Hello everyone! Baby J was born over a week ago, and I'm feeling pretty normal. I'm still feeling a bit hormonal, getting randomly weepy, but that's not really that unusual for me anyway :)
In some ways J's birth was very similar to L's, and in other ways quite different. They were both about 4 hours long, and were both uncomplicated. They were almost the same size, she was 6 pounds, 4 ounces, and he was 6 pounds, 5 ounces. The biggest difference was in our surroundings. I would describe L's birth as peaceful and focused, but baby J came into the world a bit more violently. This difference is mainly because L was delivered by a midwife in a birthcenter. However, due to insurance and issues we had finding a midwife this time, J was born in a hospital birth center, which despite what we thought was descent research and question asking, was extremely bureaucratic.
In discussing birth with other women, most have described it as either a completely awful painful experience, or something spiritual and peaceful. I think of birth a little differently, for both of my children I have seen their births as an athletic event. Seriously. I think it's all those years of cross country, working through intense pain up those hills prepared me for birth like nothing else. The way the pain comes in waves in running is similar to contractions for me, and the biggest effort comes at the end of a race in an intensely painful and satisfying way, just like the final pushing in birth.
Although baby J's birth was a more violent than I was expecting due to the crazy hospital rules, I felt totally and completely supported by my husband. Mainly, he spoke for me, and vied for my wishes, but he also rubbed my back and neck through every single contraction. One particularly bad point during labor I threw up, and was having the IV port put in my arm simultaneously. It was a pretty awful combination, and my husband is pretty squeamish particularly about anything to do with veins, and throwing up. Yet he held a bag for me, and kept on holding onto me. It was completely awful, but I felt extraordinarily loved by him in that moment hearing him trying to hold it together so he could be there for me.
Just like finishing my races, finally pushing my baby out was a moment of triumph for me. I felt powerful. I had endured all this crazy contraction pain, yet when it was time to push I knew exactly what I had to do.
My main sadness in the birth is that is was so stressful for A. He was worried about me, since none of the nurses listened to my wishes in the birth. Also the doctor didn't make it to the actual birth which was also extremely stressful for everyone, especially A.
However, once we saw our new little babe, we were able to let go of our frustrations with the hospital setting. He is gorgeous, and perfect. We've had a bonding week for our little family. It has been completely nuts, and we are definitely more sleep deprived than normal, but we are in love with our new little boy. Even L is quite taken with him :)