Friday, 11 March 2011

The War Story

Between getting to know Bubba, getting used to being a family of five, visits from family and friends, and settling in to my new role as a sleep deprived cow, I haven't found the time to put words to the birth of our baby boy. Now, while Bubba is sleeping in his stroller after a long walk and his first trip to the store, I'll try to get some of it down.

In list form, here's the story of the day our Bubba was born:

Sunday February 27, 2011
• I woke up with mild cramps, similar to menstrual cramps, but with more of a wave-like pattern.
• Went for a walk with Diver Dude and Kona and cramps turned into contractions every 5-10 min, whenever I had a contraction I would hang on to D's back, breathe, close my eyes and continue walking until it passed. Talked to the neighbors and felt normal between contractions.
• Took a warm bath and started timing contractions. D started tinkering with his motorcycle in complete denial of what was happening. Realized that contractions where 5-6 min apart, experienced a strange trickling sensation as if I was peeing with every contraction. Thought maybe my water was breaking...
• Called L&D and told them what was happening, explained that we live 45 min away. They told me to get in the car and head that way asap. Went out to tell Diver Dude who looked surprised and wondered if he could finish what he started. I told him he'd better help me finish packing our go-bag instead. Once he saw me having a contraction he started moving without arguing further.
• Drove down to RAF Lakenheath around 16.00 and stopped for lunch at Burger King. One Whopping burger with fries and a strawberry milkshake, and what felt like a million contractions later we checked into L&D.
• They checked my contractions that came regularly every 3-5 min, made sure Bubba's heart rate was good and then went on to check my cervix.
• 2 cm - WTF?!? - and 90% effaced - We were told to walk around the parking lot for two hours and come back.
• We walked, me hanging on to D with every contraction, and walked, and walked. The parking lot was freezing so we soon moved into the warmer corridors of the hospital and walked some more.
• At 19.00 sharp, we where back at the reception asking to be checked again. This time we got better news, I was at 3-4 cm, 100% effaced, and got checked in to the last L&D room available.
• Contractions picked up intensity and I was happily following the progress with nice breaks in between. Watched Knight & Day and relaxed. Thought about taking a shower and held off on the IV for that reason. Drank water like it was going out of style.
• 22.00 - Suddenly became violently nauseous. Saw the Whopper and strawberry shake for the second time that day - a lot less appetizing this time around. Asked to get hooked up to the IV after brushing my teeth, so I wouldn't have to think about drinking so much water.
• 22.40 - With a very strong contraction I felt a bubble down below that burst with a pop and water gushed out over the bed. Had time to laugh about the fact that I'd been peeing in the bath tub earlier that day. 7 cm dilated and +2. Diver Dude helped during contractions by pressing his hands on my lower back. Thought briefly about the fact that I was missing The Golden Globe Awards.
• Contractions came fast and hard, intense like crashing waves, and I called UNCLE - give me some drugs!! Was told I could get narcotics through the IV while we waited for the epidural guy to finish in the room next to mine. Did I want that? Since I couldn't answer between contractions I was not given any drugs. Started feeling an uncontrollable urge to push. Was told to wait, that I had a long way to go and that Dr. Gray would come in and check me again soon.
• 23.00 - Dr. Gray came to check me again and surprised us all by saying I was fully dilated and ready to go. The option of drugs in the IV was out the window, the epidural guy was still working on the lady next door, but if I could hold off from pushing I could get the epidural soon... There was no way I could hold off on anything at this point. I was grabbing on to the side bar of my bed as if it was life raft, moaning loudly with every wave of pain.
• With a nurse, a technician and Diver Dude holding my legs I gave pushing a try for real. It burnt like hell and I got a little scared. Diver Dude encouraged me and told me things like "you're a strong woman" and "you can do this" and I somehow I found the courage and strength to push like my life depended upon it.
• I pushed with two contractions and suddenly the intense burning sensation consumed the universe and in a fog I heard the nurse tell the technician to "Go get Dr. Gray asap, we're about to have a baby" and Diver Dude saying something about seeing the head. I asked if the baby's head had decended below the pubic bone and the nurse laughed and said "this baby is going nowhere but out with your next push".
• Pushing through the burning Bubba's head was delivered as Dr. Gray came running through the door. She told me to breathe and not push anymore. I tried. Huffed and puffed, but couldn't control the urge to push. So I pushed and I felt his entire body slip out of me.
• Bubba was born at 23.29, and I've never felt a bigger relief in my life. Suddenly the pain was gone, replaced by the beautiful sound of my screaming baby.
• Our son was placed briefly on my chest before he was whisked off by a serious looking technician and nurse. They started rubbing and sucking and tapping his back mumbling things like "water in his lungs" and "get him going". Diver Dude walked over to them and started calming me down by reporting about his color, how he was doing just fine and that he looked strong.
• Dr. Gray delivered the placenta and I was told the cord was coming out from the side... and she said something about us being lucky he hadn't had any problems in utero - still haven't had a chance to google that...
• After some local anaestetic my 2nd degree tear was carefully stitched up while I talked to Mamma on the phone. I can't remember a single thing from that conversation.
• After what seemed like an eternity Bubba was finally brought back to me and placed on my bare chest.
• The room quieted down, the lights were dimmed and everybody congratulated me on a perfect delivery and a perfect baby boy. We were left alone. Me, Diver Dude and our little Bubba.
• Our world was changed forever.
One week old - with eternal wisdom in his eyes


  1. Holy cripes that is one hell of a war story. I had tears when I read about the relief that you had when you heard him screaming - I still feel that relief right to my bones now. How amazing is the human body? Now, the first 6 weeks are tough and a girlfriend of mine said, just focus on getting through those first 6 weeks and things will get a whole lot easier after that - she was right and I am saying the same thing to you. Congratulations!!

