here it is, draft #3 of the birth story.

the not-so-perfect, tell-it-like-it-is version.  the word-vomit, try-to-just-get-it-out version.  the version where nothing is justified and everything is real.

it was thursday, january 26th around 11:30a and it was 3 days after the bean’s due date.  i was huge, uncomfortable, and alone at my non-stress test.  (not alone because i had no one to be with, but because my parents, my sister and nephew, my in-laws and a couple of visiting cousins were in town and this appointment was my ‘get-away-for-a-few seconds’ time.)  and i will add that i am very grateful for everyone to have been around.

i show up at the hospital, alone, ready to get this stressful non-stress test over with so i can go spend more time with my family, walking around the city, trying to induce labor in all sorts of ways.  

screeeeeeeeeeching halt.

on the ultrasound, the technician found that i had ‘low amniotic fluid’ and apparent ‘fluid around the baby’s heart.’  i had to RUSH to the hospital now.  no time to waste.  ’did i need to call someone?’ she asked.  of course.  ’are you okay?’ she asked.  i don’t know!  you just told me that i needed to rush to the hospital and that my baby had to come out TODAY.  you insisted.  i don’t know if i’m okay.

i tried to take deep breaths between my sobs and sniffles.  i was scared.  scared shitless and alone.  but only physically.  by the time i could speak clearly, he pulled into the parking spot i had reserved for him (and by reserve, i mean, i just stood there and wouldn’t let anyone else in.  i was having a baby today and i needed him there with me now.)

that was it.  our sweet boy was going to make his entrance into the world to-day.  or so we thought.

after hours, which seemed like an eternity, in triage and a couple bonte waffles later, we were moved into a solo triage room and from there, in just a couple of hours, we’d move into the labor & delivery room and we’d get to meet sweet silas.  we moved into this room at around 5p thursday evening and we were told that we would get the next labor & delivery room available.  at this point, i’m not even 4cm dilated, but am feeling some contractions (probably from the stress of the non-stress test…) and at some point, i’m given misoprostol to speed along the induction process.  after stories about ridiculous baby names (including duwanna mann & daneeda mann) with the nurses and midwives, i’m starting to feel some contractions.  not unbearable, but there.  i only vaguely remember the next couple of hours, but i do remember waking up around 4am and getting another pill because the first wasn’t working as quickly as we wanted.

the next morning, we have visitors, and the contractions are picking up.  i’m still not dilated all that much, but i’m really starting to feel them and throughout the afternoon they start to get pretty uncomfortable.  after too much sitting, waiting and hearing that ‘we’ll get the next available l&d room’ our nurse mothers get involved.  they’re mad and want me admitted into l&d now.  ahh, thank goodness for mothers.  a few hours later, there i was, headed to l&d.

so big picture: i’ve spent the last 24 hours in a little triage room, surrounded by moms who are getting restless, a 3 year old nephew, dads who have no idea how to help, midwives who feel for me, a sister who wants to meet her nephew, a soon-to-be dad and fiance who wants to help but has no idea where to begin and myself?  i’m just starting to curse through contractions.

it’s around 6p and we’re off to l&d where a ‘comfy’ couch and big room awaits, where we’ll be for who knows how long.  at this point, i can tell my contractions will soon be unbearable.  my cursing will only increase and become more profane.  my tolerance for our family diminishes.  my batting away k’s hand is more persistent and much stronger.  the thought crosses my mind (and only briefly): give me the f*cking needle.  make this stop and make it stop NOW.  then i remember that i watched that documentary, the business of being born to a few days prior to give me some motivation and the thought disappeared.

my midwife keeps checking how far along i am and honestly, it’s not far enough.  give me some pitocin and get this child out.  no, really.  what i wasn’t aware of when this decision was being made was that labor and contractions multiply by about, oh, a million when you get pitocin and that’s typically when people get an epidural.  too little too late because i was committed to a natural birth, no meds, no nothin’.  i still, to this day, have no idea what i was thinking.

for the remainder of my story, no times will be given other than the most important, because i honestly feel like the moments leading up to silas’ birth were the fastest moments of my life and the absolute most drawn out moments of my life.

after k made attempts at rubbing my back and after a few curse words were shouted to the mountaintops, my midwife came in to check on me.  9cm dilated…and we’d still have to wait it out, so she says.  well, that’s not happening, actually, i convince her and damn it, it’s time to push.  

i. can.  not.  take.  this.  pain.  i push.  and now it’s on.

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the head.  the shoulders.  the butt.  silas iyomi cashe enters the world at 12:16a, saturday, january 28th, 2012.  before the doctors check his heart for ‘fluid,’ that actually never existed, he’s handed over to me.  my heart melts as i remember it as if it were yesterday.

and that is the moment our lives changed forever.

the moments afterwards are a blur and as i recall them, i get a little emotional.  i remember seeing k on the couch with our son.  i remember the look on his face.  that moment forever in my mind.

that night was the first of many sleepless nights.  but it was okay because i had silas next to me in his little hospital bed, so sweet, so ready to take on the world.

one.  year.  ago.

after 4 1/2 days in the hospital, we are set free to be parents.  no instruction manuals, no warning labels, no step-by-step guide.  that’s when it all gets real.

stay tuned.