Monday, March 17, 2014

Oliver James Feehan Was Born

My son was born early one damp October morning. Witnesses of this [very!] quick affair included Ben, My good friend Selina,  my mother and sister, and of course Peggy, our midwife.

My plan was to try a water birth for the first time. For weeks we had the tub set up in the nursery. It made a great playpen for Erin. She didn't believe anything belonged in it besides her, despite our occasional suggestion. Any and all toys were promptly ejected, with great prejudice.

Selina came over once a week towards the end to help purge the house of unwanted clutter and grime. She was to be my doula and was determined that everything would be perfect for me. Some extra nice things that were her fault:

- All the edges of the carpet vacuumed!
- Last minute house cleaning during early labor
- All the important little things I refused to remember or act on

Energy came in spurts, long and short, in the last weeks. The /last/ week however was the slowest, laziest, most hum drum thing imaginable. My Mister bought me a fuzzy blanket, and I went into hibernation. I'd spent so much energy walking, and bouncing and stretching to get the baby out and now I was discouraged because apparently it wasn't in my control. So I slept.

Looking back, I was probably in early labor.

Trying to remember the experience doesn't result in any sort of linear thought, mostly just strong or vague impressions. For instance, I think my attitude going into the experience was much better. My first birth was so surprising, on so many different levels. This time I'd actually tried to start labor, and was legitimately excited for the happy event. It was like a party in my honor or something.

When it finally happened I was not convinced that anyone should believe me. I was too embarrassed to get people's hopes up, and probably downplayed it a bit. My midwife was on her way home from a seminar in Portland. She and I were in contact briefly, concluding that I probably wouldn't have the baby that night.  Everyone went [or stayed] home until receiving a midnight call suggesting they get themselves to my house asap, preferably sooner.

I was in transition when the midwife arrived.

Funny thing, labor didn't seem that hard comparatively. I only had wowthisisacontraction feelings for about two hours, basically from transition to birth. I'm guessing that certain relaxation measures taken that evening had much to do with it. Probably the drinking of my first sangria could have been thought through a little more. Not saying I would have done anything differently, I just might have anticipated the general fuzzy happiness and lack of strong decision making.

My best friend, and go to problem solver. :) :)

I labored in a total of five different places, very different from my first birth. Earlier in the evening I walked around being confused and aimless while Selina cleaned my kitchen and made my drink. After Ben had taken care of Erin and sent her to bed a little early I tried to get some sleep, which is when contractions really started coming. We got back up and started a movie, which I did not pay the slightest attention too, but mostly bounced around on our exercise ball trying to time contractions. We called the midwife again, and the conversation went something like this:

"I just thought you should know I'm definitely in labor now."
"Oh? Tell me what you're feeling."
"Um, contractions? Real ones?"
"Uh-huuuuuh, and how far apart?"
"It's really random. Sometimes three, sometimes five minutes, occasionally less than one minute."
"I'm coming over now."

I was told later that when Peggy called her assistant it was strongly suggested they make haste or risk a baby being born without them since, "She has her babies quickly."

Sam and Sonya [Ben's parent's] came to pick up Erin around midnight. They prayed with me before leaving. Selina came [again! she helped me so much!] in as they went out, and french braided my hair. Ben was close by the entire time, I wouldn't let him leave. Once I think he tried, and I promptly panicked. He was allowed to go get me my blanket, and that was it.

As Peggy sailed in to take control announcing that, "She's pushing, move it to the bedroom" I started insisting on getting into the tub, though I think that was actually a mental process and not something that happened out loud. In fact, I almost missed my water birth since our hot water ran out and folks had to make do with boiled water.

Wut. I have Korean babies.

They tried to make me get into bed. That wasn't happening. I stubbornly clung to the edge of the frame and remembered that awful hour and a half I'd spent lying in there pushing with Erin 18 months ago. When the tub was finally ready and I could escape the 'helpful' breaths being done along with me I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I got a little bit of a break, and then 4 or 5 pushes and then my baby came, around 2:30am.

It really was that quick. I was so surprised, and immediately wondered what the catch was. Shouldn't this have taken longer? Later I realized the 'catch' happened to be uterine cramping while nursing, which had me on Ibuprofen round the clock.

I remember seeing Ben hold Ollie while I was being hauled out of the water. I thought, "Whelp. My work is done. You all can handle the rest, right?" But I guess folks wanted to sleep, so after being tucked into bed with my Mister and my son I settled in for a long night of nursing, and not sleeping, and falling in love.

Tiny mister and THE Mister.