Mother of Eason (10/13/04)
When I woke up at five in the morning in my 38th week of pregnancy with contractions, I was a little giddy, but told myself it was a dream and went back to sleep, waking about every 10 minutes. About 7am I knew it was the beginning of the end of my wonderful pregnancy. I loved being pregnant. I was never sick and only slightly uncomfortable toward the end, but mostly relished in the beauty of the belly. My husband, Dan, referred to me as the “Belly Monster”, which I thought was funny.
I woke Dan about 7 and asked “Are you ready to have a baby today?” Blurry eyed and a little out of it he said “No way”! “I think so” I told him and we got out of bed to go for a walk and watch the sunrise. I sent him to work and told him I would call if it picked up. I spent the day with my sister in law and niece running last minute errands, taking pictures and canceling the Blessing Way we had planned for that evening.
It was 7pm before the contractions started to pick up and I gave the go ahead for people to start coming over. My husband, mom, god mom, mother in law, father in law, two sisters, three sisters in law, and best friend as well as Ginger, Bonnie and Erin all showed up by about 9, when the contractions started to make everything blurry. At some point I started throwing up and could not stop. The contractions were so strong and disorienting they made me hurl until Bonnie put some salt on my tongue and had me take smaller drinks. It stopped after that, but then I got hot and cold, hot and cold. Before a contraction I would get so cold I would shake and through it so hot I would flush and sweat. As fast as my sisters could cover me up I would demand they uncover me. I went from the foot of the bed to lying on my side to sitting backward on the toilet delirious with pain and frustration and unaware of all the efforts my family was making to comfort me. I come from a family of home births and healers, so our births are filled with love, support and massage. I know it helped, but I was too out of it to notice at the moment. I really just wanted Dan to be there and needed his voice and strength to ground me.
I think I only said “I can’t” once, but spent most of my time saying “Oh Lordy, Oh Jesus” and “I can do it”! I don’t usually refer to Jesus, but it felt right, helped me keep my sense of humor, and I truly feel that a higher power was giving me the strength to do what I was doing. That wasn’t all me.
I was so tired, and about 1am Ginger checked and said I was almost fully dilated but my waters were still intact. I had originally said I didn’t want my waters broken, but I was ready to go, so she broke them and soon afterward I felt pushy. I started pushing. It was my god-mom Barbara who taught me how to push. She said to stop blowing the air out of my mouth and use it to push my baby out. I listened and 45 minutes after my water was broken I pushed my son out. There was not even time for Ginger to tell me his head was out before I pushed his body out too. All at once, I had a baby. A beautiful 6 pound 11 ounce baby boy named Eason Daniel. I was so glad to see him and hold him. He let out one big roar when he came out, then mewed like a little kitten. Perfect.
I felt a little gypped when I still had to deliver the placenta which meant more contractions, and deal with all the post birth trauma to my body. I just wanted to enjoy my baby. It was so wonderful to finally fall asleep with my baby snuggled up close to me. To feel him. To see him! So tiny and perfect. Eason’s birth was the most empowering and rewarding experience of my life. I did what I would otherwise think was impossible and am happier with my son than is describable.