2.25.2010

Eliseo's Birth Story

The Unabridged Birth Story:
My water broke around 7 am when I was on the toilet. I called out to Alex in the next room. I remember saying "Uh Alllllex???... I think my water broke." And he said "Well are you peeing right now?" and I said "I don't think so..." But you could still hear the trickle of water coming out of me. We both just looked at each other wide-eyed. Alex knelt down next to me and told me he loved me.
For that first hour or two we ran around like crazy trying to get the house clean and ready for a home birth. The whole time water was leaking out of me. At times I had to just stand over a towel and watch Alex bustle around me. After a little bit I was able to put a pad in my underwear to catch it~ but when I would laugh or sneeze a gush would come out. It was kind of comical.
We weren't sure how fast labor would descend upon us once it started since last time was relatively fast (7.5 hours from waters breaking to Lili in my arms) so the energy in the house was excited and jittery. We were trying to be as normal as possible for Lili's sake, but she was definitely picking up on it all. So we sent her over to play at the Carmonas. With her gone we finished tidying up the house and Alex blew up the birth pool and took the table outside to give more room. Very light contractions had started around 9. They were about 2-4 mins apart, but felt more like menstrual cramps than anything that signified strong labor. I sat down and wrote a blog post on the computer and the contractions came to a halt. So Alex and I went for a walk to the mailboxes. I wore Alex's work sweatshirt, and he was just in a tee shirt. It was the most beautiful day. Sunny, and windy, and in the 50's. We saw our friends Meredith and Anne on the road and they gave us hugs and well wishes. Along the way we saw the first crocus sprouts growing of the year. We both ran our hands over the green sprouts in awe.When we got back to the house it was around noon and although my contractions had picked up slightly in intensity, I was still able to talk through them easily. Ema came over and She and Alex listened to me as I confessed my anxiety about the fact that everything was ready and all perfect and yet labor was seemingly stalling. And I felt like it was me holding it back. It felt and looked like a birthday party in our house, but it was missing the people. And it was all hinging on my body. I was so nervous to go to fast. I was nervous I wouldn't call the doctor at the appropriate time~ that either he would show up and it would be too soon, or even worse I would wait too late and I would have the baby unassisted. I think all I needed was Alex and Ema's ears listen to my fears. For after that they both left me alone and we decided I would just enjoy this space and do something to take my mind off it all. We turned the TV on to see if the Olympics were on. I stood up and focused my attention on my light contractions. It was 1:00 and only soaps were on TV, so we turned it off and I asked Alex to put some upbeat music on (up until this point we had mellow calming music on). So he put on Michael Franti's album "Yell Fire" and within minutes I was having contractions that I couldn't talk through. Alex called the doctor and he said he was on his way.I was sitting on the edge of our new glider chair gripping the wooden armrests for support. I could rock while I was having a contraction and feel the intensity deepen inside me. After all morning of such light contractions I was doing my best to welcome the pain. I was thinking affirming, opening thoughts as best I could. Things like "I want to open up and let my baby out" and I am getting BIG" and "I want to dilate bigger than a bagel" (a cervix needs to dilate to 10 cm to let the baby out, which is about the size of a bagel). And with each contraction I feel like I could almost feel myself dilating and the heads pressure. And although my bodies initial response was to want to crawl away from the pain, I was working to stay open to this uncomfortable feeling and welcome it as best I could.Jen (the Doctor's apprentice, and who has been present throughout our whole pregnancy) showed up and brought in all of the supplies at about 1:45. She checked the baby's heartbeat which sounded great. After she was all set up she sat on the stairs and let Alex and Ema hold space near to me. I asked about when would be a good time to get in the pool and Jen said anytime I felt like it, and if labor slowed down we could get out. So Alex started filling the tub. I started getting the uncontrollable shakes. I remembered that Ema had this with two of her labors, and that knowledge let it not be so scary for me. I asked for a bowl in case I threw up. I talked on the phone to my friend Christine who called to wish me love in between a few contractions.Doctor David showed up about a half an hour later at about 2:15. He set up camp on the stairs next to Jen. Both were typing notes on their computers, and although there was some talking in the room, it felt like everyone was just being witness to the process and waiting. I don't think anyone but me knew how far along I was. From what I have been told, it didn't seem like I was close because I seemed so calm. I thought I was giving clues, but didn't want to say that I thought the baby was coming out loud, lest I be wrong and jinx it. I said "Well I can't give birth on the chair" (because the chair was in the way) I stood up and took off my underwear because, well, they were in the way too. I said maybe I should pee. They brought Lili's little frog shaped training potty to me and Ema and Alex helped me sit down on it and realized I didn't have to pee. I could feel the baby's head bearing down though. I said sort of jokingly "I can not have the baby on the froggy potty". I stood up and looked around trying to figure out what to do. I flopped down, leaning over the edge of the filling birth pool. Ema placed her hands on my lower back. and I said "I feel like I am going to poop" which I thought would let them know how close it was. I felt my body push and bear down uncontrollably. The pain was intense, and I felt what they call the ring of fire. I felt myself poop. I reached back and felt the baby's wet bulging head. I heard Alex exclaim "There is a head!" Jen rushed over from where she had been putting her gloves on, and David was right behind her. Ema backed away to get our camera. I pushed him out in about 90 seconds, and they scrambled to put pads down underneath. I heard the baby screaming immediately, and everyone laughing and welcoming him. It was 3:06 pm.I heard them say he was perfect as I hung over the edge of the pool and caught my bearings. They helped me turn over, being careful of the cord that was still attaching the baby and myself. I held him for the first time, and he was looking around. He was waterlogged looking and covered in vernex (a white paste) and had hair and long fingernails.He was so tiny and he stuck out his tongue and moved his black eyes back and forth. I was starting to feel uncomfortable in the position I was in, so when the cord stopped pulsing Jen clamped it, and Alex cut us loose of each other. We were waiting for me to deliver the placenta and David kneeled and let me put my weight into him for support while I held Eliseo. Eventually I got up in the glider and they had to massage my uterus and pull the placenta out gently (it hurt a lot) because it had been over an hour. It came out and I lost very little blood. I took a shower and then they all escorted me upstairs to my bed with the baby. They weighed him with a little cloth scale and he looked like the babies do in a storks mouth. 7lbs exactly. almost a full pound less than Lili was. David and Jen held him, then listened to his heart and said their goodbyes.Lili came to meet him. It was so sweet.When the Carmona girls and Lili and Soleil came to meet him, and they all gathered around the bed and sang a very cute off-tune happy birthday to him.
Later Becca came to visit and held the baby downstairs while Alex and I laid down with Lili to put her to bed. Becca brought us Sushi for dinner, and we sat in the soft light of the night and ate sushi and reveled in our new baby.

