Psalm 127:3-5

Behold children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one's youth.
How blessed are those whose quiver is full of them

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Patience birth story

This is the story of the most amazing birth we have had yet... the most incredibly deep and moving experience I have had as a mom so far. I doubt I will ever go through another moment in my life like this one. Contractions started strongly on Saturday night April 1. Strong enough that with my history of going quickly we called the midwife and she arrived with her team only to find my contractions slowed and finally stopped. It was discouraging at best so when all the excitement died down on Sunday we went to the mall to walk around and get our minds off things. That night as soon as I laid my head on the pillow contractions started up again.. STRONG ones. They would come consistently for an hour then go away for several hours. Repeating that cycle off and on throughout the entire day on Monday April 2. It wasn't horrible but it was just keeping us on edge wondering when it would finally kick in to the real thing. Keeping us on edge simply because we knew once it did kick in, it would go fast. Finally at about 10:30 pm or so I laid down in bed EXHAUSTED and again the second my head hit the pillow VERY STRONG contractions hit. I was so tired and knew I couldn't make it through another night of little to no sleep with off and on contractions all night. I was emotionally and physically worn out. I had all could take... I leaned over the birthing tub (which was aired up in our bathroom) and sobbed my eyes out. Jimmy just patted my back and let me cry. I cried and cried... more then I ever remember crying. Then it was like as quickly as it started it stopped. I felt remarkably better from that emotional release. Then it happened. Within 30 minutes of that cry fest :) I started having the strongest contractions yet and they got more and more consistent. By around midnight I told Jimmy I was pretty sure he needed to get the midwife there. Just minutes later while he had her on the phone he looked at me and asked "so you are pretty sure she needs to come? You want her to go ahead and come?" As this point I am VERY SURE she needs to come. I said "yes, get her here NOW"... She arrived at some point... I don't really know when. All the exact times are written down in the birth log the assistant midwife kept but I am not going to account every minute in this retelling. Anyway, she arrived with her team and they went to work. Jimmy had already filled the birthing tub and I was in it and can I just say... WOW, I could never have done it without the tub. Well I could have. I birthed Ben pain med free but not by choice. (we were too late to the hospital). Anyway, let's just say I would never by choice not have a water birth again. Ok, back on track... My midwife and Jimmy were talking me through contractions and my midwife was using amazing counter pressure on my back to help with pain and it worked wonders. Jimmy was incredible, supporting me through each contraction reminding me I had done this before and I would have no problem doing it again. He kept telling me I would be holding my baby soon and that was a huge reason to keep going. I had waited so long and couldn't wait to finally meet her and get a glimpse of her face! This being our 5th time, Jimmy and I make quite a good birthing team. He knows just what to say... and not to say! =) He is such a rock for me during labor. I could never get through it without his voice in my ear and his hand holding mine. At this point labor was getting harder and things are sort of blurry and my memory is just off and on. I remember the beautiful CD that I had made just for the birth playing in the background and asking Jimmy to replay it several times when it would run through the songs. It was so soothing and had me in a sort of out of body state when it was playing. Every time it ended and got quiet I came back to reality and needed Jimmy to quickly restart the CD. I also remember my midwife praying for me all throughout the birth. I could hear her quiet murmur of prayer under her breath asking for peace and calmness. It was brought such serenity to my mind and heart. I remember talking with the precious assistant midwife and my midwife between contractions but I don't really remember what was said. I do remember my midwife telling me my toenails looked pretty and asked if I did them myself to which I laughed and said "of course not, it was a pedicure". I am pretty sure she was trying to distract me and get me to relax a bit. It worked. I looked down at my toes and thought "I do look kind of pretty with those cute pink toenails of mine"!! Then my midwife told me I needed to get out of the tub and go potty. Which I was not thrilled about... but you must continually empty your bladder during labor or you can damage your body. So while I was going potty my body pushed without my doing anything.. it just did it. It was the most surreal feeling. Exciting though cause I knew the end was near. When I got back in the tub she told me to push whenever I felt like it. On the next contraction I felt a HUGE urge to push. I think I pushed one more time and I looked up at my midwife and said in a VERY mean voice "HOW MANY MORE PUSHES" to which she replied "a few", to which I replied in another VERY VERY mean voice "HOW MANY IS A FEW???", to which she replied "2 to 5", to which I mentally replied to myself... "TWO, two more pushes is IT, that's all I got left"... and in two more pushes I was holding the most adorable little girl who looked right into my eyes and cried on big cry then I said "mommys here sweet girl". When I said those words, she got silent and just starred at me. It was a moment I will never forget. We bonded that very second. She knew her mommy and just rested peacefully in my arms. It was a moment that will never leave my heart and I will play that memory over and over in mind as the years go by. Our dear girl we waited for for 40 weeks and 3 days had finally joined our family. 