Let's get right to it.
When I had completely dilated to 10cm, the nurse told me it was time to push. It wasn't time to push Henry out, but it was time to push him down and get the ball rolling. The doctor didn't even come in for this part. It was just me, Thomas, and the nurse. I had stopped pushing my epidural button 30 minutes prior so that I would get some sensation back for pushing, but I was still almost entirely numb. After the first push, I told the nurse that it just like "thinking really hard." I am pretty sure nothing happened for the first couple of pushes. But as I pushed harder, and became less numb, he started slowly moving down. Not that I could tell, but that's what the nurse said. She also said she could feel his head and that he had a ton of hair.
This whole pushing but not pushing thing went on for over an hour. While I was pushing, the nurse was helping by massaging/stretching my baby hole to help Henry come out easier. Yeah, you heard me. According to Thomas, he saw everything, and we've just left it at that. Oh, the nurse also mentioned that I had a "mack truck pelvis" and I wanted to be sure and share that with a public audience.
Finally, the doctor came and it was actually time to try and pop this baby out. Because Henry had passed meconium, he told me that he would have to be handed off to the neonatologist immediately to do whatever it is that they do in that situation. This meant that he also would not be placed on my chest immediately, and that all my Kourtney-Kardashian-pull-your-own-baby-out dreams would be over. It surprised me how much in the moment I really didn't care. I was so determined to just get it over with that disappointment didn't even cross my mind.
The next contraction came, and the doctor was still getting ready so I asked if it was ok to push. He said to go for it, and BAM. Henry was born into the world on October 9th, 2012 at 2:44pm. In one big push. As he was coming out, my doctor remarked at what a big young man he was. I never had size scans for Henry late in my pregnancy, so we had no idea that he was going to be a huge, 9lb 6oz baby. My vagina also had no clue, and definitely paid for it.
As a teenager, when I heard that you tear during childbirth, I was so horrified that I couldn't even grasp like where or how that happened. But it happened to me, and it was awful. The first 30 minutes of Henry's life was me getting sewn back together by my doctor. He said that it wasn't like a number of stitches that could be counted, and that it was more like a continuous stitch. Awesome. The good news is, everything is perfectly back to normal now. I have no idea how that works, but I swear it's like it never happened. But one thing I would like to say is, that vagina repair part of birth was really painful, and although it mostly had worn off by then I was so incredibly thankful to have some epidural left in my system. For that reason alone, I will probably chose to have one for sure at my next birth.
Finally, Thomas brought over our sweet baby, and I got to hold him for the first time. He was such a little angel, and I couldn't believe that he was here. Obviously, everyone thinks their baby is the cutest ever, but seriously, Henry was the most handsome little baby I have ever seen. In those first few minutes, we nursed for the first time and he latched on right away. Seeing your child that is about 10 minutes old immediately know what to do with a boob is the sweetest thing in the world, and you can't help but be proud that they are already doing such a good job at being a baby.
Everything went to hell after that. I don't know if it was from the epidural or what, but I started to feel like I was going to faint and then I lost my hearing. They quickly brought someone in with those smelly ammonia things, and I came to, but it was kind of scary. Then I had the shakes. Then I threw up. At this point, they took Henry to the nursery and they made it clear that my time in the delivery room was up. With the help of a nurse, we rolled my half numb body into a wheel chair and I went to my postpartum room.
I have a lot to report on the postpartum recovery process, because it was lengthy and complicated. I feel that women need to know that for every story you hear about some woman jumping out of the bed and showering right after birth, that there is story like mine in which you can barely walk for a week.
I want to say thanks for reading the story of Henry's birth, and for following along through my experience as a pregnant lady and new mom. As much as I complained about everything possible, I am so beyond blessed that I could get pregnant, never had any complications during pregnant, had a relatively easy birth, and now have a perfect little boy. None of that is lost on me.
Last, but not least, here is a little video I made that features some footage from the actual birth. Enjoy!