Monday, June 25, 2012


Three weeks ago I gave birth to a baby boy. A son! On this blog I will refer to him as "Bud",  mostly because I hear myself calling him "Buddy", and also because he is a blooming new beautiful little thing and next to his sister the Twig that seems fitting. One day they will both have sprouted into larger garden metaphors but for now, so you know who is who, they will be "Twig" and "Bud".

Bud came into the world on May 12th making a more timely but slightly more painful entrance than his sister. Only two days late, I went into labor at 3:30am, and at 2:19pm a whole new chapter of life began for all four of us. It was not an easy labor at all. It started beautifully with contractions five minutes apart right away. We left for the hospital quickly calling a friend to stay and wait with Twig until she woke up. We got to the hospital at 5 am and I was checked in quickly only stopping briefly in the hallway to have a contraction. A nurse checked me and said I was eight centimeters dilated, which was exciting, but when someone a bit more experienced checked me I was really only 5. Still I was thrilled to be this far along and actually having the baby. I knew from my experience with Twig that labor for me doesn't always result in the baby that same day, so I found myself asking the staff if the baby would for sure be born today. They assured me he would.

As I anticipated my contractions slowed down considerably a few hours after getting there. I asked if my doctor could come break my water since that is what helped me with my first pregnancy. At 11am, my doctor arrived and broke my water, and a half an hour later we all sat there looking at each other. It didn't quite have the magic it did before. He checked me again and said there was a fore-bag (no idea) but some other bag of water to break and when he did that contractions came back. I was about 7 centimeters at this point and contractions were very close together and very strong. It stayed like this for what seemed like forever. In this time, I began to run out of steam, encouragement and the ability to move. I never considered an epidural with my first labor and with this one I wanted to get punched out and wake up with the baby in my arms.  My doctor said at this point I might have to consider another option since I seemed to be stuck (or as he said, "not progressing"). I was so discouraged by this and felt so immobilized that I had no response. My friend who was my doula for the day was my anti-epidural champion. She reminded me it would slow things down and that I should get up. I thought she was crazy in that moment too. Getting up seemed an impossibility. A midwife who seemed to always pop in with gems of wisdom, came in and pressed my bladder. She said no baby would come until I emptied it and that I had to get up and try to pee. My husband took me to the bathroom where I confessed to him that I  thought I might die. He told me I couldn't listen to the doctor, or my friend, and that I had to decide for myself what I wanted to do. Again I couldn't think much beyond the pain from the rapid contractions. I had started with such relaxed breathing and visualizations to get me through, but I couldn't think as fast as the contractions were coming.

My friend joined me in the bathroom and suggested I get in the shower. Reluctantly I sat on a chair under the water, in hopes it might refresh me a little. The contractions were beyond intense but I managed to stay under the water for two of them. When I got back to the bed I was hooked up to the monitors again, and one of the nurses started to guide me through a contraction. In the brief minute I had before the next one came on, I asked her if she could continue guiding me like she had. It seemed to help me get out of my own head. She agreed and by the third one, I felt the urge to push. I thought for sure they would tell me I wasn't ready yet but as soon as I told them, they checked and the baby was crowning. I saw everyone in that delivery room jump to their feet and suddenly it all moved very fast. I felt like I only pushed three or four times and he was out. I was absolutely exhausted and a bit out of it, but it was still incredible and amazing. That moment, with my husband at my side, looking from our new baby and then up to him, I was overwhelmed with love and awe again. We made another life and he is so very wanted.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Waiting Game

Family has arrived, the phone calls are coming, Braxton Hicks come and go but no real sign of baby coming yet. Forty weeks today, and my baby is still pretty comfy it seems. All my friends with due dates close to me, or some even a bit after, have given birth already. Two of my friends were at the hospital last week together. Pictures of babies were sent with I wish you were here sentiments. I haven't felt impatient really, in fact for the most part I have been feeling ok, but today I wish I could know exactly when he is coming.

My obsessive nature is playing with dates to see which one sounds best. 5/10/12, 5/11,12, or 5/12/12. I am not willing to accept the possibility of it going beyond that. I have already decided I will stoop as low as castor oil and take matters into my own hands if I go more than a few days late. I can already check that life experience off and frankly ten days late was no picnic at all. There is something to savor with a few extra days. I'm going to get a manicure, frozen yogurt and maybe a massage if I'm still pregnant tomorrow. The downside is the physical discomfort right now. I have a shooting pain down my left leg every few steps, and sleep is a wrestling match between me, my body pillow and the wedge to hold my bump up. I cannot get comfortable, but if I think I will sleep when the baby gets here then I have suffered from a great deal of memory loss.

The worst part of the waiting is the build up of over-thinking. I am starting to worry about the birth, the hospital experience, the logistics of getting my daughter taken care of, and stupid things like remembering to bring what I need to the hospital. I am also now getting anxious to just see who has been inside me for the last nine months. Will he have hair? How much will he weigh? Will he look like my daughter or more like one of us? Will he latch on and take to nursing easily? Is he going to hurt me on the way out? All of these answers will come, that is what I have to remember right now. He is coming, no matter what. I just have to have a little faith that it will all go well. I want to hold this baby very soon but when exactly that will be is out of my hands. In the meantime, I will keep them massaged and manicured.
(Addendum: The conclusion of this story is that my nail polish is now chipped and my back is a bit achy because I have a baby boy safe at home... Stay tuned for the next post regarding his arrival!)