7 pounds 4 ounces and 20 1/4 inches long. Tiny and gorgeous. Wide eyed and perfect. She arrived at 2:22 am just a few hours after I finally realized I was really in labor. A fast and hard labor. I would so much prefer fast and hard over long and drawn out. After her birth she and I were moved to an herbal bath in the regular tub and she loved the water... just relaxing and lying so still in the water. Finally after we were all cleaned up we went into the living room where Jimmy's mom and my parents were all waiting. My midwife and her team did the newborn exam right there in our living room with all the family watching. Well except for Anna, Serene and Ben who slept through the whole thing. At this point it was only about 4:00 am. Rivers did wake up amongst all the commotion and snuggled with me on the couch. They had made me a special place on the couch to rest during the baby newborn exam. It was so sweet snuggling on the couch with Rivies while watching Patience get the once over. =) Her daddy got to weigh her with the cool scales and we watched as they checked her over and told us she was perfect... I knew it!! =)Our sweet babysitters who are sisters were here staying the night since we were pretty sure labor was eminent. They both got up out of bed to be in all the excitement and the oldest one made me an amazing omelet. It was so good and I was so hungry after all that. Jimmy also made me fresh juice of beets, carrots and spinach which was so refreshing and helped restore my strength after the huge task I had just completed. I love this part of natural birth... eating as soon as it is over. I have had two c-sections and you can't eat for 24 hours after... UGH. Not cool. Anyway, enough about food. After the newborn exam and the one million pictures were taken the midwife gave her final instructions and just as the day was breaking we snuggled up in our bed and went to sleep. We slept for a few hours and then little people started trickling down from upstairs and boy were they shocked at what they found... a new sister!! She had come in the night, sort of like Santa leaving a package on Christmas Eve!!! They were all thrilled (except Rivers). They couldn't get enough holding her and loving on her. It was the best part about the home birth, being able to be at home and have all our children around us in the personal privacy of our own home. Such an amazing experience. I know the home birth thing is not for everyone but for us it was incredible and gave birth a new and deeper meaning. I know some may not even agree with home birth and I understand that too. But like many things in life it is such a personal and private choice and one not to be taken lightly. A choice you hope that others can support your right to choose whether they agree with your choice or not. Another part of home birth that I have heard a lot about over the last few months, those leading up to and these months just after her birth is, the question of why in the world anyone would choose to birth a baby without the modern help of pain meds... why would anyone do that, I mean really why?? =) Here is my simple answer... Just because, ..No really. Of course there are the obvious physical benefits for mom and especially baby. But also, I see so many women these days bragging on Facebook about the 5K they are training for or the one they just finished. Or maybe the half-marathon or triathlon they are working towards. They brag on the super hard workout they did today or the amount of miles they ran. This is my own personal marathon, a challenge to allow myself to do what my body was built to do. Birth in and of itself is not a medical emergency, it is just an everyday thing that women have been doing for thousands of years, but these days we are scared of it. It's funny to me how in our modern world of empowered women... the age in which women can do it all, we are strong, powerful, no longer to be seen as weaker than men.... yet when it comes to births, where are those standards? This birth allowed me to tap into that strong woman, that empowered woman who can endure a pain that seems unbearable and still come out the victor. I will not be cheated out of experiencing the deep inner strength that comes from true natural birth. In some ways I feel I would be missing out on so much if I didn't experience birth in its most natural and primitive state. Now please before I get any naysayers.... I have had hospital births and even two c-sections so I know all about the necessity of medical intervention. In fact I have experienced birth from just about every angle so don't come beating me down.... This is about my deepest thoughts and feelings on the birth of our 5th child. Birth is so much more than just getting the baby out so you can move on to the holding and loving phase. It really is a deeply spiritual experience in which you as a woman finds strength of which you never knew you had to accomplish a seemingly impossible task... now that is empowering. Not to mention the most amazing prize at the end! =) So there you have it.... the birth story of our Patience Joy! Motherhood.... the journey out of selfishness!

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