Uh, yeah....it was incredible. Everything about it. Beth did incredible. I did incredible. Emma Lou IS incredible!
Beth's water broke right as we got in bed Saturday night, at about 11:30. It was a surprise for sure, but little did I know that Beth was doing everything she could to move the process along. I guess she was ready for the action to get started. We moved on down the road to the hospital about an hour later. Both of us were pretty relaxed, but the anitcpation was definitely building. This being the first time for us, we didn't really know how long the process would take (not that we weren't prepared, because we felt we were). Of course, when we got there we found we were in very early stage labor, so we had a ways to go.
Over the weeks prior to the labor, Beth and I had taken some classes to prepare and educate ourselves for the big day. Our chosen method was the"Bradley: Husband Coached Childbirth" course. This method approaches labor and delivery much like training for a marathon, and since Beth and I are the natural athletes that we are, we felt it would be the best choice. Bradley teaches that with the proper day in and day out exercise and training that childbirth can be accomplished without medication or extensive trauma. I myself was all for the unmedicated route as I feel strongly that the best medicine is often to just walk it off. Beth was game to, because she felt that she was fully capable of handling the labor on her own ability. Overall, we both felt that a drug free baby was our top priority.
In class we learned about each stage of labor, and what natural methods we could use to help the process along. In the early stages, it often helps to be a little active. Once the nurses attained all the preliminary stats they needed, Beth and I unhooked the fetal monitors and took a stroll around the hallway. We were allowed to do this for 30 minutes in between each fetal monitoring session. This went on for about six hours, without much change or progression. Normally, in the case of a waterbreak prior to contractions, the doctors like to go ahead and give Pretocin (synthetic contraction inducer) when the mother comes in. However, we expressed our feelings toward natural progression, and we compromised with a six hour waiting period. We had hoped that Beth's contractions would naturally start to increase. They didn't, so when 6:00a.m. came along the nurse administered a small amount of pretocin. This might as well have been a nitrous boost, because from then on it was crazy fast. I almost got whiplash.
In the span of just under three hours Beth went from 1 - 2 centimeters to full dilation and then all the sudden we had our baby girl. In fact, from 3 centimeters to full and pushing it was so fast that the doctors didn't have time to get ready. Emma Lou was on her way out and the doctor didn't even have her gloves on. It's a good thing the delivery bed was soft because no one caught her, she just jumped out.
It was amazing, I watched the whole thing, so I tell you the truth...it was amazing. Even more so, Beth did without any pain medication. I always knew she was tough, but I never knew she could grunt and scream with such passion and volume. Beth was in full labor for only 11 minutes. We're talking a small handful of pushes and it was all over. Here's the beauty of all our training, and preparation, Beth was completely fine, minus a few stitches, she was 100% alert and oriented. It wasn't an hour before she walked under her own power to the nursery room window to check out the outcome of her efforts - a beautiful, healthy seven pounder. Everyone who saw Beth afterwards couldn't believe how good she looked, most even said I looked more like I had just had a baby than she did. I don't do too well with out much sleep.
Weight: 7 lbs 2 oz.
Length: 20 1/4"