On this great morning, Amada woke me up around 1am saying she was having contractions and that she might be in labor. My first thought was to ask her to wake me up when she was sure she was in labor, but luckily my parents taught me to think before speaking. And about 10 minutes later, we were both pretty sure this was the real deal, and with the resulting excitement, sleep was no longer a primary concern.
Amada had read a book on natural birth, without any medications and with minimal medical intervention, called the Bradley Method. The focus is coach-led relaxation during contractions; basically to not fight what's going on and let your body do what it needs to do. This required my reading the coaching related parts in the book, and we had been practicing at night for a few weeks. But I had not yet finished reading all my sections yet, and was skimming through the important material over the next few hours in between Amada's contractions!
The book recommends to labor at home where you're most comfortable for as long as possible. It's up to the coach to determine when to go to the hospital, and this is what I was most nervous about. But Amada labored like an absolute champ, and for most of the morning I couldn't even tell when she was having contractions because she was so relaxed. She would signal the start and end times with her hand so that I could time them and try to talk her through them. After a total of 11 hours, we started to head to the hospital.
I'm sure the maternity ward receives many women who are in false labor, so we were met with plenty of skepticism when we arrived and indicated that Amada was really far along and needed a room right away, partly because Amada was still acting like she was in no pain (I was amazed a little later when a nurse asked her to rate her pain on a scale of 1 to 10, and she said she was already at a 9... but barely showing it). The skepticism only grew when we handed them a copy of Amada's birth plan that included the statement requesting no medications. But when the first nurse examined her and realized that Amada was fully effaced and already 7cm dilated, the staff was fully believing and things began to move quickly.
Everyone who came into the room continued to be amazed by Amada's calm demeanor, which lasted until ten minutes before she started pushing. The pushing lasted thirty minutes versus two hours for Michael, and Aiden was born at 4:13pm. I was better prepared for everything the second time around and remember it much more clearly. It was still very emotional, but I was slightly less teary-eyed. The entire delivery went very well, mother and baby were so happy to be together, and it felt so natural and perfect.
Amada recovered very quickly which she attributed to doing Pilates (up to the day before Aiden was born) and being medication-free. She was in jeans and ready for visitors less than an hour and a half after the delivery!
Here are a few pictures:
|The first time Michael saw Aiden, he brought him a car, asked us to give it to Aiden and then started playing with his little brother :) :)|