Tuesday, 4 December 2012

My Little Natey

Well, I guess that as of this Sunday I don't have a baby anymore :(.  For me, three has always been that cut-off.  Granted it feels like Nate has been a baby much longer than Jack was, I am sure that much of that is due to the language delays.  Just wanted to write a bit about his birth now, as I will be too busy this weekend with his little party.  Already I have nearly asphyxiated myself from blowing up so many balloons- you will see why later on in the pictures. 

Really all I would need to do to explain everything about Nathan is say, take Jack's story and flip it on it's head.  That's Nathan- from pregnancy, to birth, to infancy, that's Nathan. 

Whereas Jack was a "surprise", Nathan was the product of a 9 month waiting game while trying to conceive.  I was sick as a dog with Nate, I think partly because I was so busy chasing around a two year old.  Other than that, the pregnancy went pretty smoothly.  If you hate birth stories, you need to skip the next couple of paragraphs.  Well really, the rest of this post.

I was very dissatisfied with how Jack's birth went- enough so that I changed doctors before I became pregnant with Nathan. This practice was great, very supportive.  I really wanted to try for a drug free delivery, even after the pain of the first time around.  I am a pretty anxious girl to begin with, so this was a tall order.  I know all women hear that childbirth pain is partially caused by, or made worse by, fear.  We all scoff at this, and claim that this theory was brought forth by a man.  I decided to work with it though, knowing myself as well as I do, and enrolled in a hypnobirthing class.  Oh John....poor poor John.  There we were with all of these granola-ish parents lying on the floor, doing visualization.....that's love right there.  When Nate turned breech it was the most lively discussion of the whole class- every suggestion you could think of was flying at me from every direction.  Conveniently, we had an acupuncturist in our class and she brought me a remedy that I was supposed to burn by my foot (yep), but by the time she got it to me Nathan had turned.  I think he was scared, haha.  The class was very relaxing.   Even John admitted to having no idea how much time had passed during these meditations.  I was skeptical though- how was I to concentrate on this cd and my breathing through so much pain?  I BEGGED for drugs the first time around. 

I was convinced, had not one doubt, that Nathan was coming early.  He was due on New Year's Day.  Drove my family crazy with this- even remember having an argument with my mom because I wanted my parents to come for Christmas.  She was still working and said she could either do that or come when the baby was born.  I said she didn't need to choose.  I was that sure.  Don't think my mom doubts me anymore. 

I was so sure that by December 8th I had all of the christmas shopping done, all of the presents wrapped.  I baked 4 batches of cookies that day as well- the nurses benefitted from that one.  So anyhow, there I am, and I am NOT making this up, wrapping the last Christmas gift, with the last batch of cookies in the oven, I stand up, and pop.  My water broke!  That never happened with Jack, at least not until right before he was born.  I kinda freaked out to be honest.  John was upstairs lying down with Jack while he was falling asleep, so I decided to call the doctor first, figured we had several hours to come in since I wasn't really having contractions yet.  But no, she wanted us there within an hour- I technically wasn't full term yet- I think I was 2 or 3 days shy of it.  So I arranged for someone to come watch Jack and then went upstairs to grab John.  He was completely asleep!  It takes awhile to wake him up- and I wasn't able to do it without waking Jack too, since he the lightest sleeper in the world.  I remember looking at Jack and having this overwhelmingly bittersweet feeling.  This boy had no idea how much his little world was about to be rocked, and this was the last time I would see him and be just his mommy. 

We headed to the hospita and were taken to triage.  The nurse swore up and down she wasn't seeing any amniotic fluid.  I wanted to sit up and scream "oh no bleep!  I don't come to the hospital unless it's time to come to the hospital.  I am a nurse and I am telling you- MY. WATER. BROKE."  Luckily, I held it together, and when the OB examined me she said that Nate's head had just come down really fast so I wasn't leaking fluid anymore, but my water was broken.  So there, ha.  We were admitted, I was I think 3cm, not much doing, just minor contractions.  That changed VERY quickly.  I popped my cd in and my headphones on and tried to relax.  To my surprise, I really did drift off, really was able to concentrate on my breathing, was in "the zone".  Kinda freaked John out.  In between listening we would walk, and walk, and walk.  I would keep the breathing going throughout, and it really worked for me.  The best thing I can think of to compare it to is the feeling you get when you are in good shape and in the middle of a long run- spacey and focused at the same time.  And unable to feel your legs :).  They checked me after a few hours and I was 9 centimeters!  I got all cocky- almost there, this is nothing.  HA.  I was 9 cm for 5 hours.  Let me tell you, hypnobirthing can only get you so far!  After 5 hours of that, when I hit transition I thought I would literally kill my husband.  I mean, it was like a scene out of a movie.  I asked for ice chips, John brought the ice chips, and I asked him why the hell he kept putting ice chips in my face and he said because you asked for them.  I screamed at him to get away.  Good times.  The baby's head was not coming down far enough- turns out this is the one way in which Nate was like big brother- he turned sideways in the birth canal.  I will never forget, about an hour before I delivered, the OB who had been with us all night went off duty.  She had been staring at me for much of the night saying things like "you can't be 9cm" because I was so calm.  When she left, she looked at me and said "Jenny, you don't need any pitocin, you don't need an epidural, and you are going to do this with no help."  All of the things that had been "done to me" with Jack she was telling me that I didn't need.  It was inspiring.  I'll cut to the chase and say that she was right- I needed none of that.  I did it myself.

At first I thought there was something wrong- there were so many staff in our room!  Turns out that the nurses, social workers, and birth coaches all need to see at least one drug free delivery a year to stay current.  And it was December.  Well hello there....everyone.  And to top it off, this was also the day that the computerized order and medication system went live- so everyone was trying to figure that out too.  Entertainment. 

I'm not gonna lie- my OB cried at my delivery.  This was not for a good reason.  I had to be seen in her office every 4 weeks for 4 months.  It was rough- but worth it.  In the end anyway.  The nice things about that delivery- I got up right away, I could take care of my baby right away.  I had pain, but I felt in control of my own body.  I never even needed an IV.  And Nate was amazing (still is of course).  He fed right away, he was alert, he was quiet.  Just a joy.

John had to go home that night to be with Jack as we didn't have anyone who could stay with him.  So my friend Joann came and spent the evening with Nate and me.  It was one of the most peaceful nights of my life.  He ate right away every time, when he fell asleep I put him in the little bassinet and he just stayed there.  It was amazing! 

I will never forget the births of either of my boys, but I have to be honest.  Nate's was really special, almost spiritual in some ways.  One of the best, most empowering experiences of my life, and look what we got!!! 

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