Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birth Story Part II or More Than Anyone Wanted To Know About My Body

Not long after getting in the tub the midwife came to check me. I had stalled. I had to get out and go for an hour long walk outside. So we did. And then we came in and I labored inside on an exercise ball for a long, long time. They were no longer checking my progress, but just waiting for me to feel a "sudden urge" to use the bathroom. Everyone seemed to think this would happen in no time at all. No matter how much I wished it, I never felt a sudden urge. Finally I was told to go back out and walk some more.
I cried.  The back labor was awful and I had just hit a wall. 
We went and walked and Sergio talked me through everything. I didn't really like to be touched throughout the labor, and I was really nonverbal, but Sergio did whatever was asked. He also made me eat and drink even when I didn't want to, and allowed me to moan and yell in public even though I am sure that was slightly embarrassing. In fact, writing about the crying and yelling over a week afterward makes me almost want to pretend I didn't do any of that, but labor is terrible and I did all of that stuff and more.
After the walk I asked to be checked because I figured if I hadn't progressed any then I was giving up. I was nine centimeters. They thought I had just the tiniest bit of a cervical lip holding her back. Not long after that the head midwife came in and felt around and decided I should push while she did this so that she could help push back the cervical lip, and then I could start pushing. The baby was still high and it would probably take longer than normal, but I could try. Anything that was different from just sitting through contractions was a welcome change.
I pushed by squatting on the floor and holding onto one post of a four post bed (I am sure you all totally wanted to know that). Sergio sat behind me and supported my back. I pushed well, I think, but not well enough. The midwife and the assistant thought that "showing" me where to push would be helpful. This is very painful. Very, very painful.
I yelled a lot.
Our parents had been in the waiting room since the wee hours, and by this time my brother and sister-in-law and their kids had made it as well. The yelling did not make them feel good about what was happening on my side of the door.
So I pushed...and pushed...and pushed. Often with the "help" of a midwife or assistant. We would make good progress and then the baby would slip back some.
This went on for over two hours.  If you don't know what happens to your anatomy after two hours of pushing, well, count that as a blessing.
Soon the baby's heartrate started faltering. On top of that, my contractions began slowing down because I was so tired. It was like my uterus gave up or something. And that is when the situation officially became an emergency. The midwife mentioned using a vacuum in order to motivate me to push her out on my own (as if motivation was my problem), but all it did was offer me some relief that it might be over soon. I think at that point she knew it had gone on too long. That someone had lost control of the situation. She called their cooperating physician over from Baylor. She came within minutes. And she meant business.
They had me on my back on the bed within seconds, and despite my fervent pleas that they not do it, I was being held down with my legs back by both midwives, Sergio, and the office manager from upstairs. Through this the doctor was snapping at me that I had to push hard if she was going to try the vacuum because really I needed to be transferred and this had better work! Or something. She also snapped at the midwives and everyone else who wasn't on the same page as her. She had control of the situation, though, and I appreciated that. She told the midwives the baby was not stuck on a cervical lip, but was in fact stuck behind my inverted tail bone. I think this might explain the horrifying back labor, but that is only my theory.
The next few minutes are a blur of long needles meant to numb me for an episiotomy, the doctor putting far too many hands in places that that many hands don't go, a vacuum doing much the same thing, and finally a wicked episiotomy. I also vividly remember feeling like the doctor was angry with me because I could no longer tell her when the contractions were starting. I was so beyond any pain I have known that I couldn't feel the contractions anymore, and my reaction was to feel guilty. I wish I could do this part over again just so that I could kick someone in the face.
I say a blur because even though I was still unmedicated and totally aware, the only thought I really had room for in my head was, "just cooperate and it will be over." And yelling.
And soon it was over. A warm, slippery, crying human being was dropped on my chest. Relief!
Until they sewed me up. Those local shots never did do anything except hurt like hell to have done. I asked how many stitches it would require and was told, "um...ten...at least." I didn't ask for the final tally.
The next thing I knew there were teary mothers in the room. Not because of the baby, but because of the total trauma of having heard all of that from the next room, seeing a doctor barrel through the door, and not receiving any information about what was happening. Nobody was really able to focus on the baby until a few minutes later.
She was perfect. Dark hair that almost looked curly. My hands. Sergio's ears. A complete stranger that was somehow familiar. We took her home six hours later. This was the only part of having her at the birth center that happened the way I thought it would.

