Asher’s birthday, Part 2
All of a sudden there was the midwife, two doctors for me, a pediatrician for the babe and a nurse in the room. The intensity level and the noise level both went up about ten notches and I could feel the anxiety seeping out of Collin. I was shaking uncontrollably (was it nerves? or the drugs?) and hanging on to Collin. The doctors were getting all set up and preparing for the delivery.
Doctor Deepa said she wanted to use the ventouse (vacuum) to get him out quickly so she and Doctor Sandra went to work getting it ready. I thought it was pretty lame that they were going to use the vacuum without me even trying to get him out, but of course I just wanted him to arrive safely. They checked and told me that his head was in position, rotated the right way, and ready to come out. So I asked, “Can I at least try to push him out?” Doctor Deepa said, “Well, you’re welcome to give it a go while I get this all ready, but as soon as we’re ready to take him, we’re going to get him out.” So now that everyone had the game plan, the midwife looked at the monitor and said, “Okay, this is it, a contraction’s coming on… and…. PUSH!”
And there we were, just like every Hollywood movie you’ve ever seen (only they typically skip right to this part in the movies)… the midwife on my left, Collin on my right, and the two doctors down below all yelling in unison, “Push! You can do it! That’s a good one, I can feel his head coming down, keep pushing!” I was pushing as hard as I could push, but I couldn’t feel anything, so I couldn’t tell if it was doing any good or not.
Then we would rest; with the contraction finished they would all go about preparing and checking heart rates. It was chaotic, and through the chaos every couple of minutes the midwife would shout, “Here we go!” And I would push all over again. This only lasted for a few contractions until Deepa had everything in place. Then we waited for a contraction, I would push, and one of the doctors would pull down on that little vacuum pump. This went on for a few minutes until the midwife shouted something about the baby’s head coming out! They kept telling dad to “look down here and see your son”. With the head out, only one more contraction and it would all be over… sure enough, without really knowing what all was going on and everything happening so fast, after the next contraction everyone in the room shouted and there he was, our little Asher Henry, cradled up on my chest like a little perfect bundle of wonderfulness. The cord had been wrapped around his neck, and they think that’s what was causing the dip in his heart rate; but he was absolutely perfect. In between the cuddles and ooohs and aaahs, Collin and I just kept saying, “Here he is, look at him, he’s so perfect, he’s so tiny!” He didn't cry much and I kept asking if he was okay, even though somehow I knew he was just fine. Soon the pediatrician had him and did a quick check to make sure everything was good… of course, he was great and there were no problems at all. And he looked just beautiful.
Collin immediately turned into an amazing daddy, soothing and caring for us both. Asher was really gorgeous, with lots of brown hair and the smoothest, most perfect skin. He felt so tiny to us, weighing 7 pounds and 3 ounces. We were beside ourselves with relief and joy and love for our little one. We felt so blessed to have this sweet boy as our son. The three of us spent the next several hours in the birthing room cuddled together while I recuperated a bit and Collin sent messages to family and friends.
Later in the afternoon I was moved to a new bed in a room with 5 other women and their new babies (!) and Collin had to leave because they don’t allow partners to stay overnight… and that’s when our peaceful cocoon began to crack. We’ll be back with more on the aftershocks of labor and delivery…