Friday, January 2, 2009

FlashBack Friday - Birth of Sidwold

katie tagged me for a flashback post a long time ago.. so here it is..finally, more for my self and for my life records I am writing about Sid's Birth. Best flash back of my life.

November 14th 2007, 3am... 41 weeks and 3 days pregnant with my first born.
I can't sleep because I have a dull ache in my lower back. And awake I will stay for the next 35 or so hours.

The day before I had been to get some acupuncture to see if that would get me going into labor. I was Ok, but was anxious for my little guy to come, Torah had been with me for almost a month waiting for the birth and had to leave very soon.
Torah, Rob and I headed to the Midwives at 11am for my scheduled check up, which was everyday at this point.. i had been about one cm dilated for about a month but thought I would be more this day and had my hospital bags packed. The Midwife stripped my membranes to see if that would get me going.... and it did.. within half an hour of my appointment I started to have contractions that were 2-3 minutes apart. I thought they were pretty painful, but was using my breathing techniques and cruising. We were all super excited at home because we thought this was it.. I tried to get some rest but did not sleep much.. too exciting and too many contractions. by about 8pm.... after 8 hours of laboring at home I called my midwife. I was finding it hard to talk through a contraction so she thought that was a good time to come in. We all headed to the birthing place in Greenfield with a excited buzz in the air. I was confident and pumped to bring this baby into the world. I had done all my research and felt prepared. The babe was finally coming.

I can hardly make that drive now without thinking about this crazy night.

When i saw the midwife I was only 3 cm dilated and super bummed. I thought.. oh yeah, I'll be an 8 and just a few more hours.. yep.Close.

We had a huge comfy room with a birthing tub and all the works. I was the only one in labor at the hospital that night. Torah did not plan to be at the birth, but was hanging out in the room with us because it did not seem right that she would sit out in the hall, among other things she was the Dj and camera man! Labor had this almost calm, heavenly feel for a while and there was no need for her to leave.. then it got so hectic that she could not leave because we needed her. Rob was an absolute legend helping me with my breathing and keeping me focused. But every time I was checked I was dilating very slowly and that got me down because I did not know how much I could handle.

I felt like Sid was in the wrong position, I felt like he was pounding sideways and not engaged in the birth canal. The midwife confirmed this and so though it was even more painful I tried to get in different positions to try and move him around. I went in the birthing tub and tried to get my hips moving.. I was in the middle of breathing through a contraction when all of a sudden.....POP.... my water broke....even though I was in the water.. there was no mistaking it... and THEN things got crazy.
Then began the wailing and gnashing of teeth.I felt like there was a massive rock grating down my back that I had to try and poop out. The pressure was intense and the pain was everywhere. But mostly in my back. The overall pain of labor at this point is hard to describe.. like a cramps in your stomach... knives stabbing you and then twisting you in the back then again a rock that seems to want to explode out your behind. By this point it was 3am.....I had not slept for 24hours... and was utterly exhausted. Promptly after my water broke I began vomiting horrendously. Over and over again during the contractions and I could not stop it... in a weird way it was kind of a distraction from the pain for a bit though.. there was so much going on with my body. I got out of the tub and was trying all sorts of positions to see which was more comfortable. They were all bad. I would most often end up hanging my arms around rob's neck while he mad me look him in the eyes to breath through the contractions. I would start out ok doing the breathing methods that we trained at home..... then all of a sudden I had absolutely no control and i would throw my head back and the shakes would begin violently from my head through my whole body, my knees would buckle and then the screaming would matter how hard I tried I could not stop it.. it was like I had to scream to release something.

Only once while I was hanging on to Rob's neck did I bite him. Sorry HonEY.

One of the hardest things I remember is that even when there was a break in the contractions I did not feel any rest because there was still so much pain in my back. it was constant. I remember thinking. I can see how women died in child birth.
The worst of the contractions happened while I was in the shower and Rob was not there with me. I was trying the shower for some kind of relief.. but I just ended up being screaming at the top of my lungs. I had the wear with all to think in my head " poor rob. poor Torah.. they can't help me and I am screaming so horribly, but I can't stop."
I kept telling rob that I needed to poop and he said.... "I think that means you need to push the baby out.. and I was like "no no.. i will feel better if I can just poop."

Soon I ended up on my back on the bed.. the absolute last place I thought I would push a baby out....I imagined giving birth in the tub, pulling the baby out myself - or squatting or something, but I was so exhausted at this point it was actually the most comfortable position. I remember feeling that I would never get the baby out and saying that would have to cut me open. I asked if it was too late for an epidural and the midwife just said that everything was going well.

While I was in the shower screaming rob talked to the midwife because he was so worried.. but she told him that the labor was progressing well and she was not worried.
So it was about 4am and I was on the bed and the midwife was telling my I was ready to push. I had a bit of a cervical lip that she was helping to move out of the way but otherwise I was fully dilated. During the night I got stuck at a 6 for a while which was really disheartening, but then things started to move faster.