Here, look at the cute baby! Click on the arrow, it is a slideshow.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Birth Story Part One

I woke up at about 3:30 am on Sunday morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I hoped it was sign of something, but nothing was happening physically. I got out of bed and looked up birth stories and videos online for four hours until Sergio got up. By the time he got up I thought maybe, perhaps, if I wished really hard, I was feeling something. Something only mildly unpleasant and not at all on a rhythm, but it was something.
Sergio and I decided to have breakfast and then go for a hike to see if we could make something out of this. We walked for about two miles and were encouraged to find the contractions got worse with exercise. Then we came home and I took a nap and we were encouraged to find that the contractions continued through sleep. It probably wasn't false labor, but we weren't entirely sure that it was going to turn into active labor either. I won't get into the early signs of labor, but if you know about them, I didn't have any. We attempted to time the contractions, but it was impossible.
We decided to take one more walk before bed and I was discussing whether or not I was going to go into work the next day if this was still going on. As I stepped up to the door I felt a really strange and sudden sensation. Before I could identify what it was, water was dripping all down my legs. At this point Sergio and I had a funny little exchange where he kept questioning whether I was sure rather than unlocking the door, and I kept telling him I was dripping and to unlock the door already!
We called the midwife at 8:30, who told us to see if real contractions started and to call back at ten. Within ten minutes the real contractions had begun. By ten they were mostly regular and painful, but when the midwife talked me through one she said I needed to wait for them to be more painful.  Awesome.  Then she got on the phone with Sergio and told him what to look for before calling back. She expected to hear from us around 2 am. At 1:45 I got really frustrated at a contraction and did a bit of yelling and at that point Sergio decided to go ahead and call. The midwife did not make me talk through a contraction this time, but just told us to come on in.
We got to the birthing center a few minutes ahead of the midwife. When she arrived she checked me and found that I was five centimeters. I was pretty happy with that since I had only been laboring about five hours. I was also encouraged because the first five are usually the slowest and labor would probably pick up now. I could almost see the end of this thing! Probably before the sun came up even! Since I was feeling a little out of control of the contractions I asked if I could get in the tub. It was heavenly.
I wish the birth story continued like this. I wish I could say that things continued to progress and I labored in the wonderful warm water and then I pushed for ten minutes and out came my daughter. That is how I imagined it should go.
But no.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just More Pictures

Today I tried to change my daughters clothes and as soon as I got her undressed she pooped on me.  Then she puked twice.  Then she peed.  And then I showered.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rosalind Cate

Born March 23rd at 12:01 pm.  She was 7 lbs, 10 oz and 20 inches long.  Everybody is healthy and happy.  The birth went a bit differently than expected which we will fully write about soon. For now, here are some pictures.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Both Rosalind and the Mobile Are Homemade.

Sergio and I have been on a quest over the last couple of weeks.  It was a quest to find a baby mobile that we didn't hate, that at least kind of went with our decor, and that wasn't super expensive.  We never managed to find all three things at one time and so had pretty much given up on a baby mobile.  

Then we started talking about making a mobile.  We weren't sure exactly what we could do, but we had two basic principles to start from.  It should be three dimensional and it should have bright, contrasting colors.  That was as far as we had gotten until I dragged Sergio to the biggest and most impressive JoAnn store I have ever seen today.  We wandered around looking for ideas, and then we found Sculpey.  Have you seen this stuff?  Somewhere between real clay and play-doh, but not at all messy.  You bake it in the oven.  

We decided on ladybugs and bees because they looked easy and used the right colors.  It wasn't until I spent over an hour fighting the bees wings that we decided to make many different kinds of bugs.  Preferably ones with no wings.  This is how we ended up with a caterpillar, a yellow ladybug, and an ant.  Except for the crazy looking grasshopper we are quite happy with our creation.  

He Wasn't Making a Statement. He Was Just Nervous.

Sergio has been mountain biking for three days.  Yesterday, George W. Bush asked him if he would like to ride with him.  The end.  

Oh, you want more details.  Fine.

