Monday, March 1, 2010

Mothering Mondays - Simon's Birthday

How to start?

My dear son’s pregnancy was not an easy one… one in which I found myself wallowing in pity for a time. At 18 weeks I was diagnosed with a complete placenta previa and put on partial bed rest and told to wean my 18 month-old daughter after a bought of bleeding. Selfishly, I questioned why it had to be me, why couldn’t it be someone who already had a cesarean scheduled, someone to whom it wouldn’t matter? Why did it have to be me with these best-laid plans (for a natural pregnancy and birth)?

Then, I decided to take action. Regardless of the warnings that complete previas seldom resolve, I chose to try my best to resolve it. Acupuncture, homeopathic tinctures and positive thinking/prayer… I’m not sure what did it but the previa resolved within two months – not only had my placenta moved enough (4 cm) but it had moved completely out of the way (10cm). The midwives cleared me for a natural delivery and I was able to pick my dear daughter again.

We chose not to find out the sex – really hard with multiple ultrasounds to observe the previa. But somehow we both thought it was a boy (my dear husband has a way of knowing things – knew I was pregnant before I did, knew DD was a girl, etc). In my mind, for whatever reason, I have always thought that boys were harder to birth and more likely to involve complicated labors. So I was scared, especially after the previa made me question my own body.

In preparation for the birth, I reread all my birthing books, started a regimen of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, and thought happy thoughts. I had prodromal labor for a few weeks – I thought the baby was coming as early as Christmas Eve. He didn’t show up for over two more weeks. Almost everyday I’d have a few contractions that didn’t go anywhere – but were real contractions.

We went in for the weekly appointment with the midwives on Tuesday and I decided to let them check me… something I wouldn’t have considered even a few days before… funny how that last stretch of pregnancy makes you willing to do almost anything to get labor started. The midwife told us she didn’t think it would be long… And she was right. (Same scenario with dear daughter.)

We came home, went about our normal day and then around dinnertime the contractions started coming more regularly. My mother came to bathe dear daughter and I told her I thought this was the real deal so Lucy went for her first slumber party. (I knew a nearly two year-old was not what I needed in labor.) My dear husband was wonderfully attentive, asking what I needed, getting the living room warm – I shivered terribly.

After an hour or so of regular contractions we moved into the bedroom so I could lie down and rest. The contractions were coming regularly and lasting but I didn’t want to go to the hospital too soon (and yet we had about an hour’s drive). When I stood, the contractions were right on top of each other, but slowed when I would lie back down. The midwife suggested we come in and so dear husband bundled me up, and off we went – with him guiding me over the ice and snow packed everywhere.

At the hospital, they whisked me upstairs, did some monitoring… less than with dear daughter, but still, ugh. I was allowed to lie on my side this time (I was on my back while they monitored me the first time) which was infinitely easier. While I was being monitored, the midwives (we lucked out and got two!) filled the birthing tub.

I climbed in, certainly feeling ready to push, but wanting to wait for the water. Heaven! The water eased everything, the contractions, the pressure as I pushed. Within ten minutes of entering the tub, I felt the baby crowning (no “ring of fire” this time) and then he was here… our midwife caught him and then he was on my chest, in my arms.

My first glimpse of him, I thought he looked like a football player – thick, broad, strong. Oh, that delightful squishy, wet baby feel, that fresh-from-the-womb smell (we didn’t bathe him for days – soaking in all we could).

Simon Atticus

9 pounds, 11 ounces

21 inches long

1:58 in the Morning

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