Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

I wrote this a long time ago.  It's funny how time slips by when you have good intentions to hurry up and finish something.  Linden is 1 today.  This is our story.

I’ve said it before, and it has proven true this time around again. I can’t have a baby with out my mom.  She has impeccable timing and has a 100% record for being here perfectly for when my children are born.  When Aspen was born, Jonathon brought her and I home from the hospital, got us comfortable and left to pick up my mom.  When Cedar was born, she got to our house the day before he was born.  Perfect time for her to learn our routine and for Aspen to warm up to her.  Same thing with Olive.  The day before she was born my mom was there getting the routine down and prepping the kids.  Perfect timing.  With Linden My mom and Tony got into town either really late April 20th or really early April 21.  I can’t remember the exact time, but I remember thinking, “Great!  Let’s have this baby tonight!”  (It was after all, my due date.)  The morning came and not a single contraction.

My mom and Tony took the kids to the Wilderness for the night.  It is a hotel with an indoor water park.  They picked them up early from school and they were off.  Jonathon and I thought about joining them that night to play in the water, but we were both pretty tired so we decided to go to a movie instead.  

We watched “Soul Surfer” Thursday night and had a nice quiet evening.  The next day was Friday and Jonathon left for work while I slept in.  It was quite nice to have a quiet morning.  When I got up and moving I found that I had some bloody show and that got me hoping that things would be moving along.  I should add that I had been walking around for weeks and weeks dilated to a 4 and 50% effaced.  This is pretty normal for me, but still!  I called the midwife and let them know.  They just said something might happen in the next few days.  (Not exactly the words I wanted to hear.)  I ate breakfast and decided I didn’t want to hang out at home waiting for something to happen so I called Jonathon and asked if he could take ½ day off and we could go join the kids and my mom at the water park.  He was a little freaked out about the bloody show, but agreed.  I called my mom and told her our plans then gathered our swim suits, towels and hospital stuff (just in case!) and went to pick him up. 

We stopped and got take out and then headed down the road.  It was about this time that I felt the first little wave of a contraction.  It wasn’t big or painful, (good thing since I was driving!)  just a little like being washed over with feeling sick to my stomach and achy.  It was gone in about a minute and it left me wondering if it was anything significant.  10 minutes later it happened again.  Equally insignificant.  10 minutes later, again.  10 minutes later, again.  By this time we were at the Wilderness and I was wondering if perhaps I really was in labor.

I know I have done this 3 times prior to this so really I should know what it feels like.  The truth is that it is a bit different for each baby, and it was so insignificant that I really did feel like I was talking myself into believing it was labor.  I was officially “overdue.” My mom was here, and the last thing I wanted was to put her back on the plane in a week and still be pregnant.  I wanted to have the baby NOW!  Everything was all mapped out and perfect, but the baby would need to cooperate!

We met my mom and went into the water park.  Jonathon went to change and I sat down to chat.  I brought my swimsuit, but wasn’t really interested in getting into it, but after about 5 minutes the heat and humidity was too much.  Everyone was off riding rides while I kept to the table, took lots of pictures and read.  By this time the pains were getting a little stronger and a little closer together.  First 8 minutes, then 7 then 5.  Everyone was in line to do the boogie board, surf ride when the first contraction that I knew was a contraction hit.  It wasn’t little waves of yuckiness that passed in a minute, it was intense, yet not super painful, tightening.  I remember I was taking pictures of one of the kids on the body board and I had to sit down on the edge because I couldn’t stand. 

Up until this point I hadn’t told anyone that I was in labor.  Mostly because I didn’t want to scare the kids.  When Jonathon was done and we were waiting to see the pictures that the hotel takes that you can buy I pulled Jonathon aside and told him I thought I was in labor and I would like to go up to the clinic to get monitored for a few minutes since we were already half way to Knoxville already.

I pulled my mom aside next and told her then went and got dressed.  I called the clinic but they only work ½ day on Fridays so I waited for the midwife to call back.  I told her what was going on and she said I should head up to the hospital, they could monitor me there and if it wasn’t true labor I could go home. 

*Side note* I was planning a water birth.  I had one with Olive and I really liked it.  Olive was born in the birthing center, which was great, but you can’t stay for very long after the baby is born and I wanted to stay a night or two to recover before going home.  I was so excited when I found out that St. Mary’s Hospital allowed water births.  All I had to do was bring my own water birth tub.

On the way to the hospital the contractions started coming about 3-4 min apart and with a bit more intensity.  I was pretty sure by then that this was the real thing.  When we got there and they checked me I was at a 6 and 80% effaced.  It was something to see the contractions on the monitor.  Big spiky mountains.

Since it was real, the hospital called the midwife and Jonathon went and got the birth tub and our stuff.  They took me to the room I would be in and I sat on the bed and waited.  I think that was probably the most aggravating time of the labor.  They don’t do a lot of water births so our nurse was having a hard time figuring out how to hook up the hose.  They wanted me to keep the monitor on until I got in the tub, so I sat there alone on the side of the bed while everyone else was busy with the birth tub.  I’m sure it was really around a half an hour, but it seemed like forever.

The midwife came about this time and checked me again.  About an 8 now.  I was really starting to get uncomfortable and moving hurt.  In the hospital they have a jacuzie tub room.  It’s really just a big closet that looks like it was retro fit with a big tub and a towel rack, but the nurse said I could go in there until my birth tub was ready.  I was thrilled and so Jonathon and the nurse and the midwife helped me shuffle down the hall to the tub closet.

