the birth story

Matilda Mary Smith was born on September 21st at 11:15am. It was a wonderful day and I look back on it fondly.

As a teenager I remember being in the room while my sister-in-law was in labor. I remembered watching my brother Dan stroke her hair and feed her ice chips. He looked so concerned and attentive. It was all so romantic and I wanted exactly that when I gave birth. It is funny how things change when you come to know reality for yourself.

I like to be alone when I am giving birth. In Australia, while giving birth to Parker I even sent Tyler out of the room so that I could have a moment to center myself. Parker's labor was fast and intense. I was induced, and two hours after my first contraction he was in my arms.

I was really hoping to go into labor naturally with Matilda, and was pleased when I awoke at 4:30am from an ache in my back. An ache that told me today was Matilda's day. I laid in bed quietly thinking and praying. I labored for an hour before waking up Tyler. He seemed surprised even though it was 5 days past my due date. Then he got excited. Then my mom woke up and got excited. Then I got excited. Apparently, the kind of excited that makes your contractions slow down. By the time we got settled into the hospital, the monitor was not picking up any contractions. I remember feeling really foolish and embarrassed, I was certain that what I was feeling was real labor.

It all seemed so different than in Australia, more formal and about paperwork and protocol than about giving birth. I kept thinking, "Why are there so many people in here asking me questions and sticking me with needles?". The IV took three tries and at one point I felt blood everywhere. This was not the romantic scene I remembered seeing as a youngster. I hate IV's more than actual labor. They make me feel weird, woozy, and stiff. I was annoyed by it all because I did not need the IV. I was having a natural birth, but protocol required that I have one.

The doctor came in and immediately said, "You do not look like you are in labor, sitting up in bed laughing and being all full of smiles". Right before she came in the room I was telling Tyler that they were going to send us home, but if they didn't I wanted him to take pictures of me while I was giving birth. To which he replied with laughter.

It was determined that I was at 7cm and she was ready to break my water. I got into a bath and things intensified really fast. I began having horribly painful contractions for the next 30-45 minutes, I said the rosary to pass the time. I signaled to Tyler to let the nurses know I was feeling ready and that they should call the doctor.

From that point on everything was a blur. I was totally in my head trying to cope with the pain by reminding myself it would all be over soon. They got me onto the bed, prepped the room. My OB/GYN made it just in time. She sat down and told me I was free to push. It took one contraction, two pushes, and Matilda was born. It was beautiful. My first thought was that Matilda looked miniature. My second was that she looked just like her brother. My third was that she was perfect. I was in love.

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