Sunday, February 24, 2008
First off I would like to say, "Happy Birthday Mom!"
Yesterday was my Birthday and I was thinking of my mom all day. Since I just gave birth 7 weeks ago it has given me a renewed appreciation for my mom and all she has done for me during my life.
With all the birth day action going on I wanted to share Solomon's birth story while it is still fresh in my mind...
I woke up early on new year's eve morning feeling restless and ready to have our baby. I was only a week "overdue"but it felt like a month. I lay in bed in the early morning and watched the sun slowly lighten the sky. Ben must have sensed my restlessness and he woke up with me and we watched the cheesy local morning news on TV. It was Ben's day off of work which was really good timing because we very rarely have the chance to wake up together in the morning.
I started to notice that I was getting contractions that were mildly uncomfortable and seemed to be coming every 10 minutes or so. I decided to get up and take a shower. Shortly after I got out of the shower Sophie and my mom woke up. My mom asked me how I was feeling like she had everyday since she arrived in Portland on the 17th . I was happy to report that finally something was happening!
I had had an emotional meltdown the night before when Ben and I walked to Walgreen's late at night to get some Tums(and a box of chocolates that I decided I deserved).I was feeling really worn out emotionally. I was sad that things were not going the way we thought they would. I felt bad that my mom would soon have to leave and worried that she would miss the birth, and sad that she would only have a short time to meet her new grandchild if I did give birth when she was still in Portland. It started to feel like I would be pregnant forever. Physically I felt great, despite the horrible nightly heartburn. We had been hiking and walking as much as possible ,and I was doing everything I could think of to get my labor started.
We decided to go out for breakfast. We were all pretty excited that things were happening. Through out breakfast my contractions were coming every five minutes and were mildly painful like bad menstrual cramps.
When we returned home I decided to give my midwife,Joy a call to give her a heads up. Sophie my mom and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood to find a black cat that Sophie had made friends with the day before. No luck finding the cat. I noticed that my contractions were spacing out a bit but they were also getting stronger. We returned home and sat around most of the afternoon watching the Grinch for the 100th time(thanks to Sophie). I hated sitting around waiting and after taking a short nap I asked Ben to go for another walk with me. Ben and I walked up a big steep hill in our neighborhood that leads up to Mt. Tabor Park. My contractions had spaced out to about one every half hour or so, and they were still really bearable.
We decided to go home and rest to see if things would pick up. Joy called me to see how things were going since I hadn't talked to her in 5 hours. We had veggie lasagna for dinner(not a good choice I was soon to find out.) I got the birth bag all packed and ready for the Birth Center and decided to rest in bed. Around 6pm my contractions became much stronger and closer together.I could hear Sophie and my mom having fun with the New Year noise makers. Ben and I hung out in bed for an hour or so, Ben started to fall asleep and I started to feel like was getting closer to birthing time. My contractions were really painful and I was unable to talk through them although I was still able to laugh and talk and carry on as usual between them.
My mom helped Sophie to bed while I took a bath.I didn't last long in the tub because the water was too hot and I started to feel faint.
By the time I was dressed it was close to 11pm. I called Joy and told her I felt like we needed to come in. She told me it would be about an hour before our room was ready. My mom and I hung out for a while and talked while Ben loaded up the car. I sat on my birth ball and read my birth affirmations and waited until we could go. My contractions were coming very strong and close together and I was having a hard time getting through them. I was still able to laugh between contractions and I was really excited to soon meet our new blessing.
I was happy that Sophie was peacefully asleep while we left for the Birth Center. It would save her a lot of anxiety and hopefully by the time she woke up the baby would be earth side.
As we were leaving our house I could hear people in the neighborhood blowing noise makers and cheering. It was exactly midnight, and a new year! I remember giving Ben a quick kiss and saying ,"Happy New Year!"
My contractions were pretty hard to handle at this point and I was worried how I would deal with them in the car. (The birth Center was about a half hour from our house.) The car ride was miserable! My contractions had increased to every two minutes and I was pretty much roaring like a mama bear through them. I remember seeing a bunch of rowdy guys acting like fools with their shirts off swinging from lamp posts. I was less than amused at the time. Things were moving fast and I was anxious to get to Andaluz.
We made it safe and sound despite me screaming and the people who were drunk driving on the interstate.Good driving Ben.
Kristin, one of the midwife apprentices was there setting up one of the rooms for us,and filling up the birth tub. I clogged the toilet within the first 20 minutes we were there and ended up flooding the bathroom. I was still able to laugh at this point, but wasn't able to help clean up.
I walked around the empty Birth Center and paced the floor of my room for about an hour. I was unable to handle the power of the contractions if I was sitting or lying down, I had to move and walk through them. Kristin offered to check me and I was five centimeters dilated, although she could feel my cervix open to 6 within a few seconds.
