The Birth of my Beloved Bug
How my sweet son came into the world.
I sit up in bed and turn the bedside lamp on. I couldn't rest any longer. The contractions were coming regularly, and getting more painful with each wave. My partner is half-asleep, but I have to tell him what's going on.
Babe, I'm going to start timing these contractions. I just had 2 that were 5 minutes apart.
I think this is it, baby! I'm going to take a shower, then, if I'm still having contractions, I'll call the midwife.
My partner sits up straight, knocking the remote off the bed but paying no mind to the clatter.
What should I do?
He looks frantic. He hates seeing me in pain, and he knows that my first delivery was very fast, so his panic is understandable. I smile and go up to him, wrapping my arms around his neck. I look down at him, into his sweet brown eyes, and kiss him gently.
Just relax babe. This labor is nothing like my first. It's coming slow and steady. My water hasn't broken, and the contractions aren't even that painful.
I pick up his cell phone and hand it to him, knowing what will ease his nerves.
Play your game while I'm in the shower. After I talk to the midwife, you'll call your mom and then pack up the car. We got this babe.
He takes a breath and nods.
Yes, we've got this. I love you, Baby Girl.
I love you, too, Sweetheart.
I call the hospital and get the midwife-on-call on the phone. She asks a series of questions and I can tell she's debating on whether to tell me to come in or not, so I add some very vital information.
I have a history of precipitous labor. My first son was born in 4 and a half hours.
Oh! Okay, yes, come on in! We'll get a room ready for you. Come to the Emergency room and a nurse will bring you up to the Birthing Pavilion.
I pull the suitcase and diaper bag from the baby's closet. Jody and I don't make much money - less than $20,000 a year combined - but we make due. We are lucky to have such a supportive family who gave us just about everything we’d need in the first few hectic weeks of being new parents again. His son is 12, mine is 6. I think back to when I had my son and can’t help but smile. I’ve done the best I could with Josh, being on my own for so long. His father was abusive and an addict, and hasn’t been in his life since he was an infant. This baby that’s making his way into the world right now will come into a home with two loving parents, and two big brothers who will make sure he’s always protected. I double check to make sure I’ve got everything and take one last look around my room. This will be the last time I see it as a mother of one.
The midwife, the intern, and my nurse are in the room. We're going over my birthing plan. All-natural, I say - I did it with my first, and I had acute pancreatitis in August. I'm no stranger to pain. I can handle this, I tell them. I don't want to get all drugged up, as it will just prolong the delivery. The midwife beams with pride.
I can't do this! It's too much! I need something, please!
Amanda, are you sure? You made it very clear you did not want an epidural.
No, not an epidural. Just something to take the edge off. Something that will wear off quickly. Super-Tylenol or something.
The midwife grins.
We can give you a shot of morphine, which will last a few hours, but it could affect the baby's ability to breathe, or we can give you a shot of fentanyl. It wears off quickly, but it will give you a chance to rest.
Yes, the second thing. Please.
The midwife checks my cervix nods to the nurse, and they administer the fentanyl. I drift off to sleep before the nurse is done injecting the medication into my IV.
I wake up to a contraction tearing through my belly and blossoming in my lower back - it's a bright, searing pain.
oh Fuuuhhh- JODY!
My partner rushes over to me.
What can I do?
Even in agony, I stop to think about how amazing he is. Whatever I need, whatever I want, he will do it. He loves me that much. And I him. We may not have been together long before we got pregnant, but this kid will have two parents who truly love and respect each other. I envy him that- my parents divorced when I was 6. I know how hard it is to grow up with animosity between parents- I wouldn't wish it on any child. Jody's parents were together his whole life. His father passed away the previous year - actually, a year to the day of our son's birth. If his dad wasn't named "Melvin" then we'd name our son after him, but we couldn't do that to the poor kid. Melvin wouldn't want it for him, either.
The next hour is a blur. I remember Jody kneeling on the floor, holding me up. I'm on the edge of the bed, leaning forward, clinging to his shoulders. I demanded an epidural at some point, and the anesthesiologist is in the room, trying to get me into position. They ask if I want a spinal tap, so I can be comfortable enough to lay still for the epidural. I'm incoherent, so Jody answers for me.
Yes, give her that. Just help her, please.
I remember the anesthesiologist telling me as patiently as he possibly can that I can't move, that there's a very large needle in my spine, and moving would be very bad. It's the most difficult moment of my life, holding stark still while contractions rage through my body one after another without any relief. And then, as soon as it started, the pain stopped. Numbness creeps through my body and I manage to mumble that I need to lay down. I flop over to the side, and Jody pulls me up to the head of the bed so my head is on the pillow.
Around 7:00 AM
Hands are rolling me over, and someone is saying my name. I open my eyes as the midwife lifts one of my legs.
Amanda, it's time to push.
You need to push now.
I look at Jody, my mind racing. Is this real life? I think. Last I knew I was only 4 and a half centimeters dilated. How is it time to push?
Jody asks what's going on. The midwife tells him that the baby's heart rate is dropping, so we need to get him out. Now. I'm still numb, but I try to push. I tighten my abdomen as much as I can without being able to feel anything and bear down. The midwife asks if I want to get on my knees I wasn't doing enough. I roll over, grip the top of the mattress, and push with all my might. The spinal is starting to wear off -I've never been so grateful to feel pain. At least now I can tell if I'm pushing.
I bear down.
A scream rips from my throat. It sounds so primal, so animalistic, I wonder where the sound is coming from. Then I realize it's me. I snap my mouth shut- I can't waste energy screaming. I put it into the push. A burning pain between my legs tells me I'm making progress.
A moment later the midwife tells me to turn over.
You need to get on your back now, Amanda. You need to be able to take your son!
I roll onto my side and see Jody across the room. The man of my dreams, who gave me this miracle child. My love for him motivates me to bring our son into the world. I lift my left leg and hook my left arm behind my knee. I take a deep breath and push with all I've got.
Sudden relief, the smell of blood, a flash of a flesh-colored blur between my legs as the midwife catches my son and turns him right-side-up as she plops him on my chest. He's not crying, but he's moving. He looks like he's breathing. He's so...hairy! And so tiny!
Jody rushes over to me, tears brimming his eyes.
You did it! Oh my god, you did so good! I love you so much!
Someone takes my son off my chest after the umbilical cord is cut and they put him in the little baby-warmer. Then I hear it- when I hear it I can cry tears of joy and relief. His cry. His tiny, angry, so-pissed-to-be-disturbed cry.
Oh honey he's crying!
I exclaim as tears blur my vision. Nothing has ever sounded so amazing as that little cry.
Logan Allen was born at 7:07 am on September 24th, 2021. He is my miracle baby. I never thought I'd have another child, but, despite the odds, we conceived him. Even more crazy/cool/amazing, he was born exactly one year to the day after his grandfather passed away. It's as if his grandfather sent him to us, to bless our lives with love, laughter, and lots of snuggles.
It's been two weeks since my son was born. We've taken to calling him "Bug" because he's such a cuddle bug. Any chance he gets to snuggle up, he takes it. He absolutely adores his father (I can see why, as I do, too) and will actually leans towards his dad when he comes up to me when I'm holding Logan. Logan is such an amazing little boy, and I am so in love.
Being a mother of 2 is amazing, but it’s been difficult…
I’m doing my best to catch up on writing projects while staying on top of upcoming assignments and Logan’s father is picking up extra jobs whenever he can, but we’re still struggling. So, if you enjoyed this story, please consider sending a tip- we need a tummy time play mat, diapers, bottles, and other baby items. My partner, Logan, and I greatly appreciate your kind consideration.