10 comments:

Liz said...

I am just speechless, Kelcey. What a perfectly wonderful birth. I am sooooo happy that it turned out so lovely and sweet. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Can't wait to see you all!

Daisie said...

Sounds like the most perfect journey into the world. And it is nice to know it's not just me that is calm on the outside and full of turmoil and panic on the inside. Well done! I hope he fits into your family well and that Lili is accepting of a new sibling without much upset. Thanks for sharing. xxx

cara lou said...

How wonderful! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story! I'm glad that everything went so smoothly and quickly and easily (not easy, but you know what I mean).

A doctor attended the birth, not a midwife? That is so surprising to me -- I didn't think there was a doctor in the entire U.S. who would do that. How and why?

Thanks again for sharing! Oh, and this blog I read is looking for positive natural birth stories. Yours would be perfect! 

http://www.progressivepioneer.com/progressive-pioneer/2010/02/call-for-birth-stories.html#comments

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your family...What a gorgeous little boy. I can't wait to meet him!

Love you all. Ken and Nancy

Cindy Benson said...

Kelcey, what a beautifully written account of an incredible miracle! Wow! I can picture it all and imagine how amazing it would be to be in your own little house afterwards to "revel" in the whole experience. Welcome little "Seo."

Lindsey said...

Wow! What an incredible experience! Thanks for sharing with us. Congratulations...he is perfect! Can't wait to watch him grow up!

Caren said...

Oh, sweet Kelcey, I am speechless. That is such a beautiful story, and you are so amazing and strong, and surrounded by so much love and support, and Seo is so incredibly beautiful. I am crying tears of joy and love. I love him already. I can't wait to meet him and see you all, when the time is right.
love, love, love,
C

Lucy Ladham-Dyment said...

Congrats and thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see him splashing in puddles with you. Lucy

katypark said...

oh my oh my...:) such a beautiful, powerful, amazing journey...thank you so much for sharing mama...he is amazing...so much love your way!

Amber said...

So beautiful and empowering!!

Thank you so much for sharing this with us!