8:32 PM

and now a reader's questions:

1. What made you realize you were in "real" labor?

my memory is still fuzzy but to tell you the truth, i really didnt know that it was IT until the midwives came and the contractions were barrelling thru me. probably around the time when my eyes stayed permanently rolled back into my head..and looking back on it, as if i was rolling...ahem, if you know what i mean, just without the warm fuzzy feelings but with that out of this world kind of feeling? hard to explain. but i did kind of feel high.

2. How did you get yourself through the toughest contractions?

physically - having cw be there for me to mutilate, i mean, lean on in any manner. making those groaning/moaning/grunting sounds that is typical in all those birth videos also helped. having a midwife guide me and cheer me on. and visually? pamela anderson. her jogging on the beach with her plastic boobs wearing her baywatch red one piece running towards the camera (cause you know i see everything as if it is a movie) and with the wind in her hair, stopping and saying, yes cherlyn I did it. I pushed thru all the pain. I managed to do it. TWICE (putting up her two fingers like a peace sign). all natural. at HOME. ME (points to herself) - PAMELA FUCKING ANDERSON. - yeah, thats really what flashed in my head when i was at the breaking point of thinking of calling it quits, or wimping out. and also, at one point, eyes rolled back into my skull, i talked to my mom.

3. What was your emotional state throughout the labor like?

again, fuzzy with remembering the emotions (and pain) stuff. i was pretty much on auto pilot (and kinda high, like out of it). i lot of people were telling me that it may bring up harsh issues from my past especially if i havent dealt with it and even if i had it may trigger unnerving feelings. but that didnt happen at all for me. i was just focused on doing the job of getting jax out. i mean into this beautiful world of ours.

4. Did it help to have more than just Charles around? How many people were there?

i hadnt really paid attention because i was so focused that i wasnt that aware of people per se. after the fact, yes. it helped because i got to share something with people i loved. i believe it also helped charlie. at the actual birth birth part - there was a total of 7 people attending, 8 if you count me, and 9 if you count my mom, oh and 10 when you count jax. wow, that would have been a (corny) joke my mom would have said. :)

5. How much of the labor was spent in the tub?

ha! only about 30 minutes. the water never got hot enough for me to find comfort in it. i spent most of the time in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet. not using it, just in that sitting position and also found great comfort taking hot showers.

6. What made labor easier?

ha! easier? hmmm...more comfortable - definitely being able to move around and use different positions. having charlie to batter and bleed, pull and tug and just hug me. having all my midwives (they took turns though, there was another woman in labor) be there to talk to me, comfort me every step of the way. never once did i feel scared or think i was going to die. and also knowing that charlies mom and amy were around, even if i couldnt see them, i felt their presence. that all these people were here. for me. for jax.

7. What made it harder?

expecting it to go as i wanted = quick and easy. ha. anyway, yeah, expectations, anticipating if this part was the transition part and this and that or the other..asking myself constantly - how much longer? did i hit the wall yet? are we there yet? etc.

8. How would you describe what crowning/the end stages feel like?

like johnny cash sang - love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring, and so on. it burned. it was like hot. it was a tearing hot feeling. but my body couldnt stop, even if i wanted it to. it just really wanted to keep on pushin. when the midwife told me to feel down there - whoa, theres this hard furry thing. wait, thats a head! or the top part at least. at this point, i remember her saying to hold it there. i was like - excuse me? you want me to what now? um, yeah, no i dont think so. (like that time she asked me NOT to push even though thats all i wanted to do)..but hold it i did and then a couple more pushes later - boom the entire head and then a pause and then one big giant push (as i saw later from the video) and relief. what i felt was utter relief no just mentally and emotionally, but physically. like, ahhh, breath out relief. oh and a big gush of stuff coming out. and then they handed him to me. this squirmy crying being all slipper and warm and mine. it was amazing. and it was like that for awhile, just holding him. and then it got a bit weird for me, not really weird but like you know - how an uncomfortable long silence is? because i was thinking, ok you all have been staring at me for way too long now (just staring), is there something else we should be doing now? i think i may have even said = uh, so um, can charlie cut the cord? and then boom back into the pace of hey theres a birth goin on here...then after that though, i still had to birth the placenta. and that in itself had contractions. then the midwives push (hard) on your stomach and check your insides. and then just like that no more hard belly. weird.

9. Were any of your preconceived notions about birth changed?

no, not really. actually, yes. that i could do it. that i did do it. and i got to do it at home.

10. What did you do with the tub water!?

well, since i didnt birth in it, it was fine. when i was actually getting checked out and stitched up, (yes, i tore a wee bit. 3 stitches. not that i really needed it they said, but since we have so many stairs it was best to stitch me up to heal faster) charlie and jax went in the tub and put it to some use. a couple of days later charlie drained it outside our complex's surroundings...

11. Do you think your birth plan, and deciding to have Jax at home, made birth a better process for everyone?

yes, definitely. on the home birth. the birth plan, eh...after it was written, that was the last time it was ever spoken of or even thought about.

12. Did you yell and scream and stuff?

fuck yeah i did. and theres a video to prove it. to this day, i can only watch it on mute. i will post it when i finish editing (replacing the screams with a mellow, no enya, soundtrack). but i will also post the original version too. i think. its embarrassing. its the one thing i would do over. oh and i never once had music playing...i was a bit too busy to notice or care or ask for it. even though i made a "for labor" station on pandora.

and now for some graphic images:

a bit graphic, no? check out cw's look. i think he had done a double take, hence the weird movement in the picture. apparently, i had a really long cord. long enough to be able to place jax up on my shoulder. yes, i kept the placenta. its still in my freezer. but thats another post..oh and yeah, i didnt have any pics of the actual popping out of the kid, sorry. but video to come soon.

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  1. Holy shit! They never show you what the placenta looks like or even talk about it. I would freak out if I didn't know about it in advance! Thanks for answering all the questions. It's a great story. And I'm glad you had so much help. Jax is a cutie-he seems so calm and relaxed in all his photos.


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