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Archive for the ‘Birth’ Category

One morning shortly after baby was born, while reflecting on my attitude during labor etc, I realized that I gave thanks as labor started…and after baby was born, but not so much DURING labor… I felt I had fallen short of my goal to really live eucharisteo out and make the most of my time spent in labor etc… and to make something unpleasant into a truly positive experience. Then, I thought about Jesus: Looking ahead, Jesus took bread and gave thanks the night before he died, but of all the words He spoke on the cross, giving thanks was not among them. On the cross, He simply accepted the pain while pouring out his heart for others – which is the same thing I did. I take comfort in this. It was truly a blessed experience.

I read a beautiful birth post this week, In the Delivery Room.

Laura writes:

“My body was utterly exhausted. It was broken and ravaged. And it had just done the most incredible thing it ever had to do. After nine months of creating and growing a person from scratch, it birthed a baby – my baby. Through its (my?) weakness and brokenness I recognized more strength in myself than I ever knew was possible. I took part in a miracle. And when the stitches healed and the muscles started tightening again, still, my little, precious boy reminds me of what I accomplished.” (You can read the rest of her story here )

She articulates what I too have felt, what I knew I wanted to experience, back when I was going into labor for the first time. I knew it would be hard, and I knew it would hurt, but for me, giving birth was part of what it is to be a human/woman, and I felt if I never did, or even if I had an epidural such that I didn’t feel the contractions etc, I would be missing out, (on an important experience) that somehow I would have felt that I had not lived my life as fully as I could have. And so with that mentality, I trusted God that whatever happened, He’d give me everything I needed to get through it. And though it was tough, it was also empowering and a raw and beautiful.

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“When I stand back and reflect upon my birth story, I don’t see the pain and the blood and the agony. I really do see something beautiful and miraculous. I see love and strength and accomplishment. I see life. This is the story I hope my sister hears from me today. These are the blessings I wish on her as she goes through child birth.”

This is also what I want my best friend to experience.

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Dec 23

Quick Takes , better late than never!

1. The new baby came last week.
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Good little kids, always come right around their due dates 🙂 Actually, this one was the latest yet, I realized that morning that I’ve never actually made it to my due date before, without a baby in my arms! Then, though I prayed ‘Thy will be done’ whether I would have the baby that day or not, I didn’t really live it. All day I kept talking to baby, telling them that it was time to come out. Then to help things along I walked all the way down and up the big hill on our street -twice. And finally, when I went to my weekly check up with the Dr and she offered to sweep the membranes to encourage labor, I said sure, why not.

About 3 hours later I went into labor 🙂

2. Which was great, except then it started to hurt… It’s easy to wish for labor when you’ve been waiting for baby for 9 months etc, but then of course when you’re actually suffering through it, it’s easy to want to wish it away again! It was especially tough because though I had been 2-3 cm when the Dr checked me that evening before labor started, after 2-3 hours of contractions that had started to be painful, I was still only 2-3 cm. They told me to come back later, so we went downstairs to a food court to walk a bit so as to help it along, and wait for things to progress.

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However, I had already resolved that I was going to trust God and accept the labor experience He gave me etc. Since having my first two children, I learned more about offering up our sufferings and especially when it comes to labor, and resolved that when the next baby came along, that would be the route I would take. I had a list of people to offer up the pain for, people that I cared about, that if I could help them or save them, then the pain would be worth it.

This mentality allowed me to be more relaxed and not stress out about the pain, and so overall, labor went much more smoothly than last time, especially after we were admitted to a birth unit. With the help of the Nox gas. I was able to focus and breathe and relax, even during contractions. In between, I had moments where I was so relaxed I felt like I could fall asleep, just as I had had when my first son was born. Then too, I had gone into labor with the mentality that it would hurt but that I was going to accept it and trust God etc, and I remember when it was over looking back I thought it was so easy, I almost felt like I could turn around and do it again.

