Archive for January, 2012

Shiloh’s Birth

Shiloh’s Birth

Aslan was born a week before his due date, so it seemed like forever until I started labor with Shiloh on his due date, August 25, 2006. I tried to persuade labor start with blue cohosh and Swiss Kriss, but that didn’t work. I’d also had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions at around 38 weeks. I had been expecting labor to start any minute for two weeks! Finally on Friday afternoon while James was at work, Aslan was napping, and I was laying in bed talking on the phone with a friend, I felt the first contraction. Then, about 7 minutes later I felt another. Then about 7 minutes later, James walked in the door and scared me so much that I screamed! He was home from work early. I got off the phone and yelled at him for scaring me since I’d just had two contractions! I was sure that he’d scared the labor out of me, but a few minutes later I had another lighter contraction.

When Aslan woke up from his nap we went to my mom’s house. Contractions were very light. Mom took care of Aslan when we went to my scheduled prenatal appointment. Contractions were practically non-existent while we were there, but we knew they’d pick up again when I was in a comfortable atmosphere where I could concentrate. I was three centimeters dialated, but Michelle couldn’t even tell that I was having contractions because they were so light. Back at my mom’s, I sat in the kitchen talking with mom while James was on her computer in the office. Every few minutes, all the way from the office, he started calling out, “You’re having a contraction.” He was always right. I was shocked because Mom couldn’t even tell when I was having one, and James could tell by a slight change in my voice. He’s my perfect coach!

James and I went home, went for walks, and ate dinner. Later in the evening Mom brought Aslan back  We went for one more walk with him in the stroller. Right before we got home, our neighbors were giving away a few leftover things from their garage sale, and they gave us some douplo blocks. We went home, washed the blocks, tidied the house, and then put Aslan to bed. Soon, we went to bed too. I think the contractions subsided for most of the night, though I remember drowsily waking up a few times and wondering if I’d just had one. Aslan was restless, and we figured out later that no one had fed him any dinner. Poor guy!

I woke up at 6 something in the morning. I got up and went to the bathroom.  When I came back to bed, I thought that my water broke. I woke up James. We called Michelle and my mom. I made breakfast for Aslan and myself, and I tried to eat. Soon the contractions were getting too hard for me to handle chatting with, feeding, carrying, and cleaning up after a one-year-old. James was working on setting up the birthing pool. Finally Michelle got to the house and then my mom came to get Aslan. Finally, with Aslan gone, the pool filling, and Michelle making herself at home in the living room, I left my half-eaten breakfast and went into the sunny turquoise bedroom. I laid on the bed and James finished his work on the pool. Michelle came in to check on me and prayed over me. That made me feel super cared for and loved! I was too restless in bed though, so we decided to allow hip movement and gravity help me along. I got out of bed.

The colors in the room were all pretty and matching, as we had just painted. I also had layers of colors hanging over the curtains so that the sun wouldn’t bother me. For a long time I knelt on the floor, moved my hips, and laid my head on a pillow on the birthing stool in a corner of the bedroom. I started having a lot of back labor and James would coach me and rub my back during contractings. My mind was driving me crazy! I was thinking perfectly clearly between contractions and I was pondering random things. Food, friends, birth, and anything else. I was continually frustrated because contractions were pretty hard but I was wide awake and alert. Everytime I caught myself thinking, I’d think, “Darn it! I’m not in transition yet!” I wished I could turn off my brain. Since I didn’t have much of a need for James to help me with mental relaxation before, he wasn’t prepared for it with this labor. I was too focused on labor to ask for help with it either, though. With my first labor, I seemed to accept the fact that it would go on FOREVER so I just went with it. This time I knew what it was like to suddenly hold a newborn baby at the end of it all and I wanted that to come SOON!

Finally the birthing tub was ready. Michelle and her assistant had been running back and forth with pots of hot water to get it heated fast enough, but then there was too much water so they went back and forth taking water out and dumping it in the sink. When I finally got in, the water felt so good on my back. Soon after that my mind stopped racing so much. James got in with me and he supported me and had me relax through contractions. In the pictures, he looks worse off than I do! He kept his feet on the heater so that I wouldn’t burn myself on it. At one point I was trying to change position during a contraction because when I’d relax completely I was getting water in my mouth. James kept telling me to relax my arms, but if I did my face was in the water. That was an extremely uncomfortable contraction, but we fixed my position before the next. Sometime after I got in the pool, my brain did shut off. What a releif! Time lost meaning. Michelle and her assistant, Josie, made themselves comfortable in the bedroom. They periodically checked the baby’s heartbeat and my blood pressure. Josie kept refreshing a cool washcloth for me to have on my forehead. At some point, my back wasn’t hurting quite as badly. Michelle said it looked as if the baby had changed position a little bit. We think he went from being posterior (where his spine was against my spine) to anterior (where his spine was facing my front).

All of a sudden I became more alert again, and I just couldn’t relax anymore. I wanted to push. I tried a few grunts in the next contraction. Then I started really trying to push in the next. Michelle wanted to check me to make sure I wouldn’t push against any lip of cervix. She was able to check while I stayed in the pool. I was fully dilated. During the middle of the next contraction I stood up in the pool. I just couldn’t handle the heat anymore! I stood for a couple of contractions and Michelle was listening to the baby’s heartbeat. She said the baby didn’t like my position, so I chose to get out of the pool. I was wrapped in towels in bed with James behind me pulling me into the semi-squat position. Toward the end of pushing, every time I’d push Michelle and Josie, would watch and hold towels over their faces because they were afraid my bag of waters was going to pop and spray all over them! (Michelle thinks that I had two layers in my bag of waters, and that only the outer one had broken that morning.) This gave us all a good laugh. Michelle told me I’d pushed for an hour, though it didn’t seem that long to me. I was getting some nice breaks in between! She thought it might help speed things up if she broke my bag of waters. The baby was nice and low and I knew from Aslan’s birth that once the waters are broken the pressure of the baby’s head really helps get the baby out, so I consented. A contraction or two later, Josie took a couple of pictures because I had said it was okay to take some of crowning. I was upset because I didn’t think I was anywhere near crowning! I thought that maybe the size of a quarter was showing, but the pictures show that the whole top of his head was out!