When he got to the park that he was going to bike he noticed a lone man in a dark suit carrying a side arm, but since it was just one guy he figured it was probably a sheriff or something and went on his first loop.  
After the first loop he stopped to get some water and sat on a fence.  The guy was still there, but now a couple of expensive mtn. bikes were also sitting around.  As he sat there about ten black suburbans converged on the little parking lot.  Out of each car came more men in dark suits with side arms.  And behind them came our former President wearing mountain biking shorts and a western shirt with pearl snap buttons.  He spotted Sergio on the fence and said hello.
"Hey," answered Sergio.  Not hello, sir.  Not hello, Mr. President.  Just hey.  
Sergio watched as Bush picked his bike and warmed up a bit.  Not really knowing what else to do, he finally got off the fence and prepared for his second loop.  As Mr. Bush rode back by he looked at Sergio and asked, "You want to ride with us, big guy?"
Sergio quickly took into account the many secret service agents with guns and his three days of mountain biking experience and replied, "That's okay, you go on ahead."  
Fifteen minutes later he asked the secret service agents that were left behind if he could continue riding.  He was told to go on, and he rode fast to see if he could get catch up.  He never saw the riders again, but did manage to have his first fall.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On Stage

I know it is a terrible movie, but has anyone else seen The Princess Diaries?  I only ask because I want you to recall the scene where she gets sat on by a classmate and then later mentions to her friend that she was sat on again because she is invisible.  

What you need to understand about me is that I spent a good portion of my life striving for this sort of invisibility.  I know how to hide partially behind classmates in order not to be chosen first in volleyball and then how to strategically move out so you can be chosen right in the middle.  The key was not to get out of playing, but to not to have to stand in front of the room alone for any amount of time.  Don't want to get called on to answer a question in class?  Don't make extended eye contact, but don't make no eye contact.  It is a very delicate balance.  I was darn good at it.  

Which is why I find this last bit of pregnancy so very...disconcerting.  Not awful, not good, just uncomfortable.  Walking in the mall I was passed by a woman who yelled across the hall at me, "There you go, girl!"  As if to say, "look at you still walking around.  How cute of you!"  And in a parking lot a man called out congratulations.  And every cashier I have come across has asked all the obligatory questions.  When are you due?  What are you having?  Are you nervous?  

Or they don't ask anything and just say, "You look like you are about to pop."  Who doesn't love to hear that?  And I have been hearing it for at least four weeks now.  I also get a lot, and I mean A LOT of pointing at my belly followed by, "a boy, huh?"  This is then followed by a lengthy discussion about how it is a girl, but no it can't be because I am carrying too high and in the front, but we have three ultrasounds that say it is a girl, well I hope you have some boy things just in case, we would be perfectly happy if it was a boy, and so on.

I think I just have to deal with it.  I am the size of a, um, we'll go with barge.  My belly button sticks out through all of my clothes.  This causes even the most discrete people to point and smile indulgently, or the less discrete to elbow their spouses in the ribs and laugh.  

I think we are doing everything we can at this point, but if anyone has any suggestions for how to get this kid out any earlier, I am all ears.  

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Still Dig You. You Me? Yup. Good.

It has been 5 years since we entered into wedded bliss. We were just babies then. I think I was employed as a cowboy and Dawn was going through a beer drinking phase.

P.S. I'm glad I finally got Dawn to start wearing a shirt again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Letter #2

Dear Rosalind,

You reached 37 weeks yesterday.  Technically full term.  According to the lady who teaches our Bradley class it would not be ideal to have you this early.  She brings up these nagging little things like continued brain and lung development.  Pshh.  

I say let's go for it!  

This isn't a selfish desire either.  Really.  Two days ago your father and I went to eat and I didn't realize until after the meal that my shirt no longer came close to fitting.  Not only was the three inch elastic band on my maternity pants in full view, but so were a couple of inches of my stomach.  And yesterday I was teaching a small part of a class while being observed for feedback when an enormous burp escaped while I read part of a story.  Classy.  

And the longer you wait to arrive the less I am going to care about my own manners.  So you should think about coming out anytime after Saturday.  I am busy on Saturday.  It isn't for me. It is for all the innocent bystanders out there.  

Saturday, March 07, 2009

This Post Should Have Been a Twitter

I have nothing to talk about today, but I am tired of seeing my enormous, pale stomach every time I open the page.  I need it to move down.  

I have to work today.  Gotta love saturday school.  Sergio is taking the MPRE this morning.  It would be hard to measure who is more excited about their day. 

Sunday, March 01, 2009

I am Belly, Hear Me Roar

This is Dawn at 1 day short of 36 weeks pregnant. She has actually hit several children with this thing. Oh and she got a haircut, very cute.