Tuesday, April 8, 2014

About a Boy

In contrast to my pregnancy with Audri, Jacob was a surprise! We had just dealt with a pretty trying situation in our family and we were unsure if a second child was a great idea at this time. Yet, right before we left home for a Fourth of July party, I grabbed a little test and took the plunge... Two lines, check, yes, positive, pregnant, go time! Well, ok, let's do this!

He started expressing his personality right away. I like to say he has been giving me a run for my money since conception. While my pregnancy with Audri had some nausea and occasionally I felt pretty poorly, I hardly ever, if ever got sick. With Jacob, I got sick almost every day for a few weeks and continued feeling poorly and getting sick occasionally into my 18th week of pregnancy. While pregnant with Audri I craved steamed veggies and fresh fruit, with Jacob my mouth watered watching Wataburger commercials! While pregnant with Audri, I grew in a manageable way, all around and slightly higher, with Jacob I grew straight out and unmanageably got large very quickly.

Just before I was through my first trimester, I woke up in the night bleeding... A lot. Having some experience in this area, I felt that I knew exactly what this meant, and without too many details, I surrendered to the defeat that we had lost him. Josh, my encouraging and smart husband insisted we call the doctor either way because I was loosing consciousness and he wasn't convinced it was over. The doctor encouraged us to go to the emergency room for multiple reasons, but also gave us a shred of hope that we should keep our heads up until there was confirmation.... We got to the emergency room and waited entirely too long (or so it felt), to get that knowing sonogram...beat, beat, beat, beat,beat... He was there, probably going, "What? I'm not doing anything wrong, I promise!" I couldn't wrap my brain around it, but it was true.

My care during this pregnancy was equally as much of a blessing. I was cared for by a very reputable doctor in the area and to my great luck, she also happened to be full of spirit and love. She made me laugh and lightened every fear I had. She supported my wishes for a birth plan, and encouraged me to do exactly what I felt I needed for this pregnancy. Having grown a little in my knowledge of natural childbirth, I felt this time, I was so much more prepared. I read Dr. Sears' birth book, Josh and I discussed exactly how it would go, what methods we would use and we went over it all thoroughly with my doctor as well. Everyone was on board, and we thought we were prepared to do this. This time, my doctor gave me up to two weeks after my due date before she would make me induce, pending my health. However, by a few days before my due date, I was beyond ready to get the party started. I, again, tried everything, some new items included, such as eating about an entire raw pineapple... Said to soften the cervix. I put Audri in a stroller and didn't just walk a bit, I walked about 3 miles.

Who knows which natural remedy served its purpose, or if it was just time, but the next day I knew something was off.  My tummy was completely weird and crampy all day. I was working on homework mid afternoon that I hadn't completed for a class I had in a few hours, and about 5:00pm my cramps turned stronger and I thought this was it, but I gave it a bit and did some timing. At 5:30, I told Josh he needed to get home because we were going to the hospital. 

We arrived about 6:15pm and we were admitted at 5 centimeters dialated, I was breathing through contractions and told the nurse that I would be having an unmedicated delivery. She actually complimented me on how well I was breathing through my contractions. Yet, around 7:30pm, the nurse came in to inform me that 'just for my information,' the anesthesiologist was headed home for the night and if I didn't take the epideral now, I would not have the option to get it later. She left and I freaked out. What if I got close to the end and the contractions piggy backed again and I wasn't progressing and I had to just lay there in pain all night long with no options.... I surrendered... Again! It was my choice and no one else's, but I did feel backed into a corner. Again, within minutes, he was there with his tiny needles, and within the hour, I was feeling no pain, well nothing really, As I was napping again. I faded in and out, but this time I was awakened by my wonderful doctor coming and asking how I was doing. I was down on myself because I had gone ahead and gotten the epideral. She was unhappy, apparently she had all but yelled at the nurse for even talking with me about an epideral because it was in her notes that I wasn't having one! I felt relieved that she had supported my wishes that much, but immediately I just wished she had been there to advocate for me and remind me not to listen to the nonsense, since obviously the anesthesiologist would be back pronto were we faced with an emergency C-section.... 

My water hadn't broken on its own yet I was continuing to dialate, so my doctor broke my water and we waited a bit longer, but not much...

I braced myself for another hour marathon since I, again, felt nothing. However, it turned out that even though I couldn't feel, my reading and preparations helped me understand more what I needed to do so with all my might I pushed whatever muscles I could control and he was born 15 minutes later, 1 hour and 9 minutes shy of his actual due date! 

He was beautiful, we snuggled for a few minutes, and I was elated to be holding my baby boy. I did not however breastfed right away, yet again. They suggested he have a bath first so he would be more alert, but when they took him, they didn't bring him back right away. His body temperature was too low, and they had to keep him under a warming lamp. Finally, 8 hours after he was born I got to connect with him and nurse him. Despite the time delay, he did very well, and I was much more confident this time around. He had my heart immediately despite the obstacles it took to get him to me, we were a team, and he was my boy! 

I, again, hold this day near and dear to my heart. The memories are vivid and wonderful of how my little man entered the world! After all, I had achieved going into labor on my own and successfully breast feeding, again, both if which contined to be high on my list of birth plan must-haves. Yet, I'd be lying not to say I was disappointed. I felt that I had let myself down, I knew I could do it, and I had prepared well, but I had once again let myself be persuaded by those who find it normal and preferable to have a laboring woman still and quite... 

My education from this birth was quite simple: If God granted me a next time, I would be delivering outside of the hospital walls, barring emergency, of course. How could I go on continuing to expect a place that simply accepts natural childbirth to soothe and woo me into my birth dream. I need a place and people that go beyond acceptance, a place that encourages it, people that advocate it, and a community who believe in it. 
"If you can't be a hero, you can at least be funny while being a chicken." 
Ina May Gaskin, world renowned midwife

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