Monday, July 18, 2011

Israel's Birth Story

I know this might be a bit more information than most want to know, but its been a few weeks since Israel's birth and I just want to reflect on it a bit. Here's a pic of my little prince minutes after birth.

It was about midnight on June 23, 2011 Glen, my dear husband, and I engaged in some marital adult play. I was hoping and praying that this would be the last time for a while. Not because I don't enjoy the the intimacy between my husband and I but because I was hoping our baby would join us soon after. Earlier that day I had jokingly told Glen that we needed to get him out the same way we got him in. Little did I know that we would do just that. I can remember very vividly how much I enjoyed that time we spent, we even left a little souvenir. After cleaning up a bit, off to bed we went, not knowing this was the beginning of an extremely interesting morning. We both awakened at 3:20 a.m. to Glen's alarm clock, which was set for work. He hit the snooze button, and I lay awake in the bed  thinking I don't want to get up, but I really needed to use the restroom. It was at that time I realized I was having some contractions, hereby referred to as pressure waves. So I drudged myself up and went to the restroom after sitting there a while realizing I was really experiencing pressure waves I finally wiped and was greeted by a little show. Deep down I knew this was it, but I had a small false alarm earlier that week, Sunday June 19 (Father's Day), to be exact so I didn't want to get ahead of myself. So I got back in the bed and attempted to sleep, while Glen lie in bed not really wanting to get up, or so it appeared. When he finally got up around 3:35 a.m. I decided sleep wasn't going to happen for me so I got up went back to the bathroom where I noticed more show still not much but enough to notice. Again I was trying not to get excited so I shrugged it off as irritation from the evenings encounter. But the waves were not to be mistaken, in combination with the show slowly I was coming to terms this was IT. I attempted to time the waves and they were about 5-7 min apart, I couldn't get accurate readings because I spent time on the throne welcoming the waves, and praying to God if this was the day that he make them effective. After about 4 trips to the bathroom, I still wasn't completely convinced and I didn't want to interfere with Glen's work schedule, so I told him not to be surprised if I called him to come home from work. He asked why and I told him I thought that day would be "the day". He wondered how I knew, I assured him I didn't "know" but after the show, some consistent waves I was pretty sure. So I continued with trying to time the waves, in between bathroom breaks, making the bed, and some other last minute arrangements. All of which had no effect on the waves they kept coming. Glen and I agreed that he would call me from the job so I had his work number, because his cell phone occasionally doesn't receive calls. He would check up on me around 6 a.m. and we would see how thing were going. After being outside with the dog and starting the care he came in and saw the bed made, we had a little laugh about it and then off he went. I continued through the morning timing contractions, thinking things through, praying and getting my "game face" on. Around 5:30 he called from the job phone and asked how things were going and I was sure by then this was it, but I told him I'd call when I felt I needed him to come home. I then awakened our son Isaiah, and asked him to get himself showered, dressed and to come help me get things together. At 5:44 a.m, I thought it appropriate that he take a pic of me while in labor so this is what we came up with...

