Monday, June 18, 2012


   I woke up in the morning and noticed some pink on my underwear so I called the midwife, Leslie. She said I had lost my mucus plug and that this baby would probably be born within 24 hours.
   I called my Mom and she started the long drive to Bellingham.
   It was a weekend and a beautiful sunny day in May so Nathan and I took Ethan to a park and I thought I should walk as this baby was at least two weeks late, I had tried rototilling the whole garden with a shovel, mowing the lawn and walking and walking and walking so I figured if I was going to go into labor soon the fastest way to get that to happen was to walk some more right?
   I had an enjoyable time at the park I remember the small white daisies all over the green hills and the nice warm sun which felt so good after a long rainy winter.
   I remember thinking how small Ethan was and I wondered how I would look after two babies as Ethan was only 21 months old.
   My labors were all very, very influenced by my concerns, desires and visualization of labor and birth.
This time I simply did not feel prepared at all even though I had everything under the sun that I needed for the birth I was not prepared and felt like Ethan was still to young to understand.
   A baby can only stay in utero for so long even if Mother is willing to carry it for another nine months.
   My Mom and youngest sister Emily arrived in town in the afternoon/evening. I started to get that tight belt feeling and knew what was coming. Nathan and my Mom started getting the water tub filled up- a big "rubbermaid" trough, the style used to water livestock. Someone called Leslie, they knew better than to ask me though maybe they did and I don't remember. She got there and told me I could get in the tub. Getting in the tub equalled committing to having this baby tonight I had to think about it for a few seconds and realized this baby was coming tonight either way so I may as well get in.
   Emily was looking after Ethan, I think they went for a little walk and played in the car. Ethan didn't want to come in the room, he would stand at the doorway and play in the living room but he didn't want to come in.
  The water was heavenly, I liked the tall strong sides of the pool, no one uses those pools anymore because of the plastic used to make them but they are far superior to the squishy inflatable ones in use now, handles or not I loved that water trough.
   I got in and it felt so nice I stayed in one position for about three hours in strong labor. I remember the dark room and every time a contraction came I would say, "no, no, no, no" over and over or, "I can't" over and over. It was so much more about life after the birth that I was concerned about, I didn't feel prepared at all and totally overwhelmed at the thought of a baby and a very young toddler.
   Leslie tried to get me to move around, to get out to go pee. My mom tried to get me to drink or to eat and Leslie kept getting my Mom to boil large pots of water to dump into the tub to keep it at a certain temperature I hated those pots of water and told myself if I ever got pregnant again I would give all my pots to the thrift store before going into labor.
   I felt very much alone even though Nathan said afterwards that someone was always in the room with me. I really liked the space the water tub gave me I definitely am a lone laborer and don't want anyone in the water or massaging me or touching me or talking to me or dumping boiling water in at me.
   I remember them talking in the other room, someone was worried I wasn't "progressing" Leslie wasn't concerned about it as the babies heart rate was good but she did say she would try to get me to get out and move around a bit. I guess because the baby was late and I was in there basically complaining the whole time they were worried the baby was too big or something. That is the only snippet of conversation I remember from the whole labor but at that point I decided that there was no way I was going to get dragged to the hospital and there was even more no way they were getting me out of this water tub so I decided then that this was the time to have this baby.  I told myself I had to stop complaining and mentally embrace those contractions to relax my mind as well as my body.
  I moved around a bit and I felt the baby roll or twist inside me. Minutes later I was leaning forward on the side of the tub pushing and the baby was born.
  Another five hour labor from start of contractions to holding a very large fat squished baby in my arms
Matthias was 8 lb 11oz
He was huge
He had lots of dark hair on the top of his head
He was so cute and perfect.
He was a hungry nurser

The placenta fell out when I stood to get out of the tub. Ethan came in very slowly and shy once Nathan and I and the new baby were all cozy in bed. He was very gentle and loving to the baby and we were all very amazed by this new little person that had joined our family.

