Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rachel Joy

So, August and September happened.  We spent the week in Blue Ridge with our family, began 4K (Jeremiah) and 2 day a week 'playschool' (Sarah-- absolutely thriving), and I got to head up a second summer bible study (free therapy).  Pictures were taken and fun was had.  You'll just have to trust me.

And now, the long awaited (by maybe me and friend), story of Rachel Joy's entrance into the world!

I woke up at 1:47 a.m. (?) with my first mild pain.  After a few more, I went down to the couch and watched the second half of "Little Women" and then "Carousel".  (Side note: We have satellite again after 2 years of Netflix and antennae only and it's pretty fantastic.  Hallmark Movie Channel is delightful.)

Around 5, I decided to clean up the kitchen and do the neglected dishes so that I wouldn't embarrass myself when my family came and took both kids to school.  I even sat through a parent drop in at J's school while actively contracting.  Then, like a total maniac, I vacuumed the upstairs, cleaned the toilets and sinks, changed the sheets and dusted in our room.  I cleaned more in an hour and a half than I did in the entire pregnancy.  Mom and Dad arrived, Alex picked the kids, I texted and took pictures (loony), and decided it was probably a good time to call the doctor's office.  We got to the hospital at 12:30 p.m. and due to the large volume of laboring women that day, checked into triage and got suited up.  I walked the halls, hugged the bed, and you guessed it-- took more pictures.  I was progressing well, and not yet at the total mercy of all encompassing labor.  That happened a bit later.

We got back to the labor room probably around 3 p.m.  I got on the monitor briefly, answered even more health questions (which I will never understand after pre-registering and signing my consents before hard labor), and waited to to get into the birth pool.

I gave birth in a pool of water.  An inflatable one. This is significant to me because it demonstrates how experience changes many things.  I would never-in-a-million-years imagined I would *want* a natural birth, much less one in water, basically "in my own juices" as I once so accurately and delicately put it.  Since Sarah came so quickly and smoothly without medicine (I wanted it, but she came too fast), I figured I could give birth without meds and not die from the agony. 

In sincerity,  two friends of mine went the waterbirth route and one was sweet enough (Hi Cori!) to share her experience with me.  As someone who hates to rock the boat, it was a big decision to switch practices, meet and trust a midwife with only a few weeks remaining, and decide to go for it. Oh, and I told NO ONE in our family.  I could only imagine that my family would fear the baby would drown and think I was becoming a Hare Krishna.  We are not exactly a "granola" family.

Back to the birth pool.  My midwife was finally in the room, and at my last check, I was 7 cm dilated.  I got *real* quiet.  My body was in control, and my mind had to decide to submit.  I told the midwife it was time, hobbled over to the pool, threw my arms over the side, and cried out to God.  I am my most vocally worshipful in the labor room.  :)  The baby's head broke my water; I hoped my small intestines wouldn't fall out and with the next contraction, Rachel Joy was born!  April the midwife guided her head out, and Alex, whose hands I had grabbed for dear life while pushing, got to see our daughter be brought out of the water.

Truly thankful to be alive and intact, I sat back and got to hold Rachel on my lap, keeping her legs and tummy in the water to stay warm.  I was so exhausted that I delivered the placenta in the water (so much for my former protestations about grossness-- it wasn't bad)  and then was wrapped up in blankets and placed in bed for post-labor 'stuff'', to put it nicely.

Rachel was so calm from the water that her Apgar test was perfect (clearly gifted).  It was a wonderful, peaceful time to spend with her.  I know how very blessed I am to have her-- period-- and to have experienced an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery.  It is not of my doing; The Lord in his graciousness allowed it, and I am so very thankful.

5 weeks later, we are back in the thick of it.  Errands, kid drama, stress, tantrums, and the like.  But we have a new little girl, and I wouldn't trade any of the hard work that accompanies young children (even the lack of sleep and diminished personal grooming) for my life without them.

Thank you Lord, again, for being able to experience tangibly a tiny bit of your enormous love for me, and for all.

1 comment:

David and Kate said...

Congrats! That is a great story.