Thursday, February 4, 2010

Samuel's Birth Story

(Sam, 5 hours old)

Sorry this is also a bit long and detailed :)

In May of 2005 Matt and I made the sporadic decision to transfer to the Whole Foods in Charlottesville, VA. I am not sure exactly why we thought this was the best decision for our little family. I thought it would be an easy thing to do. Thought the grass would be greener, even though it was not all that brown in Pittsburgh...

Max was 19 months old when we made the move. We said our good-byes to friends and family, who we're supportive but so sad to see us go. Matt drove the U-haul, Max and I in one car, and my good friend Jodi drove our other car and we all made the 6+ hour drive South.

A few weeks into our new apt., the place Matt went and picked out prior to our moving there, which was on a busy road and above a chain smoking blind man...I got pregnant with baby #2. Another surprise but welcomed little blessing. Like #1 I knew within days of conceiving that I was pregnant. But a dollar store test let us know for sure and we were both so excited to find out we would be having another baby!

The morning/all day sickness was horrible. The heat in VA, was record highs for that summer, the exhaust from the road outside made me so much more sick, as did the lingering smell of tobacco from the floor below.

I felt lonely, lost and miserable in this new town. I panicked at the thought of having another baby w/o friends and family close by. A month or so later, and some convincing to Matt, he asked WF to be re-relocated back to the 'Burgh. They were awesome and understanding about it. Just before we broke our lease and left after being there just 3 months, we got married by the Sheriff at the town Hall. Jodi and Max being our only "wedding" guests on a 103 degree day.
I'll save a marriage post for another day, but I always believed that piece of paper was not necessary possibly a jinx on a perfect relationship....until I needed insurance :)

I then drove home with Max in late August and stayed with my mom-in-law while Matt finished his 2 work weeks. I found our new home, a block from the apt. we lived in for 6 years and just moved out of 3 months prior. I signed the lease and Matt joined me two weeks later and we settled into the big brick 4 br duplex on the corner.

Prior to leaving VA, I knew I had to make arrangements to find a Dr back home. I knew I did not want another hospital birth and after some online searching I discovered The Midwife Center in Pittsburgh. A free standing birth center in the Strip District (in the city) that had a team of Midwives. To me this sounded completely ideal for us and I made my appt before we even left VA. My morning sickness went away after 12 weeks, just as it did with my 1st pregnancy. My mother in law joined me in going to the midwife for my 1st visit, as Matt was still in VA. She also accompanied me to the orientation and tour. She was very supportive of my choice to birth here.

At 19 weeks we went for our 1st ultrasound. After a miserable long wait in the waiting room with a crazy toddler, Matt and me with a bladder so full I was crying, we went in. After some probing around and a silent and serious US tech who made me think something was horribly wrong with my baby b/c she called in a Dr to finish.. but alas all was fine and we were told it was another boy.

Now, I will be honest here, a single tear streamed down my face when I was told this. This tear held happiness that all was well with this baby, but my husband also knew this tear held some disappointment as I was pretty open about hoping for a girl. He wiped my tear and gave me an understanding smile and kiss on my forehead.

The rest of my pregnancy went very well with no complications at all. I gained 40 lbs (started at 120 went to 160!) Although I was still quite active chasing my toddler around.

Sam's BIRTH day.

Two days past my EDD (estimated due date, same as baby #1)

5:30 am, Sunday March 12th - Woke up with with pretty strong contractions. I let Matt sleep and also tried to get more rest, but was still in denial that this was probably it.

6:30 am - Contractions increasing in pain and were getting longer and closer so I woke Matt up, who said ok, rolled over and went back to sleep :) I got out of bed and the pain hit, I was holding and pressing my face onto the walls of my bedroom, the coolness of the plaster eased my pain to a small degree. I continued to pace my room and hang on the bed...

8:30 am - I woke Matt up again telling him I needed him to get up and I think we had to call the MW. He then realized this was it and jumped out of bed.

I called and gave my info and they asked me if I wanted to labor for longer at home and I told them I had a feeling I should come, esp since the drive was about 20-30 minutes. I got dressed and went downstairs to make tea and to wake my mother who was temporarily living with us. She is not good in these situations and was pacing around me looking like she was in pain.

Waiting on Matt to get everything ready I managed to crawl under the dining room table during a contraction (since I was a kid, I found comfort in crawling under things I used to pout under our armchair :), while in labor with Max in the hospital I remember wanting to crawl under the hospital bed and seriously envisioned crawling under the floor tiles)

My mom was starting to panic, I yelled at her and asked her to go away. I believe she then tended to Max, who was 28 months old and watching TV in the living room. Most woman want their mom to comfort them during labor....we just do not have that kind of relationship.
Matt called his Mom to come stay with Max too. As much as I love my mother, she is not the best sitter...I'll save the Schizo-Mama drama for another entry...

