Read Lila's Birth Story Pt. I and Pt. II here.
The next thing I knew a slew of nurses came barreling into the room with a ton of equipment. Apparently during an unmedicated birth, the moment you say you can't do it anymore and ask for drugs, it's go time. They knew that, but I sure didn't. I just knew I couldn't withstand the pain anymore. One of the head nurses came up to me to confirm this was what I really wanted, that I really wanted medication. I said, yes and please hurry. They told me they had to check my dilation, and it took me probably 20 minutes to get up on that hospital bed to let them check. Sitting still was not an option. I cried out in pain when I had to lay flat and still through a contraction as they checked me. I remember looking over at Ethan who was standing by my right shoulder. I couldn't recognize the emotion on his face. I later learned he was so scared for me he was doing everything in his power not to cry. To withhold from me me how scary it all was.
They administered the IV pain management medicine as they told me they could feel the baby's head. I was 9cm dilated. They were done and I was finally free to move, and I hoped off that bed faster than I've ever moved before, at 40 weeks pregnant. In that same swift movement, I softly said, I need to push. Ethan said, no way. He thought there was no way it could be time. They'd been telling him it was so far off for so long. The nurse said, if it's time, it's time. She knows. It was 12:10PM. I used the bed to hold me upright as I squatted down, and for the first time my contractions didn't hurt, instead they were helping. I used the power of my body and contractions to push toward relief. My midwife came rushing in, and began prep. She told me the baby across the hall still hadn't come. We all kind of laughed.
The head nurse sat down next to me and pulled me onto her lap and told me to use her as a stool. I put my forearms on her thighs, facing towards the room and I pushed with all my might. I'll never forget her telling me to "bare down and push". After the first attempt at a push, I realized I was scared and holding myself back from really pushing. It was a moment of fear I hadn't anticipated. But I couldn't stop it even if I tried, that wouldn't be how I could bring this baby into the world. She was right. I needed to bare down and push. So I focused, and mustered up the courage to do it.
I pushed twice and they transferred me over to Ethan's lap. I'd refill my lungs and push again. And again. And again. I pushed three times, back to back. I remember my midwife cheering me on, coaching me through. She called out for a flashlight because I was so low to the ground, I'm sure she couldn't see a damn thing. They couldn't find one easily and the head nurse ran out to grab one. She came back in with a flashlight and my mom, who had just arrived at the hospital. Elsa my midwife announced to the room that the baby was crowning. She asked if I wanted to reach down and feel. Apparently I said no. I was in the zone, I guess. Instead I pushed one last time, with everything I had left.
At 12:35PM, our baby was born. It took me a second to look for the gender, in fact the nurses had to remind us. I announced it's a girl! and Elsa helped bring our Lila up to my chest and into our family. And just like that, I became a mom, Ethan became a dad, and our family felt more precious than ever.