Sunday, February 13, 2005

Overwhelmed with love

I'm sharing this here because I want the world to know how much I love my husband. Honey, I have wanted to tell you just how much I love you so many times in the past week, since our son's birth, but it seems I can never find the right words, or just when I think I have built up the courage to tell you, I lose it again. Or I can't find a way to put it in words, or without bawling my eyes out. I know I should not need courage to tell you how much I love you, but I do, one of my silly little things from my childhood that holds me back I guess. I love that you were so strong for me during the baby's birth and that I could count on you when I needed you the most. All the other stuff doesn't matter, 'cause the only one I paid attention to and who mattered to me was you. I'm so sorry that your in so much pain now from his birth, due to your illness. I know your in a lot of pain and tired a lot, an I undestand why that would make you crabby. I'm sorry I get snappy or crabby and bitchy with you, but please, please, please know that I am here because I love you and I need you in my life too. I guess I get that bitchy because I feel safe with you. I have never felt safe before in my life, and that scares the crap out of me, because every minute of the day I expect something bad to happen to take that away from me. Even with all the thinsg in our life we deal with that are less than perfect, I LOVE our family and our life and I am so scared that I could ever lose that. I love you more than I am ever capable of showing you, and I'm sorry that it seems that I can't but I am trying. Thank you for our son, he is the most beautiful little boy in the world and I hope he grows up to have your morals and family values and strength of character. I LOVE that he has your brow :) - in case that was missed in my ribbing. Thank you for loving me even when it is hard or impossible to do so. You're the only person in my life who has never given up on me, and we both know there are times when you should have. I love you eternally & forever.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Tossed Salad of Feelings.

Since the birth of our son, someone said to me: "I was glad to see that you weren't unassisted this time, not because I disagree with it but because of (your husband's) illness and (your 4-year-old). I thought about it before the birth but didn't want to say anything then." This is my response to their email about it, that revealed to me some of my feelings on the birth that I am still trying to sift through: We had decided to hire a midwife that would be hands off so we could decide on what we wanted based on how DH was feeling the day the baby came. We had not planned to call them for the birth because DH was feeling pretty good (for him, in other words was not out on his feet) and adrenaline can do wonders in the time of need, but I had a prenatal appointment with them and they showed up with a student in tow (who was NOT supposed to be at my birth because I had not met her in advance). Based on my progress over the 40 plus hours prior, they stayed and prepared for a birth based on where I was in the contractions, etc. Had I not had a set appointment that day I probably would not have called them at all until very close to or after our new son was born so they could check him over. We felt they were here for far too long. It just got uncomfortable. Obviously, I have a lot of feelings about the birth I am still contemplating, due to the newness of it all - but I was glad they were there for verbal support during the pushing. This new baby was bigger by half again as our first, and this labour was that much more intense as well - it was very intense with all back labour. Not that DH was not great emotional support, but he was so busy catching and holding me as I pushed that the extra encouragement just when I thought I could not do it anymore was very helpful. DH did an amazing job even with his illness, though he is paying for his expulsion of energy and adrenaline now with some symptoms being more pronounced than usual along with his extreme tiredness and pain (he has more short term memory loss, speech is more impaired, and balance is very off). He doesn't care though, he'd do it all over again. He did most of the work at the birth (other than my job), then he had to rest, and relaxed with the baby while the midwives “helped me” post-partum (by helped I mean, in part, told me that I was taking too long to deliver a placenta, which was exasperating and stressfull and annoying). Still, as great as they were emotionally, and as good as the overall experience was, in retrospect unassisted is *OUR* best option. There are "interventions" and "management" that midwives cannot help but do that just bother *us* too much. Birth is not a managed event like a concert, it is free flowing… and hubby found that he often had someone “in his bloody way”. A midwife can be as hands off and sitting in the corner of the room being silent even, and it STILL changes the dynamic of the birth for the couple. I had my neighbour here to be with our daughter regardless of any midwife in attendance, and that was the best decision I ever made, especially my choice of person. She was everything I anticipated and could have asked for, and more :) She is a great friend and this experience has only confirmed and strengthened the friendship. She is the only person I trust my kids with, even over some of my own family members. No matter how much midwives believe in the naturalness of birth, they cannot help it... they are trained to watch for any variations from “normal” and “treat it”. Sometimes it feels like they spend their time looking for a problem to fix, rather than waiting to see if one appears and dealing with it then. This, for us, isn’t dealing with things perceptively and intuitively, and runs against our beliefs. It also caused us some unneeded aggravated feelings with this birth and there was a definite “anxiety” vibe they radiated even though things were fine. I can say with some assurance that this is our last planned child, and that I will likely not be birthing anymore - 8+ months of tiring and sicky pregnancy feelings, along with caring for DH and two kids would be hard to do for me, so we are feeling quite finished. But, if we were ever blessed with another child unexpectedly, we will likely be going unassisted in the birth for sure.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Photos of the Day

