Thursday, March 6, 2014

Birth Story: Sunday

Oscar, 2014

On Saturday night, after a day spent out and about in Greenpoint, Will made a delicious fondue with cheese from the Bedford Cheese Shop, and we chatted about life in general over a glass of wine from Savoie, which reminded us both of our trip to the Alps, when Will proposed.

Went to bed as usual and woke up suddenly, early in the morning to my first contraction. I counted one, then two, then looked at my phone. It was 5:43. When you know, you know...

I tapped Will, and we sat in the dark for a minute, making plans to call our doula Grace and Axel's godmother to come and look after him. Will got in the shower, and at that point my contractions were very sharp, about 4 minutes apart, lasting a little more than 30 seconds each. I wandered into the kitchen and started making a little bag of meal things for Axel for the day. I knew at that point that I would have a baby that day, I just didn't know whether it would be 8 or 12 hours later.

Grace and Leigh got to ours quickly, but my sense of time for the whole morning is completely out of whack. Almost as soon as Grace got to us, she said she thought we should get going. Will drove us to the hospital, and I remember focusing on the yellow taxis ahead of us on First Avenue, seeing that we were in the East 20s, and thinking it was taking forever, even though there was barely any traffic. It's a surreal feeling being in labor and seeing people out and about in the city, going about their Sunday morning routine.

By the time we got through the hospital's lobby and into triage, my contractions had gotten a lot more intense...I was around 6 centimeters dilated, and they transferred us into a room fairly quickly. My favorite doctor from my group practice was on duty that day, and I was really grateful for that. Someone, Grace, I think, said "You are going to have this baby soon." It must have been about 8 a.m. After two 30 minute sessions in the labor suite's shower, and some very wild contractions, Oscar was born at 10:17 a.m.

It was a completely different experience than Axel's birth, which had been such a slow build. It all happened so quickly that I think I've barely had time to process things. I delivered Oscar on my hands and knees (ha! is that too much information?), which was the only position I felt comfortable pushing in. When he was born, they placed them on the bed under me. He was wriggly and doing well, but I think my brain had all but stopped at that point...all I could think was...'Baby!' It was bright in the room and I could barely believe it had been just 4.5 hours since I'd woken up with my first contraction.

As much as I had prepared myself for a quick delivery, it's hard to describe the experience. When you tell people you had a 4.5 hour labor, they generally think that sounds much easier than a 48 hour labor, but because each contraction is that much more productive, it was considerably more painful. I didn't have time to think about waves or tap into any kind of internal monologue about what was happening. I think I also didn't get as many of those self-protective hormones that make you naturally a little numb to the pain. I definitely felt everything! But at the same time, I knew things were happening quickly and kept reminding myself, 'I can do this for another hour...'

Afterwards, I was babbling away to the doctor and eating soup and meatloaf in the bright hospital room. It all felt kind of surreal. Now, Oscar's here. What a sweet little boy he is.


  1. hooray!!! 4 and 1/2 hours is so close to a precipitous birth that i think it should count. way to go mama!!

  2. Congratulations on your cute little Oscar! I started reading your blog a little while ago (I can't remember exactly, but I think I googled 'Williamsburg'/'baby' or something similar and then went back reading about your first son's birth). It was shortly after my daughter was born, and I think I was intrigued because we both gave birth at NYU (correct me if I'm wrong) and I also had a fairly quick, no-meds labor. We might even go to the same practice (Spring?), although of course I'm aware there are a bunch of women group practices in Soho.
    Anyways, it's nice reading similar experiences, so thank you for sharing :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...