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Friday, February 22, 2013

Little Time to Spare

I was a week and 4 days overdue. But when you really think about it, what is "due" anyway. I wasn't really counting down, but... people would ask anyway. And as well meaning as they were it really started to get at me all the advice that I was given to get the baby out. I love being pregnant {minus the horrible morning sickness I got this time} I think I have a great pregnant body and other than having trouble getting up off the couch or out of bed I don't have any problems.

So, my due date came and went and actually I was really glad. I'm not sure what the problem was but I was in a terrible mood and I took it out on the boys. I later apologized and I prayed that I wouldn't have the baby that Monday. I didn't want to the boys to remember me a being upset when I went to the hospital. So after that day I was determined to make every day a good one. So when I left to go to the hospital, they would know that this was a happy time.

This pregnancy was so different, I was determined to go natural. It's not for everybody, but it was for me. I have been on picotin twice, and had two babies via C-section. If we were to leave the option open for any more to come to our family it had to be natural. I didn't fare well after Benji was born and I didn't think that any more C-sections would be safe for my body.

I found a doctor that was willing to deliver me naturally, but it had to be in the hospital. And so it was.

After I was a full week late, I was asked to come in to have a stress test and to check my levels. The baby was fine, other than being in an awkward position, sitting more on my hip than down in the birth canal. But my placenta was not looking good. It was starting to calcify and looking old. I was told that it probably wasn't safe for me to go even a whole week more. I had until Friday to begin labor or I was to be induced.

My midwife told me to take Blue and Black Cohosh every thirty minutes for 4 hours that first day and then the next day..... to try Castor Oil.

Ugh!!! both were so gross!!!!

But, I did it. Wednesday morning I got up and had breakfast. Played with the boys and cleaned a little. I put the castor oil in some grape juice and chugged it down. I really was expecting something to happen right away. It didn't, an honestly I was a little disappointed. I tried really hard to relax and just enjoy the day, but staying close to the bathroom.

I took my second round of castor oil in the afternoon, and laid down for a nap. I woke up to some pain, but then it went away. I got up to make sure things were ready to go. But nothing more happened.

All of a sudden I remember looking at the clock and seeing that it was 4:00 and that I had to start dinner, but I didn't feel like moving. I had started contracting and even though they were nothing to sing over I had forgotten everything else that needed to be done. I finally got up to make dinner and by the time it was ready it was 6:00 and the thought of eating anything made me sick. So I sat at the table with the family, just enjoying the time that I was having with them. I told Steve that I was contracting about every 5 minutes. I was having a hard time moving but helped the boys get ready for bed any way.

We had family prayer and told the boys that soon I would be going to the hospital to have our baby brother. It was a sweet moment with the boys as they were so concerned about me.

By now it was 8:00 and I had called my midwife and my friend Diana to let them know what was going on. James finally got home from Scouts soon after that and I felt like because all the boys were here and safe I could leave now. I labored at home for a little while longer and just sat on the couch and hummed.

It was 10:00 and I could tell that I was transitioning into active labor. One more call to the midwife, and to Diana and it was time to leave. The only hospital that would allow me to deliver naturally was an hour away. And we were off.

Normally the drive seems pretty long, but that time it didn't feel that way, and we were there about 11:00. My midwife was at the doors waiting for me ready to wheel me up, but I just got done sitting and I really wanted to walk. So walk I did.

I had never been in labor before and this was all new to me. It amazed me how inward I turned when I started contracting. I just remember holding Steve and the world seemed to fade away.

I made it up to Labor and Delivery.

Now because I am a VBAC I had to be monitored at least for a little while and then I could get back up and walk again if that is what I wanted. So I got changed and laid on the bed to be monitored, and that's when I panicked.

I had felt really good being upright and walking but as soon as I laid down I was in so much pain. I tried to get up and walk again but the monitors were saying that his heart rate was really low, and that he wasn't dealing with the contractions well. The words C-sections were being whispered. I started to breath funny and was put on oxygen. I didn't want any drugs but I was ok with them putting in a line for that "just in case" moment.

All this time I was dilating,when we arrived at the hospital I was at 4 cm. During the commotion I was told I was at an 8. Everything was moving so fast. I was trying to remember to breath, and trying to get comfortable.

And then it was like time stopped.

I was at 10 cm. and was told to start pushing. I was so tired from the pain that I was in that I felt like I had a hard time pushing.

