Saturday, August 30, 2008

Aidric's Birth Story, Part III

The new nurse, Stacy the Scolder, came over and said, "Oh, yeah. Call Dr. Wu. She's ready to go!" I was awake.

Ana, Mark, and Rebecca helped me sit up. All of a sudden my legs were in these supports, which was necessary because I couldn't move my legs at all. Ana was on my left and Mark on my right, each holding a leg and pulling it toward me when I needed to push. My legs felt like huge dead weights. I had no idea if I was 'pushing' at all, being numb from the waist down, but I guess I was doing it right because I could see more and more of your head with every push. (They had a mirror for me to see.) When the monitor showed a contraction was happening, I pushed as hard as I could. I felt euphoric and trance like. Everything was happening so fast. Seeing what was happening in that mirror and not feeling it was surreal, almost like I was watching someone else. I kept looking at Mark to keep me grounded and focused. My emotions for him were so strong during the whole time. He was now the father of my baby.

Now we were getting worried that Dr, Wu wasn't going to get there in time. They told me to stop pushing, but your tiny head was inching out on it's own. Mark and I looked at each other. Someone had better get down there to catch. Finally, the wirey frame of Dr. Wu appeared, and in a flash he 'made it all blue.' Blue sheets were spread out all over. Dr, Wu was all in blue with a blue mask on. I couldn't see the mirror anymore. I pushed one more time, and your head popped out with a big gush of water which made your Daddy gasp in surprise. Before I had a chance to prepare, I saw you.

Everything disappeared except for you. As your body emerged from mine, you made the sweetest little sounds, and your arms were reaching out. I wish words could describe what I felt, Little Man, when I first saw you. All I can say is I was sobbing then, and I still cry every time I think about it. I knew you, like I had always known you. Like I was reunited with the biggest love of my life that I hadn't seen in a lifetime. I was able to hold you right then for a few seconds. You were warm, soft, and juicy. It is by far the most intense, dreamy, life changing experience I have ever had or ever will have.

They took you right away to the NICU team to clean out your lungs just in case you inhaled any meconium. Daddy went over to cut your umbilical cord. I delivered your placenta, and got a chance to see where you lived for the past 40 weeks. What a cool thing; A vital organ my body makes for you, and then just lets it go.

And then they brought you back over to us. You smelled so strongly of that very human, primal smell. It's like no other scent in the world.

Here is the whole gang:

Mark, me, you, Dr. Wu. Rebecca, and Ana Paula.

You were born at 4:13 am on Thursday, August 14th, weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces, and 20 inches long.

Then slowly, everyone left. Ana and Rebecca said goodbye, and it was just the three of us. You always hear it said, "Eeeeverything changes when you have a baby." I always figured that meant, of course, that now you have a new completely dependent little person in your life. Your priorities change, your schedules change, your focus changes, your selfishness disappears. But what I was totally unprepared for was this big change in my perception. I feel my whole consciousness has changed. My awareness. Nothing looks the same. Our apartment, our neighborhood, everything once familiar now feels different somehow. I was changed forever in that moment I first saw you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Aidric's Birth Story, Part II

You are two weeks old today, Baby. Little Leo. Little Lionheart. These two weeks have been the fastest in my whole life. I'm a little sad that my time with you already seems to go by too fast. But just a little sad, and it's not enough to affect the bliss of having you here on the outside where I can kiss you and cuddle you. And take your picture.

I am amazed at the changes I can see already. Your eyelashes get longer every day, and your eyebrows are filling in. I think they look like my eyebrows, but hopefully they will turn out to be Daddy's. Your cheeks are getting chubbier and more easily nibbled. You like to power nurse most of the day, and are tending to sleep for longer chunks at night, which makes me so very happy. FYI, Mom is much happier and a better Mom when she gets more than 3 half hour sleep sessions overnight. We have also noticed that as you fall asleep, you get this frightened look on your face and whimper. Like you are not sure what's happening with this whole falling asleep thing. And in those seconds, my heart breaks when I see that frightened look. The entire spectrum of emotions run through me as I observe all your expressions. Your little half smile fills my heart till it bursts, and when you look directly into my eyes, I become a weepy mess.

So onto your birth story:

We were all crowded into the triage area, which was basically this narrow long room with curtains separating all us laboring women. The space was about 8 by 8 feet, and the folks on either side would press into the curtain or push a chair into our space. So Ana Paula, the doula, Rebecca, the midwife, Mark, you, and I were all in this little space. The very sweet nurse, Stacy C., tried a few times to get an IV port into me, blowing out one of my veins. So I got some IV fluids, a pulse thingie on my finger, a fetal heartbeat monitor on my belly, and a innie contraction monitor(it fits in between my uterus and baby's head), which Dr. Wu recommended. Had I known how excruciating it would be to get that thing in, I never would have agreed to it.

