I do this to him? How could I take away this perfect little life of his? It would be for the better, yes, but change is still hard and I was struggling with it.
As we were loading the car, Jonas watched from Michelle’s arms. I was filled with an irrational guilt because I wanted to be the one who would comfort him the moment the baby entered his world. I wanted him to know he wasn’t second best and he was still my baby, too. I didn’t want to leave such an important responsibility to another woman. And yet, I had too. The first of many things I would have to let go and a stretch for my Spirit.
We got in the car and as we began to drive away, I waved to Jonas until I could no longer see him anymore. He waved back enthusiastically with his smile that is engraven upon my heart and I didn’t want the moment to end. We turned the corner and I burst into bittersweet tears, knowing the next time I saw my little boy, we would be a family of four.