Sunday, April 3, 2011

"birth"days and birthdays :)

Tomorrow my sweet baby girl turns one.

Unbelievable really that at 5:50 am (my OB says that 90% of all her babies are born at night/dark which is an entirely different blog post) I won't have an official infant anymore. I always (as in the three birthdays i have experienced with my son)  feel more nostalgia the day before the birthday because I can't help but remember all the terrible wonderfulness and exciting anticipation of labor and delivery. For instance, last year at this time, we were in Easter Vigil mass where I was my husband's sponsor as he became Catholic and I was having occasional mild rounds of contractions. Happy one year as a catholic day too honey :)

It was a busy day! Obviously it was quite a night too ;)

Moms know there is NOTHING quite like birthing a child- amazing and powerful and maybe a tad horrific at times but unique and special! I am so excited for my friends and family who will be experiencing this soon, both for the first time and as veterans (you all know who you are)!
What a high when you finally meet that person on the outside and know they already owned  a piece of your heart while on the inside. Whenever a birthday comes, I always wish mommy a happy "birth"day because it is also a celebration of birth and being a mother.

Tonight I will go to sleep with thoughts of contractions and miracles and power but I will probably meet April 4th a hell of a lot more comfortable than last year :) And I will certainly get more sleep!

If you are interested, Aila's birth story is below. I read a BUNCH before I had her in order to get into the birthing spirit so I felt very compelled to write my own!