At this point, every time I needed to push I just couldn't give it all my power because the pain was so bad in the back I went to push and just could not get past the back. And then while I was trying to escape the pain I met a place.. the rock in the hard place.. the rock is.. it hurts so much that I am not going to push.. the hard place is that if I don't push I am going to stay in this place forever.... i am either dying or pushing this baby out. I pushed for three hours - though it did not feel that long to me. I got in the zone. A zone of exhaustion and of "I am just going to do this. Rob was at my side holding my head and a leg. Torah was at my other side holding my leg. I had a nurse holding oxygen and the midwife pulling back the cervical lip and massaging me so I would not tear. The three hours of pushing was really a blur.. it felt like an hour to me.

The most exciting part of the morning or night was when they got a mirror to show me Sid's head and then they took my hand so I could touch it and then I forgot about he pain.. I was going to get my baby soon.. they there was a rush and a flurry as the nurses came in and started to get things ready for the baby to come and then I really knew, this was happening. The midwife told me to push more slowly so I would not tear and I tried that for a while, but then I thought.. stuff it.. I don't care if I tear ( i barely did) I am too tired.... to control and I pushed little Sid out. November 15th at 7:17am. 8lbs 1 ounce. It was the best feeling overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense feeling.
The pain was gone...just like that. He was placed on my chest and I could not believe how beautiful he was.. clean, calm and wide eyed. He peed on me a few minutes after being born - that made us all laugh and he started to breastfeed right away. I was so amazed and grateful to everyone. I was on such a high and could not sleep when I needed to because I just wanted to look at him.... oh...and I was dead tired!

The first sleep I had after the birth I would keep waking and shaking just like I did as a contraction was coming on.. Like my body was just so used to doing it thousands of times that it kept doing it on schedule.. every 2-3minutes. I did feel shattered for a while, like I could not handle another bit if pain if I had to.
And then for a few weeks, when I was alone in the shower I would start to cry. Not with sadness or depression but i think with relief and amazement. That I did it and it was over!!! or maybe it was post traumatic stress syndrome!!!

For a little while I felt so pathetic that I had no control over the pain and what it did to me...that I did not just cruise through labor like a tough women, like I thought I would. But then after I talked to more mothers and heard more stories I realized my birth was quite normal for a hard natural one. The midwife said it was a hard one, but not the hardest one she had ever been to. I want four kids and Rob had me talked down to three right after the birth!! Back up to Four now. Overall during the labor I felt a great deal of love... and was very loving and grateful to Rob.I don't remember being mad at him or yelling at him! He was everything I could have ever wanted and more. I had no idea he would be so great. He was so blase about the whole thing beforehand that I did not know what to expect from him. Torah was a trooper and I am so happy that she was there and we have this special experience to share our whole lives. I can't wait to be there for her first born.

The bonding I had with my babe was perfect. I was tired and amazed by how consuming being a new mother was (is), but loved it all the time. I loved being with him and never wanted to be away from him. I changed from being a deep sleeper to hearing every little whimper. The fact that I had a difficult labor I look now on it as a good thing. I am grateful for it in fact.. apart from the good stories.. I now know how hard it can get..I get lost in the empathy for people who have hard labors. For my sisters or daughters or friends I will be able to say.. "I know"
Right after the birth I had such a weird feeling of being connected to women throughout time who had given birth and felt so humbled by the power of the experience. It made me think of Christ in Gethsemane. He felt my pain and every other mothers pain. I can't comprehend that. But he knows.

This birth experience is definitely the emotional, physical and spiritual high of my life.

I know modern medicine is great and has a purpose and that some birth complications need medical interventions. If at all possible I prefer no interventions. Apart from the fact that I was born all natural, raised all natural and like all natural.
For those of you who think I am crazy for taking the harder route.. this is just SOME of my research and reasons before going into labor.

- In a drug free birth there are very specific “chemical reactions” that occur when you are in labor that lead to the ability for you and your baby to connect.
As labor progresses and the baby is getting ready to be born, your body releases high levels of endorphins which give you a “high” feeling, and plenty of oxytocin (the “love hormone”). Both of these are produced in higher and higher levels as labor pain intensifies so that you can deal with the pain. The pain is a good thing, and is actually needed so that this entire chain reaction can occur. The highest level of oxytocin a woman will ever experience in her life occurs at birth, the Oxytocin provides a sense of calm and well being, creating a desire for further contact, so it helps the mother and child to bond together. It helps the mother, no matter how tired to deal with the demands of breastfeeding a newborn, and to want to do whatever she can to protect and nourish her baby.
Epidurals and spinals lower the mother's release of oxytocin or stop its normal rise during labor.There are greater percentage of a c-section, episiotomy, breastfeeding problems, jaundice and post natal depression.

I made Rob take this picture of me right after birth because I thought I had never looked so bad in my life.. you can't tell in the picture but I had tiny red burst blood vessels all over my face and chest and back from pushing so much.. Then there is our little warrior. A little bruised and banged himself. He was sideways and backwards most of labor but then turned right at the end.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I am pleased to announce that Rowe is back in the blogging game.  Due to overwhelming support and encouragement from friends and family, she has made a new years resolution to keep you all updated.  I thought i'd give you some pictures while she warmed up

This is my new haircut.

Sid has my eyes. He can walk now, his favorite word is "car", and he is a very sweet and obedient boy.

Here is Sid on Christmas morning. He got pretty excited to open the first gift and quickly lost interest. We had a nice little family christmas. We all spoiled each other, ate copious amounts of cheese (fondue) and spent a lot of time wishing that the pond was frozen so that we could skate.