So now I have tubes coming out of my arm, my crotch, and a thingie on my finger. And I realize that a contraction while lying down in bed is about ten thousand times more painful than one at home where I could move around and hold onto Mark. And the contractions were getting so strong. I started my rebellious reputation with the nurses by refusing to just lie there. And by eating grapes. Ana and Rebecca were so awesome because they would explain everything to us. What this procedure meant, or do we really need to do this, etc. Because the nurses, as awesome as they were, were so ridiculously overworked and didn't have the time to answer all my questions.

We were there in triage for a little over three hours, so I had time to think about what happened. We had planned and done so much to ensure a beautiful, peaceful, home birth. I had made special music CDs for labor and after. We had all the towels, blankets, and medical stuff all set up. I had visualized, meditated, and dreamed about how your entrance into the world was going to be in your home, calm, surrounded only by loving wise women, your Daddy and me. I knew that the plan was really more for us than for you, Little Man. But it was for you. I didn't want you to be touched first by strangers, in a room full of machines, and getting the toxic effects of my anesthesia and cow derived pitocin.

But I knew we had to make the best of it, and we were going to have fun. You were going to be born soon. How could we not be thrilled? I softened and surrendered to the situation, the situation you seemed to need. I was relaxed and excited too. We finally got a room around 11:30. I was checked (6 cm!). And then a very funny man stuck a needle and tube into my spinal cord. Mark was very uneasy and a little terrified while that was happening. But he stayed strong for me. We decided to give me an epidural to relax my super-cervix so it would finally dilate. Dr. Wu said that it felt like a tight band was there on the cervix and wouldn't stretch any further. So then my legs became numb and paralyzed, and I fell asleep. Woke up around 1:30 am and Ana, Rebecca, and Mark were eating In-N-Out burgers, and I scored some fries. New nurse (also named Stacy) caught me eating and scolded me. I was still 6 cm, so they gave me more pitocin. We all talked and I told them my recipe for whoopie pies, and promised to make them some soon. I fell asleep again, and woke up around 3:40. Ana and Rebecca looked over at me, and they knew immediately. We didn't even need the nurse to check. We could see your little fuzzy head peaking out!

to be continued...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Aidric's Birth Story, Part I

There are many reasons to write your birth story. Because everyone has asked for it. Because I never want to forget the moment I was able to touch you. Because someday you might want to know.

You were born 12 days ago. And this is the first moment I have had to write because we have been completely selfish and in love. You absolutely love to nurse. And I absolutely love to nurse you. This morning, when I was nursing you in bed, Daddy snoozing next to us, you grasped my fingers with your little strong hands like usual. Except, you started to gently, lovingly stroke my index finger with your fingers. It was so deliberate and sweet, that I sobbed tears down onto you.

When you sleep, I sleep. And since you do nothing but nurse and sleep, that's been my life too. Your Daddy has been wonderful; washing our clothes, making food, cleaning up, and video taping every second. Be assured, we have video of you sleeping, eating, waking, looking around, and then sleeping some more.

We have taken you outside a few times to show you the silhouette of the trees against the sky, and feel the breeze on your skin. And so I can get a few minutes of sunshine. I have sung a million songs to you. It's funny, I felt a little weird singing when you were in my belly. Now I can't stop. We call you "Little Man" and "Baby Boy". Yes, I know, very original.

Okay, well onto your story. I wrote before about how, starting on August 4th (your due date), I had 10 days of 'false' labor. There was nothing 'false' about the pain, though. On Monday, August 11th, we went to see Dr. Wu for the Non Stress Test and to see how much amniotic fluid you had around you. Throughout all the contractions, your heartbeat was always so strong. You were always, like, what contractions? And the same went for the test. But your little house was drying up.

Rebecca, wonderful midwife, taking my blood pressure.

To speed things along, I took castor oil, a very tried and true midwife solution to getting labor started. It is by far the most disgusting thing I have ever done. And daddy and I walked and walked. And walked, until I couldn't be far from the bathroom. And again, the contractions came on strong and regular all night long, and again, slowed down towards morning. On Tuesday, we tried acupuncture to get things going again. And they did, full force that evening. We all thought this was it. Your waters broke, nice and clear. But again, things petered out towards morning. We didn't need to worry about infection because we had tested negative for Group B Strep. But by Wednesday your waters started to tinge a little greenish. You had pooped.

Mark, helping me through a contraction.

So Wednesday, after contractions started up again, and I was at 4 cm for most of the day with no further dilation, we decided to go to the hospital for some medical assistance. It seems I have a super strong cervix, one which Dr. Wu said should be studied, because there are so many women with weak ones. So off we went, in rush hour traffic, to the hospital. Ana Paula, our doula, and Rebecca, our midwife, came along.
They had been so patient, coming over so many nights when I was sure that was the night, and then going home in the morning. They are angels in the real world.

We had called ahead, but when we arrived at the hospital, there were no rooms. And we were ushered to the claustrophobic triage area, where my contractions decided to come on again full force.

to be continued.....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Aidric Max Covell

Born August 14th at 4:13 am, 6 lbs, 8 oz, 20 in.

