Thursday, March 20, 2008

Alexander's Birth Story

The night before Alexander’s birth, I was more than a bit of a mess. All of those statistics about the risks associated with a scheduled cesarean that I had faced and made peace with came flooding in. It took a bit, but I was able to find my center again by drinking a hard cider and stringing the birth beads from my Mother Blessing. Of course, once I had the beads strung and everything packed and ready to go it was pushing three in the morning, but I went to bed anyway and day dreamed about meeting my new son in a few hours.

Our plan was to make our own way to the hospital by taking the bus like we did for Michael’s birth. It was frigid cold that morning, so my mom came over and dropped my sister at the house to stay with Michael and drove John and me to the hospital. Check in was a breeze, we took my last belly shot and made some nervous jokes about what was to come. I changed into a gown and settled into the bed so they could get some monitoring in. After many questions and a fun twenty minutes or so while they had to hunt for Alexander’s heartbeat because he chose that time to spin around and hang out flat up against my back, we were almost ready for the section. I could feel my nerves starting to creep back up. I had a lot of trauma from Michael’s birth and I was getting scared that Alexander’s would be a repeat.

My OB came in for a quick visit before we went back, as did the anesthesiologist. From what I can gather, my doctor requested a specific anesthesiologist since my experience with Michael had been so horrific. It was finally time to go back to L&D and then onto the OR. I remember giving John a quick kiss as I left him in the recovery room to put on his scrubs. The spinal placement was a dream - all I felt were the lidocaine shots. The anesthesiologist was absolutely fantastic. He explained everything he was doing in to me and was so completely on top of things - he would be giving me a shot of anti-nausea meds right as I was starting to feel nauseous. In no time at all, Alexander was out and letting the world know just how angry he was to be evicted from his cozy home. I remember both John and me crying as we heard Alex screaming at the world. Once he was bundled up, John sat down with him by my head and we both marveled at our second son while they finished the section.

After the section was complete, we all went back to the recovery room. Alex’s blood sugar was borderline, but I was prepared this time and able to get him latched on with no problem. John made some phone calls to family and friends to let everyone know that we were happy and well. He went upstairs with Alexander to the nursery while I stayed in recovery for a bit longer while my room was being made ready. Alex had to stay for a bit in the nursery for some observation, but soon he was in the room with us and we began falling in love with him in earnest.

The recovery definitely had its ups and downs, as did breastfeeding and dealing with two children, but I could not have asked for a more healing birth experience. My spinal placement was a breeze, I had no pain while they were closing me up, I had my wits about me and the meds wore off in a reasonable period of time. We had all that morning and afternoon to get to know each other and by evening we were more than ready to welcome the rest of my family in to meet the baby. Our postpartum period was a dream as well. Friends and family really came to bat with food for us. Even now at 5 weeks we still have stuff left. Aside from a few small stumbling blocks in the beginning, breastfeeding is going well and I’m slowly getting the hang of meeting everyone’s needs (including my own). Our family feels complete now and despite some tumult, we could not be happier.

This was written several weeks ago, I just hadn't gotten around to posting it yet. I'm not sure if I'll post it on my message board as it was not a coerced or medically indicated cesarean birth, but we covered that in another post. Thanks for reading.