Steve was wonderful, he was right there the whole time and was telling me that I can do this. I remember looking up at him and feeling so loved by him. I remember him walking away... probably just to move for a moment for one of the nurses, and in that moment I felt so lost with out him.

I also had a doula, Janice. I was unsure if I wanted to have a doula with me, but a wonderful friend said I should. I found a wonderful woman to help me. And although there really wasn't time to do a whole lot her just being there was a big help and a great comfort. I liked having so many people on my side to help me achieve this.

I pushed through one contraction, oh, the pain. I squeezed my eyes shut, I just wanted to leave. I wanted to be done. I wanted to disappear, I wanted to just die.

But it was also in that moment when I felt lifted up. I knew there were lots of people around me, most that I didn't know. But I felt like there were many people that were there that I did know, that knew me. That cared for me and that loved me. I have 3 special Grandmas, and I felt them there.

Grandma Jean, my dad's mom.  A wonderful woman with such a sense of humor, but could be cranky too. I loved her and she was so fun to talk to because the conversation would always turn funny because she would forget what we were talking about. I'm glad that I remember her as a working woman, because as she got older her body became more frail. I was able to get a picture with her and my dad and James in a 4 generation picture.

My Grandma Lower, my mom's mom. My sister and I would go back to Michigan every summer for visitation with my mom, and we spent so much time with my grandma. She was a spunky woman, and hard working. Her and my Grandpa owned a little fast food place called the Snack Shack. She worked there with my Grandpa for years, until they no longer owned it. She always made it a fun place for my sister and I to be. She was a golfer when she was younger, and I remember that there were days that my sister and I would have a sitter because she was not going to miss her Bridge game with her friends. I don't think I realized how much I loved her until she passed away.

My Great Grandma Ester. I remember her white hair that was done every week at the salon, I remember the smell of her house, and the big front window where the birds would sit on her bush. I remember the  pies and cookies that she made for the holidays.

I felt these wonderful women there with me, doing something that women do.

I was told to push during a contraction and felt him move down. Then during the second contraction I felt a rush of pain and my body being opened in two, and then, nothing. He was out and my body was again mine. And the pain was gone.

I did it. I did something that women for ages have been doing. I climbed the mountain that I wanted to climb and descended down the other side with a new understanding of what women hood means to me. I felt everything, every pain, and in turn was able to feel the overwhelming joy as well.

I had my eyes closed the whole time trying to focus with what little I could, and I remember saying to myself to "open your eyes" I did and there he was a perfect baby boy. He was peeing everywhere and was crying. I took him and fell in love. He was born at 12:02am that Thursday morning, a little over an hour after we got to the hospital.

They put him on my chest and he just looked up at me. I looked into those dark eyes and am pretty sure that he could see into my soul. I think babies are like that. They have a way of knowing things and a way of looking at you that tells you that they know exactly what is going on.

This was the first time that a baby, my baby, was all mine. The nurses didn't take him away from me I held him and snuggled him, and nursed him. I delivered my placenta and still he was with me. I opened the blanket just to look at him. I am always amazed that out of two small things, a sperm and an egg, that a perfect human being can be formed. This body that I created for this spirit was perfect.

After about an hour I let go of him to get cleaned up myself. A nurse took the baby while I was busy. It felt so good to be in control of my body, shaky as it was. As soon as I was back in bed he was back in my arms.

Things died down and the chaos that was there only a short time ago was gone.

Soon it was just Steve and I alone with out new child. Another boy. We had talked about names before and were pretty sure what he would be named but we talked about it to make sure. Nathaniel Swim. Our boys are named after great men that we know and this was no exception. He is named after a battle buddy of Steve's who has gone on to become a wonderful friend of the family. We decided that we would call him Swim. A fun nickname that has a wonderful story to go with it.

Steve decided that he would head home and be there when the boys wake up to tell them the good news.

Finally, it was just Swim and I. Alone together. I just held him close and smelt him. There really is something magical about the way a newborn smells. I was so awake, and the adrenaline high that I was on was amazing. I felt like I could do anything at that moment.

I held him and loved him and cuddled him and sang to him until the darkness of the sky began to lighten. I held him as he melted into me and we both finally fell asleep.


Tristan said...

Yay! I'm so proud of you! I've been waiting for an update.

Mackey Family said...

Totally awesome!! Way to be a woman!!! very well said.

sinika said...


Emily said...

Oh Leah, I am so proud of you!:) Congratulations to you and your adorable n' wonderful family!

Love you loads!!

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