Birthing Logan ~ A Birth Story
All the mamas and papas out there talk about the immediate love you feel when you first lay eyes on your newborn baby, this unbelievable connection is made within seconds. I always thought it sounded just great and couldn't wait to see what the fuss was all about. I wanted children just like the next person and was very much on board with allowing a tiny human to forever change my life. I really didn't understand how strong and profound the love would be though; how consuming and whole it would be. Even though everyone says "children will change your life", I always thought they were talking about the no sleep, any time for yourself and chaos of it all aspect. But oh no...they were talking about something entirely different.
When I first found out I was pregnant I was on a super high because hey, I could actually get pregnant! That’s really the very first struggle you face when deciding to grow your family and have some littles - it might not happen right away. My husband and I were living in London at the time when we started trying for a babe. I had no family around to tell me to take a chill pill and relax during the process so I became obsessed. I stalked my Pink Pad app and kept track of what my body was doing like I was getting paid for it. Fast forward 6 months and a move back to the US. I had a dream the night before Easter Sunday that I had twins (my sister had just told me she was pregnant so I had babies on the brain!) When I woke up that morning I just knew I was pregnant, I could feel it. I quickly took a test and when I saw that super positive blue line I felt my heart skip a beat. I felt scared, happy, worried and elated all at once. At the time, I had just started a new job and we were living with my parents in my sister Cristina’s old bedroom! I immediately became so stressed about how my job would react and buying a house to fit us in time and getting everything in order. But as time went by and my belly grew and grew and he kicked around letting me know he was with me, I was really starting to get a glimpse of that strong and intense love that can't be explained. I was still worried about my job and the house and getting it all in order though. When I entered my third trimester, baby and I were feeling more and more like one person. I knew what each kick meant and when he was sleeping, hiccuping or just floating around - I could feel him changing me. I think that’s when I started to let go of all that I couldn't control. Knowing he was safe inside my body brought me comfort, joy and a sense of emotionality that consumed my every day.
During those last few weeks of pregnancy, I started to lose that happy glow merely because of the discomfort, angst and wanting to meet my little one. I was massive and I was round and I was so swollen you could have popped me with a pin. My guy was 6 days late - I walked, bounced on a yoga ball, drank raspberry leaf tea, tried to build a 1,000 piece puzzle with my husband and best-friend Sam, and did any and everything I could to get the baby out. I knew it would happen soon though so my husband got my birthing playlist ready for when the time came.
I went into early labor the night of December 5th; a two-day marathon of overbearingly intense contractions, a lot of heavy breathing, and a whole lot of pain lied ahead. My contractions were all over the place and too irregular to go to the hospital, so we waited and I labored at home in bed, in the bath tub, in the street, wherever really, and took that time to get my head right. I visited my friends at Your Zen Mama and read birth stories from Ina May Gaskin’s “Spiritual Midwifery”. These stories comforted me but also helped to pass the time. The morning of December 7th I had had enough so we packed the car, got in and drove to the hospital. On the way, we listened to my birthing playlist - Mumford & Sons, Rogue Wave, The Strumbellas and more calmed me down in between contractions. I was admitted around 9am and Chris kept the music going in the delivery room. ”Nobody Knows” by The Lumineers really sticks out to me when I think back. There is one verse I remember repeating in my head over and over and when I hear it now, I feel butterflies:
"Heard your voice leading me on; Through the darkness to the dawn
Love is deep as the road is long; And moves my feet to carry on"
I was only 2.5 centimeters dilated when we arrived so I knew I had a long day ahead of me. Hours went by and with that came more contractions, more breathing. Over those two days I probably breathed in and out, slow and fast and at different beats over a thousand times. I progressed from that point forward, with the help of a Peanut Ball and a few doses of pitocin, and around 7pm I felt the urge to start pushing. Holy pain! That pressure really shocked me and the stamina I needed to hold my legs back was definitely unexpected. Everyone around me kept saying "just a little bit more" and "keep breathing, you're almost done!" I felt like I was running a marathon and my strength was dwindling. I was so tired and sweaty and stupidly forgot to put my hair up!
And then all of a sudden, in one last powerful breath (and one hour of pushing later), he was on my chest, chattering and burrowing into me. I felt this unbelievable calm wash over me as I fell so madly in love with my sweet baby boy. With slow steady breaths, tears streaming down my face, Chris's face, and his perfectly tiny body nestled on me, we held on tightly to the greatest love we'll ever know.