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Of course, 3rd babies are supposedly the most unpredictable and while labor progressed fairly smoothly, pushing was a bit tougher than before. I think it was something like 5 pushes, (as opposed to the wonderful one push with my 2nd son…) Still, the Nox gas helped me to focus and wait until it was fully time to push, and also to relax in between.

As the intense urge to push set in, there was a short time period of light and hope, as I realized that this could all be over with the next contraction… (it wasn’t!) It got a bit hard, when contraction after contraction I had to push and baby just wasn’t out…

Then, finally, at 3 minutes to 4 in the morning, baby was out. I think DH said it took something like 5 pushes this time 😛

Shortly after the baby was born I had a few minutes where I felt very happy, like really really happy. Here I was, having just given birth to another little healthy baby, after so many months of waiting. It was a moment when God felt very close, I felt such love and joy. I remember saying, ‘I feel like I’m in ecstasy!’ I felt a bit like St Tereasa. It was so intense, that was the only way I could describe it.
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I was extremely worn out after the birth. Earlier that night when I was reassessed for a labor room, I was already starting to shake, my muscles were so tired. By the time baby was born I was too tired to even really try nursing him. So, I just rested in-between medical interventions etc. Furthermore, apparently with multiple births etc, it gets more risky, and this time I had a lot of extra bleeding. I heard them tossing around the scary h word. I had to have an IV and then a shot in my leg to help the clotting…. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen next time?!

Neither the IV nor the shot were much fun, however, I was still grateful for them, as it’s kinda possible that they saved my life.

Having it all over with, was somewhat of a relief, really 5 pushes isn’t that much.. – BUT I was not ready to do it again. And the thought of having to, if I’m ever to realize my dream, of having a little girl, well that was really tough. I knew coming off a rather difficult birth and being up all night exhausted etc, I was perfectly entitled for the time being to feel like I was ‘done’ but it’s hard to think I’ would only ever have these 3 children. Luckily, even as soon as the next day, I started to warm back up to the idea-even though I know it will still be really hard and not fun.

3. Baby is: another boy. 3 little boys!

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Little baby Noah, live and in person! Every time we’ve had a doll that we pretended was a baby, it’s been baby Noah. And now we have the real thing! The kids always knew that baby Noah was that doll etc, so now they know their little brother as ‘baby Noah’. I think of him as ‘baby Noah’. His Christmas presents were all addressed to ‘baby Noah’. Something tells me, it’s going to take him a LONG time to shake the nickname, even if he’s no longer the baby of the family!

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4. Even though we are very blessed to have 3 beautiful healthy children, I find I am not as excited as I wish I was. Every time I’m pregnant there is the possibility of a girl, and every time I have ‘another boy’ I am that much further from that dream. I got over it pretty quickly with my second son, but this time I find I am subconsciously mourning the little girl that I didn’t have. I knew I was trusting God and his plan for this whole pregnancy etc, but for some reason I was just a little too sure it would be a girl, and so was disappointed. (THIS is exactly why I wanted to find out with my second child, so I would be over any disappointment and ready to love and welcome the boy…. For this reason, next time, I am going to find out, even if it means spending $100+ at UC baby. I hate that I was disappointed to have a 3rd healthy boy. I just can’t do this anymore, the suspense and the let downs are too much, I just need to know!

In the meantime, this is the baby God had planned for me, for us all along: little baby Noah.

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5. The kids were cute, but I think my best friend had the best reaction to the news. I called her around lunch time the day he was born, announcing baby’s arrival. She told me she’d be right over etc, and hung up without even asking what I had, she was so excited!

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It was also, so touching and sweet to watch her hold him. She commented ‘so this is what a newborn looks like’ to which I replied that htis was not her first time seeing one as she had been in to visit me after the other 2 kids were born as well. But she remarked that this time it was different. Exactly, of course it is.

Before baby was born I was excited for this moment etc, for you, because I knew when you held this baby, it would just melt your heart.

