Monday, February 25, 2013

Jane Alice's Birth Story: Part Three

To read Part One, click here

To read Part Two, click here

Ornesha immediately starts yelling at me - BREATHE INNNNN THROUGH YOUR NOSE, OOOUUUTTT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH! INNNNNN THROUGH YOUR NOSE, OOOUUUTTT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH. Surprisingly, I didn't mind her drill sergeant style.

Despite Angela's calm demeanor and Scott's quiet presence, I felt out of control, and Ornesha's volume and cadence were somehow comforting. I did exactly as she said, because I've always been a people-pleaser, and Angela assured me that we'd gotten the best nurse in the hospital.

Ornesha said she needed to check to see how far dilated I was. On the hospital bed, on my back. There was only one problem with that, I couldn't lie on my back, or I WOULD DIE!

The pain and pressure were so intense that the only comfortable position was hands and knees, but again, I am a people-pleaser, and Angela and Ornesha both assured me it would be quick.

They helped me get on the bed, on my back, and then Ornesha quickly checked. She said I was at a 7 and right then and there I died.

Not really, but I distinctly remember saying, I CAN'T DO THIS! To which Angela and Ornesha both replied, YES YOU CAN. YOU ARE DOING THIS! YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT NOW.

They quickly helped me get back on my hands and knees, strip down to my tank top, and resume breathing. Scott assumed his position at my head. Holding my hands and breathing with me. I remember that being so helpful, him breathing with me, and I remember the smell of his breath. It was sweet like the citrus flavored gum he was chewing.

Angela was busy doing what doulas do and I remember her praising my breathing and wiping my face with a wet cloth. Ornesha continued yelling. The only time in my life that someone yelling at me was welcomed.

This whole time my bare butt is waving in the air, and you know what? I didn't care. Not one bit. For once in my life I didn't care how my butt looked or who saw it. I was in so much pain and so focused on breathing that nothing else mattered. Not even my butt.

Before long someone said the doctor was in. I didn't see her because my head was buried in the headboard, but your daddy told me that she stood in the back of the room and watched.

(Side note:  The morning after you were born I noticed a bruise and scab on the bridge of my nose. It wasn't until that afternoon that it dawned on me, it was from having my head pressed into the headboard during labor!)

A few minutes later I felt the urge to push and my body took over. My exhales became grunts and then I was informed that before I started pushing, the doctor needed to check me.

I was still on my hands and knees, a position I don't think she's used to because her checking me took a few tries, if you know what I mean. My anatomy was upside down so I got poked in the wrong spot a few times. Fun.

When she finished, she said I was at a nine and I could push if I wanted to. IF I WANTED TO?! I was so ready to meet you!

Next contraction, I breathed in and pushed out. Ornesha, still yelling at me, and I mean that in the nicest way possible, told me that if I wanted to get this baby out, I was going to have to breathe in and then push for ten seconds.

So, as we all know by now, I am very obedient, and I did just as she said. I breathed in and pushed for ten seconds. Next thing I knew, your head was out. I vaguely remember people cheering me on, but honestly, I was so focused on pushing that I don't remember much else.

I think I had to push once more to get the rest of your body out, but you might have just slid out at that point. I'm not sure. Either way, you were born in just a few pushes, at 11:59 PM, and I have never felt so much relief in my life.

Some people claim to feel orgasmic as they're pushing their babies out un-medicated. I did not feel that at all, but the cessation of pain combined with the adrenaline coursing through my veins, made for a feeling I don't think could ever be replicated by a drug. Then again, I've never done drugs, so what do I know?!

Everyone in the room was telling me to turn around to see what I had done, and all I could think was,    I DON'T WANNA SEE THE POOP! I DON'T WANNA SEE THE POOP!

Finally, the doctor passed you up through my legs to my arms and I held your warm, wet body against my chest as I tried to catch my breath.

You began to cry and everyone helped me turn around to get into a reclining position. They helped me get my tank top off and I held you up to my breast so that you could eat.

We sat like that until the placenta slid out on it's own and the doctor stitched me up. I had a grade one tear, just like I had with your brother, which I've been told, is not bad.  Although, it felt pretty bad to me. I was sore, and for the next two days my only complaint to every person who entered our hospital room was that my butt hurt.

As I mentioned above, I was very concerned about seeing the poop, but I didn't see any poop. Instead I saw you. Six pounds, 14 and three-quarter ounces. A striking resemblance to your brother. Red hair and all.

