beauty for ashes

30 April 2011

birth story

okay...time to put this in writing!

about a week before delivery

me days before Jonah arrives

3 am on January 14th, I wake up to pee (big surprise!).  I climb back into my cozy bed and drift off into slumber...until I feel liquid sliding down the back of my leg.  In my half-asleep state I wonder if I just peed on myself.  I had heard of pregnant ladies doing this, and I was slightly embarrassed (not that there was anyone to be embarrassed for...certainly not Joshua!).  So, I drag my sleepy behind out of bed and try to pee again.  I noticed that every time I would bend over, more liquid would squirt out.  I now have the sneaking suspicion that my water just might have broken.  I let Joshua know, and we have a quick yay! moment.  At this point I am one day shy of 37 weeks.  I start having mild contractions.  Nothing major, so I decide to get some sleep.
At 9 am I call my midwife to let her know that I think my water may have broken.  She has me come in around 11 to double check.  Still no major contractions, by the way.  She determines that my water did break and checks the baby's heart rate.  For a few terrifying moments, she cannot find his heartbeat, and I start quietly freaking out.  Finally she locates it - up near my ribcage!  She is concerned that the baby is too high and does a pelvic exam.  Jonah is nowhere to be found and I am not at all dilated.  So, we take a trip to Dr. Nova's office.  At this point, it is noon.  Still no contractions.  Apparently Jonah used the car ride over wisely, because he returned to his proper place in my pelvis, relieving my fears of a c-section.  Alice is getting very concerned about my lack of contractions and lays out my options:
I can proceed to hospital and get started with pitocin (boo) or I can make a castor oil milkshake and see if that will get the party started (also boo).  I still wanted my perfect birth experience, so I went with...

At about 3 pm I mix up a chocolate ice cream, banana, and castor oil milkshake (yum).  Now, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 28 weeks and completely cut out sugar and carbs (and only gained 4 lbs total with my pregnancy!), so I had my concerns about ingesting this much sugar.  Luckily things went smoothly, for a bit anyways.  I will save you the gross details of what commenced after I took the whole bottle of laxative, but I am sure that you can figure it out!
Anyways...after that, things really picked up!  I went from no contractions to really really excruciating ridiculous contractions.  I always thought that those women who yelled and screamed during labor were crazy...until my rolling contractions started.  Just as one would end another would begin.  I was in agony, and yelling about it really did ease the pain a bit.  My husband was AMAZING.  I seriously could not have done it without him.  During a contraction, I was hot, so he would throw the blanket or robe off.  Between contractions, I was freezing, so he covered me back up.  I found that there were two ways I preferred to labor.  Standing with my arms around Joshua, middle school dance style, and bent over with my hands on the bed or couch while Joshua applied counter pressure to my hips or lower back.  And keep in mind that the castor oil was still working it's way out.  I ended up with intense back labor for just about the whole time.  It sucked.  Also, my husband was trying desperately to get me to eat something.  But my contractions were too close together to even consider eating a chicken nugget.
I got in our bath tub twice.  The first time was about two hours in (around 5pm).  The second time was closer to 8.  It was this dip in the tub where things changed.  It went from exceedingly painful contractions to my whole body curling in on itself.  I noted this change with something profound like "ooooh dear"  At this point, Joshua determined that it was time to head to the birth cottage.  It took like thirty minutes to get from the tub to the car because my contractions were  counterproductive to getting dressed and out the door.  We called Alice on the way, letting her know that I had started pushing in the tub at home and we were almost to the Cottage.  We spent about ten minutes in the parking lot, praying the whole time that we would not deliver the baby in the parking lot staring at the wine loft across the street.  Once Alice arrived, we headed to the back room and Joshua let everyone know that we were at the Cottage.  I continued pushing in a ballerina plie/squat position until Jonah's head was out.  Then I climbed onto the bed and delivered him on all fours.  It was an incredible moment, looking at my tiny baby.  He took a heart-stopping moment to start breathing properly, but then he was in my arms, all 5 lb 3 oz of perfection.  We were at the Birth Cottage for 28 minutes.

We stayed there until about 2 am, during which time my parents, Jason and Kelli, Sarah and Ryan (and Verity), and my Uncle David all came to meet my sweet baby boy.  Joshua and Jason hung the "it's a boy" sign out front and I took the best shower of my life.

Jonah and Daddy - first day together

He was so tiny!   My sister go to town about 2 am and came to see him.  The next day, my mama and Jess tore apart the town looking for preemie clothes that would fit my petite little boy.  Pretty much the best day of my life...

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