We spend our last night going on a date to Brio, sitting on the patio, eating Italian food and being excited to meet our son.
The excitement grew every time I had a cervical check, and it was so fun to send text messages out to the waiting room with the number of centimeters and request more company back in our room. I was checked every two hours, and after my 2 pm check we were on track for me to reach 9 cm at 4 pm. At 4 pm we had the check, and my nurse asked what my guess was. I was afraid to venture that we had reached the big moment of 10 cm.. so I told her I like structure so we'll stick to the pattern and guess 9. She told me I was at a 10 and that we would wait about an hour to let Beau's head get down a bit more, and start pushing. At that point we texted the news to the large waiting room, and took an hour to rest. I scrolled through Instagram for a few minutes to decompress, and then slept for 45 minutes or so.
When it was time to start pushing I didn't know what to expect. Our nurse explained to me the pattern of breathing I needed to follow, and I remembered my friend Polly telling me that it wasn't painful, but felt like a really hard workout. She was right, I felt really strong in the few days following Beau's birth. My arms felt toned from holding my legs back (TMI.. maybe.. but this IS a birth story after all!) and I glowed with pride about it. I was surprised that we started pushing without my doctor present... I had no idea for what to expect for a time frame. I ended up pushing for about an hour. At first it was hard for me to get the breaths in correctly, which lead to less powerful pushes. But as I got the hang of it, I felt myself responding really well to positive affirmation. I always did better with pushes with my wonderful doctor in the room. She was a great coach. Ben's dad has a history of feeling very faint during births and we expected Ben to be the same way. He told our nurse that he didn't plan on cutting the cord, and made sure not to catch any glimpses of the needle during my epidural. He completely surprised me by being at the side of my right foot for each push, and he got to experience the whole process. As we got closer to Beau's appearance, the nurse told him that he WAS going to cut the cord. :) After pushing for awhile, I suddenly felt nauseous in the middle of a sentence and threw up a little bit. It was odd to experience after such a nice long break from the relentless morning sickness I experienced. It reminded me of what used to be a normal standard for the day. After that, my pushing only got better, I felt stronger, and I figured out the exact way I needed to hold my legs to push effectively. It was only three or four more contractions until we had him out.
My doctor told the nurse to call the NICU team to be present and check out our precious boy when he came into the world. Of all the things we had told could be wrong, our biggest concern at that time was anal atresia, basically meaning that he would have a blockage in his bottom. This condition could have involved surgery in his early hours of life. Before my last push my doctor asked if I wanted to feel his head (they had been seeing his hair for some time..) and if you've seen photos of our sweet boy you know that when I reached down I felt a load of thick hair. It was extremely motivational for me to push him out after getting a tiny bit of insight into what our son would look like. One last push and I could feel him pop out, and watched Dr. Walters talk Ben through cutting the cord. He started crying immediately and I followed suit. I had been told by several people to not put a lot of pressure on experiencing a rush of emotion right upon meeting our child, but I felt tears on my cheeks the second I saw him.
|Holding my Baby for the first time|
Everything got cleaned up and I got to meet my sweet boy for the first time when the nurse laid him on my chest. I tried to nurse him but honestly we had no idea what we were doing and just wanted to stare at him. We stayed alone with him for sometime between 20 and 30 minutes, and were eager to show off our son.
|One of the first photos I took of our baby, during that time alone as a family of three|
|Megan and Beau meeting for the first time|
I had originally envisioned having a few minutes to freshen up, put on a robe, and look glamorous for everyone's meeting of my sweet boy. I didn't move an inch from labor throughout everyone coming in, and I wouldn't change it for the world. It felt real and was beautiful and Beau's birthday was the best day of our lives. I loved every bit of the day. I loved celebrating with our loved ones and the removal of the pain and of the feeling of pushing him. I was so truly blessed by our labor experience and by the joy of meeting our perfect little angel. I obviously knew that I would love our child, and I had truly longed to be a mom.. but I couldn't have prepared myself for how much I love Beau. the second I saw him he exceeded all of my expectations and has continued to do so since then. I'm a proud mama!