This was when things really started to get crazy...
And honestly, this part is all kind of a blur to me but I remember saying outloud and to myself “baby come out!” Throughout labor, as I would breathe, I focused on the word “out” and so the reiteration of this word helped me once more to truly believe that he was coming to me and that he was going to be ok. Things were stressful and hectic as it drew near to the time when my son needed to enter this world, but I can say that amidst the stress I felt total peace.
Melody was positioned right next to Britton. They were ready to catch my baby. His heart-rate was dropping and it was time. At this point, Melody said to me “You’ve got to get this baby out in the next push. I really don’t want to give you an episiomoty!” And that’s when my last ounce of strength kicked in. Episiomoty was a dangerous word. I didn’t want it and Melody knew that and so I breathed deep and felt the overwhelming burning that comes from the crowning of a baby on his way out. It burned hot, like a total ring of fire, and I let out a cry and pushed with every single ounce of energy in me. His head came out and then I took a deep breath and the rest of him followed.
Britton was right there, hands out to meet our son. Melody was there too. I was in shock and awe with what I had just experienced and felt. Seconds after though, there was a little bit of panic (this is the reason why- in hindsight- moving out of the tub was necessary). As my chord untwisted it actually tore. This rarely happens and required immediate action. As soon as it was noticed, the chord was clamped and cut. Sadly, this was not part of our plan. We had studied and knew the benefits of leaving the chord attached until all the blood and nutrients had passed over to the baby, but with a torn chord and blood squirting out- blood loss was more of a concern. All of this was a big blur to me though. I was just sitting there, breathing, holding my new baby and he was more than perfect. He let out a little cry and I was instantly overcome with more love than ever before. I had my husband right there with me and now my son and I felt so blessed. My system was in shock with the hormonal overload. (Just as an update- our midwife was extra cautious in the days following Emerson's birth, making sure he didn't loose too much blood and that all his vitals were where they should be. They were. He's a perfectly healthy baby).
My placenta just dropped out of me and I moved up onto my bed. For the first hour or so of our son’s life, it was just me, him and Britton- bonding, loving, learning, connecting. It felt so good to hold my baby close. So incredibly good. I fed him a little bit and had some amazing skin-on-skin connecting time. It was surreal and amazing, like heaven had descended into my bedroom and gifted me this amazing experience. I couldn’t believe that I had just done what I’d done. I remember looking at my baby’s face and knowing that I’d do it again to just hold him (but that it was honestly the most painful thing I had yet to experience in this life!). I was so overcome with love for him and for my amazing husband. Gratitude filled me completely.
Minutes prior the room had been swarming with activity and now it was just Britton, me and our baby. When I was ready, the midwives came back in to check me out and to weigh/measure our son. He weighed 6lbs and 12oz and was 20 inches long. Britton actually was the one to weigh him. He had beautiful kissy lips and long fingers. He was so alert and happy. It was awesome.
Unfortunately, I tore a little bit (a slight 2nd degree tear) and so I needed some stitches. Melody stitched me up, and while she did so Terry continued to check out my baby’s vitals. He was constantly kept close to me though and I held his hand while I was being stitched. It hurt like crazy, but my baby was close and so I bore it happily.
Reflecting now upon this singular experience, I am so grateful for every single sensation that I felt. For everything thing that I experienced. It was empowering. I’m amazed that I struggled through 20 hours of labor, but knowing that I did it feels so good. We have decided to name our son Emerson Locke Beckham. I am so in love with my sweet little Emers. He’s a peaceful, alert, and happy baby. I am so blessed and so very happy.