Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I had a baby.

Just over three weeks ago.

I keep meaning to blog about it, but I have so much to say, I can't decide how to narrow it down.

First, though, let me introduce you to Owen Alexander. He is a sweet, sweet baby, and I can't get enough of him.

So, it was Super Bowl Sunday, and I started having some pretty significant contractions at about the end of the first quarter. Bob and I were trying to keep up with the game, but he kept asking me if I was okay. I told him, "These contractions aren't messing around!" But I didn't think it was time to call the midwife.

Finally, when I didn't want to talk or move during the contractions, he insisted that I call the midwife. Though my contractions weren't THAT close together, they were pretty tough to handle, so the midwife agreed that I should go ahead and come in to the hospital. I called Vanessa, who had come into town to help with the kids, and asked her to come over.

We left for the hospital around 2. I'm always terrified that I'm wrong, that I'm not actually in labor, so it was a relief when the nurse checked me and announced that I was five centimeters dilated. (I'd been 2-3 cm for about three weeks.) This was happening.

They started my antibiotic, since I'd tested positive for Group B Strep, and I sat in that bed, excited, and hoping that MY midwife could be there. Sharon is my midwife. She's been the only midwife on staff at the hospital for about two years. But a month before my due date, she hired another midwife. She'd told me that she was planning on being at my delivery even if she wasn't on call, but it was Anne on call that night, and no mention was made of Sharon coming in.

I was really disappointed, but I didn't know if there was anything that I could/should do so that Sharon could be there. Well, as it turned out, Anne had not attended her requisite three water births in order to be able to be on duty alone for one, so she had to call Sharon in. I was thrilled, and tried not to show it, when Anne told me.

Did I mention that at my first appointment with Sharon, we discovered that her husband used to work for Bob's dad? She's been hearing stories about him since they first started dating. Not to mention that we have a lot in common with her, and our kids love her. We wanted her to be there.

My last three deliveries, I've had OB-GYN's attending. This was so, so different. My two midwives stayed in the room with us the WHOLE TIME. I couldn't believe it. I remember them leaving at one point just to find a chair so Bob could sit comfortably by the birthing pool. Other than that, they were there.

(Am I holding my iPhone there? I think I am. I may have been calling my parents, WHO DID NOT PICK UP, to tell them I was in labor. Seriously. I was 9 months pregnant, okay, minus one day, and I called them at three in the morning, and they DID NOT PICK UP.)

The labor went exactly as we'd hoped. Apart from my IV (and the hospital setting, of course), everything was totally natural and un-medical. No pitocin. No breaking the water artificially. No monitors strapped to me. No checking my dilation periodically. No telling me what to do. They just let me have my baby. It was amazing.


So Owen was born in the water. Bob cut the cord (once it stopped pulsing, which was a while later). He nursed well from the start. (Owen, that is, obviously.) He's been happy from the get-go. I am so thankful.

Life is good.

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