Oh hon, you’ll have your turn next summer!
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6. The kids have been pretty cute too. The afternoon after he was born when we had the in-laws on the phone, I told my 3 year old about the new addition to our family.

‘You have a baby brother.’
T: ‘A baby brother?” he asked softly
‘Yeah. The real baby Noah, he cries and everything.’
T: ‘He cries?’
Awww

Then, then later that afternoon they came to meet their new baby brother. My oldest was pretty excited, he seemed quite taken with his little brother, looking t him tenderly. Then he asked baby, ‘do you want to play with me? do you want to jump? Jump! Jump!’

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Back home both wanted to play with and care for their little brother. My middle son brought him toys to play with. Later when baby finally woke up my oldest son came over and tried to lift up the car seat. When I explained that I needed to unbuckle him to get him out my son reached over to help with the buckles. Aw.

7. Nursing has been easy. Even in the hosptial, baby seemed to be a natural, even getting himself latched on without me having to hold his chin down etc. I’ve enver had such an easy time of it! I am also still nursing my 2 year old, so I’m pretty busy. Of course the oldest one doesn’t need it like the baby, so usually he only gets nursed AFTER baby has his and as a result He isn’t getting his mummy time nearly as much as he’d like, but that was the case even before the abby came along, since he’d ask for it all the time. Still, nursing 2 kids, I have a LOT of milk, and I think often it comes out too fast for the baby. The good thing is that if I need a way to take the pressure off because it’s too full, for me or for baby, my 2 year old is happy to help.

However, I do feel a bit like a cow sometimes … especially when I nurse them both at once!
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Both boys, sound asleep in my arms 🙂

Even though it’s hard juggling two nursing kids, I don’t regret nursing my oldest right up till baby was born etc. I chose not to wean him in the hope that if I kept nursing till abby was born, it owul dhurt less when I went to nurse the new baby. And I was right! It had been mildly painful to nurse my 2 year old anyway, because the pregnancy hormones make them tender etc, but it really is no more painful to nurse new baby. Before I can remmber wanting to cry when DH would say it was tiemn to nurse the baby etc because of how much I knew it would hurt etc. That whole aspect of life with a newborn is absent this time, and I am very grateful. I’m still not getting as much sleep as I’d like, but overall, life with new baby is pretty great. He seems to be a pretty good sleeper too, giving me a good stretch at night and long stretches during the day to spend with my other kids etc.

Then there’s the nursing apetite. Since the heartburn subsided, nusring two kids I have a really big appetite, I’m always eating! 3 meals a day is more like 6 or 7 when you have 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast etc….

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Overall, I feel very blessed to be Mummy to 3 precious little boys! Lord, thank You for providing for me and my little/growing family.
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There is less than a month until the baby comes (less than a month!). While I’m getting more excited, I’m also more aware of everything that comes with it: namely labor.

Thinking about my kids and how they know there’s a baby growing in there, and then looking forward to life after baby is out and they’ll get to meet him or her, I wish that, like the kids, I could skip the whole labor/delivery aspect and go straight to having a precious little bundle in my arms…

However, I know this is not the fundamental structure of the universe, and I am ok with it. Things I’ve been reading in my weekly pregnancy articles have helped me realize just some of the reasons the last birth was harder and also that there is hope for it to go more smoothly again (more like the first!). I’ve largely blamed the increased pain I felt with the second one on my water breaking first, and while this is partly to blame, it may not be the direct cause.

Having my water break before anything else was something I had not experienced before, and when things weren’t going as expected right form the get go, I think it put me a little more on edge. That = a bit of fear and also a bit of stress – the last things you want to have with labor! “Keep your labor environment free of people who upset or irritate you in any way – this includes pushy hospital staff. The more upset you are, the more labor will hurt.” I remember there was a little incident with one of the nurses too, hopefully we can avoid that this time round. I was never able to find the same deep sense of peace that I’d had with my first birth, and I remember being scared, feeling like there was no way I could get through it. That is not a healthy feeling. “Reject your fear. Fear elicits a stronger pain response because adrenaline causes your muscles and blood vessels to constrict, counteracting your best relaxation efforts.” Go figure…

The article in all seriosuness actually advises deliberately avoiding stressful situations:

“Clear your schedule for the next few weeks of anything that could anger or upset you. If you’re stuck in a negative living situation, minimize contact with hurtful people, write in a journal to vent, and generally draw your attention inward to focus on finding a peaceful and clear state of mind.”

