It took six hours & 15 minutes exactly. I went from six to nine centimeters and ready to push in under forty-five minutes.
There were only four pushes: two big, one half strength, the last more like a deep exhale.
There were three precise turns and deft movement of experienced hands during the third push to unwind the cord from around his neck.
He was placed on my chest as my OB called out his time of birth with a smile on his face: 12:15pm.
I wrapped my arms around him, and sat still for a few breaths just looking at him as he lay there quietly alert. "He's perfect," I thought, and "Well hello," I said softly, a gentle laugh escaping from my lips.
There was fuss about pictures and cord cutting as Bertski wiped tears from his eyes, and the staff murmured in amazement at how quickly he arrived, and how calm and peaceful I was as he did.
There was no anxiety. No stress. Even without the epidural, and despite the extra jolt Pitocin gave them, I spent the hours and moments leading up to his birth laughing, smiling, exhaling, and goofing around through each contraction.
After such a physically awful pregnancy, my delivery turned out to be what I least expected: FUN. Yes it was fun. And joyful. And peaceful. And soothing. It was beautifully goofy and fulfilling all at once, and it gave me HIM.
Austin Andres Nieves was born on 11/12/13 at 12:15pm at 39 weeks.
My greatest joy since his arrival has been watching how his brothers have instantly accepted him as their own. No jealousy, no anger, no lashing out. They are just as much in awe of him as Bertski and I are, which has eased the fears & concerns I had on this front prior to his birth.
Thank you to everyone who has joined us in celebrating his birth the past two weeks, and a very special thank you goes out to my tribe-an amazing group of women who have heaped love on me all year in various ways. Thank you for being my rock and reminding me that all things can be made new despite what's happened in the past.
I'll be taking a bit of a break from this space for a few weeks and will instead be letting some of my favorite writers share their words & thoughts here.
Until then, PICTURES! And Happy Thanksgiving you jive turkeys :)