On my previous blog entry "date night" I wrote that it might be the last night out Chris and I would have for a while since I was hoping Leon would be born the following day. My wish was granted and it also seems that our baby listened to Chris when before going to bed- he leaned over to my tummy and said "hey, it's time to come out".
I began to experience cramp pains on and off while trying to fall asleep. Just after 1am my water broke while I was getting out of bed in my attempt to get to the bathroom.
Thank goodness to the very informative and practical birth class we attended at Binibirth by Ana Paula Markel- we knew exactly what to expect at that moment. I called our doula, Carmen to give her the heads up that the time has come. She calmly suggested that we try to get the most sleep or rest we possibly can despite the water breaking since we will need all the energy in the later hours. So we did go back to bed and tried to doze off for a couple more hours. Carmen arrived at our home at 6am armed with her essential oils, a bouncy ball and her calm energy. As I look back now I clearly remember how Carmen was with me at every contraction from the bearable ones in the beginning all the way to the end when I thought my body was going to literally split in two. She had her soothing hand pressing on my pelvic bone that made each rush less lonesome, I never felt alone. Chris and Carmen would take turns towards the end. They were my two solid source of support and love in my most vulnerable moment and I'm forever grateful.
I must make special mention of my husband, Chris. Throughout the entire experience he was my rock- he was strong and yet completely emotionally accessible to me. Each time I looked at him I knew he was hurting just as much as I was and if he could take some of the pain for me- he would have. I did not think I could love him more but I actually do. He is not only my life partner but the father of our child.
I labored at the safety and warmth of our home for a total of 14 hours. We stayed at home until I could no longer rely on my breath to get me through the contractions that were coming so close together- about 3 minutes apart. Carmen said that the more open my cervix is by the time we get to the hospital- the less chances of my progression to stall.
We arrived at Cedars Sinai Hospital at around 4pm. Once I was examined it was established that my cervix was already open to 6cm. We were immediately set up in a labor and delivery room. Chris had our own playlist of soothing music on, dimmed all the lights and we all knew that it was on. Soon enough we will meet our son.
The next few hours were excruciatingly painful- I am lost for words trying to describe exactly how every rush felt. My wonderful ob-gyn Dr. Lily Lee saw my extreme pain and even though it was clear on our written birth wish list that I am NOT to be offered epidural- she could not help but let me know that there are pain relief options I can access at any moment.
I was dedicated and committed to bringing Leon into the world drug free and something in me surrendered to the pain towards the end. I felt every inch of our baby pass through me and with every primal deep roar I let out, I knew each rush brought us closer to the moment. I reached out to Chris who was close to my left, Carmen on my right and pushed five times. It was then when Dr. Lee took my hand to reach down and feel Leon's head emerging. It was just the motivation I needed to get him all out and on the 6th push at 8:04pm our lovely son came into the world. They laid him right on my chest and i whispered to him "I'm so proud of you for working so hard with me. I'm your mom and there's dad" Right there and then I knew our lives will never be the same. We were in love.
On a funny note, while the delivery room was still bustling with nurses- (one caring for Leon and a couple others tending to my needs), my ob-gyn Dr. Lee reminded me that she needs to see me for a check- up in about 6 weeks. Perhaps it was my vulnerability at that moment or just the sheer honesty and purity of the birth, without any hesitation I replied "doc, I think we better set that appointment earlier coz I really want to discuss birth control" Needless to say a burst of laughter filled the room.
Leon Dashin Cherubini 6 lbs and 15 oz, 20" long born on April 3, 2010 Saturday.