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Archive for September, 2011

Grown-Up Computer

James and I just got our first ‘grown-up’ computer, meaning not a laptop! We’ve been loving it! With kids learning to use the computer, we just needed something a little sturdier. Since I now have my own computer again, and internet in our living space, and a working camera, I no longer have any excuse not to blog. I’ll start with the biggest event since I last blogged: the birth of our fourth blessing, Baird Isaiah. Here goes…

Baird Isaiah

I must have labored gently for 2 weeks before Baird was actually born. It seemed that 3 requirements had to be met for me to have regular contractions: James had to be with me, the kids had to be asleep or gone, and I could not be too tired. This meant that on most evenings I got a few contractions once James got home from work. The contractions got more regular once the kids were in bed (about 8 minutes apart) and then they’d peter out once I got tired. On Monday April 4 Michelle, our midwife encouraged me to ‘schedule’ time for me to labor because my labors start slow and only increase in intensity when I am able to concentrate, that paired with the fact that I have big babies meant we’d rather have the baby sooner than later!

The contractions got quite strong on Wednesday night, April 6. I was still having some Thursday morning. I got up with James hoping that I’d have reason to keep him home from work, but no, they went away. James went to work. Later I dropped the kids off with my mom, and contractions again! They were 20 minutes apart but lasted through the morning so I cancelled my afternoon appointments, arranged for my mom to keep the kids, and had James come home from work. I labored driving around with James for a few hours with stronger contractions between 5-8 minutes apart. Home again with the kids they mostly stopped. After kids were in bed we drove to my mom’s to get a movie. I had two contractions in the car, but none at my mom’s house. We went to bed late, with no real labor.

Friday Morning I was super tired. I decided to try to drink extra strong coffee to stay awake. Though I have had some coffee over the last couple years, I’m not a big coffee fan. I learned that coffee does keep me awake, but it does not make me feel energetic. I started to cry. No signs of labor on Friday.

We arranged for James’ mom, Penny, to have the kids on Saturday. James and I hade a terrific time together. We took a lovely drive to Rockport with stronger contractions all the way. I could still talk through them, so we obviously had a long way to go, but they were firm enough for James to comment,”Maybe we shouldn’t be driving away from our midwife.” The regularity faded when we stopped to use a restroom and get some water. Contractions picked up a bit on a nice walk in Sedro-Woolley. It was the same walk we’d taken when I was trying to get Liesel out. We walked past a couple who asked, “Trying to get that baby out?” Then, we went out to eat Mongolian Beef at the China Wok. We were surprised that the contractions lasted through lunch! But, they faded on the drive home and we gave up on labor for the day.

On Sunday morning I was tired of trying to put myself in labor. I wanted to treat it like a normal day. We went to church and I went to Chrissy’s baby shower. No signs of a baby coming. When I got home, James was frustrated with kids and needed a break. Upstairs feeding the kids dinner, I decided that I REALLY wanted him to have Monday off work. At 5:00 I took 10 Swiss Kriss (a laxative). At 5:35 I took 10 more. I’ve tried to induce labor 5 other times with this method, and it had never worked. I told James about the Swiss Kriss at about 7. He put kids to bed.

That evening we played cards. I had some contractions but we were both very tired. I figured I’d be taking care of kids as usual the next day, so we went to bed a bit after 9. I woke up in the middle of the night, running to the bathroom. I had a contraction. I didn’t have the awful cramps that Swiss Kriss had caused before. I went back to bed, looking at the clock on the way. It was midnight. In bed I dozed, but had a couple more contractions. Very sleepy, I didn’t pay much attention. At 12:35 I went running for the bathroom again.

I came back in our living room and sat on the birth ball. Contractions were about 7 minutes apart and only 30 seconds long, but very intense. I had to moan through them. I thought I was thinking clearly so I ‘knew’ I couldn’t be in too serious labor yet. I had also had much longer contractions on Thursday and Saturday. While I was waiting for contractions to get longer I was thinking, “I don’t think I can handle a 60 second contraction that is this intense!” All of a sudden I was really tired and ready to ‘give up’ on encouraging labor. I figured that the contractions would wear off soon. I went back to bed at 2am and had a contraction that I had to moan through. It ended and I drifted. Then came another that caught me half asleep. I moaned even louder. James woke up. “You’re in labor!” he blurted. Then he sleepily helped me relax.

