Sunday, August 7, 2011

Good and Perfect Gifts...6 months later, The Birth of Ezekiel Ryan

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..." James 1:17

So much of my labor and delivery this time around was different. And not just because, clearly, it was my second go at it, not just because because I felt more confident, more educated, more sure of myself. So much was different because I finally learned what I was supposed to from the experience: we make our labor and delivery so much about us, we mothers. We focus on what I want, what I need, how I feel, what I do...and who can blame us? In a situation so entirely out of our control, so ripe with uncertainty and risk, making a plan for how to have a baby is something we can be sure of, something we can cling to and when it doesn't go our way it gives us something to blame, something tangible to be angry and disappointed about. The lesson I learned from the birth of my second baby: there is no controlling life. There is no "the way I want to do this" when that new soul comes screaming from your womb...and like it or not, we can't make it all about mama, cause baby needs us to think only of him. With every breath, with every heartbeat, baby has only us, mama, to give every little thing he needs...and to give it joyfully and without reservation, even if it means giving up our "perfect birth".

I was 4 days late. Like his elder brother, Z was clinging to the walls of my uterus with tenacity. Wretched.
Rewind a few months: Because I was a previous C-section trying for a VBAC my dreamy OB said: no induction. no way. Pitocin causes contractions to become to dangerous. Again and again we cited the "tiny miniscule" percentage of people who have uterine ruptures while attempting a VBAC. My doctor didn't want anything to cause unnecessary risk, she was on board with having a natural vaginal birth. Ooooh Boy was I thrilled. I would be monitored in the hospital because of my previous complications (again that previa last time around was completely missed) but everyone agreed to respect that I wanted a low intervention birth, I had a fabulous doula who had my back and was ready to fight fiercely for me...
So fastforward back to where we started, rotten kiddo was hanging in, and hanging in good. I was super miserable, baby was posterior and somehow causing pelvic pain so severe I couldn't walk without the aid of pain medication. WHAT A TREAT!
THe Birdie slept at his Nana's house Saturday night, my mom and stepdad love having him overnight and since Sunday was the first day of Luke's paternity leave (did I MENTION I was 4 days past due?) we thought it would be a good chance to try "kickstarting things" (if you know what I mean? wink wink). It didn't work because Sunday morning found me on my way to church.
Yes I was supposed to have a baby any moment, but since my husband works for our church I almost never get to sit with him so I wasn't about to squander the chance to worship with him! It was also a baptism Sunday, and at our church that's a fun day. Everyone gathers between services in the amphitheater where our baptismal pool is and we cheer everytime someone comes up from the water gasping and grinning. It was a nice distraction from my ceaseless pain and exhaustion.
Luke and I enjoyed the service, though I couldn't tell you what we studied. My doula was there and whispered to the baby through my belly. "Come out little one! We can't wait to meet you!" She reminded me again that she had her cell phone, to be patient, to rest and enjoy Colin. She's an amazing doula.
We climbed in the car and drove to downtown Phoenix to have a delicious breakfast at lovely little restaurant called Local Breeze.I ate a perfect omelet and hash browns, i remember this because it was the last real meal I ate that day. It was divine. We packed up our leftovers, kissed my mom and stepdad and went home for a nap.
The rest of my day was a blur of a lot of the same. Watched a movie, napped, smooched on Colin. I got antsy around 7:30 or 8 and put out a call on Facebook for walking partners. My darling friend Amy (who is training to be a midwife!) came to Target to pick up a few last minute snacky things and books for the hospital bag, we filled the gas tank, did some laps around the big box store, she applied counterpressure to my back and swayed with me when I had a couple of big contractions in the home goods aisle.
I went home disappointed that my water hadn't broken, that the laps hadn't inspired more regular contractions. It was around 9:30 and I had another big strong stop me in my tracks contraction before I wearily climbed into bed next to my already snoozing kiddo and sleepy husband.
I slept.
I dreamt of the color red and the sound of lightening. It was a clear night.
3 hours go by.
I woke up with my back arching against the pain of a contraction.
It faded in that throbbing way contractions have.
5 minutes. Deep boiling pain in my lower back and pelvis. I bit my lips.
5 minutes. Arching against the pain didn't help, hunching with it didn't help.
5 minutes. Child's pose and deep breathing with the pain this time. Takes the edge off but it continues.
5 minutes. I cry out this time. My kid and my husband don't even stir.
5 minutes. Child's pose has ceased to take the edge off, my breathing is shallowing out. I am moaning now. I need Luke to help me focus.
"Babe. Babe. Luke. LUKE!"
5 minutes. Luke groggily shakes himself awake.
He times me. I snap that I've been at it for a half hour. Deep strong pain, my back feels like someone is trying to wrench apart my spine with dull pliers.
5 minutes. 5 minutes. 5 minutes. 5 minutes. 5 minutes. An hour has passed since the wretched gnome with the dull pliers climbed into my lower back and decided to clumsily dismantle it. We make the executive decision to pack up, call my mother in law (who lives 5 minutes from the hospital) and head in.
Every 5 minutes, and then 3 minutes I have to stop, moan loudly, pray loudly, breathe deeply, cry out.
Colin sleeps through it all, even through the transfer to his car seat. Amazing.
I call my mother and between shouts I tell her we are on our way in. I call my doula and tell we're headed in. I call my mother in law and tell her we are headed to her house.
3 minutes apart.

To Be Continued!


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