9 am - Matt and I got in the car and headed to the parkway to get downtown. The car ride was horrible. I swore like a trucker at my poor panicky husband every time he hit a bump, I may have flipped off a few drivers who were going too slow and swore at a few innocent people who were probably headed to church. Thank goodness it was a Sunday or we would have been caught in horrible traffic as it was rush hour.

9:30 am - We pulled up outside and the midwife (Anne) and her student were there to greet us. They assisted me to the back room where my 1st instinct was to strip ALL of my clothes off. I am usually a modest person but at that point all inhibitions went out the window and I felt most comfortable naked.

(the room I had him in)

I laid on the comfy bed so they could see how far I had progressed, expecting to hear maybe 5, I was told I was already at 10cm, good thing we left when we did! They were a bit shocked I was this far along. I paced around the room and had very bad back labor, this baby, like Max, was posterior, facing the wrong way and causing horrible pressure on my back. Matt and the mw and her asst took turns massaging and creating counter-pressure on my lower back.

I decided I wanted to try the jacuzzi so they filled it up. While waiting they brought me the birthing (yoga) ball and this was my best friend, I hung over that thing while kneeling on the bed for most of my labor.

When the tub was filled I got in and I felt very hot, I think I was transitioning at this point and I could not get comfortable and wanted out. I was only in there less than 5 minutes. They helped me on the birthing stool and I felt like it was time to push.

My waters still had not fully broken, like Max I was a slow leaker, their heads prevented the bag from breaking fully. So the mw told me to lay on the bed, which I wanted to do anyways, I felt exhausted at this point and Matt was holding me up.

They doppler checked babies heartbeat every few minutes and I could see the concern in their face...his heart rate was increasing than dipping and they tried not to scare me but told me baby had to come out now. That he was stressed and the cord may be around his neck!

I felt panicked for my babies well being and got my 2nd wind. Although I did not want to deliver on my back I was beat and could not get up. It was close to 12:30 and my waters finally broke more.

This is where the pain really hit, he crowned and the ring of fire feeling set in and I screamed and yelled and felt that I may have been scaring the 1st time mom laboring in the next room, who had arrived at some point while I was there.

They did an excellent job at preventing any tears with the use of oils and warm compresses, which to me was amazing since I had so much scar tissue from the unneccessary episiotomy 2.5 years prior.

At 12:54 pm my sweet baby boy made his gentle entrance earthside. Matt was barely able to stand so the plan for him to catch the baby was out the window :) With a final push I assisted in pulling his little slimy body to my chest. He did not cry at first but just looked at me calmly with his wide eyes. After some stimulation he then let out a cry and cried pretty hard for about 20 minutes while lying on my chest.

I took off the oxygen mask, which they placed on me at some point and cried with Matt as we marveled over our precious new son...who still did not have a name!
They waited about 20 minutes to cut the cord, until it stopped pulsating and I tried to breastfeed, but he was not interested in latching on yet.

The mw gave me a very painful shot of pitocin in my leg as my bleeding was not letting up and placenta was not coming out.

After they cleaned me up they left Matt and I alone in our quaint little room with our sweet new baby.
We called our Moms and sent out texts announcing baby boy Millers arrival. After about 2 hours they came back to weigh and measure and check the baby out. Surprisingly he was 8lbs and 6oz and 20.5 inches long! I did not think he looked that big, considering my 1st was 6-14 and 20" long.

I was in baby bliss, all pain had been forgotten the moment I laid eyes onto him. I let him lay on Matts chest while I showered and just 4 hrs after delivery we decided we were ready to go home to our other baby :) I felt like wonder woman. I felt so exhausted and horrible after my 1st baby that I could not believe this euphoric baby bliss high I was on. My body felt wonderful.

(even though I look a bit exhausted here :)

The mw wanted his name to write on the chalkboard and we thought maybe Oliver, and that was what she wrote. About 5 days later we decided on Samuel Owen.

When we arrived home there were seriously a dozen people waiting, I did not want to get out of the car, but I wanted to see my big guy Max. We went in and to my dismay my 5 hr old baby was passed around to all of these people. Blood still in his hair...flashes going off, all kinds of commotion and loudness, all I wanted was for the 4 of us to be alone and lay in our big bed together as a family.

Max was excited to see us and held his baby brother with a look of pride and joy in his face.

(Big Brother Max and my mom in law)

Finally everyone left and my new baby, big boy and husband went to lay in our bed upstairs.

(Matt and Baby Sam)

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