He is everything I ever dreamed.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Prodromal Labor

I wasn't sure if I was going to write about this. Partly because by writing, it becomes more real. And partly because I want to keep positive about this part of the pregnancy. And partly because I don't want to sound negative or complaining.
I am positive and so happy. Positive about the birth and health of Baby Boy. I have had a wonderful pregnancy - being able to go to yoga, and go for walks, and feeling so strong.

But I have not slept since Sunday night. Well, I mean, slept more than 20 minutes at a time, except for a few blissful hours Tuesday night. I have what my midwife calls 'prodromal labor'. Which basically means my uterus is doing all the things that a laboring uterus should do, like contract. A lot. With pain. But with no advancement. And no end. The prodromal, or false labor, hurts just as much as true labor. The only difference is no baby.

During the day, it is better. Something to do with estrogen levels. But since Monday night, the contractions come every 4 to 10 minutes all night long. During the day, I can actually go out and function somewhat normally. But starting at about 1 am and going to 9 am, I am contracting like crazy.

So I have been enduring this for 5 nights. All I can do is pray that true labor will start and end the nighttime torture and sleeplessness. For some women this goes on for weeks. There is nothing I can do. This does not mean there is anything wrong. I am healthy. Baby is healthy. My uterus is just a super uterus, and she likes to really, really prepare and practice. My sanity is paying the price, though. One positive thing - when true labor finally happens, it should seem like a piece of cake compared to this. I hope I didn't just curse myself.

I had never heard of this, even with the stacks of pregnancy books I have read. I just have to sleep and rest when I can. I have loved getting all your notes of excitement and anticipation. And the grandparents-to-be call with hopes of new news. But please accept my apologies for not answering the phone right now, or getting back to you.
I need to just get through this because the most beautiful baby is waiting for me to be strong and be there for him 100%.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Aaaaaannnnd, GO!

We learned in our childbirth classes the signs of early labor. They are:
1. Losing the mucous plug.
2. Breaking of the water.
3. Contractions.

During the first stages of early labor (which can last weeks), the cervix softens, begins to thin out, and dilate. Contractions last from 10 to 45 seconds and are spaced out. One thing they don't dramatize on TV is the 'mucous plug'. What a horrible term. My doula likes to call it 'baby gel'. Much nicer. But they don't tell you that it means you basically leak 'baby gel' constantly for who knows how long. I have to wear Depends now.

Well, Monday night I had signs #1 and #3. And the contractions started very energetically, every 5 minutes. So we were very excited! But by morning , the contractions pretty much subsided. I did not sleep. There is no way one can sleep through contractions. It would be like sleeping through an Indian burn.

So Tuesday goes by without any real contractions. My midwife tells me that this stage of labor can last a week. Now I'm confused and a bit frustrated and very excited. And I get to sleep Tuesday night (heaven). Around 5:30 Wednesday morning, more contractions. But now they feel low and come every 20 minutes or so. And I can sleep in between them.
All day Wednesday, I get occasional contractions. I feel more optimistic that this is a good sign. I can tell Baby Boy is very, very low now. There is nothing like the feeling of a head inside your pelvis.

Well, there is the update. This stage may last a while. But I really hope not. Going to have a good talk with BB tonite about the virtues of punctuality.

Monday, August 04, 2008


40 Weeks! Ding!

Can you believe it?
I still feel so good, even though I have definitely slowed down some and am sleeping more. He has dropped, so I have my healthy appetite back and can eat more than 3 almonds at a time without getting full and getting heartburn. No longer on the 20 Tums a day diet. Amen and halleluja!

I was out to eat the other night, and had to go to the bathroom (of course). As I was waiting in the line (gah!), a girl of maybe 22 turns my way, looks at me and exclaims, "Oh my God! You're pregnant!"
"I am?!?" I said. "Oh, no! I'd better tell my husband!"
Ha Ha.
"When are you due?" Oh, if I had a dollar for every time I've heard that!
I swear her eyes bugged out of her head, and she looked at me like I was a live grenade, ready to explode my innards all over her and the bathroom walls. Real fear was in her eyes.
I felt so powerful.

I wonder if I am going to care that pretty soon I will no longer be the topic of all conversations I have. Most of the time, I strangely like it. I never thought I would take to talking about myself so much. But folks seem genuinely interested. Every once and a while I have a conversation and my pregnant state never comes up, and I like that too.

I think I will be ecstatic to have all talk be about the Little Guy instead.

Check this out:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Original Furbaby

Cato has enjoyed all the new things in which to sleep. And has enjoyed the millions of boxes that have invaded our house. He thinks it is all for him. While on the changing pad, he actually let me put a diaper on him, giving me his warning face. He jumped out before we could take a picture of it.

We ended up not keeping this very frilly bassinet. Cato was crushed.

He loves the Preggle pillow. Perfect kitty shape.

Cato is unusual in that he likes to go for rides, or at least it seems like he doesn't mind. He was hoping to get out for a drive.