Sunday, April 19, 2009
Starting normalcy again....maybe
So, the one of you who actually reads this may have noted that I stopped blogging on February 16th. That is because Lorelei Rebecca Mary was born on February 17th, safe and healthy and always happy at home after a very fast 2hr 20min labour (exactly the same amount of time I was in labour with Cordelia and they were both born on Tuesdays).
I have a history of going into labour at about 36 or 37 weeks - I just bake my kids quick. I was totally expecting the same thing to happen this time, but should have known better. This pregnancy was very different and when I was about 28 weeks along we discovered that the baby was breech. I still decided on a homebirth for a variety of personal reasons including the fact that we had just moved from Kansas to Texas and I made an instant connection with the homebirth midwives. Well, fast forward to about 37 weeks along and I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for a while (which I had also never had before) and was getting very frustrated that nothing was happening. On my visit to the midwives, they checked me and discovered that because the baby had been lying breech (she flipped about then) my cervix was still in the back, but that I was already dilated and effaced. One of the midwives (Stacey) moved my cervix into the proper position, and we all prepared for the baby to come that night because even as she moved it, I dilated further. No luck. This was Saturday and by Thursday I was really getting anxious. Joi (the other midwife) came over to see what was going on and discovered that my cervix had slipped back and that I had actually closed up a bit (went from 4cms back to 3cms). I was going out of my mind and getting really irritated and irritating. I couldn't figure out what was going on, thought maybe the baby had flipped breech again, or that there was something wrong. On Monday night, I was talking to Stacey and she offered to come over the next day and bring me some homeopathics to help relieve the stress and anxiety. While she was here, she offered to check me. Turns out I had silently dilated to an 8 almost 9cms, but the baby had her arm up by her face and her elbow was stuck behind my pelvis - that is when it all came together in our minds - I had been going in to labour for probably a few weeks, hence the Braxton-Hicks, but because of her arm position she couldn't go anywhere and the labour stalled. So, Stacey said she could move the arm, but that the instant she did, my water would break because it was ready to go any moment. I called Phil home from work, and my friends Rohina and Aaron came over with their daughter, Sofia to distract the kids.
At about 3:30 pm, Stacey moved the arm, my water broke and we all got ready. I ran the tub and hopped in while the kids played downstairs, the midwives did some prep work and Phil bounced between me and people downstairs. All in all it was pretty boring - no, seriously. I was listening to music (Lullaby Baby and Puccini) for relaxation but honestly, I wasn't feeling anything. I am not sure if it was the magic power of the soaking tub, the homeopathics or whatever, but I pretty much just hung out in the tub until I finally felt like I needed to push. I still wasn't feeling much of anything, but I was starting to feel more and more, and that is when I suddenly remembered "oh yeah, this shit hurts" and I got a little scared. Luckily Phil was there and the midwives were very calming. I pushed for longer than we all expected (we expected one push and I actually tried for about 5 mins) with no results and not much pain, so the midwives checked and it turned out I had a cervical lip. Stacey tried to move it, but the pain suddenly came on full force while she was doing it and I made her stop. I hate the sensation of losing control (as I am an intense control freak) and I started to feel like I was hitting that stage. I am sure I was not at my most courageous at that moment. Joi and Stacey informed me that it was my choice to either push through the lip which could take 2 or 3 hours, or I could let them move the lip and the baby would probably be born within moments. I sucked up my fear and feelings of helplessness and let Joi move the lip. The baby came flying down and within a few pushes (which I am assured lasted no longer than 10 mins, but in my state of loss-of-control and pain, I thought was hours) the baby's head came out with Phil supporting it, then the shoulders after which he was able to lift her up for me to hold. In all, the labour took 2 hours and 20 mins and she wasd born at 5:40ish pm on February 17th, 2009. Although the kids had wanted to see the birth, Xavier and Cordelia stayed downstairs the whole time, and I kicked Spencer out in the final moments, because I didn't want him to see me completely lose control. They rushed in just seconds after her birth. Granted they were a little concerned by the red bath water (yes, there is blood during birth and it looks like a lot more in water because it gets diluted and diffused) but were so excited to find out they had a sister. Lorelei stayed in my arms and nursed until her cord stopped pulsing and then Phil cut it. After a little bit longer, Lorelei went to be weighed and measured in our room (the bathroom is en-suite so I was able to see the whole time) and then went downstairs to meet Aaron and Sofia (Rohina came up a few minutes after her birth to see her). I stayed in the tub until I delivered the placenta and then got out and into bed (I did have to go downstairs to get the baby back), while Joi gave all the kids a lesson in placentas and what they are for - Spencer and Xavier left quickly but apparently Sofia and Cordy were enthralled by the whole thing. Within the hour, I was being served beer and pizza. Homebirth rocks!!!
We have spent the last 8 weeks enjoying watching Lorelei grow from a newborn into an integral part of the family - I hardly remember a time she wasn't here. For a recount of everything that has happened between then and now, please hop over to Phil's Blog - Philanthropology - I have limited computer time these days and he is a much wittier and interesting writer than I am.
I have promised myself to start on a journey back to ME. The ME who is not just a mother, but a wife, friend, lover, teacher, and someone who can discuss topics other than baby poop. Granted I will still talk about the kids and poop but I will also try to chronicle my journey back to caring about myself, my mind, my appearance. I used to actually be hot and skinny, not jump schlumpy and well-padded. Granted I got sick, and had 4 kids, but dammit how long can I use that excuse. No More!! I refuse to concede the battle to middle age yet. I still look too young for that. Viva Me!!!!! Wish me luck!!!