Friday, May 30

Nash's Birth Story

I had contractions off and on for a full week.  One day they would come once an hour, all day, and then stop.  Then nothing for two days.  Then maybe in the evening for an hour, and only 10 minutes apart.  I would think, "Maybe this is it!" But alas, it would die down to nothing.  You know it's NOT labor when you want another contraction to come closer and sooner than the last one.  Tuesday afternoon my doctor swept my membranes, at my request, and then I saw my chiropractor to help things along.  I did start having some contractions about 10 minutes apart at 8:00 Tuesday evening, but I didn't want to get my hopes up again.  I went for a walk at 10:00 a few times around the block, hoping to keep things moving.  They seemed to be dying down again.  At 11:30 I had Kenny come with me and we went walking around our half block for 30 minutes and I had some contractions that were more intense.  I laid down for bed, and they did taper off- one every 30 minutes for a couple hours.  I was able to get some cat naps in between them.
Then at about 2:00 I had some very painful contractions about 5 minutes apart.  I only had to have about 4 of these and I told Kenny that this was it.  They were getting so intense so fast.  I called my doctor but couldn't talk through the contractions.  He said, "Well I think it's time to go to the hospital."  We called Abby to come to the house- she answered right away and came to the house quickly and we were off.  At the hospital, I hung onto Kenny and returned to an instinctual moaning that I used with June's labor.  I kept my voice low and repeated mantras with Kenny's help to get through each contraction.  I was dilated to 5 cm when we arrived at the hospital and I asked for pain relief right away.  I thought I might use nitrous oxide gas, but things were moving very fast and if I wanted to epidural I knew I should ask for it.  I labored for an hour before I was able to get the shot and feel the pain relief- and it was hard and intense.  It was just like with June- I starred at Kenny and said things like "low" (to keep my voice low instead of shrieking!), "strong" "OK" "Almost" "A little bit more"- and knowing that it was only a little bit more gave me a lot of hope during that hour.  They numbed the site in my back before putting a huge needle in, so it really wasn't that painful.  When I started to feel relief it was incredible!  I told the anesthesiologist I loved him.  They checked me and I was dilated to a 7!  About 10 minutes later I told the nurse I felt some pressure- she checked and I was at an 8! I was at a 10 and complete about 30 minutes later.  I couldn't believe it- it was time to push.  I pushed for 30  minutes.  My doctor was so encouraging and everything was going so smooth.  Nash came out at 5:31 AM and he looked so huge to me (and to everyone else!).  They placed him on my chest right away and I held him while they wiped him down.  I had this moment of, "OK there is really a baby here" which seems crazy, but things went so fast I just was blown away.  Kenny held him too and we just kept reveling in the moment of how peaceful this labor had just been.  It really was incredible.  I didn't feel like I had just been in a car wreck.  I was bonding with Nash right away instead of feeling exhausted and dead.

I was feeling God's presence in so many ways.  The Sunday before, I had really felt like God was telling me, "You are strong.  Stronger than you think.  You have the Holy Spirit living inside of you." When I was laboring without pain relief this was the thought that kept coming to me.  It was this empowerment from God and I often repeated "I am strong" during those contractions.  I also felt like God was answering so many prayers- especially about the epidural.  There were no complications, and no other meds needed as a result of the epidural.  My labor definitely did not stall or slow as a result of it, it was just pain relief which is exactly what I prayed for.  Breastfeeding got started off so simple it was unbelievable.  "Oh, this is what those women are talking about.  The babies just latch right on.  Oh, I see."  I've had several quiet moments in this hospital room just thinking about all that went right, all the times I felt God giving me this peaceful, enjoyable delivery and care afterwards.  This hospital room has felt like my own little hotel room where people wait on me hand and foot.  It's. Been. Awesome.

To think that I regret any decision I made for June's birth would be outrageous.  I know why I made all those decisions.  So many good things were meant to be because of June's birth.  I met Suzy, my doula and friend, whose faith and gentleness still inspires me today.  I met Sharla- and we continue to have so many good times finding our way through motherhood together.  I found God in the deep dark place of physical suffering and I never would have known Him in that way otherwise.  But this birth was great.  So enjoyable.  So peaceful.  I never would have imagined a hospital birth this way.  I can look at both worlds of birth- midwifery and hospitals- and appreciate both.  Which I am glad for because they both kind of hate each other.  I had many nurses ask me what made me change my mind for this birth.  It seemed like they were almost looking for some dirt of the world of midwifery.  Some terrible story that made me choose a hospital birth this time.  Nope- I just didn't want to feel that pain again.  And I'll let you wait on me for a couple of days before going home.  And it's just the opposite in the midwife birth realm- horrible hospital stories circulate, untold pressures for interventions and bad care, etc.  I got to see both, and love both.  I'm a little sad to leave my pseudo hotel room in a few hours.  It's been nice.  I pray this peace and enjoyment continue as we embrace Nash in our family.  What a blessed 3 days this has been.
Father - son

Yep.  Big Shot.  You can tell.

8 pounds, 8 ounces.  19.5 inches long

Looks like June when she was born!

Nash Benjamin Barrett

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