  2. You had a natural birth, yay! As nature intended us too. You did an amazing thing and I hope you are celebrating the fact that you did it drug free! It's amazing isn't it? We go through war thinking it's not possible, this can't happen and then it does and we are changed forever. Congratulations... he is beautiful!

  3. Wow, what a birth story! Congratulations!!! He is beautiful! Enjoy every moment...they all go by too fast! :D

  4. He's so beautiful congratulations!! And HUGE high five for the natural labor!!

  5. What a wonderful story - I'm in tears! This is amazing - you are one heck of a strong mama! And I love that picture - so cute!!!

  6. Beautiful story, I have witnessed many woman say UNCLE at 10cm, It may have felt not so good to be denied the drugs, but you may have been sitting around for quite some time waiting for babba if you were given them. Sounds like a great story, and he is ADORABLE!!!

  7. That is wonderful. I was crying by the end. So so happy for you. Congratulations!

  8. What a beautiful baby boy. So lovely. I did both my births sans drugs on purpose, so I totally get the unexplainable feeling (er, pain!) of a kid coming out -- but still, isn't it so cool at the same time? So excited for you!

  9. You are a strong woman. Thanks for sharing your story. I am bawling my eyes out right now!

  10. Wow!! He is gorgeous and I'm sure all of that pain was worth it :)

  11. First things first: Bubba is GORGEOUS! Seriously. I mean, lots of times freshly born babies are kinda-- er, squidgy? Weird looking? I don't know, but I do know that you often have to be polite to the new parents and coo about how cute they are anyway, but your little bubba? Such a CUTIE! Seriously unfair that he came out already being such a looker!

    Second, what a great birth story! I am thrilled for you guys. It sucks that you didn't get any drugs when you'd wanted them/waited for them, but it sounds like you MAJORLY kicked labor's ass, and made it through all of it with no problems even without the drugs!I'm so proud of you for being able to do that! I would have freaked the fuck out and cried if they'd told me I couldn't have pain relief. Actually, I'm sure I would have bucked up and pushed the baby out anyway, but that you did so without punching someone is commendable.

    YAY. Great story, and great baby! So so so happy for you guys!

  12. drugs no drugs - not important, all that matters is you both got through labour and that he was delivered healthy, which he was and he looks so gorgeous!!!

    enjoy being a mamma!!


  13. I love the sense of humour woven into the birth story. Bubba does have beautiful eyes.

    Congratulations! Hope you are taking good care of yourself too.

  14. What a cutie :) And man, did your body want that kid out! LOL. Fast, fast, fast! Congrats, mama!

  15. What a story!! You are amazing!!!

    Why is it that doctors/nurses always seem to say that the preggo person has a lot of time, and then all of a sudden they are surprised when she's fully dilated and ready to go, sans epidural?

    Anyway, that's just an incredible story, with some of your great comic relief weaved in. Congrats on your gorgeous baby boy!

  16. A war with an extremely happy ending. Wonderful story :) Glad everything went so perfectly!

  17. oh wow, YOU ARE AMAZING, look at you!!!!!

    that son of yours, wow, he is just gorgeous, I can see the whole world in those eyes. I am OVER THE MOON HAPPY FOR YOU. Go, stop reading my silly comments, and play with your son.


  18. Cool - what a quick delivery. See, since the birth was 8 weeks premature, my contractions weren't very strong towards the last 3-4 cm and I had to get it going through my already present IV. There's also a huge difference in the size of baby passed…
    I didn't get an epidural cause of the weak contractions, I gave birth with only laughing gas to take the edge off the pain. Worked really well.
    I did get the epidural when it came time for the c-section to get baby 2 out!
    The girls are finally sleeping a little longer now and again so I hope to be able to finish my hospital experience… in its entirety or at least as close as I can remember now…

  19. What a beautiful war story! You got the war story I had hoped for myself, unfortunately my water breaking prematurely took me on a major detour. You did such a great job little mama and what a beautiful son you have!!! Can't you believe it??? You're a mommy!

  20. He is beautiful & perfect. I am hysterical crying at my desk right now. Congratulations Mama!!

  21. LOVE that cute baby face! Hope you are recovering well.

  22. Wow, you are awesome! I can't tell you how happy I am for you. It seems like not so long ago that we were both miserable with treatments. Here we are now with beautiful boys. And let me say, he is beautiful! Congrats!!!

  23. Beautiful boy! He shares my Starbaby's birthday, what a beautiful day to be born! Congrats to you mama, you must be over the moon xxx

  24. What a wonderful story and yes, you're very lucky that marginal cord insertion didn't cause any trouble!

  25. Birth stories are my fave and yours is awesome! Such a super cutie!

  26. He is so gorgeous.

    And I love the way Diver wanted to keep tinkering with his motorcycle. Priorities sorted then!


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