A warm bath is magical in labor.  I think I stayed there for at least 45 minutes, maybe more.  Time has a funny way of slowing down and speeding up of it’s own accord in labor, so I could be off on the timing.  The midwife came back and said that the birth tub was ready if I wanted to go back to my room. 

I did want to go back.  My birth tub was nice and deep and wide.  I could sit or squat or even float on my back.  Much better than the tub.  I just didn’t want to get out.  You see warm water masks or dulls labor pains.  I’m sure that’s why they call it the midwives epidural.  The problem is that when you get out everything is unmasked and sharp.  Since you don’t feel it gradually going up over the course of time, it tends to hit HARD!  I knew this would happen and I didn’t want to face it.  I am after all a genuine wimp.  There wasn’t any other way, so unfortunately I got out and waddled back down the hall clutching Jonathon and the midwife while they were keeping me covered.

Once back in my room and into my big tub, things were a little better for a while.  Soon the genuine business of birthing started to happen.  I remember thinking how textbook it all was.  The sounds that escaped me started as ooo’s.  Almost like I was practicing for the choir, then they went to ahh’s like there was a snake in the corner.  Then with Jonathon and the midwife’s help they became something much more primitive and wild.  A deep growl that would probably compete well with many wild animals I’ve visited in zoo’s.  I remember thinking at this time, “Did that just come from me???”  It’s a bit shocking to hear yourself sound like that.  I was thinking that I was embarrassed but dismissed it because by then it hurt way too much to be embarrassing.  Jonathon kept reminding me to say something or hum or something that all the books tell you to do and all I could do was say, “I don’t remember what I’m supposed to say!” 

When Aspen was born I wanted to “have a natural birth.”  I was absolutely NOT prepared, nor was I really in the right environment for a natural birth.  (A teaching hospital with lots of anxious students around to “practice” on you is not the place!!) So for each of my other birth’s, including this one I chose a midwife and I educated myself a lot more as to how things work.  Right before it was time to push I remember questioning myself why I was doing this?  Why didn’t I want the epidural?  At the moment I couldn’t remember, but then my water broke with an internal pop and an external wave of warm water and I was way past the point that I could change my mind.

I was starting to push and I felt like I had a pretty good idea of where to “aim.”  Unfortunately, I was scared.  When I pushed it felt better, but I could feel the start of “the ring of fire” burn at the end of each push.  Fear is a terrible thing.  It held me captive and in a lot of pain because I was scared to go forward and there literally was no going back.  It took probably 30 minutes of this awful limbo before I decided to head into the pain.  After that it only took a few pushes and I was in the heart of the ring of fire.  One more push and Linden’s head was out.  What was so terrifying though was that unlike my other children, the rest of him didn’t come out with a little push.  I kept yelling “get him out!  Get him out!”  The midwife had to say that I had to get him out and I needed to push!  Hard!  I tried.  I thought I was done, but I was stuck again in the ring of fire and another big push with a lot of screaming brought his shoulders out, and then to my dismay I still had to push his midsection out.  I later found out he was the same circumference around the head, shoulders and middle.  I gave birth to a tube shaped baby.

Finally I got to hold this amazing little baby.  You would think that after waiting 9 months and going through all that labor I would have something cleaver to say.  But it is the same with all of my children.  “Hi!”  That’s what I say.  “Hi baby, I love you.”

There he was.  The spitting image of Jonathon.  Full head of dark brown hair, receding hair line, inquisitive look.  Ten fingers, ten toes.  My little boy!

That was one year ago today.  Time has flown!  Linden is literally so much fun!  Before he came, I worried what the other kids would think.  There was too big of a gap for them to have the classic jealousy that I am familiar with.  What would they think of him?

To all of our pure happiness, he has everyone wrapped around his perfect little fingers.  I say it all the time, and it is true.  Linden is the luckiest little baby in the world.  He has 2 sisters and a brother who think that the sun rises and sets on him.

His first word was "kitty."  He can say "mom" and "dad."  He can even say Aspen and Olive's name with prompting.  Cedar is a little harder, but there is no doubt how he feels about his big brother!      He can say "cracker" with almost perfect annunciation.  he loves being outside and he LOVES balls.  He dances.  He sings.  He gives kisses and "five."  He is boycotting learning to walk because crawling is so much faster!  He can stand, and will if forced or if he is so distracted that he doesn't notice.  

It has been an amazing year!  Happy Birthday Baby Boy!  We love you so much!

Check back later for pictures.  Aspen has a birthday picture blog planned!


Marie aka Grams said...

We love all the kids and all the stories about them. You are a wonderful mother. They are all lucky to have each other, too.
Happy Birthday, Baby Boy Linden. We love you.

Tony and Ann said...

Yeah, you thought you had me fooled, but I watched you trying to get comfortable. I even asked if you were in labor, and suggested that the water birth NOT be in the swimming pool of the Wilderness!! But it's still hard to believe it's been a whole year. Love you guys and can't wait to see you!

Emily said...

I laughed when you said you were trying to think of something clever to say to Linden when he was born. When Little Miss was born the first thing I said is "Wow, look at those lips!" and with Mister it was "You look just like your sister!!" Very clever...

Brian and Tonya said...

Yeah, Happy birthday Linden. What a great story.

Julie L said...

Love the post. Happy Birthday to Linden!

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