Birth Story
I had awoken to contractions for several days off and on- nothing too intense but consistent and strong enough to make me take notice. Each time, it would last a few hours and then stop. I was beginning to get concerned that once actual labor kicked in and stayed, that I wouldn’t know when to make the hour long trip to the hospital since I had had so many fake outs. I was happy because I was doing the easy work in advance and hoped that when active labor ready got going, I would be primed and ready. But emotionally, I was starting to melt down a bit and knew a release was coming. Aaron had his initiation into the Catholic Church scheduled for Easter Vigil mass and since that was my due date and I was his sponsor, we were really hoping to make it through with no drama J
Saturday morning (my due date) brought on my emotional release- I was uncoordinated and tired and anxious and my two year old, Nolan had thrown his umpteenth tantrum for the week and I just lost it. I held it together to get Nolan to my husband, locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed for 45 minutes. It helped a lot. Afterwards I felt much more relaxed and less “crazy” and I know it removed a block that was getting the way of my labor. My parents arrived after lunch to be there for Easter Vigil and we played outside with my son all afternoon.  I cooked dinner for everybody and we went to church. While there, I had a few contractions, again nothing major. The mass was beautiful and long as Easter Vigil masses are and Aaron left the church a full member. We attended a little reception afterwards where all the other people from the RCIA group wished us well and made us promise to bring that baby by once she “finally” arrived.
When we got home, I chatted with my parents for awhile before bed and felt the contractions starting again. I didn’t say anything because it had all happened before (4 or 5 times) and I was trying not to expect anything. When we went to bed around 11:00, Aaron and I said his first rosary together and I had to actually stop and breathe through these contractions. When they arrived, I would stop talking and Aaron continued to pray until I could join him again. By the end of the rosary, the contractions were about 5 minutes apart and lasting for about a minute. These were stronger than before and then I started to get the shakes. These had been pretty prevalent when I labored with my son so we knew that this was no practice round. It was very hard to relax when my body was in mini-convulsions, but as long as I really concentrated and breathed deep and low it was possible. Aaron gathered up our stuff and we told my mom to come sleep in our room in case my son awoke overnight looking for us and we went ahead and left for our hour drive to the hospital (we picked that hospital over the other dozen that were closer because they were most supportive of natural birth practices).
During our drive (which only took 45 minutes since it was 1:30 in the morning and Aaron was being an overachiever) the contractions continued to intensify and upon arrival, they were 4 minutes apart and lasting 1-1.5 minutes. We walked into the hospital, stopping twice to lean against the wall and breathe. I was dilated to four centimeters at intake (around 2:30) and after the initial routine, our nurse left us to labor.
My doctor gave us permission to monitor intermittently so we were free to move but I found a side lying position to be the most comfortable. With each contraction, Aaron put pressure into my sacrum and reminded me to relax and breathe. I went to the bathroom regularly to keep some movement going and would just squat slightly and lean into Aaron during these contractions. They continued to intensify and get closer together but I stayed pretty relaxed with Aaron’s help. Two hours later at 4:30, the nurse checked me and said I was 6-7 cm dilated. We were happy with the progress and knew that it was about to get hard but we were getting closer to meeting our baby girl. After that, things happened pretty fast, contractions got even stronger, the shaking returned and I found it impossible to relax through one particular contraction because of the shivering. Aaron climbed in bed behind me and started breathing hard with me reminding me to keep it low and deep in my stomach. He rubbed downward strokes across my sacrum and into my hip and we were able to keep the shivering under control as long as I kept concentrating on my breath. Relaxing was getting very hard and I started to get agitated and cried a little bit. Transition was near- I said I couldn’t do it and Aaron reminded me that we knew that I would think that but that was doing it already and just to hang in for 15 minutes (which is what I had told him to tell me and I reminded him of that).
Suddenly I knew I couldn’t lie down anymore. I started getting hot flashes and told Aaron to “get off me”. I scrambled up onto all fours and breathed through another contraction. Then I said I was going to pee my pants and I had to get to the bathroom so Aaron helped me into the bathroom. Went I sat down, suddenly I felt more relaxed again. It almost felt good to bear down slightly and I did a little through the next contraction (they were right on top of each other at this point). Suddenly I felt very lightheaded and felt a super powerful pressure in my pelvic floor along with a stretching sensation. I grasped the bar on the wall and said “Aaron I think she’s coming”. He ran to press the call button for the nurse and while he was gone I couldn’t help but bear down- I was feeling overwhelmed because I hadn’t expected it to progress like that. The contractions had switched to the pushing kind without my even noticing! When he got back in I grunted (truly) that I needed the nurse and reached down to see if I could feel the baby. The stretching and burning intensified but it was mostly just an amazingly powerful sensation. My nurse, Meghan ran in (she told me later she had heard my telltale grunting and managed to grab gloves on the way) and said “Jamie we HAVE to get you back to the bed” so Aaron grabbed me as I felt like I was holding my baby in and we hobbled quickly toward the bed. About 5 other nurses were running in with delivery equipment as Meghan yelled to “call Dr. McDonald” followed by “Oh my, she’s delivering” as I flopped backward onto the bed. As I did that, my water broke and baby Aila spilled (I use this term because that is what it felt like) out of me. What a tremendous relief! Meghan caught her and said give one more push. It was really the only push I felt like I consciously made as her entire body came out and they put her on my stomach. At this point, the house doctor ran in- she had been across the hall and was still too far away to make it in time for delivery. Of course, my doc was probably in the parking lot still at this time, as we had never thought I would go from 7 cm to delivery in less than 45 minutes. It was 5:15 am and we had our beautiful little angel in our arms. I had no tearing, no bleeding issues like I had with Nolan and no time to even process that I had just had a baby! It was the birth of my dreams and though it was incredibly intense, I would not have not done it any other way. The staff referred to me as ‘the lady whose baby fell out’ and all those pre-runs of early labor really paid off getting Aila in the best position for birth. We were all doing well so we discharged about 35 hours after we got there. God is good!


Jo said...

i always laugh at the "have to get you to the bed" part- i would have been perfectly happy catching her in the bathroom myself had i thought about it in advance ;)

judejo said...

I will never forget that night as long as I live...It was so perfect except for Nolan being so sick the next day...I thank the good Lord, Dr. Marys' chiropractic adjustments, your great care of Aila before she was even born and maybe a prayer or 50 from Nana and Grandma Kathy Jo...Last year at this time we were just going to bed and hoping she'd arrive while we were in town...