For some reason I though it would be a good time to call my mom to let her know how things were going but I was unable to get through the short conversation. My contractions seemed to come one on top of the other and I was still roaring through them.
I am thankful I gave birth when I did because I would have scared off all the mamas coming in for their visits if It would have been a different time.Vocalizing was the only way I could deal with the intensity of what my body was going through.
I started to feel really nauseous and after the next contraction I had to run to the bathroom where I quickly voided myself of the veggie lasagna. That is when my midwife Joy came into the room. She asked if I wanted them in the room or if I wanted to be alone with Ben. I told her I wanted to be alone with Ben for a while longer. I felt a need for privacy and figured there wasn't much she could do for me anyway.
About three contractions later Kristin came into the room and said that it sounded like I was getting ready to push and that I should get in the birth tub soon. As I got into the tub Joy and her apprentice Taryn came into the room.
On land I wasn't getting a break between contractions at all and was beginning to feel overwhelmed by them.
Ben and I got in the tub together and he sat behind me to support me. It felt like such a great relief when I got in the water. I remember laughing because it felt so good to get a bit of a break.I labored in the water for an hour before I was screaming with every contraction. I began to realize that pushing made the pain bearable and actually felt kinda good. I told the midwives that I was pushing,and I asked if it was okay. They just kind of laughed at me and said yeah. I felt great relief to be able to focus the energy of the contraction on something and I began to feel more in control. This birth was so different than the hospital birth we had with Sophie. The midwives just stayed out of it and let Ben and I work together.
I ended up pushing for a good two hours. I was exhausted and I kept apologizing to the midwives who were falling asleep.Kristin told me later that she was really surprised that it was taking so long to push him out. I could feel his head about an inch from coming out. I changed positions several times in the tub and I even considered getting out for a while. I decided to give it one more shot in the tub because I really wanted to have the baby in water.
Ben moved to the other end of the tub and Kristin freshened up the water. I was exhausted and I so badly wanted the labor to be over with. I was begging the baby to come out.
Soon our baby's head began to emerge. Ben was a fantastic birth partner and was very mellow, loving and encouraging. Ben was ready to catch the baby. The baby's head was so big that it took a good three to four pushes to get it out. Once the baby's head was out I needed to rest. I pushed several times after the head was out though the contractions. I could see the midwives getting concerned and I could see that the baby's head was a very dark purple color and I started to feeling the adrenaline kick in again. Kristin reached in and tried pulling while I pushed but no luck. Joy steped in and told me I would have to get out of the tub,but I wanted to try one more time. I began to push before the next contraction and when the next contraction hit I gave it all I had while Joy pulled and the baby came out much to every one's relief.
I held our sweet baby on my chest and heard the sweetest little wimper and I was so relieved that the baby was okay. We just sat in bliss and told the baby how much we loved him. As soon as the baby was out I was saying "Him". I had a feeling through out my pregnancy that our baby was a boy and had many dreams about the birth of our son.
We finally checked to make sure. The baby was so strong that it was hard to see, but finally I saw a little man package. I couldn't believe it. I was thrilled. "We have a boy",I cried. Solomon was safely earth side. The placenta came out quick and easy with a push, it was a big placenta for our big guy. We stayed in the tub for a few minutes getting to know one another and Ben cut his cord once the blood stopped flowing through it.
After the birth we snuggled in bed together. Solomon was very alert and looking all over the place. He was so peaceful after what he had been through. I immediately fell in love with him.I am so thankful we were able to have Solomon in such a wonderful environment with midwives who had complete faith in a woman's natural ability to give birth. I couldn't stop staring at my perfect little man. He got the hang of breastfeeding right away. We fell asleep and woke up with the entire place to ourselves. Andaluz was closed to appointments due to the holiday and it was only us and a nurse in case we needed anything. She made us the most fabulous french toast and I now have a bad french toast habit...yum. Ben went and picked up Sophie and Nana to come and meet Solomon while I just hung out staring at him while he slept in my arms, in total awe of our new blessing.
I can't express how thrilled I am to have Solomon. And now I guess it is safe to admit that I really had been hoping for a little boy. I noticed that all the things I made for our babe was slightly on the boy side although I tried my best to be neutral. We couldn't find a girl name that felt right either. I didn't even put much effort into coming up with a girl's name. About a week before my due date I started looking just in case. But we had Solomon's name pick out for quite some time, although we decided on a middle name after he was born. Anthony is my dads name and Ben's great grandfathers name, we are proud to give him a family name.
Solomon is almost two months old now and he is thriving. He has gained 5 lbs and 3.5inches. We had our last visit with the midwives this week.I will really miss going to Andaluz.
Solomon is a very happy guy. He is the sweetest boy and is a real joy to take care of. I feel blessed beyond measure...
Posted by Heidi at 11:45 AM