Saturday, April 05, 2008

About a Boy

Ok, where was I?

Heh, I guess my body has a thing for Thursdays. Both my children were born on Thursday.

My children. Wow, that sounds strange. I can't believe I have more than one child.

So after a very disappointing doctor's visit Wednesday morning (no change after having pretty steady contractions for about 8 hours), I stopped at Jack-n-the Box on the way home. A big, greasy cheeseburger and a chocolate shake seemed like the perfect thing to cure my frustration, at least for a little while (thanks Julia!;)). I was sitting in the drive thru line on the phone with a friend telling her that my contractions had all but stopped when I was hit with a big one. I had several more in line that were about 2 minutes apart. Then nothing.

I made it home and tried to take a nap, but Kiddo wasn’t letting me do it. He was more interested in bouncing on my belly. I pulled out my blessings book and read through each one slowly, letting the words absorb into my head. It was so neat seeing each person’s entry; the handwriting or the special paper or the decoration really brought special meaning to each blessing. I held the necklace in my hands, ran my fingers over the beads and placed a face and name to each one. It was a calming influence. I packed the necklace and the book in my hospital bag and made sure again that I had everything I needed.

By evening, my tolerable contractions turned into pretty uncomfortable stuff. They were random though - sometimes 10 minutes apart, sometimes 20. I managed to go to Walmart and the grocery store to pick up some last minute things though. Suddenly at about 9:30 the contractions started coming one on top of the other. I couldn't even catch my breath! We discussed going to the hospital, and the longer we talked about it, the further apart the contractions became. I spent a good bit of the evening talking to Mollie on IM – I think I was freaking her out a little! Lol! When the contractions evened out at about 3-5 minutes apart, I called the after hours service at the hospital and asked them to page the on call doctor. The girl said if he didn't call back in 20 minutes to call again. 30 minutes later, with no call we decided to go ahead and drop Kiddo off with Mollie for the night and just go. I called the service again from the car and the doctor called me back about 10 minutes later. He asked how far apart the contractions were and I told him, then he asked me if this was my first child and I said no. His reply was, "so you are on your way to the hospital right?". I told him yes and he said "good, I'll let them know you are coming" and that was that. We got there shortly after midnight.

When we got to the ER to check in, I had to sit in the car for a minute and breathe through a big contraction. I had experienced a few big ones on the way and I knew things were only going to progress. I checked in at the counter (thankfully they got my name in the system right this time – unlike with Kiddo) and we started the walk down the long hallway to the other side of the hospital. I had to stop and lean on Hubby in the hallway through a contraction, and the next thing I knew a security guard was putting me in a wheelchair. She insisted I ride to the room; she said she had seen too many babies born in odd places in the hospital and if I had to stop and lean on something during a contraction then it was time for me to ride. She was very sweet, and in a great humor for so late at night.

I was so afraid of getting there and not having any progress again, but thankfully I was dilated to a 4. I thought they were going to send me home, but because the contractions were coming so fast they admitted me. The nurses were really great and didn't even flinch when I refused any pain meds. They were all very encouraging, telling me how great I was doing when I had a contraction. I felt like I was handling everything pretty well, so I asked for a birthing ball, got out my mp3 player and settled in on the ball next to the bed. After all of my planning and shuffling songs to get just the right mix of music on there, the only thing I wanted to listen to was the Patti Griffin album, 1000 Kisses. The songs were perfect; not too sappy and not to up beat either. The nurse told me that I should progress about a cm per hour, so they would check me in a couple of hours to see how I was doing.

By then, Hubby was about to pass out so he pulled out the cot and tried to sleep. I sat there leaning on a stack of pillows on the bed, immersing myself in the music. The contractions were coming about every 2-3 minutes at that point and I was feeling ok. When one would come on, I would sing into it. At it’s peak all I could do was breathe and repeat to myself “baby down, body open. Baby down, body open”. Then I would sing it away. A couple of times I really had to concentrate on what was going on, or something else, or the music, or how much I resented my husband over there sleeping, etc. but I managed to do pretty good. I thought of all of my friends and family who were supporting me, and my energy would be renewed each time. Despite wanting to whack Hubby on the head for sleeping, I was in a very good mood. When a couple of hours passed they came to check and I was at a 7 already. The contractions were 1-2 minutes apart and I was still doing well. By the time I got to an 8 I was getting really irritated with Hubby - still across the room sleeping, so I made him get up and sit by me. It was hard telling him what I needed because I really couldn't talk while having the contractions and they were coming so fast, but he managed to hold my hand when necessary and put a cold rag on my head when I needed it. The birth ball was a lifesaver – and honestly I couldn’t bounce on it (which is what I thought I would do). The shape of it was what made me more comfortable for some reason; I guess because my hips could drop and my back stayed straight.

