Tuesday, June 29, 2010
(Dahlia at 6 weeks)
Where does the time go?
I'm writing up Dahlia's story. I've tried to keep it as everyone friendly as possible, but if you don't want to read about a birth skip this post. It is photo heavy at the end. So if you want to look at photos and skip the story just scroll down.
Here's Dahlia's story...
Back in the beginning of December I was exhausted. Extremely pregnant as well as being mom to a 13 month old who's seconds away from walking. (She held off until her sister was born. Then she took off) I had some serious prodomal labor for weeks. Things would seem like they were progressing but then they would stop abruptly. On Tuesday Dec 8th I was feeling hopeful that things were moving in the right direction, but chasing T around was exhausting and there was no way I'd be able to really let myself surrender to labor with her there. We asked my father in law to take her for the day. My husband stayed home and we tried to get things go by walking and bouncing on the birth ball. It seemed like things were going well but they'd keep stalling and I was losing my morale.
From about midnight to 2am I chatted online with a few friends. They really REALLY helped. Because of all the false starts I wasn't sure that this was "it". They convinced me that even if it wasn't it, I was doing great. Soaking in the tub felt SO fabulous. By 3am my contractions were only 8-12 minutes apart. (For the uninitiated they tell you to go to the hospital when they're 4 minutes apart for 1 hour and lasting 1 minute each) Labor with T lasted 30 hours so I figured we were in for the long haul.
At 3:30 I called the midwife. I lied. I said my contractions were 6 minutes apart. We were on the phone for 8 minutes with no contraction. Right as we were going to hang up I had a contraction, I'd been groaning through them for about an hour at this point. She heard me and said "I'll be right there!"
I got out of the bathtub and walked to the bedroom. I don't think it took too long. But I had 3 contractions on the way! (from 8 minutes apart to two minutes apart in 30 feet) My fabulous husband started the air pump to blow up the pool. I wanted a water birth.
That pump was incredible.
I know, you probably don't hear people gushing about air pumps very often.
The noise it made was great. When a contraction would come on I would match the pitch of the pump with my groans. On the one or two occasions I started groaning at a higher pitch it quickly turned into a panicked scream.
Only a couple contractions after our arrival in the bedroom my water broke. I was beyond words at this point but managed to yelp a little "help" and a towel showed up on the floor. With a little help I climbed into the bed and got on my hands and knees.
The very next contractions something strange happened.
I started to push.
I didn't have any control over this. The contraction started to get intense (I wasn't getting a break between them at this point) and my body shuddered and I felt like I was standing beside myself trying to convince myself that I couldn't push, the midwife was on the way and we needed to wait for her. Afterwards I shuttered and came back into my body. I reached down to see if my accidental pushing was effective. It was. I could feel the top of her head.
This time I wasn't able to yelp.
Another wave came on and I found myself standing looking at myself thinking "what is this nutcase doing??"
Fortunately this time my husband looked up from the pool inflation and realized that things were a bit further along than he'd thought. He came around in time to see her head emerge.
What he did next I find amusing. Even in the moment I almost laughed at him.
He looks me in the eye and says "Kath, the baby's coming."
As if I didn't know.
He grabs the phone and dials 911 - since the midwife still isn't here. They transfer him to the wrong dispatch, who proceeds to try to give him the phone number for the right one. He hung up and dialed 911 again. Fortunately this time they sent him to the right people. By the time he was actually speaking to someone he was also holding Dahlia wrapped in a towel.
It didn't take long for an EMT and a Police officer to arrive. The EMT didn't have everything he needed. He radioed in to have someone bring something and I asked him what he needed and directed him to the dresser, where I had all the supplies laid out. (We planned a home birth) He was shocked and quite happy to find everything he needed right there.
While he checked Dahlia out I got my cellphone out and called the midwife and called a friend. (Note: I'm still on my hands and knees afraid to move because Dahlia is still attached)
The midwife arrived shortly thereafter. She helped me get into a better position, where I could hold the baby. The EMT announced that we should pack up and head to the hospital now. We politely declined. "But you just had a baby??!!" "Yeah... but I'm not injured or sick? There's no emergency?" "Ok.. umm.. sign this?"
It was a perfect experience. It was completely peaceful. Her birth was a moment I shared with only my husband. It was empowering, it was thrilling and it was perfect. It wasn't until he called 911 that things went nuts.
It wasn't how we planned but I wouldn't change a thing.
Later that day she was captured on Skype by her grandma.
A week later:
At 1 month
At 2 months
At 3 months
At 4 months
At 5 months
At 6 months
At almost 7 months on a skype call with my mom