Sunday, June 8, 2014

Boy Meets World

I shared most of our pre-labor story during the 39 week update, but the rest of the narrative feels too private to share online. I will say, though, that the day Noah was born will always be one of the best days of my life.

**I debated for a long time whether or not to add photos to this post. I finally decided to add a few. (No TMI, don't worry!) They still feel really private and personal, but this blog is my scrapbook so I wanted to add a few here to help us remember this perfect day.**

We got admitted to Labor and Delivery around noon and had a baby in our arms 4 hours later. I simply could not have asked for a better delivery and I'm incredibly thankful for and humbled by it. It went far better than I could ever have imagined and it was nothing like I thought it would be. It's hard to even put feelings into words at this point, suffice to say I deserve no credit.

God granted me the incredible gift of focus and living in the moment, starting that Tuesday night. The 4 hours we spent in L and D went by in the blink of an eye. I was so present for each moment, albeit pretty tired and a little out of it by the time our little man showed up. I will always be grateful for that gift of presence.

I worried a lot during pregnancy about things like, "What if I die during labor? What would Ross do? What if the baby gets stuck or has a knot in his cord or has the cord wrapped around his neck or is stillborn or...?" All those absolutely terrifying thoughts were a million miles away when I actually went into labor and I honesty didn't remember those fears until weeks later, and then they were accompanied by nothing but relief and gratitude. The gift of "just being in it" was one of the best parts of Noah's birth day and the following days. My mind was, for once, blissfully clear and simply focused on the task at hand.

Some thoughts on labor in those last stages:

-I love my husband. Neither of us was sure how he was going to handle the hospital and potential blood and guts, but he was phenomenal. I was really bummed that house renovations took up a lot of what would've been baby preparation time. I wanted to read books and attend classes with Ross this past spring and it just didn't happen. He finally got with the program when our doula came over, which I'm so grateful for. Even though we didn't prepare for months and months, Ross was there for the whole labor, super involved, and so supportive. I couldn't have done it without him!

-WOW now I understand people who say water is nature's epidural. I didn't realize how tense I was until I got into the tub in L and D. I don't think I necessarily would've wanted to have a water birth (not that you're allowed to in the hospital anyway) but I absolutely loved being able to labor in the tub for a bit. I think it really made all the difference in my pain and endurance levels and gave me a bit of a break since I could truly relax between contractions. I'm bummed I wasn't able to get in the tub a second time since things were moving too quickly (at my hospital, you had to be put on the fetal monitor for 20 minutes out of every hour, which meant getting out of the tub). I'm very glad I didn't take a bath at home, because it would've been really hard to get me out and drag me to the hospital after experiencing that relief.

(Ugh. These hands. The same little hands I saw waving on my ultrasound at 35 weeks. Seeing these little fingers in real life made it all so... real. And amazing.)
 -Our doula was priceless. She was there full of suggestions when the baby flipped breech at 34 weeks. She was flexible with childbirth classes and came to our house to teach us (a total luxury given the complete craziness of our lives at the time). She kept in touch with me when labor started and was full of encouragement. She was present and active for every minute of my time in labor and delivery. She helped Ross stay informed and involved (I think he appreciated her even more than I did) and she really helped me focus toward the end when I had a few moments of panic. (She also took all these pictures to help us remember Noah's Birth Day!)

-Our Midwife was wonderful. Seriously, so knowledgeable and calm and encouraging. I felt completely SAFE in her hands and if Ross and I can replicate the dream team of our Midwife and our doula for our next child, we absolutely will.

-I don't feel any tougher for having gone through labor and delivery without an epidural or pain medication. I do feel incredibly grateful and also in awe of my body. Delivery is an absolute symphony and childbirth is a miracle. I don't take that for granted for a minute.

(Ahhh his little shouts!)
-I can't say enough how much of a difference it made to get a break between contractions. Labor wasn't one long continuous pain for hours on end! Also, the fact that labor pain was productive and serving a purpose, made it far different than any other pain I've experienced. I didn't really know what to expect going into labor, except for what I'd seen and heard at work. Being on the other end of it was not like I expected. They say labor intensifies your natural inclinations and for some people, that's LOUD! For me it was quiet and more meditative and drawn in.

(Ah-mazing Midwife)
-It was hard to comprehend that Noah was ours at first. Completely unbelievable. I just stared and him and kept saying, "he's so big!" Which I think was simply my way of saying, "he's so REAL. He's HERE. He's a PERSON!" He's the wiggle worm who was moving and growing in there the whole time. That blows my mind.

-Squishy newborn cheeks are the best.

-We had some extra cake left over from my family baby shower and my mom froze it and then brought it to the hospital after Noah was born. It was really fun to celebrate his birth day that way!

All in all, words can't express how special those first few days were. I'm so grateful I'm able to experience this all!

1 comment:

  1. That first look is priceless.

    I know I sound like a broken record but we are truly just so elated for you and Ross to finally know the joy of being a parent. Such a blessing and you had him the way you planned which is wonderful since every birth is different and babies come on their time not ours.

    Also, isn't it amazing how differently you view your body after you have a baby?! It's amazing and you really appreciate it more and don't focus as much on the small flaws we create about ourselves as much knowing what it's fully capable of doing!

    I love you and am so happy for you.