• • •We made it to the hospital at 11:40pm, and started attempting to fill out aaaaaaaaallll the required paper work. By this point, I could barely talk between contractions, let alone write anything, so the registration staff moved me straight to triage. Still trying to complete paperwork (Devin was filling it in now), while at the same time getting hooked up for the standard twenty minute monitoring of the baby's heartbeat, our midwife on call, Laura, arrived. She checked my progress and I was 100% effaced and 9 cm dilated.
"Well," I laughed/gasped between contractions, "guess it's a good thing we came when we did."
The midwife told the triage team to grab my still-unfinished paperwork and move me to delivery. At some point I mentioned wanting to use the labor tub (since it had helped so much with my pain during the twins' birth). Laura assured me that the likelihood of the tub getting set up before I delivered was slim-to-none.
We got to the delivery room, but protocol must be followed - I still had paperwork and a twenty-minute monitoring to finish. The nurses filled out the paperwork, for which Devin gave them the answers. When necessary, I nodded or grunted to assert that the information being scribbled onto my registration forms was correct. The monitoring belt was on me, but I didn't really care and still moved around how I needed to, sitting on the edge of the bed and leaning into Devin with my arms around his neck. After my birth experience with the twins, I was confident and ready to stand up for myself and what I needed to do to get this baby out. Screw the paperwork and monitor. (Really though - thanks to the nurses for filling it out and to Laura for putting the pressure on them to finish up the monitoring as fast a possible.)
Once the busy work was done, it was time to get down to the real business at hand. I needed to use the bathroom, and while there, felt the urge to push. I remember thinking, "Dang it, I don't want to have this kid over a toilet." I made it back to the bed however, and after trying a couple different positions, found that it was most comfortable and productive to be on my hands and knees (with the back of the bed tilted up). This way, I could rest on the pile of pillows on the bed in-between contractions, and push myself up with my arms and bear down when it was time to push.
I was very vocal and remember having this half out-loud mental arguments with myself.
Out-loud voice: "I'm too tired. I can't do this."
Inside-my-head voice: Oh stop it. This is happening and you are going to do it. You've done it before with twins, you can do it again with one.
Out-loud voice: "I can't. I can't do it."
Inside-my-head voice: Oh! This is good. You really don't think you can do it, that means you're going through Transition. That means you're almost done!
Out-loud voice: "Ow. Ow. Ow. Arg! This hurts."
Inside-my-head voice: Hey! That's good. It's the "ring of fire" - push through it, it means he's crowning!
I know Devin was there whispering encouragement to me and rubbing my back, and Laura was quietly offering direction to myself and the nursing team, but what I really remember vividly was me mentally reprimanding and prodding myself on. It was kind of a cool experience being confident and aware enough to know exactly what I needed to do. It made the pushing phase so much faster and productive. I could tell exactly when the baby's head was crowning, how much harder I needed to push to get his head delivered, and when I needed to push out his shoulders. (Which was the complete opposite of the twins' birth. I was so stressed and distracted then by all that was going on, I had to have the midwife tell me when I was contracting so I could push.)
At 1:08am, just under one hour and twenty minutes after walking though the doors of the hospital, Maverik James slid out and landed on the bed between my knees. Laura told me, "Look down - there's your baby!" I sat back, saw my little boy, and just started laughing with joy. "He's so cute!" I said as I scooped up his warm, slick body and soaked up the sight of him. He was such a beautiful newborn, I could hardly believe it.
After a moment, I shifted around in bed and held my new little guy skin to skin. He was so warm and soft and it felt so sweet to have him lying on my chest. The nursing staff and Laura were especially wonderful during this time. They kept the lights low, talked in whispers, and gave us a full hour of peace to just enjoy the newest member of our little family. There was very little medical interference during this time. At some point, I delivered the afterbirth and Devin cut Maverik's cord, but otherwise, I just got to hold and snuggle my boy while Devin sat with us in the bed. It was such a sweet, calming time.
Once we'd had our time together, Maverik was weighed and measured: 8 pounds, 1 ounce and 20.5 inches.
And yes, the twins heartily approved of their new baby brother.