I’m a mom.

I still can’t quite believe it.

Since last Thursday morning, my life has changed so completely. It would take a million blogger entries to include it all.

Right now, I hear Tim in the background, singing a silly little song to our son. August Alan, in the meantime, is doing his little “squeal-cry” which is more fussy than true crying. It’s the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.

So, to start from the beginning, the scam was completely successful. We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 a.m., told them that I had been having contractions, but they had stopped for some reason. When they were monitoring me, I actually even had a couple of little contractions, but they were irregular. Yay, me! So they called my doctor and she said to break my water to see if that would get the contractions going again. Since this was hospital time, they didn’t actually get around to doing that until 11:30 a.m., and once they did, there was no gush! Apparently, the baby’s head was acting like a cork in my cervix, not letting the amniotic fluid out. So they gave me an hour to see if contractions would start, which they did not.

Basically, all it did was start some cramping. When they added a pitocin IV drip, the cramps got worse and worse, eventually graduating to full-blown contractions by about 2 p.m. And once they started, wow, did they start. They were never farther than 2 minutes apart, lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 90 seconds. And let me tell you friends, it hurt. It sucked, actually. My doula was a little delayed getting there, and it was a good thing she got there when she did, because I was totally ready to get the epidural. Totally.

So we discussed Stadol, a narcotic that takes the edge off of the contractions and helps you rest between them. There was some debate about when was the best time to get the Stadol, as my greatest concern was what effect the drug would have on the baby. Keep in mind that incredibly painful contractions are coming every 2 minutes as this discussion is going on, so the subject was changed and eventually, I just dropped it because I knew it was too late.

So how did I get through it? Teamwork, my friends. This birth was a total team effort. After trying a couple of different focal points, Tim eventually became the center of my attention during the increasingly intense contractions. Plus, I had to have two hands to hold during every contraction. My mom was a god-send throughout the labor, rubbing my shoulders and neck, holding my hand, taking care of the little details… And Judy was simply indispensible. Her suggestions and expertise are the reason I am able to write this today with such joy.

Finally, after what seemed like days but was only a couple of hours, I had the urge to push. They checked my dilation and I was only at 8 cm. I had to “blow” through several more contractions, many of which I couldn’t help myself and pushed a little anyway. I couldn’t stand it any longer and had them check again. All that remained of my cervix was a little “lip.” So I blew through two more contractions as the nurse pushed the lip back.

Once they said I could push, I exploded with joyful cries of “Thank you, God!” and “yes! yes!” Everyone in the room cracked up. They said I sounded like one of those Herbal Essences commercials. I have never been so happy to hear someone say anything in my whole life. Finally, I would be able to make the pain of the contractions do something, instead of just having to survive them.

After 45 minutes of the hardest work I’ve ever done, August Alan finally appeared. Most of the contractions had me pushing three times, but during the final bit, I pushed ten times in a row! I wanted him out!

So overall, the labor only lasted 4 and a half hours. I had no episiotomy, maybe a couple of tiny tears. All I know is that I feel really good. I was very sore the following couple of days, of course, but I thank goodness that I got away as lucky as I did.

After he was out, they suctioned out his nose and mouth and he let out the most beautiful wail. He had great Apgar scores (which rate their color, breathing, etc.) were 8 and 9 out of 10, so he was great right from the start. They put him on my stomach and Tim cut the cord.

It was amazing. He was still crying and all I did was say a word and he went quiet. The first thing I did was smell him. I’ve never had such a primal experience. I can’t even describe it. Actually, I feel like I’ve done such a mediocre job of explaining any of this experience. It was unreal. I’ve never felt so out of control. I’ve never felt such pain. I’ve never felt such fear and joy and wonder.

Now, I’ve got an amazing baby boy. And I’m still feeling all of those emotions, to some extent.

Of course, I have many more stories to tell, but I’m not sure how regularly I’m going to be able to post here in the near future, as I continue to recover and we continue to adjust to our new lives as parents. But I will continue to post!

Thanks to everyone who sent us so many well-wishes both before, during and after the birth. It was so wonderful to be able to think about how many people were supporting me during the labor.