The new guy in my life
It's far overdue, but I wanted to put up a post about my son J.
J. was born May 8th, 2011 at 12:50 pm. He weighed 8 lbs, 6 oz and was 20-1/2 inches long.
Detailed Birth Story - Lots of cute pictures at the end!
I started having contractions Saturday night around 9:30. At first I thought it was just indigestion, but the contractions just kept coming. I tried to relax. We used a timer application on our phones to keep track of the duration and frequency of the contractions. Walker helped me breathe through the pain.
By morning, the contractions were pretty intense and about 5 minutes apart. We called the midwife around 6, but since my mucous plug was intact and my water hadn't broken, she told me to continue to rest and keep watching for other signs of progression. We went back to bed for a few hours and tried to sleep between contractions. I lost my mucous plug, but my water didn't break. Walker made breakfast, and I tried to eat it, not knowing when I'd get to eat again.
Around 9:30 am, I felt very strong desire to push! We called the midwife again and she told us to come to the birth center. We grabbed our bags and got on the road. Fortunately there wasn't much traffic on Sunday morning. Somehow I managed the car ride all the way from our house in Beaverton over to the birth center in Southeast Portland.
We arrived at the birth center around 10 am. It was a cool, mostly cloudy morning. We went upstairs and and I got ready to give birth. The room had a large bed and a large corner tub. Angela was my main midwife, and Whitney and Laura assisted. Angela examined my dilation and effacement. I was fully effaced. I was more advanced in labor than was expected, and it was too late to start the antibiotics with which I had been expecting to receive. Angela recommended that I try to deliver in the tub. I started in the tub, first leaning back and soon on my hands and knees. Walker stayed by my side, giving me drinks and encouraging me through the pushing. After some time in the tub, my water finally broke. It was hard to get a good grip on anything in the tub. All the surfaces were slick and wet, and my hands were weakened by numbness due to fluid buildup in my body. The water in the tub needed to be changed, and I took a break. I decided to move to the bed and labor there for awhile. The midwives provided a birthing ball for me to lean against, and I rested my upper body on the ball. I tried to concentrate on opening and allowing my baby to emerge.
Soon after I was pushing on the bed, the baby began to crown. All the pain I had experienced to that point was not near as intense as pushing out the head, but hearing “I can see the head” was so amazing and inspiring I knew I could get through it. Walker said my face lit up when I heard that J's head had emerged. It seemed like just a few more minutes pushing before I felt him slip out into Walker's waiting arms. I felt such relief and amazement that it had all happened so quickly. I laid down on the bed and the midwives placed J. on my chest. So little, so alive. I was amazed at how perfect and complete he was. I counted his fingers and toes and stroked his face and back and legs. My son was finally here!
The midwives checked J. and prepared to sever the umbilical cord. Walker made the cut. I am really proud at how well he was able to handle the whole process. In the moment, the details of blood or other fluids don't really matter. Having my son in my arms, I was already starting to forget the pain and the hardship of labor.
The whole process was so fast, and much of it was blurred by pain and adrenaline. I was able have the birth experience I wanted, without drugs or other intervention. The birth center was calm and quiet, and the team of midwives were there just for me. I am amazed by my body's ability to give birth to a baby so quickly. I had waited for him for such a long time, and I knew it was true love from the start.
Lots of pictures:
Second day with his mom
Dancing with his dad
15 days old
23 days old
30 days old
5 weeks old