Friday, July 29, 2011. We had been living at Brett's parents' house for a few weeks. Isla and I were home alone that day. Glenn and Brett were at work, my parents were at work, Susan was in Utah waiting for Eli to come. I was meeting friends from high school (Jenny Bisquera and Missy Suarez) to take a morning walk to chat and get some exercise. The walk was, ironically, to a donut shop. Anyhow, it was fun to reconnect. While we were there we ran into Troy Werner. He was working across the street.
When Isla and I got home I noticed some "bloody show." I'd like to know who came up with some of our crazy medical terminology - bloody show, ballottable, and zygote are some of my favorites. Knowing that seeing this meant next to nothing, Isla and I went about our day. My due date wasn't for another week and a half, and since Isla came at 39 weeks and 5 days, I thought I was safe in assuming that nothing was happening.
I had contractions the whole day. They would get a little uncomfortable at times but not so much that I couldn't function. Their frequency, duration and intensity was all over the place. At times they would last for 30 seconds, two minutes apart, and pretty weak. Other times they were strong, would last six or seven minutes with a half-hour in between. Still other times I would have a few really strong ones that made me stop what I was doing. I let my doula, Terri-Leigh, know but, again, I tried to down-play everything in my head. I suppose it was a combination of not wanting to get over excited (last time I had been up around 36 hours straight because I had been too excited to sleep) and really wanting to go to the Dodger game that night. And before you want to high-five me because you love the Dodgers or punch me because you love the Giants, I really am a neutral entity when it comes to baseball. Maybe neutral isn't the word. I could not care less about baseball. We did, however, have tickets to the dugout club, which means private VIP everything, free fancy-person dinner, schmuckety-schmucking with rich men and glamour ladies, sitting behind home plate, celebrity watching, and having interns bring soft serve and Cracker-Jacks to your seat without having to tip them. So yeah, I really wanted to make it to the game.
I wanted to make it there so badly that when my mom came to pick us up to go to the game, I didn't tell her I was in labor until we were almost to the Stadium Way exit. I didn't want her to turn around and make me stew at home and become overly anxious. By that time, my contractions were still placed sporadically but they were strong and I knew that baby was moving, or at least getting a good deep-tissue massage.
Well, dinner was awesome, thank you for asking. Lasorda did not make an appearance to touch my shoulder like last time but it was still worth the trip. The stadium was beautiful and I suppose the game was good. I don't remember because I was either busy breathing my way through contractions or stuffing my face with ice cream. Around the 6th inning I told Brett that we really ought to go. Thankfully my parents were there and we were able to leave Isla with them overnight. We made it home and the ride was ok at first, then somewhere halfway things started getting real. It was then that I was thankful for all the books I had read and the labor management tricks I had picked up from research and from my doula. I suppose I should have mentioned before that our goal was a natural, needless-medical-intervention-free labor and birth. I won't go too into why we wanted that but we both feel very strongly about it and perhaps that will be the subject of a later post. Didn't know I was so granola, did you?
Anyhow, sometime around midnight, my water broke. And even though I just got finished telling you how "in tune" I felt, I still wasn't in a hurry to get to the hospital. I just thought I had more time because of the way things went the first time around. Plus the whole natural labor thing made me want to avoid going to the hospital earlier than I needed to. Truth be told, if I could afford it, I would have liked to deliver at home or at a birthing center. (I can hear some of you gasping or guffawing as I type this). Funny that the way insurance worked out it the only option we could afford was delivering at Kaiser. I'll take it without too much complaint.
We rounded up our bags and headed over. We called our doula to meet us at the hospital. Boy should I have called her earlier. I could have had her help in Canyon Country and probably would have loved my experience even more. Next time. Terri-Leigh met us at the curb and she walked me up while Brett parked the car. Thank goodness she did. I was feeling a lot of pressure and the urge to bear down was inescapable. I feel like it was harder to resist the urge to push than it was to experience the pains of labor. When we got to the floor the clerk kept asking me ridiculous questions like, who are you, where do you live, why are you here? Is that not what pre-registering is for? C'mon ladies, I am having a baby here. They finally just admit me, there are nurses getting my room ready and helping me change into a gown. They ask me for a urine sample. I sit on the toilet for what seems like forever and I just can't pee into that stupid cup. At this point in typing Brett interjects that the entire time I am yelling things like "I can't do this," and "it's too hard," and "forget it give me drugs." This tips off the nurse, she gets me on the bed, looks down and tells me I have already "done it." She yells for a doc, tells me to stop pushing but I just can't. I push, she catches the baby, and Isaiah is born. It's not exactly the calm environment I was planning for him, a loud hospital room, me yelling, nurses yelling and scrambling about. But it is a pretty good story and it was fun anyhow.
Finally the doctor gets there just in time to yank out the placenta instead of letting it come out by itself. Forgive me if at this point in the story I start to sound like a bitter, doctor hater. I'm not. I'm thankful for docs and all the training they have. They save lives, they are awesome. BUT, I am weary of OBs because they train for disasters, not natural, uncomplicated births. And the only bitter part about Isaiah's birth story is that the doc came in, yanked out the placenta, it came out in pieces and he had to get all up in my business to try and remove the pieces that were still inside. They gave me a shot of pit in the thigh. That's all fine, nothing bad happened, what's done is done. But why do OBs have to keep giving me reasons to avoid them? Hopefully next time that doctor won't be around. Are you starting to at least see where I am coming from when I try to avoid medical intervention for an uncomplicated pregnancy, labor and birth?
Anyway, Isaiah was a beautiful, round, calm, sweet newborn baby. Laboring with him and delivering him was a wonderful, rich experience.
Isaiah was born in Panorama City, CA on July 30, 2011, at 3:03 am, 18 minutes after Brett and I arrived at the hospital.
Terri-Leigh Huleis and Brett were there for the delivery. My nurse, Sonya, caught the baby.
He was 6 lb 15 oz and 20 inches long.
He had a full head of dark brown hair and his eyes were a beautiful green/blue/brown color.
I ended gaining only 40 lb this time. Brett, on the other hand, gained 15 lb, which he still has to this day. I think he wears it well.
|Me with my doula, Terri-Leigh. Check her out at doulala.org.|