I'm not a religious man. I don't believe there is anything supernatural about childbirth but let me tell you it was the closest thing to a miracle i have ever witnessed while still having basis in reality.
We didnt get the opportunity to go through the sudden ambulance ride experience. In fact our son's birth was marked on our calendar. Amber had scheduled her induction 9 days prior by recommendation from her Obstetrician. We were so excited and even more so as the date drew closer.
We nested furiously; preparing the crib, reading constantly about the first nights. We were both in a blur of preparation and anticipation and by the time the day rolled around our hearts and minds were full of what was to come.
We loaded the car with the necessities. An overnight bag for each of us, the car seat, diaper bag with size N and 1 diapers just in case. We held hands all the way to the hospital. We checked in at 6pm and were in the birthing room in minutes. Nervous, excited and a little scared.
The entire process was simple in scope. First step was to insert a suppository to directly stimulate the cervix. This happened twice over the course of about 4 hours with the nurse periodically checking her cervix to see if it had softened enough to begin the pitocin drip.
Then came the hard part.
The first 6 hours were the easiest, with not much going on but waiting and talking. Once the pitocin started to take hold her uterus started contracting and that's when it got difficult. And by a million miles so. She went from being in a state of calm to a state of panic as soon as that first major contraction suddenly hit. (see, pitocin is a synthetic hormone that triggers the body to go into labor, and its like 10 times more intense than when you allow it to happen naturally.)
The first contraction scared the shit out of both of us. She stumbled to the bathroom, stooped grimacing and sobbing, nothing could have prepared her for how bad it hurt, and until the epidural it only got worse. This went on for about 2 hours before the anaesthesiologist came in to administer the epidural.
There was a calm once the epidural took effect, about 6 hours where we didn't have to do anything but wait again. Unfortunately, because of the shock she just experienced she didn't get a chance to sleep. I fell out on a cot next to her and she had a panic attack. Fortunately some family members were there to help keep her calm, to this day she holds it against me that I fell asleep. I really couldnt help it, it had already been about 20 hours since I last slept and the doctor even recommended we both sleep.
I was awoke in just a couple of hours by nurses explaining that it was almost time, she was at 9 centimetres. At this point, unfortunately, her epidural was starting to wear off and it was too late for them to hang another bag to keep her numb. In another 45 minutes the head nurse came in to check and it was time to start pushing. I was in charge of holding one of her legs back and so I was able to see 100% of the event. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There was blood and fluid everywhere. And when the top of his head was starting to show I was in awe of just what the process looked like.
And then he was out, after 10 minutes of screaming and pushing on Amber's part, the doctor lifted him and set him in her lap quickly so we could look at our newborn son. I got to cut his umbilical cord and then they carried him to a cleaning table where they drained his lungs and sinuses of fluid. I was the first person to lay a hand of affection on him. I placed my hand on his tiny chest and wept.
This is my son, I helped make him and I helped him be born.