Saturday, February 12, 2011

The unassisted birth of "Spain"

On January 26th around 2:30 am I woke up to a slight pain in my back. I rolled out of bed to use the bathroom. I didn't bother turning the light on, because, well let's face it, the bathroom had become my second home. When I pulled my pajama pants up they were oddly wet, I flipped the light on and was greeted by the sight of blood. Panic seized me. I waddled to my closet to get some fresh clothes, and had to make another stop at the bathroom. On my way I woke my sweet husband up to tell him I was bleeding. When I reached the bathroom I turned the light on, and with a rush of relief I realized that I was only losing my mucus plug. So I cleaned up and crawled in bed with that sweet guy I married. I couldn't sleep, so I lay there cuddled up next to him until he had to leave for PT a few hours later. I was having some contractions, and stupidly I decided to time them. Of course, there was no real pattern.

I got up to continue on with the day. I made breakfast, and started on dinner for some friends that had just had their baby. My sweet husband came home to get ready for work, and made me promise to call him if anything changed. At 9:30 I called his supervisor and asked for him to be sent home so he could take me in to the hospital. It's important to note that without traffic it takes about 25 minutes to get to the military hospital that has the L&D floor. I had one contraction on the way to the hospital.

I got to the "birthing center" and immediately pissed off a nurse when I explained that I would not consent to a cervical check or the EFM, and that my "plans" had been discussed with the head of the OB program at the hospital and he agreed to it. The OB who saw me on the other hand, thought it was great. Turns out his mom was a certified nurse midwife, and he had gone on several rotations with her whenever he was considering becoming an OB. He had never gotten to use a fetoscope, and seemed excited at the opportunity.
The overall consensus was that I was in early labor, but it would probably be a few days before anything happened. The baby wasn't even close to being engaged. My contractions were super irregular, and I was far enough along in the pregnancy that they wouldn't try to stop labor, so I was sent home.

My wonderful husband went back to work (after making me promise to call him if anything changed). I updated my mom, then called our Pastor to update him, and the leader of the Awana program at church to let her know I couldn't fill in for Cubbies that night. Lastly I called this wonderful lady that God sent into my life. We chatted and prayed together. Which really helped to calm me down. I had been frantically praying for labor to stop all day long. I just wanted a few more days to enjoy my pregnancy, and make sure the baby was "fully baked". Alex brought his backpack to my bed, and we started working on his schoolwork, while we waited for the husband to get off of work.

Just before 5:30 I felt another rush of blood, so I scurried into the bathroom. The baby was still high, but the small of my back started aching. I called for Alex to bring me my phone, and I climbed into the shower. Alex brought the phone into the bathroom, and as I was instructing him to call his Papa, the baby turned partially transverse (sidewise). The pain at that point intensified beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I knew the dangers of laboring with a transverse baby and I instinctively dropped to my knees.

There I was on my hands and knees rocking back and forth in my tiny shower stall (The shower in our master bathroom is the size of a standard refrigerator. Seriously.), praying for the baby to turn and trying to find that special sound that vibrates through your body, helping to reduce pain. I heard Alex talking on the phone to my sweet husband on the other side of the shower door. "Papa, mama says you need to come home. Spain is coming."

The baby turned back into the vertex position (vertical, head down) and I slowly stood up. With a "pop" the bag of waters broke and I fell into a prostrate postion. The song "He's got the whole world in his hands" sprang to mind and I kept singing it over and over while I rocked. I placed my hand between my legs and felt the baby's head bulging against my perineum. I knew my husband was only moments away, I tried to ignore the urge to push but my body had taken over. The head began to emerge, and I pulled myself into a squatting position, out of the water's range, In a blink, I was holding a brand-new infant. "Alex call Papa! Spain's here."
I reached up to turn the shower off, then cracked the shower door open and grabbed a towel to wrap the baby in. Alex was shouting joyfully into the phone "Papa, Spain got out! Spain got out!"

My sweet husband flew through the bathroom door moments later. He crouched down in the doorway of the opened shower, next to Alex, and I handed our brand-new baby to him. My poor sweet husband missed the birth of our son, because he stopped to buy me flowers.

I even can't begin to describe how much I love my husband, my oldest son and my youngest son.

We did transfer to the hospital after the birth, just to make sure everything was alright since I wasn't at term. The ER staff cleared us and offered to send us home, but we opted to transfer to the other hospital with the L&D ward, just to be sure. I'm so thankful we did, because Spain was showing signs of respitory distress that the ER doctors didn't recognise. We got to spend a week in the NICU, but that is a series of other posts that will come soon.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Breastfeeding and the Bible

". . .the Lord does not in vain prepare nutriment for children in their mothers' bosoms, before they are born. But those on whom he confers the honor of mothers, he, in this way, constitutes nurses; and they who deem it a hardship to nourish their own offspring, break, as far as they are able, the sacred bond of nature. If disease, or anything of that kind, is the hindrance, they have a just excuse; but for mothers voluntarily, and for their own pleasure, to avoid the trouble of nursing, and thus to make themselves only half-mothers, is a shameful corruption."
John Calvin, commenting on Genesis 21:7

"And she added, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."
Genesis 21:7 NIV

"If God Almighty came to you and said, "I myself have designed a special food that will strengthen your baby's body and develop his brain, which will comfort him and cheer his heart, and lay the foundation for his lifetime health and well-being. I have given this food into your keeping; I have placed it in your body; it is my loving provision for your child" - who would reply, "No thanks, no divine gifts, I'd rather give him a can of Similac"?"
Juli Loesch Wiley

Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me.
Psalm 22:9-11 NIV

"For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance." For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."
Isaiah 66:11-13 NIV

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
Isaiah 49:15,16 NIV

Want more breastfeeding related scriptures? Breastfeeding and the Bible.

Mother's milk, time-tested for millions of years, is the best nutrient for babies because it is nature's perfect food.
Robert S. Mendelsohn