Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Buddy's Birth Story - Part 1

The first week of November 2010, I left The Hubs and boarded a plane to Denver for a geology conference. I was a little nervous, a little apprehensive and very excited. Not because I would be giving a talk in front of what turned out to be about 75 people, but because I was hoping and praying we were pregnant. After a week of lectures, posters, mountain climbing and exploring the city, never having that, “am I?!” out of my head, I got home only to have to wait another week. On a Thursday morning, it had been longer than any cycle I had in the past 12 months, probably forever. We took the test, trying to keep our eyes from wandering to it for what seemed like 3 very long minutes. It was positive!!!! We were so excited for this next stage of our life together. We calculated our due date to be July 22, 2011. My midwife told me it was the 19th. We did not find out the sex of the baby.

My pregnancy turned out to be fairly easy. I was extremely tired in the beginning. I even fell asleep in my physical chemistry class. I don’t think I had ever fallen asleep in class before that. I started going into school later, using winter break as an excuse. I left work on time, no matter what. If I didn't, the bus ride home became nauseating because my morning sickness came on around 5 every single day. I jogged to the bus every day. I did prenatal yoga nearly every day. I remembered my kegels. I took walks. I ate a lot of Cheerios those first 3 months. The smell of corn was pretty gross the entire time, but I didn't have any real aversions or cravings. My feet and hands didn't really swell until into the 8th month. I moved a little slower, but I didn't change any of my activities. I pushed through and found I enjoyed being pregnant. I loved the feeling of knowing I am growing a life inside of me and took the aches and pains in stride.

We told our parents at the same time, earlier than we wanted, but this baby would be the first grandchild for all of them and we wanted them to find out together. (That’s another story for another day.) We told the rest of our family soon after and our friends and bosses at 13 weeks. I never got a big round pregnant belly so I didn't get any outward questions until the 5th month, and that was from co-workers and friends. No one ever gave me their seat on the bus or held the door for me. I didn't walk leaning back, grabbing at my back like the stereotypical pregnant woman.

Throughout my pregnancy, I knew I wanted a natural birth in a loving environment. I was going to do everything I could not to have any medical intervention. We've been having babies on our own forever, why add medication or surgical procedures, all of which have side effects? The Hubs and I prepared by taking a Hypnobirthing course and reading everything we could, from stories about natural births to where to birth to birthing positions. I wanted to be as prepared as I could.

As part of my birth plan, I needed to decide who to allow in the room with me while I birthed. I was allowed to have 3 people in the room with me. Of course, I wanted The Hubs in there with me. He took the Hypnobirthing course with me and has been my rock not only during the pregnancy, but since we started dating in 2003. I knew he would be supportive and make sure I had everything I needed. I decided I also wanted my mom, because, well, she’s my mom. As an added bonus, she had 5 kids of her own so she’s been through the birthing process several times, with a few different outcomes. This was her first grandchild so I thought it would be very special for her. I was thinking about letting my older sister in with me too. We didn't get along very well; we were bitter rivals in a number of ways for a number of reasons. But she is also assertive and could help make sure the hospital staff did what I wanted. And even though we never got along, I still wanted her to experience the birth of my baby. She wants children and I always expected her to have kids before my other sister or brother but she is not able to have children. I tried to be as sympathetic about my pregnancy as I could and I thought that sharing this experience with her would bring us closer together and show her how much she can contribute as an aunt. I am so thankful I did.

On July 21st, the temperature reached well into the 90s with a heat index of over 115ยบF. I decided that was just too hot for me to get to the bus and stand outside for at least the 15 minutes it took to get there and wait for the bus and then I would hope the air conditioning was working that day. The weather on July 22nd was much the same, so I stayed home.

On Saturday July 23rd I was at a friend’s house down the street for lunch when I started to feel this pain radiate from my back and curl around toward my front. A bad cramp that didn't go away when I took a deep breath or stood up. My contractions had started. They were far apart and erratic so I didn't pay much attention to them. Later that afternoon I went to another friend’s house to study Torah and chat over some fruit and homemade dessert. The contractions were coming a little more frequently, but I kept them hidden. I don’t think I heard every word my friend said that day, I’m sorry for that. Hopefully she understands. When a contraction came on, I brought my thoughts inward without changing my outward appearance.

July 23rd, 11:45 pm
The Hubs and I went to sleep that night knowing this baby would be here soon.

Part 2!

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