Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Today is the Day

Today is the day Isaiah celebrates his 14th birthday!
I will be taking him and Nathaniel (and Elizabeth, of course) out for lunch
and then we'll be going to Fleet Farm (you know--the Man's Mall)
to pick out his birthday gift. 

Today is also the day my mom celebrates her birthday!
(I had only gotten her a card that year, and so decided to have a baby to take it up a notch.)

Since birth stories are rather fresh on my mind,
I'll recount Isaiah's.

The day before his birth was a Saturday.  I remember that I felt "off" all that day,
alternately needing to lay down on the couch and then having spurts of energy in which I cleaned house and entertained an almost-two-year-old Nathaniel.
Aw, who am I kidding?  He probably just sat and played blocks or his treasured Winnie the Pooh figures.  He was really good at playing by himself.
Maybe he just watched several episodes of Barney, for that matter.
(One fun thing about having babies that "span the ages" is the difference in trends over sixteen years--my youngers don't even know who Barney is!  Barney the purple dinosaur, that is.  They DO know who Barney Fife is.  We love classic tv shows.  Barney the dinosaur is not classic tv.  Andy Griffith is.  Clearly, I digress.)

Late into the evening, I did make a call to the ob floor of the hospital to talk about what was going on.
See, with Nathaniel, everything was text book.  The contractions felt just like what I had been told they would feel like.  They followed an increasingly consistent pattern.  I knew I was in labor.
Not so with Number Two.
Dennis would pop his head in the door throughout the day to see how I was doing.
I couldn't tell him any more than that I just felt off.
Hence the call to OB.

She advised taking a bath to see what happened.
Well, by 10:00 pm, contractions hadn't really picked up, but they hadn't slowed down either.
I felt heavy, and I guess some intuition kicked in--
even though I wasn't experiencing "classic" indications of labor, I knew that I was indeed in labor.

We called my parents who came over to stay with Nathaniel.
We headed out the door by about 11:00, putting us in the parking lot of the hospital by 11:30.
We then waited in the parking lot until after midnight so as not to get charged for an extra day.
Yes, you read that right.

We got checked in and got settled in to the room.
I was all set to "go natural" with no pain medication so that's what we did.
(I had let them give me "a little something" to take the edge off when Nathaniel was born.  Dennis said it wonked me out and didn't like seeing me like that.  I remember being really hazy and fully agreed that mind-altering drugs and birthing should not go hand-in-hand.)

I handled contractions fairly well, but they were sure getting intense.
I started to hyper-ventilate.
Not like how you see on tv, with gasping and wheezing, but because I was doing my Lamaze breathing (which I have since abandoned) so well, I was basically over-breathing and my arms, hands, and face were all getting tingly.
My nurse gave me a bag and then a wet washcloth to breathe through and that helped.

Nearing the end of labor, but not knowing that I was close,
I was beginning to lose my confidence that I could do it.
To heck with no pain meds--this hurt and I wanted some!
I told the nurse that I was wanting some pain meds now and she said it was too late--they wouldn't kick in in time and only the baby would get drugged and not me.

I was disappointed at the time, thinking "how am I going to do this??!!"
but in retrospect I am so glad that this happened because it was the turning point for me.
Because I "couldn't" have pain meds, I learned that I COULD birth a baby without them!

When I thought I couldn't possibly take it anymore,
Isaiah was born at 4:58 am.
8 lbs. even, with lots of dark blonde hair.
Our life hasn't been the same since!
He has challenged everything I know (I thought I knew) about children and parenting.

I can hardly believe 14 years have gone by--I must have blinked.

Happy Birthday, Isaiah,
and to Grandma Cindy, too! 

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