Monday, March 18, 2013

Birth Story

Beautiful sister, love looks good on you!  Thank you for your sweet words.

I know how much love grows--stronger, bigger, more patient, more kind, more thoughtful, more enveloping in every way.  I have experienced this in tiny little moments and in overwhelming ones.

Two of the most overwhelming moments I have felt intense (but, calm and amazing) love were on the days my sons came into this world.

With my first son, I did not know anything, really.  I read books; but, I did not have any good friends to help me at that time.  We need that.  We need good girlfriends for support, love and perspective.  I am grateful to have them now.  I want that for you, too, dear sister.  Not just your good friends that are close to your heart (you have wonderful friends!); but, you need friends that are also close to your house (to get some kind words for every moment that you think you are going crazy, to "escape" with a cup of coffee or tea, to look at that "weird thing" on your beautiful baby...for your sanity).  Again, I did not have that for my first birth.

Before we got pregnant, I sought out a doctor that could deliver my baby at home.  I found a doctor in Ottawa that knew the doctor that delivered all of us at home (apparently, Dr. Gregory White was a little famous and his wife started La Leche League International--I did not know this before).  So, she was interested in helping me but, referred me to a wonderful certified nurse midwife when we did get pregnant.

I went to my midwife for all my prenatal care, up until the week before I was due (when she had gone out of town because she assumed I would be late, like many first-time mothers, even though I told her I thought my due date may have been off).  I saw my regular doctor that week on Tuesday; and, she told me to "take it easy or I would have the baby before my midwife returned".  So, I called my office and told them I had to stay at home, doctors orders (I was very fortunate to have a wonderful boss).  That night, I did not sleep because I had a lot of what I thought were "practice contractions".  Ugh.

Wednesday morning, we weren't sure if my husband should go in to work because we did not want him to miss a day with the baby because we did not know.  Did I mention he worked 65 miles away?  Second Ugh.

All day, I continued to labor, mostly on my elbows (because I was being told over the phone by my midwife that my back labor was strong because my baby needed to turn around).  Eek!

I remember crawling downstairs to get some leftovers to eat for lunch (pretty sure it was steak).  Then, I still felt hungry and I remember crawling downstairs again to get some chocolate ice cream (yum!).  I could not believe that this could get any worse.  It could not possibly be "practice" labor!  Third Ugh.

Then, our cordless phone died and I did not have a cell phone.  Fourth Ugh.  I had to crawl to the other room to put it back on the only base we had.

I remember my husband calling and I had to crawl back to the base and get the phone.  I crawled back to my bedroom, dragging the phone while talking to my husband.  I hung up and crawled back onto the bed with all my pillows.  Then at about 5:00, "WHOOOOSH!"  Or, that is what it seemed like.  It honestly seemed like I laid back on the bed and I was overtaken by a tidal wave.  But, it was just my water breaking.  Thank goodness I had that phone.  I called my husband back and told him and he took it from there.  He called the midwife, my doctor and 911.  He had left piles of money on his desk (from the restaurant) and sped home (literally driving on the shoulder during rush hour).

I had to get cleaned up for the ambulance (arrived in 3 minutes).  I don't know why I bothered.  They stripped me down to be ready to deliver anyway.  I actually threw a couple of things in a bag (um.  hospital bag?  We weren't supposed to need one...we were supposed to be at home).  They sped me off to the hospital.

On the way, the EMT told me that if I felt the urge to push, they had to pull over.  Then, he told me this would be his third one.  I said, "today?".  He said, "No," in his career.  I held my baby inside.

They took me straight to the delivery room.  It seemed like a blur.  I hated the monitors.  I hated being on my back.  The thing they put around my stomach hurt.  I am pretty sure I pooped (sorry).  My doctor was doing her best to give us the environment I would have had at home...but, hospital regulations prevail (apparently, so does chaos).

My husband was on the phone on his way and they said, "If I breathe through the next few contractions, I should be able to wait for dad."  Ummm.  That is so not possible.  You HAVE to push.  Seriously.  They call it an "urge" for a reason!  I had to push; but, our son wanted to wait for his dad.  About a minute (it seemed) after my husband arrived and I told him I was so glad he was there, my son was placed on my belly looking for me with his big, brown eyes.  I was smitten.  Still am.  The cord was cut, the blanket was wrapped.  I was covered.

The doctor took over then.  She got everyone out, turned off the bright lights and left us alone with our firstborn son for the first hour of his life.  Then, hospital regulations took over again until we got him home on Friday.

I wouldn't change a thing.

I love my family more every day.  It is so true, dear sister.  Love grows.

I will make time to share my other son's birth story soon.  Here is just a snippet,
I love you.

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