Monday, August 2, 2010

an unexpectant mother

(written on Monday night at 8:00pm)

On Saturday morning, over a blueberry waffle breakfast, I commented to Abe that it may be the last Saturday of our lives. With our due date 8 days away, it was within the realm of possibility that things would be different the next week.

Or the next day.

I woke up on Sunday morning around 7am feeling contractions that I timed to 8-10 minutes apart. About an hour later, as Abe was waking up, I rolled over and told him not to be alarmed, but things might be moving forward.

We brainstormed everything we hadn't done yet that we needed to do before the baby came: put together a contact list for announcing the birth, finding the off-hours number for our midwives, packing a hospital bag, doing the dishes from the night before, hanging pictures in the baby room, washing crib sheets, installing the car seat, throwing out a pile of cardboard boxes cluttering up our bedroom.

And then we spent the morning checking things off the list. We finished the baby room around 11 am and then wrote a blog post about it. The last photo in that post was taken just as I was starting a contraction. You can tell because my shoulders have tensed up compared to the photo before.

We were trying not to focus on contractions too much, so I don't know exact timing. I believe they were about 5-7 minutes apart starting at noon. I was starving and wussie foods like popsicles and ice chips weren't going to do it, so I had a bowl of Chicken Tikka Masala leftover from the night before (just the curry part, no chicken). Abe & I played some board games on the floor, and every time he took his turn I would get up on my hands and knees and work through a contraction. I actually won one of the games, too.

We went for a short walk and tidied up some more. Abe was wonderful about being near me (or giving me space when I needed it) and always telling me how great I was doing. being near Around 3pm the contractions were strong enough that I mostly just paced the house until it was time and then I'd stake out the table or couch back to lean on. I asked Abe to figure out car seat installation, and when he was done we timed the contractions again. It was 4pm and I happened to have a particularly long and intense contraction that time. Abe & I both looked at each other and said, "it's time". He called the midwives and timed another set of contractions (under 3

Let me just pause to explain what we were both thinking. We planned for a natural labor and delivery, and wanted to spend as much time as we could at home. We thought we'd make it to the hospital on the upswing of things becoming pretty intense.

Which basically happened.

Except that once things became intense they also progressed very quickly. I'd been holding steady at the 5-minute contractions for much of the day, so I just figured the next phase would take awhile too.

I got into triage at 4:45pm and they started doing all the things hospitals do. About halfway through that process I felt the labor pains change pretty clearly. I used vocalization as one of my coping techniques and let's just say that most people in the birthing center halls knew I was there. I measured in at 8 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced (translation: baby is coming soon).

They took me to my birthing room where I eagerly anticipated a bath tub where I could progress through more of the contractions. Two things prevented this. First, the baby's heart rate was somewhat irregular so they had to use continuous monitoring. Second, by the time the tub filled up it was basically too late. I was up on the bed and a few contractions later started pushing.

At 6:29, a beautiful little baby was screaming on my chest.

I still can't believe that so much in life can change in 12 hours (not counting the 9 months it took to grow this guy). I also can't believe that I was lucky enough to have such an agreeable and uncomplicated delivery.

And now, 24 hours, 7 feedings, 3 hospital meals, and 2 hours of sleep later, I'm beginning to think that no matter what my labor and delivery may have looked like, things are just starting to get intense.

But he's also the cutest Genghis* I've ever seen.

*I decided to keep calling him Genghis on this blog. If you know his real name please still use Genghis in the comments. If you don't know his real name and want to, just email or comment and I'll let you know.


Sherry said...

He is really adorable! I'm glad everything went well and mostly according to your plan. I am not informed as to his real-life name, and I'd be interested to know what you decided.

But I may always call him Genghis anyway.

Dawn said...

Yep he's going to always be Genghis to me! Poor little guy!

He'd beautiful! And it just wouldn't be right if EVERYTHING happened just exactly the way you planned...things progress at his pace not yours...and that's the way it's going to be for the next 21 least!


Megan said...

He is adorable! Congrats!

Delia said...

What a neat birth story. I want to go natural the third time. Maybe this will convince Jared it isn't so bad right?

He is BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations. I am so so happy for you guys.

mspaze31 said...

congrats mommy! how fun!

Jen said...

I Love You!!!

The Lunds said...

He's beautiful! I'd love to know what wonderful name you chose for him. I'm glad everything went well also!

Elizabeth Downie said...

What a sweet story, Erin. I'm so glad you had a good delivery and things went smoothly. What a beautiful name and I LOVE the name you picked out! It's perfect. Can't wait to see him in person. Let me know if you need anything!