The Birth of Cordelia Rose by Maggie Nyquist
January 2013 - I engage in some moderately-risky, condomless, goodbye-Carson-have-fun-in-Ecuador sex.
February 2013 - I look for a bathroom to gag in at a work party. Realize I have been feeling nauseous a lot lately. Pregnant? No way. Discover my new favorite drink. It is made with rum. I dance like crazy.
Next morning - I pee on a stick. Two lines. I try to think but my brain isn’t working. Carson is so happy. He leaves for church. I have a panic attack. I decide to stay on Zoloft–no matter how crunchy I am.
March 2013 - May 2013 - I feel nauseous and tired. I move to Colorado Springs where I feel friendless, nauseous, and tired.
June 2013 - September 2013 - I read everything about birthing babies. I watch every video on YouTube of women having natural childbirths. I hire a doula. I go to prenatal yoga, where I learn to calm down, and practice keep-ups. I take a hypnobirthing class and listen to birthing affirmations. Carson and I take a breastfeeding class, and I feel less afraid of breastfeeding. I decide to have a natural childbirth, but I don’t want to tell anyone.
October 2013 - I am in love with the third trimester. I finally have friends in Colorado Springs. I am making plans and having people over for dinner. I love having a big belly because everyone looks at me and talks to me and touches my big belly.
October 8th, 2013 - I host a fall party. I say, “I am not going into labor anytime soon.”
October 9th, 2013 (2 a.m.) - I think I have to pee 3 times in a row, 5 minutes apart. I realize I am having contractions. I decide to be sneaky and calm, and I don’t tell Carson.
October 9th, 2013 (3 a.m.) - Carson wakes up because I am moving around too much. I like to walk and slow-breathe during contractions.
October 9th, 2013 (4 a.m.) - I discover an app that times contractions. It is very helpful. I am having contractions for 1 minute every 5 minutes.
October 9th, 2013 (5 a.m.) - I take a bath. The tub is too small. I make Carson pour hot water on any body parts sticking up while listening to Clair de lune on repeat.
October 9th, 2013 (6 a.m.) - I try to watch "New Girl" between contractions. "New Girl" is too funny, and I can’t focus on breathing and keeping my body tension-free.
October 9th, 2013 (7–10 a.m.) - A lot of the same thing. We go on a walk. Carson takes pictures. We text with the doula. I keep my body relaxed and my mind calm. I swing my hips around. I feel like a crazy and unattractive dancer if I think about it. I feel beautiful if I don’t think about it.
October 9th, 2013 (11 a.m.) - Carson is getting antsy. He thinks it’s hospital time. I don’t want to be only 3 centimeters dilated. I don’t want to be a first-time-mom wimp. I agree to go to the hospital.
October 9th, 2013 (Noon) - The midwife checks me at her office. I am 5 centimeters dilated! When she leaves the room, I dance around and my eyes get teary. I tell Carson “I can do this! I am doing this!”
October 9th, 2013 (1 p.m.) - I check into the hospital. The doula is there. I listen to hypnobirthing relaxing scripts. I feel relaxed and happy. I don’t remember very clearly after this. (Following quotes come directly from the doulas notes.)
October 9th, 2013 (3 p.m.) - I am 7 centimeters dilated! I get into a birthing tub. I love the tub. I say “I feel like I am having sex with this tub”. I count from 1 to 10 in every language I know.
October 9th, 2013 (4 p.m.) - I am convinced out of the tub to be monitored. I pee on the floor. I say “I feel like a dog”. I am still 7 centimeters. They say “Do you want to break the water?” I say “break the water”!
October 9th, 2013 (5 p.m.) - I feel very intense pressure. I get in the shower. I experience the pressure as pain for the first time. I say “This is why people get epidurals!” The doula helps me change positions. She tells me I’m in control. I am at 9 centimeters.
October 9th, 2013 (6 p.m.) - 10 centimeters! I’m pushing. I’m standing on the end of the bed, holding on to a bar. I expect to like the pushing part better, but I don’t. I say “I need a break from my life!”
October 9th, 2013 (7 p.m.) - I feel Cora coming down. I reach up inside of myself and feel her soft head. Everything is very intense but not out of control. I feel like I am not myself, like I am not in my body. I feel like an animal. I want to be done. I want to see Cora’s face. I am pushing hard and I feel so strong.
October 9th, 2013 (7:07 p.m.) - I stretch wide open. I feel only a little burning. I am crazy pushing. Cora comes out! I feel relieved and calm and then immediately so incredible. I say “I can’t believe I did that!”
Cora was 6 pounds 6 ounces. She was put on my chest pretty quickly after birth, and feeling her skin on my skin was my favorite part of the birth experience. She was squished up and wrinkly. Her eyes were wide open. She was observant and calm. Carson and I watched her "breast crawl" on my chest for a long time. I eventually helped her latch on and Cora sucked and swallowed. She's finally here, my little bird. I am love getting to know her.