My Wife…..the Rockstar (old story)
A week ago today my wife, the Rockstar (you’ll understand why I call her this in just a few minutes), and I got up just before dawn, took a shower, and had some peanut butter toast, which we were both too nervous to eat. The “Rockstar” finished packing the last few things, and I did some last minute downloading onto her iPod. We said a quick “hi” to the babysitter, jumped in the car, and headed to the hospital. This really wasn’t the plan. The plan was to be frantically driving to the hospital like John Travolta in the slightly bizarre movie where Kirsy Alley is giving birth to Bruce Willis.
No such luck, we pushed a date with Murphy by getting through two pre-k graduations, multiple soccer practices and games, a “special” teddy bear picnic at the park, kindergarten water day, a school wide bike rally, kindergarten graduation including a milkshake social, multiple dance recital practices, two full blown dance recitals complete with pictures, and a recital party to boot. Oh well, after a couple of weeks like that maybe a serine drive in the early morning hours was just what we needed.
This scene seems eerily similar to our situation 5 years before, where we are walking down this long hallway in the hospital looking at the nurses station at the end, thinking this is so different than the first time. However, this time the “Rockstar” looks at me and says: “It just doesn’t seem real that we’re having a baby.” I look at the 40 week prego Rockstar, “Are you serious?!”
We check in, do all the logistic stuff, and wonder what the next few hours has in store for us, as the goal for this birth has always been an all natural, no drugs, no intervention type birth. How do you achieve this when Mamma isn’t even in labor? In enters Dr. Petersen, who knows our goals and is aligned with them as well, does her thing and says I’ll see you in a couple of hours. The Rockstar gets dressed and we go for a walk, different than our past experiences, with IV’s, leads to monitors, and a wonderfully sexy gown.
As we walk on a cinder path around the hospital grounds the Rockstar fields a few phone calls, makes arrangements for the kids activities, and looks at me again — “I can’t believe we’re having another baby!” Is the same woman that I have been living with for the last roughly 10 months? A day did not go by that the Rockstar’s pregnancy did not affect her. Suddenly she stops, “Hmmm. That may have been one.” “One” meaning a “pressure surge” as described to us in the Hypnobirthing Book, to anyone else, a contraction. Oh yeah, by the way the goal for the birth was to use Hypnobirthing vs. traditional methods of an epidural and re-runs of “Friends” on the DVD player.
Re-enter Dr. Petersen, two hours later. The Rockstar is now having “pressure surges” every couple of minutes now, but not very intense. So the Doc works her magic, again. I use the word magic, ’cause frankly the birthing process as a whole is a beautiful thing, but as some of you can attest to the details in their individuality are slightly grotesque. They throw the Rockstar on the monitor again just make sure Jr. is doing okay, and we head outside for some fresh air. This time the walk out is a little slower, and we stop every 50 feet or so to grab onto the wall as each “pressure surge” passes. We make it outside for a round of walking 50 feet, and grabbing whatever is in arms reach: a car, rock wall, lamp post, or husband. Also, stopping for an occasional squat. It’s clearly time to head inside.
In the room there is a significant increase in frequency and intensity of the “pressure surges”, and we focus on breathing as the Hypnobirthing method suggests. Counting, breathing, recovering, counting, breathing, recovering…… It’s time to move to the tub, more counting, breathing, recovering. Just imagine these intervals as Darth Vader’s breathing in Star Wars turned up to as loud as your TV will allow. The Rockstar and I focus on these “pressure surges” one at a time; calling upon our marathoning experiences of small goals running one mile at a time. The process now is contrastingly different to the YouTube video’s of other women’s Hypnobirthing experiences, which resembled the effort of twisting the top off a jar of pickles. This was no jar of pickles! The concept of time was non-existent, just counting, breathing, recovery, and only one reference to our friend, who was the anesthesiologist on call.
The Rockstar then proclaims, “I want this baby out!” I think to myself, “Pretty sure that’s the plan, but not really sure you can just say that and start pushing.” Little did I know that Dr. Petersen was standing behind me, and she says “okay, let’s go for it.” Seriously? I thought it may be a little more technical with lots of nurses, machines, O2 masks and gear. Nope. Just get her out of the tub, shuffle her to the bed, let one “pressure surge — HA!” pass and GAME ON! She is a Rockstar!
Time to, as the Hypnobirthing Book says, “Breathe the baby down”, or as most would call it PUSH! Twenty minutes, ten pushes, multiple references to our buddy Scott, a yoga-esque position to get junior to flip over, an almost bitten off finger (her’s not mine) and a slightly louder version of the effort taken to twist the top off a jar of pickles (I feel sorry for the poor woman walking down the hall giving birth for the first time). The Rockstar gave birth to her fourth child.
Charles BlahBlahBlah. Charlie. Named after his great, great, great, great grandfather. 7 lbs. 14 oz. 20 1/2" long, born Monday, June 11th, at 4:37pm MST. Not bad for a days work.
I am so proud of my wife….my hero….The Rockstar.