Friday, June 15, 2012


   I had the car that day. It was a sunny day and I was feeling restless and wanted to go somewhere. I didn't know where I was going to go as I had nothing to do so I drove down the road towards the ocean. I stopped at a before unnoticed bench and sat and watched the water and the white sails on the beautiful sunny mirror of an ocean. I enjoyed those minutes just me by myself and I am thankful for them as that would be the last time in my life that my heart was all mine. Two hours later my water had broken and I was on my way to becoming a Mother.
   I picked Nathan up from work. He drove home because I would rather he did and my maternity pants were feeling much smaller than normal. I got home and felt like I was peeing as soon as I got out of the car. I went into the bathroom and the water started flowing down my legs. Not a giant splash or gush of water like the movies would have you think. I wasn't sure what was going on because it was two weeks before my due date and I hadn't even thought of the possibility of an early labor.
Nathan and I went to the midwife so she could take a sample or swab or something incase I didn't go into labor in the next 24 hours.
   My Mom came and I went to bed, I didn't sleep well but better than I have ever since then. Everything I wore felt too tight around my stomach, I had to get up to go pee a lot. I woke up in the morning with my stomach feeling tight. I did not expect contractions to feel like wearing a belt across your middle and cinching it up but that is what it felt like. After my traditional morning sickness which had been going on for seven and a half months my Mom got me to eat something and then said something crazy along the lines of going for a walk to strengthen up those contractions. Or in other words tighten that belt another few holes. The walk was effective up a hill and down a hill and now I felt how I thought I would feel in labor. I remember having to lean on Nathan when the contractions came and my Mom saying that that was good and that we could go home now.
   My Mom and Nathan were doing things like timing contractions and such. I was in my own little world trying to come to grips with this getting stronger and stronger. They asked me if I thought they should call the midwife. I dont' know about other people who are in labor but when I am in labor my mind does not compute things like when should we call the midwife, it's like it has to go through a translator in my brain and then back through one to get me to speak. I remember sitting there thinking why on earth are you asking me this? I don't care at all who you call.
My Mom called the midwife Leslie. I am pretty sure Nathan was with me the whole time but I'm not sure I honestly don't remember like I said my own little word of feeling.
Leslie arrived, everyone talked. I was on the bed, most defiantly not in bed. People came in to ask if I needed to pee or eat or drink, I thought what? There was nothing in the world but this and this moment and then there was the next moment and that is all I was focusing on.
Leslie came in when it was time to push. I knew it because all of a sudden the world existed again, It did not take all my mental power to translate what someone said I was alert and all of a sudden right there in the moment in an entirely different way. Leslie told me that when that old devil woman in my head yells at me me to finish this and push that baby out NOW!  Not to listen. To breathe and not push, my body would push for me my mind had to relax and breathe.
Ethan was born with me on my hands and knees five hours from the start of my labor or in other words once we got home from our walk.
He was born 14 days before his due date and was covered in vernix
He weighed 6 lb 7 oz.
He was perfect and tiny

In all my reading while I was pregnant I had read and read about labor and birth stories and information. I had a very good picture in my mind of what labor was but I hadn't thought about the placenta and that being an issue but it was. I had no idea how to deliver it and it didn't just fall out like I had thought. They feed me chocolate, put me in the shower, put me on the toilet. In my mind I was done, the baby was born. Leslie said I had to get the placenta out or I would have to have a shot to get it out. Someone needed to tell me I needed to push it out- you know with my mind and body. As my  body was "done" now was the time to push but I didn't know that. In the end Leslie had to kind of reach in and pull it out and it was totally unattached and just sitting there but I didn't know how to get it out. It is by far the worst sensation with regards to labor and delivery it feels like your insides are falling out and they kind of are, very dead and heavy.
I have never been attached to my placenta, it is an amazing life giving part of pregnancy but once it is no longer needed it just looks so completely dead to me.

I had no tearing
Leslie gave me some Arnica to take for bruising
Ethan was not a strong nurser to start off as he was so early we had to wake him up sometimes to eat and it took a while to get him interested and alert enough to suck but he caught on quickly. And it was very normal for me so we didn't have any problems.

Birth Stories TBA!

I have been feeling, thinking and procrastinating writing my birth stories. I was very uncomfortable with the idea of writing them when I was not finished with them but now that I am officially finished with giving birth and being pregnant forever and ever. (YAY) I feel comfortable writing about it.
How did I know I was done having children? Well, I was planning on having four children, that was the plan since I had the first one. Four seemed like a good number and some days I think that I am in way over my head and how easy life would be if I had stopped at two but I love my busy happy family and am grateful I was able to have four children. I was very, very sick with the last one, and the first one, and quite sick with the third one and a bit sick with the second. My labors were normal, uncomplicated, and an experience I would never wish on anyone else and yet a treasure I will be forever grateful for. I'm still not sure how those two feelings can co-exist but they do. These stories are my normal and very abnormal for the rest of this aria of the world.