Yeah. More. Doesn't it bug you when people have new babies?
Auntie and Uncle come for a visit and bring presents, too! Big Sister finds out she will have to wait to babysit until she is 12. Dozey Toesies Boy meets Bird. Boy loses bird. Bird goes back in cage for poopin' on Mommy. Hey Dad, Cool Camera! Hi Mommy, can I make faces with you? Mama kisses, pucker up!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Picture Parade

By popular demand! Ok, well, not really... but here are pictures from the first 3 days of the life of our family's new addition:
50 mins old, posing with his big sister 4 hours new and slinging out with Daddy Uncle J visits at 5 hours of age, his first family visitor Thinker Jr. and only 12 hours post-womb Bright eyed & Bushy Tailed at 21 hrs new Meeting Nana 23 hours and Sis & Bro ham it up again New PolarBear Outfit @ 46 hours old, I wonder who picked that out? Note that it was bought on his first short trip (to Wal-Mart the evening before at a day old) Snoozing after 54 hrs on the outside Sweats and Tees Already and only 3 days & 8 hours old Naps are good Mommy catches a biiiiiiiiiiiiig streeeeeeeeeeeeeetch And a sleepy tango to say goodnight...
Hope you like. All pop large in new windows, or they should if your pop-up blocker doesn't try to stuff them. Its amazing how much personality he is already showing, some comes through in these pictures.

Kissy Face

Its just too cute an expression not to post.

Friday, February 04, 2005

A Home Waterbirth In Pictures

Here is a short picture summary of the birth of our new son on February 2nd, 2005. No freaking out allowed, if you do you'll be sent to the principal's office. All pictures will pop large versions in new windows. Before I go any further, I want to be sure to thank our neighbour, Sonya, who was amazing through the whole process - she took care of our daughter while her Mommy and Daddy were very busy, and it would not have been the same (if not impossible) without her. Mom went into early labour on Monday evening, dilating to 5 cm almost right away and then stayed there with baby slightly asynclitic and resting around the pubic symphysis. Active labour picked up on Wednesday afternoon. The water broke at 3:45 pm Eastern, and that's about where we begin...
Mom makes her best pushy face... baby is moving down but much slower than her first baby who was born 3 weeks sooner, so she is working hard. It is 4:26 pm.
A brief moment of rest as the last contraction ends, but more are coming - one almost on top of the other. Mom says, "I am never doing this again!" She is certain she makes sure that everyone present knows it, as well as the neighbours and anyone who may have been passing by in a vehicle on the highway 2 kilometres away. Big sister watches, wishing she could jump in the pool while the midwife twiddles her thumbs patiently.
Our daughter decides she wants to be a 4-year-old Lamaze Coach. "Its OK, Mommy, you can do it," she says as she massages her Mommy's arm since Daddy is a bit busy providing perineal support and trying to make sure baby's head is still moving down. It is 4:31 pm.
The baby is out! And IT'S A BOY! It is now 4:38 pm. Big sister takes her first look at a new baby brother while the midwife reaches in to check his APGAR score (1 minute was 8, 5 minutes was 9, for those who may have been curious).
At 4:44 pm, Mom looks down and she and Daddy officially name their son. They've had names picked out for a long, long time and waited for this moment to find out which one they would use - the boy one or the girl one. No one wants to look in the pool any more.
Big sister gets in close and observes how he has such a cute, tiny nose. Little brother is only 16 minutes old right now, but everyone is in love with him. Mom has already forgotten how much work she just did, at least for the moment.
We wait for the cord to stop pulsing, making sure baby gets everything he needs from Mom before sending him into the world to survive on his own. After 20 minutes, at around 4:59 pm, it stops pulsing, so with big sister checking his work closely, Daddy clamps it with a plastic cord clamp and a haemostat...
...then big sister has her biggest moment: she cuts the cord to separate baby from Mommy. This is no token cut like often done in hospitals, this is the real thing, the first cut, and she does a great job! She has been waiting to do this for the last 2 days. It is now 5:00 pm.
Then, she finally gets to admire her work at 5:34 pm - baby is 56 minutes old and she can finally hold him now that he is all checked over and not attached to Mom any more. Ever had a 4-year-old beg for a toy in the store? Well, imagine that only with wanting to hold a baby.
At about 1 hour 45 minutes old, baby boy rests on Mommy's chest. He was supposed to nurse to stimulate oxytocin and make the placenta come faster. He opts for a nap instead, so Mommy has to do it on her own - and she does, about 15 minutes later at 6:38pm.
So, we find out he weighs 4000 grams or 8 lbs 13 oz, and he is 51 cm or 20 inches long. Done with the day's work, everyone tries to rest a little. Mommy gets hungry at 10:45 pm, though and only 6 hours after delivering a baby, she drives off to get everyone McDonald's with the neighbour and daughter in tow. Daddy and new baby pass out on couch, because only Mommy is a real superhero.