That didn't quench my curiosity, though, so the next morning I asked the nurse if I had pooped during pushing. She smiled and said something like, it was just the size of an almond, as she demonstrated with the tip of her pinkie.

I'll never think of an almond the same again. And neither will you.

Jane Alice, your birth was an awesome experience. One I had planned on and prepared for. Although, nothing could have fully prepared me for the miracle it is to give birth. Even a second time. Naturally or otherwise.

I am so thankful that you came quickly. My labor was only two and a half hours, if that!

Your birth gives me the confidence that I can do anything. Whenever I feel nervous or anxious, I try to remember how strong I felt during those two and a half hours, and then I press on.

I wish that confidence and strength for you too. After all, I couldn't have done it without you.

I love you,


Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, 
because her hour has come, 
but when she gives birth to the child, 
she no longer remembers the anguish because of the 
that a child has been born into the world.  
John 16:21

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monthly Update: 48

Dear Foster,

Last month we celebrated your fourth birthday.  And by celebrated, I mean I got the stomach flu and had to miss your party.  Then I cried.

You wanted your party to be at Grandma and Grandpa's house this year.  A request with which I did not argue because I am not crazy.  No cleaning the house, no decorating, no un-decorating, no cleaning the house.  Thank you for being so thoughtful.  So prudent.  Or maybe, psychic?  I mean, I couldn't have done any of those things anyway and we would have had to cancel your party here.

About a week before your birthday your daddy and I noticed some maturity peeking through.  We hadn't seen maturity in, oh, a year?

Three was awful.  Whoever came up with the "terrible twos" obviously had never parented a three year old.  Geesh.  I even went back and looked at my archives and there aren't many entries from last year.

You were a turd.  The end.

However, at four, you are all the sudden agreeable and thoughtful.  Still silly.  Still busy.  And, dare I say, pleasant.

Your school work is phenomenal.  To me anyway.  You have learned to trace like a champ and even write letters on your own.  Your favorite letter is F, of course.  And when you see the letter F you immediately tell me, "there's the letter F for my name!"

Thankfully your self esteem is not a problem and earlier today when you were riding your bike, you were yelling, "I'm out of this world!"  A neighbor heard you, began to smile, then said,  "Now that's a positive attitude!"

Yes, your attitude is much more positive now that you're four and I am so thankful for that.  There were days last year I didn't think I would survive.  Now there are just moments.  You can still pitch a fit, but when I discipline you, it actually works.  One discipline doesn't lead to another to another.  It just works.  Sometimes even just the threat.

Minnie, our oldest cat, died just after Christmas and your reaction was velly intellesting.  One minute you were crying and running away from me and the next you were helping your daddy bury her.

Sometimes you talk about her as if she's still part of the family, which I find endearing so I don't correct you, but other times the memory of her death brings up questions about death and Heaven.

Having been told that we will get new bodies in Heaven, today you asked if we would have fins.  Like fish.  Or maybe we'll become mermaids once we're in Heaven.

Maybe so.

Your sister is now 8 months old and you are very sweet to her.  If she drops a toy, you pick it up.  If she's crying and I can't get to her, you distract her.  Sometimes you even kiss her for no reason.  You don't seem to mind that I have to leave you alone in order to feed and rock her.  You have become content to watch a movie with your friends.  Your stuffed animal friends.  The same friends we had to start confiscating when you refused to poop on the potty.

One of my biggest fears before Jane Alice was born was that you'd regress in the potty training department, and boy howdy!

You were completely potty trained just prior to her birth, but once she was born, you stopped pooping on the potty and here we are 8 months later still working on it.  Selah.  (Like amen at the close of prayer, selah stresses the importance or reality of what was said.  Or, as our pastor says, You think about that!)

Selfishly I miss your baby talk, as you can now make the "th" sound.  I preferred sank you over thank you and birsday over birthday and dat over that and bass over bath, but you are four now and your maturity means that when I say I love you, you say you love me more.  And sometimes you tell me I look beautiful, like a princess.  And often you ask me to keep you company and to get under the covers with you during story time.  So I tearfully say goodbye to your baby talk while I joyfully welcome your affection.

Foster, I love you more than I can say and I'm so proud of the person you're becoming.  You are very conscientious about how we treat others and the earth.  Very curious about God and His word.  Very smart.  And very cute.  I could go on and on.

You are my favorite boy.