April 13, 2013

Who'd uh thunk it? Our kids are different people!

When T was a baby, I used to tell Bubbs the stories of our friend's kids.  I'd come home from my mama groups or coffee with other new moms and thank our lucky stars that T was such a mellow happy kid.  Bubbs used to complain that T "fought sleep" like he did when he was a kid.  I'd argue with him, but since he had so little to compare it to, he never really got it.

Till now.

Baby D is a little more high maintenance than we're used to.

He pretty much acts like we're torturing him all the time.

Partly because we are, I suppose.  Whenever our mellow gentle almost-three-year-old comes around "the brother" he starts shrieking, poking, and jumping around.  This stresses out mama and daddy, which in turn probably stresses out both kids, who then react.

This bundle of cuteness also doesn't get as much naked, singing, loving, skin to skin as his brother did.  There just ain't time.

So far, no one else has been able to hold him without him screaming.

The boob solves almost nothing.

Reading back, at this same age (and pretty much his whole life), T only cried when hungry or overtired.

This one only cries ALWAYS.  Screams.  Goes from happy to HOLY CRAP I HATE THE WORLD AND YOU ARE KILLING ME in 2.4 seconds.

But we love him.

If you ask T about "the brother" - he'll tell it like it is.

"Um, he just cries a lot - and he's a really grumpy brother."

April 6, 2013

Two Bedrooms and Two Babies - Our Second Homebirth Story

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Turner came early, so I was prepared for you to come early too.

Your dad was off work, the freezer was stocked, all the last minute baby projects were completed. 

Much like during T’s pregnancy, my blood pressure would get high when I was stressed, but generally I was able to bring it down by going deep inside myself and imagining a peaceful place.

Twice, during this pregnancy, we had to schelp over to Kaiser, check in, and practically fight with the staff there to get minimal testing to be sure I didn’t have pre-eclampsia.  They checked my blood pressure, drew blood, did an ultrasound, and monitored your heart rate.  Each time we went everything was perfect with my health and it confirmed the fact that I did NOT want to give birth in a hospital.

Before I was pregnant the first time, I never would have thought that there would be such a mind/body connection possible.  Aside from any labor techniques, I was able to bring my blood pressure down from 154/79 to 118/79.  That is huge.  I closed my eyes and imagined my body getting very heavy.  Then I pictured myself on the hot tub deck at the river house with a glass of cold white wine and my two boys playing legos on the deck quietly.   It always worked.

My 30th birthday and your due date came and went.   I was starting to become more uncomfortable, and in an effort to keep my blood pressure low, I cut off almost all contact to the outside world.  This was frustrating to so many people, I’m sure, since we’re deep into construction and permitting at the river house and I was the manager of the project at one point!

We did a lot of walking to the beach and back, through the park, in the neighborhood, but since my last check with the midwives, on my due date (3/25) my cervix was dilated to a 6, I just assumed that at any minute I would go into labor.

Five days after my due date on 3/30, Bibi, Stephanie, your dad and I were sitting in the living room chatting.  I had taken some herbal tinctures (under guidance from the midwives) the day before and also taken some that day.  I had tried to take castor oil that day as well, but threw it all up around three o’clock and never saw any effects from it.

Around 8pm, I had my first contraction.  Since our midwives had pretty much said that the baby could come within an hour of going into labor, we called them and they all came over immediately (Ami, Kara, and Hanna).  I was in pretty bad pain, so I hopped in the tub (since I was already a six, I didn’t think it would slow anything down).

Already, I knew that this labor was so different from my last.  With Turner’s birth, I had no break between contractions.  There was no chatting, no laughing.  I was a wild animal in pain and nothing would help.  If you got in my way, I would physically assault you since I couldn’t find a place in my brain for words.

This labor was amazing.  My contractions had a clear beginning and end.  I would have a minute or two between them and I would feel totally fine.  The contractions themselves varied from minor to very intense pain. 

At one point, my midwife told me that another mama (that I had met through our group pre-natal visits) was in labor as well – so she would be leaving and the other midwife would come.  I loved it b/c most mamas only get one of the midwives at their birth and I got both!

My contractions slowed down for a bit, so I got out of the tub to walk around.  This REALLY helped bring them on faster and harder – but the pain was unbearable. 

When my labor initially started, my mom had climbed into bed with Turner in case he woke up.  At this point, around 1am, I heard him crying.   I climbed into the tub and my contractions stopped.  I just listened.  Eventually his crying stopped and I heard him talking about sesame street.  I heard he, Tim and my mom leaving the house (at 1am) to go watch sesame street at her flat (right above ours).   It was really amazing how my “plan” for what to do with T was happening EXACTLY as I had pictured it. The minute the door closed, I had an intense contraction.  That mind/body connection was present again.  I couldn’t labor while my son was awake.

I was becoming really frustrated with the lack of increasing intensity of the contractions.  At one point I decided to go for a walk around the block (when I suggested this to the midwives, I got a very funny look).  Halfway down the stairs, I had a major contraction and decided to stick closer to home.

But, I did start climbing our interior stairs.  Up and down, stopping for contractions and bringing them on faster and faster.  Once I was confident they were fast enough, I started circling our house – stopping at the front entrance (same place I labored with Turner) and leaning on our shoe/entry table. 

I still didn’t feel like much was happening so I checked in with my midwives.  We decided to do an internal check to see how dilated I was and possibly break my waters to get things going again.  It was 2:30am at this point.  I was tired, and honestly, a little bored with the whole thing.  I kept saying that I knew I just had too much downtime.

Waiting for one final contraction to finish, I got checked on my bed.  I had gone from 6cm two weeks before to SEVEN F-ING centimeters after 6 hours of labor.  We decided to go ahead with breaking the water.

At 2:30, my midwife reached in to break my bag.  She wasn’t certain she had gotten it since his head was really well engaged in my cervix.  Immediately, I had a contraction that felt like my entire labor with Turner.  I turned into an animal.  I ran, naked, across the house and jumped into the tub.  On my knees with my arms hanging over the edge, I started making low OOOO sounds.  They would eventually turn into screams and cussing.  I had a several second break until the next one came.  The Oooopen noises I had been making somehow made it worse – but I guess they were successfully helping to open my cervix, because on the next contraction I started bearing down. 

Now with Turner, pushing and bearing down was delightful.  I loved every second of it.  This was HORRIFYING.  It was happening very fast, I wasn’t ready, and it felt much different than with T.  I was a little confused since moments before I still had 3 cm to dilate, so it took me a second to realize I was pushing.

I announced I was pushing and heard someone reference the fact that they were checking me.  I heard “complete.”  Not that anyone could have stopped me at that moment.

My midwife was kneeling in front of me and I had grabbed her hand and was tearing into it with each straining push.  After two pushes, I yelled, “he’s coming.”  I remembered they wanted me to lean back with Turner, so I automatically leaned back.  I heard them yell for Tim who was in the back room for some reason.  With one more push, his head was out.  I couldn’t get his body though – someone checked for a cord – which was wrapped around his neck.  Once they got that off, someone unhooked his shoulder and he came flying out. 

Dude was crying.  Looked like his grandfather. 

I was exhausted.

The next few days were really hard.  I was exhausted and Turner was sad to miss so much of his mama.  The new baby didn’t sleep well until my milk came in, so I was running on empty.

We’re on day 7 of Baby Daschel’s life and I’m blissed out at the moment.

We’ve figured out a way for me to have “special time” with T.  My milk came in and with the help of a nipple shield, Baby D is getting plenty of milk and is sleeping like a champ.

It truly feels like my family is complete now.  I’m a boy mom and I’m thrilled.