To me this reads, ‘make more time for God instead of stressing over unwritten posts etc…’ I feel the spirit calling me to detach a bit from the computer and from other things I usually invest time and effort in – facebook, all the pro-life articles etc- and spend more time with God and with my 2 boys while it’s still just us.

This pregnancy has felt special right from the start, when I turned it all over to God etc, and as long as I can keep that kind of deep trust and cling to God like I did when I had to have my wisdom teeth out, despite the pain things should go more smoothly. I’ve also got a great Catholic doula who I hope can help me to do this, as well as to focus on offering the pain up for all those I love.

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I had thought baby was going to come Halloween weekend, which would be early by the ultrasound date, but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be that long. I was right about the last part. Tuesday evening, after DH had said he would go biking after work and later reconsidered, the time had come. He gets home about 7pm and shortly after my water broke. Before I said anything DMIL asked DH out of curiosity when he thought baby would be coming, and he replied “tomorrow”, jokingly (he’d been maintaining to me that I’d be waiting till the 8th of Nov… ) at which point I called out that I thought it would be sooner! 😆

For a little while I was still a bit in shock, this was happening now, ready or not. My foot that I’d injured the day before (and which is still not completely better over a week later) didn’t hurt for a while as the adrenaline kicked in. I went up the stairs without any pain and remembered once I was up there that it was supposed to hurt 😆

I called my Doula and left a message, thinking ‘how can she not answer at a time like this.’ Then I called my mom and let her know, before calling my doula back. This time she answered, and said she’d head out (she had to go to Dartmouth to get her sister to babysit and pick up my mom before coming over) I wasn’t too worried since nothing much else was happening but DMIL was breathing down my neck a bit about getting to the hospital… 🙄 )

They got here about 8:50pm and found me in the front room (away from CSI or whatever show I don’t like) sitting at the computer. I was still feeling fine and I had a lot on my mind so I was chatting with any friends I could find, and of course at such an important time there were lots of people to talk to. Around 9 or 9:30 we asked my toddler if he was ready to go to bed. He shook his head and said ‘uh uh’. Then he grinned. It was unmistakable and soo cute. It was also like he knew that something was happening, and he didn’t want to miss out!

While I was still hanging out DH’s sister’s friend came online. She was pregnant too, and our due dates were close together, at least before mine got moved with the ultrasounds. Knowing her situation with the 3 kids already at home and her husband working each day I had sort of offered to help out if she needed something (babysitter, a ride to the hospital…) I was counting on her going before I did. Anyway, she asked how things were going and I told her my water had broke… Then she responded by telling me she was having contractions too that she had been 3 cm since the day before. She was trying to figure out if she should be going to the hospital but they weren’t bad and then she left after a little while saying her contractions had stopped and she was going to bed. So for the rest of the evening etc I was wondering how things were going for her!

About 10:30pm my doula suggested I get off the computer to lay down and rest up for the night ahead, but when I got up I felt things pick up a bit, and decided instead I was ready to head in to the hospital. (I knew I didn’t want to be riding to the hospital at the same point I was with my toddler, I was already in too much pain then).

When we got to the hospital since I felt up to it, my doula suggested we park in the Parkade and walk over to help labor along (this too would never have happened with my first son). So we walked through the hospital while I finished eating my bagel from Tim Horton’s. We went through registration, up to the early labor assessment and to an exam room. At this point I was still in good spirits, even taking pictures and joking in between contractions.
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My doula’s funky nails

Overall though, I didn’t have as much peace with this labor as with the first. A big part of this was that labor was much more intense because my water had broken at the start instead of at the end. I was actually more scared this time, and I had moments where I just thought ‘ I don’t want to do this anymore’, especially when they said I was still at 6cm an hour after the first check and near the end when they were still telling me I couldn’t push.