“No, I don’t think so,” I said. “The contractions are too short.” We got up. I had another contraction on the birth ball. I had thought I had been doing a great job of opening my thoat and giving deep moans, but James helped me reach a whole new level of deepness. It felt better. James was still trying to figure out where I was in labor. I was finally slipping into just coping with my labor instead of timing and assessing things. I begged to get in the tub because I was cold and shaky during contractions. Iwas surprised that James said yes because taking a bath too early can slow things down. I sat down and was warmed by the water. I desperately needed to lay my head against James’ shoulder during each contraction. I was still a bit discouraged that they were short. I was tired and ready for this false labor to go away! James wanted to call Michelle, but I told him not to yet. Then at the peak of my contraction I felt a small urge to push. I didn’t tell James because I wanted to stay in the tub and I thought there must be some mistake, but I did finally give in to letting him call Michelle. At 2:35 he paged Michelle but told her not to come yet. (Poor Michelle! I’m sure that’s the last thing she wanted to hear at 2 in the morning!)

I kept laboring in the tub but was unable to completely hide my urge to push. I started grunting more and more. Poor James, who’d only been awake for 30 minute or so and experienced 7-10 contractions with me, startled, “What was that? Are you making pushing sounds?” I told him yes and he rushed off at 2:45 to call Michelle again and have her come. Somehow he had also managed to wake his mom, get me my bath pillow and call Michelle twice while I was in the tub and still be by my side before each contraction started so I could lean my head on him and he could help me relax. What a guy!

With me feeling like pushing though, he helped me out of the tub. (Once I am truly in second stage I’m always too hot in the tub, plus he wanted me to wait until Michelle was there to have the baby.) I only made it as far as the birth ball and snapped at James to get a towel on it so I could sit. The ball kept rolling away from him and a contraction was starting. Finally I sat and James tried to help me relax. I was really in that transition point of having to push! I couldn’t relax. I stared desperately into his eyes, trying to deal with the intensity of the contraction. I don’t remember if I had more than 1 contraction on the birth ball. Sometime around then, James moved Liesel into Penny’s room so I wouldn’t wake her. I got into bed. Once I was there, James could no longer help me much with relaxing and getting other things done because once a contraction started, I didn’t want anyone to touch the bed or me.

I don’t know the exact order of things, but Shiloh started to wake and I told James to move him. James took him downstairs. I started to give little pushes as my body made me. I was moaning very loudly. Then the light changed while James was next to me. “Why’d the light change?” I demanded. “Michelle is here.” It was 3 am. Her assistant, Alli, arrived at 3:10. I kept on moaning with the contractions as she moved around, pushing just a little bit. I didn’t want to say I needed to push because I didn’t want to lie on my back or have a cervical exam. Finally the urge to push became unbearable and Michelle said that I sound nice and open, so I could go ahead! I pushed on my side thinking that I’d have time later to go to the birth stool that James had made for me. With the first push I could feel something coming, out but it wasn’t a head. I demanded, “What is that?” and Michelle sweetly said, “You’re having a baby.” (I didn’t find until later that it was the water bag. This was the first time it had ever broken on its own.) James ran off to get Shiloh. Aslan woke up and they sat on Aslan’s bed watching. With the next push I was surprised to feel the baby’s head crowning. James was holding up my leg. The head was born at 3:17. Michelle told me with the next push he’d be born. He was born at 3:18 and Michelle helped me bring him to my chest.

I didn’t think James had seen if it was a boy or girl because there was a pause. I was getting ready to check when James said, “I think we’re going to have that naming problem,” which meant it was a boy. (Shiloh and I won that bet). He had great color and was breathing on his own. I couldn’t believe I was holding a baby when an hour earlier I was expecting my contractions to fizzle so I could go to bed! I loved him! I didn’t like not having a name picked out for him, though. He was so alert. The boys came over to meet him and he was classified as having “a little bit of hair” (Aslan won that bet). We sat there admiring him for a long time. Eventually his cord was clamped and cut and the placenta was delivered, all with baby boy in my arms :). About an hour later, Liesel came toddling in, so excited that she had woken up in Nana’s room! She examined her new brother, at first a bit timidly and full of awe. He met her approval!

Baird was born at 3:18am on April 11, 2011 and he weighed in at 10lb exactly (One of the boys won that bet, I can’t remember who. I was not expecting another big one since I’d followed my diet so carefully!)

Today, without knowing that I’d been writing out Baird’s birth story, Aslan said, “I’m glad Baird came out of your tummy.” I am too! Thank you Jesus for such a blessing!

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