After I pushed the head out, the shoulders got stuck. Michelle had suspected a large baby before and had told us that if I needed to open my pelvis wider to get the baby out, James would have to get me on my hands and knees. She gave word to James and he flipped me over. I pushed with all my might while Michelle quickly and expertly manauvered the baby out. James helped carefully flip me back over the umbilical cord and I got to hold Shiloh. I fell in love with his eyes and all of his dark hair, but I was very weak from loosing so much blood due to the complication during deliver. I didn’t want to push out the placenta, and Michelle was giving me  shots because of all the blood lost. I asked if I could nurse him. He looked straight at me while and I sang to him and nursed him. Michelle wanted me to keep singing since she was concerned about my blood loss. She was amazing, giving me pitocin and rubbing my fundus to stop the bleeding Finally, things settled down a bit and we got some more pictures of us with our new little-big baby. He was 10 lb 4 oz and 22 1/2 inches long, born at 1:25pm on August 26. He was huge and beautiful and it was a beautiful sunny afternoon. He was also an incredible little nurser from the start!

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Proposal Anniversary

Eight years ago today, my dear hubby proposed to me. What a day! He was so creative! And so sweet! I’m so glad I said yes!

I should note, the week before this, James would tell me each day that he had stayed up super late the night before. He was so tired when he got off work that he wasn’t very good company. I couldn’t figure out why he would stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning! On the Wednesday before, I had not been able to spend time with James because of so much homework, but I worked hard and got it all done so I could see him Thursday. On Thursday however, James couldn’t come see me and he had no explanation! It turns out he had been meeting with my mom to ask for permission to ask to marry me! When my mom came home, I was crying about James having no time for me. She said she just had to walk away without saying anything 🙂

Now, Monday, January 19, 2004.

I was supposed to meet James at Mount Vernon Christian School where we often met to go on a 4 mile hike around Dike Road. I got there WAY early. I planned to read a book for a while. Sitting in the parking lot was his life-size figure of Mel Gibson in Braveheart, holding a white rose. I sat in the car smiling, expecting him to jump out from somewhere, then I noticed his dad sitting in the van parked next to me, trying to hide while pointing for me to get out of the car and go to Mel! I did. A note attached to the rose said “Forget Mel Go to the church.” (Though I read ‘Forget Me! Go to the church’ at the time). I started across the street to the church which I associated with Mount Vernon Christian School when Jim had to correct me. Wrong Church! I was supposed to go to our church!

I left and got there early. James was working on something out front and was all frazzled that I got there so early. I offered to go home to get my camera, clueless as to what he is doing. I’m glad I had my camera for the few pictures we did get of the evening!.

When I got back to the church, I parked in front. There was a homemade sign hanging from yarn across the front steps. It said, “My love for you is strong and true, Though it may be young in age.” Another little sign pointed for me to go around to the side door, and the yarn went there, too.

I followed the yarn to the side door, then it lead me down the steps to the women’s bathroom. In the bathroom wass a set of clothes that had a special story. (My mom was obviously in on this plan too). I changed into them. The note said to go upstairs.

Then in a skirt, I had to climb up the stairs over the yarn that was zigzagging from one side of the stairs to the other. (James said he planned this so he could hear me coming.) Along the way were more notes on beautifully decorated paper. “Our history though not yet old quickly fills this page.”

“Though filled with hope and wonder…Our future none may see.”

I was still clueless as to what James was planning! In the foyer the yarn ended. I looked down the aisle and there was James on one knee at the end of it, holding a little box. Hanging from the ceiling halfway down the aisle was the final note. “Humbly now I ask Meine Liebe Will you marry me?” (Meine Liebe is my dear or my love in German) .

The Way You Look Tonight was playing over the church speakers.

Of course I said yes, though I was still very much in shock. The ring was perfect.We hugged and swayed to the music. We kissed our first kiss.

James’ mom had made us a lovely dinner of salmon and rice. There was no serving spoon for the rice, however, and neither of us could really serve it with our forks because we were both all shaky! It was delicious, though.

We cleaned up and James rolled the yarn into a ball for me. Later I knit a hat for myself.

We were off to his Grandma’s house for dessert where both of our families were waiting. (He was pretty confident of my answer, wasn’t he?)

We also visited the Gibbons to tell them the news.

On the drive home that night, James’ car broke down. His dad ended up having to get us and take me home before they were able to fix it. (The story of our lives:) )

All that night and the days following, I kept feeling and staring at the ring, hardly believing what was happening. Thank you Jesus for putting it all together!

It wasn’t until months later that I realized that all of the notes went together to make one poem:

My love for you is strong and true, though it may be young in age.
Our history not yet old, quickly fills the page.
Though filled with hope and wonder… Our future none may see.
Humbly now I ask Meine Liebe Will you marry me?

Maybe in 11 days I will write about what happened 11 days later when James got a concussion and forgot everything that had happened in the previous 2 weeks, including proposing to me … 🙂

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