November 16, 2009

Birthdays and Birth Stories

Happy Birthday to me!

Yippee! It is my special day; therefore, I thought it would be fitting to take today and tell you two little details about my life.

The first: I have rooted for the Red Sox since I was an embryo and today I am finally the same age as Jason Varitek's jersey!  Woohoo!!!    

The second: I tend to think about Bear's birth story on my birthday since I, um, don't really remember what happened when I was born!  I do remember his quite clearly though...

"When all of this around us falls, I tell you what we're going to do.  You will shelter me, my love, and I will shelter you." 
- Ray Lemontagne

I woke Champ up on Sunday, 7/6/08, at 4am to the sound of my water breaking- in his sleepy state he thought I was peeing!  We called the midwife to check in and then settled in at home.  After a little more sleep, a breakfast and some walks around the neighborhood, my contractions had started and we eventually left to meet up with my midwife at the hospital.  After checking my dilation, I was far enough along that we were admitted and got the labor room that we had requested in our birth plan.  I made progress throughout the day at a good rate, but by daybreak it seemed my uterus had hit a wall and would not dilate further. 

We forged on, but by lunch there still had been no progress.  Since my water had been broken for quite some time the possibility of infection began to rise and so, for the benefit of the baby, we decided to induce.  Things started to rock and roll, contractions continued to come even more constant and strong, but alas, after 8 more hours, unbelievably there was no change. By now it was closing in on 48 hours of membranes being ruptured and while Bear's vitals were strong; after almost 2 days, mine were starting to degrade.  It was time to really soul search, pray and come up with a plan.  Hopes and desires aside, any pretense was dropped and we listened to God and my body- they were telling me something.

After laboring a few more hours, we knew a C-section was on the horizon.  Early Tuesday morning (while still having contractions, mind you), preparations for the surgery started: doctors came to explain everything, we had to hand a copy of my living will over to the hospital and nurses helped to prep me for the procedure.  I remember it feeling like "ER" with lots of medical people everywhere, words like "sterile fields", "spinal" and "EKG" being said and bright lights and cold instruments.  We were scared, but we were in the most capable Hands. 

At 10:32am, 7/8/08 Bear was born.

So, did I have the labor I had hoped for? No.  Did I find even more inner strength by having our birth story end up this way? Yes.

My birth plan even with all these crazy changes was still honored and followed and I had an amazing, life changing experience.  We were allowed to labor long beyond the cutoff at most hospitals and with ruptured membranes at that!  We were guided, not forced, into the decisions we made and when the time came, I WALKED (crawled really) into surgery on my own 2 feet- no gurney.  My midwife was allowed to assisted with the surgery and they bent the rules and allowed Champ to join me not just for the C-Section, but during the spinal and body prep, as well.  They helped to get me set up to nurse Bear immediately after surgery and  assigned me a lactation consultant who was my individual guru for 4 days post-op. 

Moral of the story: you've got to believe. Always. 

My body knew what it was doing even when I didn't.  God knew what He was doing even when we didn't.  Sometimes it's best to take advantage of modern medical procedures rather than try to birth a 9lb13oz baby with a 15" head with no fluid to move in and no space to manipulate his body even if fluids had been intact.  PHEW! I am here able to write this entry and Bear is beside me.  In the end, that's all that matters.


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