1 week ago
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
July 8, 2007 9 days old You are the most precious baby in the world. You are an angel when you sleep. I love the way you stretch your arms and arch your back and wrinkle your forehead when you are waking up. You have such bright, curious eyes when you are awake. Your dad says you just want to keep figuring out new things, so once you’ve looked at something, you don’t need to look at it again. But I still catch you looking into my eyes, figuring out who I am. Your dad and I both love you more than we love anyone else–maybe even each other, although neither of us is ready to admit it. Even so, we love each other more than we did before you came, because you are a priceless gift that we gave each other. I don’t know what we did to deserve the sweetest baby ever. You hardly ever cry. Your little face is so expressive. Your dad and I sometimes wish you could stay this small forever. We’d have to buy you some more clothes, though, because all we have that fits you right now is a few little t-shirts and onesies. You deserve more clothes. We had a hard time choosing your name. It’s a huge responsibility, to decide what a person will be called. We didn’t want to choose something too ordinary, because we wanted your name to reflect how special you are. I hope you like the name Dorian. It reflects your musical heritage, but I want you to know that you can choose to be anything that you want to be. We can already see in your personality that you know what you want. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t have it. I worry sometimes because of the disappointments that you will face, and because of the ways in which I will fail you. But there are so many great things about being alive, and I’m so excited for you to learn all about this world. It’s okay to make mistakes; that’s one of the ways in which we learn. Take responsibility for your mistakes, and for your life. It is yours to create. Be honest, and be fair. It is so much easier to see other people’s faults than your own. But understand that “fair” may not always look like you think it should. Everyone is different, and everyone needs a different experience. Keep in mind that sometimes the most worthwhile experiences are the hardest. Don’t shy away from hard work or situations that stretch you. You deserve to have all the happiness available in this world. I love you, Dorian. Thank you for coming into my life.
Posted by bonnie jack at 11:38 PM
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Does anyone really want to hear this story? I’ll try to keep it short and include only the most entertaining details. Okay, who am I kidding, I can’t bring myself to leave anything out. As I approached this whole labor thing, I became more and more aware of two distinct groups of mothers–those who think you’re crazy to even consider an unmedicated birth, and those who swear by the wonderfulness of unmedicated birth. I felt completely lost between the two groups, but after some testimonials by my sisters and my good friend (and employer) Yvonne, I decided I would like to try the Bradley method of unmedicated birth. I read the books, and didn’t practice very much, and didn’t have Russell practice with me, but still thought I that could do it, and that my body could take care of the details. After the fact, I still think I might try it again, next time...but I can’t say that I am firmly in one group or the other. I think unmedicated birth is a wonderful idea, and I think it’s also perfectly okay to get an epidural. So here is what happened. I had zero signs of progressing toward labor in the weeks and days before my due date (June 29th). But I believe very strongly in the power of spoken declaration, and I had been declaring for months that I would have the baby on the due date. Sure enough, at 3 a.m. on June 29th, I started having contractions that were almost immediately 3 minutes apart and serious enough that I knew they weren’t Braxton-Hicks. We got checked into the hospital just before 6 a.m. and I breathed beautifully through a couple more hours of contractions. We called my sisters and my mom and told them to come. But all the pain in each contraction was concentrated in my back, and after the doctor broke my water to speed things up, I had about 5 more contractions before I told Russell to go get me an epidural and NOW. I felt pretty wimpy about giving up so early, but I couldn’t relax anymore, and the pain was really unbelievable. I think I was crying through each contraction. Maybe I could have handled it better if it wasn’t back labor; I’ll have to ask someone who has experienced it both ways. Oh! And the nurses took 6 tries to put in my I.V. ...as long as I am complaining. Okay, so an epidural is a weird thing, and really not that fun. I didn’t mind the installation process, especially because the anesthesiologist was very fast and told me exactly what to expect, and from the time I sent Russell for the epidural until the time I couldn’t feel the pain anymore, I only had 2 or 3 more contractions. It was beautiful. But it is weird and not cool to lose control of the bottom half of your body. The dose I had was light enough that I could still feel my legs and wiggle my toes, but it was all tingly like when your feet fall asleep, and my legs started to get weird and jumpy. It was very unsettling, and I just had to keep reminding myself how awesome it was that I couldn’t even feel the contractions anymore. But after several hours of that, I realized how hungry and tired I was–not having slept for about 30 hours or eaten for about 14–and I got really freaked out about having to find the energy to push that baby out. Turns out, I didn’t have to worry about that. Just before 3 p.m., so after about 12 hours of labor, I was still progressing slowly enough that I probably had 6 or more hours to look forward to. And then the nurses started panicking a little bit because the baby’s heart rate was dropping to 60 (it was usually 120) with each contraction. They tried having me change positions (which is awesome when you can’t really move your own hips) several times, including one time when they had me up on my hands and knees (not sure how they did that), and before I knew it, my doctor was there, and he started talking to me in his soothing way about how the baby was obviously under some kind of stress, and the cord was probably in a weird position, and the baby wasn’t going to survive 4 more hours of this kind of stress. He told me he thought we should do a c-section, and it made me cry, because that’s never how you picture your first baby being born. Russell and my mom and sisters were sort of looking on helplessly. But from the moment the doctor said c-section, things moved really fast. I had to sign some papers, and the anesthesiologist had to pump some serious drugs in the epidural, and they wheeled me into the O.R. and had Russell put on a gown and a mask, and they moved me to the operating table. I was totally shaky from the huge dose of whatever they gave me. They put me flat on my back, of course, because how else would they do the surgery, but when you’re 9 months pregnant, being flat on your back makes you have to throw up. By this time the drugs were making it so I couldn’t feel my legs at all, and my arms had that tingly asleep feeling. But I didn’t want to throw up, so I tried to roll back to my side, and I was apparently almost throwing myself off the operating table (which is only as wide as a person). But I was completely freaked out and irrational. Then I threw up–just a little, I hadn’t eaten in so long–and I was fine after that. And by “fine”, I mean that I calmed down and let them turn me on my back, and I didn’t feel shaky or nauseated anymore. The drugs were sort of getting to my head by now and I was really sleepy. I didn’t like this feeling at all, and kept my eyes closed through most of the surgery, just opening them long enough to see Russell crying because our baby was coming out. I remember how pretty his eyes were because his eyelashes were wet from the tears. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen him cry. Then I heard two short baby cries, so I opened my eyes long enough to see the baby as they held him up. Russell went to see the baby, and he brought him back to me a little later. He held him up so I could kiss his cheek. After that, they took the baby somewhere and Russell stayed with me. I remember asking if they were almost done sewing me up, and the doctor said they were on layer 5 of 7. I still haven’t figured out what the 7 layers are. Anyway, as it turns out, the umbilical cord was smashed up against Dorian’s head, so every time a contraction tried to push him down, it was cutting off his circulation. I’m so glad my doctor knew when it was time to just get him out. I had pictured myself holding the baby right after the delivery, but my arms were too numb, and they wanted me to recover for a bit anyway. All I really wanted to do was sleep. The next several hours are really foggy in my memory. I hardly remember holding Dorian for the first time. But it’s okay, because we’ve made up for the lost time. He’s really the best thing ever. He’s such a good baby. He hardly cries, and he’s so super cute. I can’t even believe that we somehow ended up with this perfect little boy. It’s a miracle to me.
Posted by bonnie jack at 7:43 PM