At one point I asked if I could get some help to the bathroom because I needed to pee, and the nurse asked me if I had any pressure. I laughed it off and said no, but as soon as I sat on the toilet it was obvious I had been in denial. I came out of there quickly and was helped into bed. They checked me and I was at 9 so they started to set things up. Then nurse said that my water was probably going to break soon and to be prepared - it totally didn't! lol! She even tried to pierce it by pinching the edges (and I could completely feel everything - it felt like she was trying to pop it with a fingernail). I had another contraction and I felt a little trickle so I told them I thought my water broke. They (the nurses) thought so too. At that point I was feeling pressure with the contractions, so they told me I could push on the next one if I wanted to. I still had a little bit of cervix hanging around, but they thought if I pushed it would finally go away. The first time I pushed there was a huge pop and my water went everywhere! I pushed 2 more times in the first contraction and they ran to get the doctor because his head was right there. I wanted to keep pushing, but he told me not to. I was screaming at him, "but his head is right there, I can feel it!!!". By the time the next contraction came along the baby had gone back up a bit so I had to bring him back down again. I pushed three times and he was right there. The doc told me to take a breath in and when I did, the baby's head popped out! lol! I pushed 3 times through the next contraction and on the 4th contraction I was able to deliver his body - it was so hard to get my legs to stay back; with one hand I was pulling my right leg back and with the other I was pushing it forward. I had no idea I was doing that and when the nurse pointed it out I was able to focus and get the baby's body out. It was so strange and awesome because I could feel everything and really work with my body on pushing out the baby efficiently. I could feel the energy in the room. It really was magical.

The doctor and nurses joked that I had no tearing at all, merely a “skid mark” as they put it, and that I really did great. I felt amazing! Truly, truly amazing. It was such a rush and not having that drugged haze was so nice. I hadn’t any sleep in the past 24 hours or so and I felt great.

Anyway, Port came out screaming and clawing at my gown! They put him on my belly and he was just perfect and gooey! I couldn't believe I was actually holding him and touching him. He was pink and squirmy and wide eyed. Hubby cut the cord (he didn’t get to with Kiddo) and I noticed he looked a little grossed out. They took him over to weigh and he immediately peed all over the nurse! She screamed and everyone laughed – she had apparently been peed on several times that day already. They shouted out his apgars were 9/9 and everyone was so excited. Port was screaming and crying and it was the most beautiful sound ever.

I delivered the placenta – and when it came out I shouted “ahh, that felt so good!!!” Once the words were out of my mouth of course I was completely embarrassed. The energy in the room was one of joy and laughter and happiness. It was so different from my last experience. There was no tension, just excitement; no worries or fear, just anticipation and joy. Everyone was smiling, laughing, talking excitedly…

The doctor put one stitch in (just to tighten things up a bit) and I was good as new. Soon enough Port was back in my arms and so beautiful and tiny and perfect.

Then I noticed the rash on his face. He has neonatal lupus too - but this time no one was really concerned because he was obviously so alert and healthy. The odds – what are the odds? My miracle child had neonatal lupus but was healthy. Praise God!

The birth was almost the complete opposite of Kiddo’s birth. It was amazing - and I am so glad I made the choice to do it without drugs. I really feel it made all the difference in the world. I could concentrate on myself and all of the powerful energy my amazing friends and family were sending. I felt it in the room; I felt it in my soul and my body. The natural high lasted for hours. I stayed awake and felt wonderful for most of the next day. Even through visitors and nurses and room changes I was energized and filled with so much joy. People commented on how wonderful I looked – so much different from last time. And what was amazing too was I was not sore or uncomfortable in any way. I could move around, get up and down and do all the things I needed to do (within reason). Even though I was ready to go home on Friday, they made me stay till Saturday. We brought him home in our now full-of-car-seats car and are blissfully happy to have him with us.

Thanks for reading.
D :)


Julia said...

What a great birth story! I am so proud that you stuck to your natural birth plan.

jen barnes said...

Wow, Dawn, that was an amazing story. I can totally relate to your experience with this story because I had a very similar experience the 2nd time around. I was literally cheering for you as I was reading this beautiful story. :-)

Vick said...

Oh wow - what a great birth story. I always get a little ... not envious, but maybe a little melancholy, when I read great natural birth stories. Having that experience mus be so empowering and something you cherish - I'm thrilled for you :)

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