Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wyeth's BIRTHday

Dear Wyeth,
Tonight you turn one. At 10:53pm, you will be officially be one. And what an amazing year it has been. It is hard to put into words how we feel about this milestone. In your world, it is just another day of play and learning. For us, it feels very significant. And it met with much emotion on Mommy's part. There is something about our children growing up and getting older that makes us both look back and look forward. We can't wait to see who you continue to grow into but we long to hold on to the baby moments, the newborn weeks. We gloss over the spit up, the exhausting nights, the poop explosions and focus on the good stuff. The first smiles. The snuggles where babies are really just extensions of their mothers. As a nursing mom, I continued to share my body with you. But then you grow. And you walk. And soon you will talk. And during these milestones, it is clear that you are your own person. And that is the hard part. (And the good part!).

I wrote down your birthstory in your baby book (all four pages of it) but I want to share parts of it here too because it is how we met you. And who cares if it is long? It is our story!

Having a baby is 'life changing'. Everyone says that. But it is true. It is nothing short of a miracle. That two people can come together and create something so beautiful. I will never get over that. That is why the world loves pregnant women and babies. Pregnant moms are the embodiment of hope. Of fresh starts. Of new adventures. And little babies catch everyone's eye because they too are signs that life continues, that there is the potential for good in the world.

As you know, you cooked the perfect amount of time. On March 27th, 2008 when we found out that you would be arriving, I was filled with joy. I ran through the house literally jumping up and down and screaming my head off. I scared the heck out of your sister and your Dad. But after that initial joy/shock wore off, I worried about the pregnancy. The medical care we received was amazing but it was an adventure. Lots of shots. Lots of doctors appointments. Eight weeks of bedrest and two overnight trips to the hospital. When you finally decided that you WOULD be a December baby, we were thrilled.

But I had given up on the fact that you'd be coming. I was tired of the stress of 'will this be the day'? So instead of staying home during the last weeks of pregnancy, I went to the office. On Wednesday, December 3rd, I told my colleagues it would be the last day in the office. (You were due the 5th). I packed up my bags. Did the final email checks. I had gone to the doctor's office earlier in the day and the doctor gave me the option of being induced the next Sunday. Having that 'choice' worried me. I so wanted to meet you but I didn't want to decide when you'd arrive. Daddy and I decided we wouldn't be induced and let nature do her thang. But I didn't concentrate too much that day as I needed to decide. I went out to lunch at an awesome Indian food restaurant and enjoyed my friends. I worked late that day, saying goodbye to friends at the office.

At 5:30, I stood with my briefcase on my shoulder and knew in my heart that you were coming. My back started to really hurt. I drove home to PA knowing that I'd be returning to NJ as soon as I got there. I timed the contractions on the way home. Hmph. Every 10-15. Not bad I thought to myself. I called Dad and even though he was scheduled to work until 9 that night, I told him that I wasn't feeling very well. He sensed in my voice that he needed to come home. He picked your sister up from care and started a complex dinner. I wanted nothing of that dinner. I also wanted to just make it simple. We called Grammy and said that she needed to come up. This was it! Poppy was picking Uncle John up from the airport as he was coming in for a visit and wanted to hopefully meet you. Meet you he did!

Grammy arrived around 7pm. I ate very little fearing that I'd be puking it up just a few hours later. Our bag had been packed for weeks- we just needed to dust it off. We took the last pictures of us as a family of three. I cried saying goodbye to Seren. I can still see, in my mind's eye, the image of her waving to me from the kitchen window as she was held safely in Grammy's arms. We would be a family of four soon. Very soon.

The drive to the hospital was dark but quiet and still. Dad and I had driven to the hospital twice already and those trips were panicky. We didn't want to meet you at 28weeks or at 30 weeks. But at 39 weeks, we knew you'd be safe. Daddy and I talked as if nothing unique was going to happen. I wasn't in intense pain. I called Aunt Andy to say where we were.

Daddy dropped me off at the hospital and I was so calm and peaceful. I took a seat in a wheelchair, knowing the 'drill' well now. By 8 pm, we were all settled in the hospital ready for 'action'.

When they checked me, I hadn't changed much from the earlier appointment. Still at 3cm where I had been for weeks. The thought occurred to me, "What if this takes forever!?" And at that moment, I got nervous. The nurse said that she'd check me again at midnight. Midnight? No way, he'll be here by then!

Then it all started to happen. And Daddy and I were kinda left on our own. At one point, I said to Dadddy, "Can you call someone in here?" We asked the nurse, "Hey, do you have any pointers or anything? We have done this before but wow, this really hurts." Whereas your sister's birth was a full on hands on team of people, Grammy, Poppy, Daddy and the L&D nurse, this birth was just Daddy and I. As the labor progressed, I got more and more uncomfortable.

Actually, I have never felt pain like that. I was having back labor. (Again!)

Daddy and I labored on the birthing ball. We labored in the bathroom. It was intense. But I was pleased; I was not on an IV. No epi. No anything. Just Daddy and I and you. But as far as the breathing and calmness? That went out the window. I was much screaming but also trying to hum and sing. I was humming Amazing Grace which really helped. I wasn't scared as much as I was in a lot of pain. But I kept telling myself that the pain was PRODUCTIVE. This was a GOOD pain.