Shortly after taking this pic at 6:02 I called the midwife, Robin, on her cell phone to tell her I was in active labor, we decided to meet at the birth center at 9 a.m. but I would call if I needed/wanted to meet sooner. I realized after it all that I was supposed to call that number last, oops!
If you look in the background of the previous picture you can see I was on Facebook. :o) I knew I wouldn't be on for a while so I had to take one more look. As I was encouraged by the progress I was making, I had to encourage a former co-worker in her situation. This is what I said on  June 23 at 6:51am
Will do! Hey tell everyone baby Israel will prob be here today! In labor now. I will pray for you, God is very much in control and in the worse situation with what may seem like the worst outcome is for your good. Giving it to God to handle is the best(only) thing you can do! :o)
Looking back that advice was as much for me as it was for her. And I realize that in all circumstances good/bad, thanking God for it is the best thing to do. I prayed and thanked God for labor and a healthy son the entire time. We talked for a moment and she headed off to work and I continued a pregnant woman's work, labor. At 6:58 I called my husband at work, he couldn't get to the job phone so he called from his cell and I told him to come on home this was "IT". Here is where I realize in hindsight I should have made some other calls, but being very involved with labor and really trying to focus at this point. I forgot to call both the doula, Stacy, and the midwives to tell them I was ready to come in. Instead what we did is Isaiah got a snack bag together for the kids, I knealed over my bed, leaned over the birth ball (an exercise ball) that was propped up into our computer chair and I moaned lowly to allow the waves to do their job. My husband arrived home within 10-15 minutes and he got the girls up and dressed and started getting everyone into the car to head out. Around 7:30 a.m as we were about to head off to the birth center, I hopped into the car (not literally the waves were coming pretty close and were very intense at this point) and realized I hadn't called anyone at  the center which wasn't open yet. So at 7:34 a.m. I placed the call to the center, I got the on-call midwife, Becky. She advised me that it would take about 40 min for someone to get to the center, and I remember verbally saying I won't make it that long. I also remember as I was getting into the car after getting on my knees the girls looked and kinda laughed at mommy moaning and groaning. As I was on the phone a wave came and I moaned through it and Becky encouraged me over the phone and then we agreed to meet right away. I got out of the car went back into the house, thinking how would I get through waiting the next 40 minutes. I don't know why but I thought that going to the birth center would some how make everything better. I turned on my birth day music mix on my phones MP3 player and listened to three of four songs as each wave intensified. I quickly realized that what I had been doing wasn't working, so I took off the sarong I had been wearing and jumped into the shower. Thankfully, we have a shower chair so I sat and let the cold water hit my tummy as I moaned through each one. I was feeling pressure down below. I instinctively knew he was coming but my mind wouldn't take me past dealing with one wave at a time. I put my hand down by my lady parts and I felt around a little. There was nothing there but I kept my hands there and just let each wave do its thing. Here is where things get a bit fuzzy. At some point Glen had brought me my phone so I could listen to my music. I am not sure the time but I know that as I was embracing a wave Glen said jokingly okay I'm going outside, don't let me come back inside and your holding Israel. I didn't respond, I was working with each wave as I felt the urge to bare down. Then a couple more came and went and Glen called out for me but once again I didn't respond. My eyes were closed and I was moaning, I assumed he was talking to me from the bathroom door, but after we discussed things he was actually calling to me from the window, he was outside. Once that wave came back down, I opened my eyes and stood up attempting to get out of the shower but another wave stopped me from moving much further. I thought to myself if I listen to my body and bare down this would quickly be over. So I yelled out for Glen, then Isaiah, then Iyana, I even called for my three year old Imani, when no one responded I did what my body had been urging me to do. I gave a good push and I felt his head crowning, I slowly delivered his head. For an instant I was afraid that his shoulders might be stuck so I gave another push and his entire body slid out and down my leg. He was out and I was extremely calm, I picked him up to my chest and sat down at the edge of the shower. He cried immediately and continued to cry, I called out to Glen and then I decided all that screaming was disrupting our bonding so. I sat and comforted my new baby. Glen says that he was about to come into the house and he thought he heard crying so he called out to me. The cry continued so he came in and very calmly asked what should he do. I told him to get a clean towel and call the midwives, then for a moment I thought maybe we should call 9-1-1 but earlier that morning we had discussed that calling 9-1-1 was not an option b/c my birth center birth would not happen and instead that would take me to the worst hospital ever. I didn't want to be in any hospital let alone that particular one. So he reminded me of that conversation and he fiddled with my phone, he was unable to turn off the music. He snapped some pictures and I turned off the music and at 8:04 a.m. he dialed the midwives who instructed him on what to do, what things should look like and what to do next. So being the strong husband he is he checked me and the baby out, as best he could, and walked us into the living room where he had set up a space for us to sit and wait for the midwives to arrive at our home. Israel and I remained attached to one another via the placenta until after the midwives arrived. I wanted the cord to stop pulsing before it was cut so this was perfect. Glen went and got the children out of the car and we all sat and loved on our new addition until they called around 8:20 a.m. Robin thought she was lost, but was actually pretty close by and they arrived within 10-15 minutes. The actual time Israel was born is not known but we were able to make an educated guess based on the phone call times that he was born right at 8 in the morning. Mary, the student midwife, came in clamped the cord, and Glen cut it. She continued to do my exam while Becky did the newborn exam where we found that he was 8 pounds 7 ounces, 21 inches long and a head circumference of 14 inches. Robin left because it was clinic day, I actually had an appointment later that day myself. Becky and Mary stayed behind and checked out the placenta, and did the subsequent exams. Becky eventually left and Mary stayed behind for a couple hours. It was a quick labor and a very fast delivery one that we will never forget. I can't wait to tell him all about it. I don't think we'll have any more but if we do, we will surely plan a home water birth. 
If you made it through this story bless you! My account of Israels birth is truly a long one! 
Sending blessings to you and your family, til next time!

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