I also think that my doula was a bigger help this time round than last time, (not that she wasn’t a help last time) but I guess this time I needed more support.

My Dr insisted on an IV this time. I’m not sure why it seemed so necessary this time when it wasn’t with my DS 16 months. Very shortly after the IV was in the Dr said she was going to check me again to see if I could push yet. She was across the room getting things ready when I calmly said “I think the baby is crowning, there is a LOT of pressure down there”. The next contraction started and next thing I knew there was a baby crying. DH said the Dr had to basically run across the room to deliver him 😆 Another little boy, we all thought for sure it would be a girl this time.

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I felt more pain with this labor, but on the other hand I recovered a lot more quickly afterwards. I guess it’s a toss up, but I think I would choose this way because I loved the time in the hospital; I was able to move about and do thing instead of being stuck in bed like last time. I was walking easily so I was able to make the long trek to the other end of the ward to visit with the other girl. I was happy to be able to help DH take care of baby and share in that special time together. And of course I was happy to be able to move about to take pictures!!!! 😀

Asleep next to his namesake, his great great great grandfather James Edward Sr. We named him after DH’s grandfather, not knowing there was a true namesake further back.
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With his namesake and Daddy
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Daddy being silly
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And what about DH’s Sisters Friend?

After baby was born and we’d had some sleep, DH went off to get some lunch for himself and the lady to turn on my tv came by. She asked me if I remembered her, turns out it was a lady who used to babysit me from time to time. We hadn’t heard anything from her for 15 years. She told me she’d seen my name on her list when I was in the hospital with Tyler, but it was a discharge notice so she never got to see me.

I’d been wondering about DH’s sister’s friend so I asked the lady if there was anyone with that name on her list. There was 1 and the first name was spelled right. She told me she was in room 571. Later that afternoon DH and I took a walk down to the other end of the ward and knocked on that door. Sure enough she was in there.
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Turns out she had her baby about 2.5 hours after me. Her labor had stopped until about 4am, then she came in to the hospital about 5:30 and baby was born around 7am. Also turns out she was in isolation of sorts; she had requested anonymity and as a result she wasn’t supposed to have visitors, make any phone calls or leave her room. So she really appreciated some visitors (we were patients, I think that makes us exempt), and we ended up going back several times over the next couple of days. We also helped DH’s sis etc find her, and at one point she used DH’s phone to call the father to let him know what room she was in. It was like God knew my intentions to help, and then he gave me the opportunity.
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On Thursday morning DMIL brought my toddler and my Mom, and we all ended up in the friend’s room. She had blue curtains (my room had pink curtains) and a bigger ledge so I took photos of my son’s first real meeting with his little brother (He’d been there the night before but the light was no good for pictures, so I didn’t encourage to much interaction).
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Here’s some more photos from that morning:
My mom with her newest grandson
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Story Time
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Baby in DMIL’s arms
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On our last morning in the hospital DH and I shared breakfast in bed. We also took a special photo with the little blue knit hat but then some lady came to strip the bed and when she left his little hat was gone 😦

I don’t think we’re ever going to get it back, because they didn’t call yet. I would think they’d have found it by now. All the same if you feel so inclined to pray to St Anthony please do, I would love to be able to put the hat in with the baby book.

That morning we also took some photos of the whole family:

Me with my two boys
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My family
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Once those were done I dressed baby in the special green sweater set to go home.
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Going home
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This baby looks nothing like his brother, or anyone else for that matter, though there are times when he rather resembles a baby monkey 😆 One thing is for sure though, I was not this attached, this quickly last time. It was a big adjustment and it all felt so surreal it was a long time before I started to feel like a mom. No so with this one, I fell in love with him almost immediately.

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