Dad was amazing- providing counter pressure in my back and reminding me to breathe. Sometimes he would hug me too close and I would push him away. Other times, I wanted him close to me. Every contraction brought a different sensation. By 10 pm, my water broke. I remember looking at the clock so that we could tell the nurse since she wasn't around. It was clear which was a good sign. The pain continued with each contraction. The nurse, looking at my face, asked me if I was sure I didn’t want an epi. I told her that if I was still at 3 cm, I wanted one. She checked and I was at 7. Nope, I could manage the rest just fine. The one frustration was that I was on the monitors when I didn’t want to be. I struggled to get from the toilet to the ball to the bed and I didn’t want to labor in bed the entire time. Since I was contracting during the internal exam, nurse Aileen (who I had met the first night at week 28) asked that another nurse check. 5 minutes later, she said I was at 8-9 cm. Yahoo! They called the doctor who arrived all dressed up in her clinic clothes. The doctor, someone I met just once, delivered you. She checked and said, “You are complete. I will go change.”

I was so excited! The contractions did not let up, they continued every minute. I remember looking at the screen and seeing that one or two contractions just stayed up. The pain was almost unbearable and I squirmed and labored on the bed. I felt silly making all of the noise I was making. But the nurses encouraged me to make as much noise as I needed to. I moaned. I made motor boat sounds.

Then, around 10:15, it was time to push. This quiet came over me. This I could do! I could push! But then I didn’t know how. My first two pushes were poor- I pushed into the nurse and Dad and didn’t push down and out. I also didn’t feel any contractions- as if the whole thing had stopped. But that didn’t last long. The next few pushes, I really did a great job. Dad, nurse Aileen, nurse Cheryl and the Doctor encouraged me. My eyes stayed tightly shut as I focused on bringing you into the world. Dad’s voice was the most encouraging and I could hear the excitement in his voice as your head emerged. We were actually doing it! We were going to meet you! We were doing in naturally! On time! Without medication or complications! I had the strength despite bedrest!

The pushing continued and each time, I felt better about bringing you out into the world. I distinctly remember the last two pushes where you emerged. The pain was unreal; I made a noise that I hope to never make again as my body worked to birth you. I threw my head back, and pushed down into my chest with all of my might!

And then, in one big final push, whoosh, you were there!! I couldn’t even hold you at first- the pain and the intensity was so great. But then they just placed you on my chest and the sound of all that happened before quieted. You were here! 10:53 pm! Not bad, considering I was at the office until 5:30.

The nurse checked on you and said your scores were 8 and 9. Dad got the video camera out and started filming. I remember saying, “We love you! We love you so much!” The doctors worked to birth the placenta which was easy and to clean me up. Dad was estactic! “I’m just in awe”! I regret not feeling for your head. I wanted to do that this time but it was so intense I just couldn’t focus. I also regret not getting a picture of Dad and I laboring together. Because, it was beautiful!

You were placed on the scale- 8 lbs 3 oz. Amazing! I had guessed 8.2 earlier in the week- not far off.

They gave us about an hour with you. A quiet, peaceful hour. You had your eyes open the entire time. Dad and I just marveled. All of our questions of the past 9 months (how would this all go? Would you be healthy? How early would you be?) were answered. And we were HAPPY. I haven't felt pure joy like that.

Uncle John and Grammy came at some point to meet you. What an amazing thing- born the night John came to town!

The nurse came to clean you up. Dad followed with a video camera to capture it all.

Wyeth Alexander, you have made us amazingly happy. My heart is overwhelmed by intense love and joy. I continue to kiss you many, many times a day. My little boy.

Thank you for this year. Thank you for choosing us as your parents. Happy, happy birthday, we love you.

Mom and Dad


Beth said...

Holy crap Megan--I didn't know you delivered completely natural! You're my hero. To Wyeth, Happy Happy (belated) birthday! You are absolutely precious and you are blessed with the most amazing mom you could possibly have or want. (And you're dad's not too bad, either!) I can't wait to watch you grow through your next year. Hugs and lots of love!

Julie said...

Your birth story is great! I am so impressed--you ROCK! I got all teary when you said you could still see Seren waiving goodbye as you left for the hospital. I remember so well saying goodbye to Lana, knowing the next time we all saw each other there would be a new life, everything would be SO different, wondering how she would fare through the changes and knowing how very mind-blowing it is to have a new child to love. Words just don't do it justice. When you have the first baby, you go in blind, like you don't know what's about to happen with your life. When its the second, you totally get it.

It is SO very true that it is both joyful and a little sad to watch your kids grow. But that smile on Wyeth's face--he is adorable!

LauraC said...

Loved hearing every detail! I also had no idea you delivered naturally - AWESOME. That was my dream but I am glad to let that dream go!

Love love love it!

OWL MOMMA said...

Megan, thank you so much for sharing this with me! What a beautiful and empowering birth story. And what a beautiful way of expressing the feelings we, as mommas, face during these milestones.

happy birthdya Wyeth, and happy birth day momma!


Jessica said...

That was a lovely letter that I know Wyeth will cherish when he is older. Natural childbirth is tough, but so worth it when it can happen. I found myself reliving my labor (painlessly, of course) and delivery as I read your story, complete with some of the ups and downs and making lots of noises in response to the pain! Thanks for reminding me that I should write down our story for Sebastian to read someday.