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happy day of your birth (a letter to levi)

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the mommyhood memos: happy day of your birth (a letter to levi)

Monday, May 10, 2010

happy day of your birth (a letter to levi)

This is the story of how you were born. Now, you’re a boy… and boys don’t normally care—or want to know—about all the details of birth. But I will try to tell enough so that your future wife can have the details that she’ll want. (Joke, sweetie.) And just look at how precious you are at five hours old... Certainly the most beautiful being that I've ever laid eyes on. 






 

It was 2:30am the morning of your due date when my water broke and labor began. When daddy and I went to sleep the night before, we really did hope that you’d be making your entrance that day… but all expecting parents eagerly look to their baby’s due day with that hope and desire!

As soon as my water broke I immediately started contractions. Throughout the rest of the night (or should I say early morning?!) I continued to have contractions. But they were still 5-7 minutes apart and I needed as much rest as possible for the day ahead so I stayed in bed and tried to sleep.

Daddy helped me with hot packs for the pain and applying pressure to my lower back through the contractions... Except when he was busy falling asleep! J

I snoozed on and off until morning time, but didn’t really get much sleep considering it’s hard to sleep through contractions and I was so excited knowing I’d get to meet you sometime that day.

We spoke with our midwife, Jeannine, and told her that today was going to be your birthday. She gave us suggestions and ideas about how to make sure that labor kept moving along and progressing.

Throughout the morning my contractions would slow to over 10 minutes apart and then speed up again to 4 minutes apart. It was a bit all over the place. We used some essential oils that Nean said would help bring on labor and also some reflexology, applying pressure on different points in my hands and feet which is also supposed to help.

It was raining hard that day (in the middle of rainy season) and our house was full with daddy and I, Gigi and Gramps visiting from America, and Auntie Emma. I tried to watch episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance” to keep me occupied while I waited for labor to progress, but that didn’t last long since I found it hard to follow along through the contractions in addition to my endless trips to pee.

I spent some time outside doing the “curb walk” with Emma holding an umbrella and also did a few sets of stairs. I was still contracting, but just as quickly as they would increase in frequency and duration, they would quickly decrease again.

At Nean’s suggestion I used the breast pump to see if that would speed things up at all, and sure enough as soon as I turned on the power, that little machine sent me having stronger contractions than ever. Half an hour later we were headed to the hospital.

We arrived around 2:00pm in the afternoon. As soon as we got there I went into the birth room so that Nean could do an internal and determine how far I was dilated and where we were up to. During her examination her face started to look concerned… and then she told us that she thought she “felt a crack.”

This confused us as we wondered how there could be a crack in your head! But then we realized she meant a bum crack. She wasn’t feeling your head, she was feeling your bum. You were breech.

This started a series of other midwives coming in to examine me as well as the sonographer who confirmed that you were in fact breech. They told me that I’d no longer be able to birth you in the birthing centre – the natural water birth that I’d hoped for was no longer possible – and that I’d instead need to be wheeled up to the operating theatre to have a birth by caesarean.

I was disappointed to hear this (especially after already being in labor for 13 or 14 hours), and disappointed that we had not found out sooner so that we could have tried to get you turned around in time for D-Day. There were a few tears.

But, I was also glad that you were healthy and in no distress, and I was just so excited to know that I’d be meeting you soon.

It took some time to be prepped for the surgery, and they weren’t in a great rush since neither you or I were distressed. It was 5:00pm by the time I was getting the spinal. I remember looking at the clock as I lay on the operating table and it was 5:15pm.

Daddy was with me, holding my hand, and I was trying the best I could to watch the doctors through the reflection on a small panel on the ceiling. It’s not designed for people to watch – I suppose they don’t want you freaking out or fainting by the sight of it all – but I was glad that the light was hitting just right and gave me a tiny window to sneak a peek and watch your entrance into the world.

And then, at 5:46pm on January 29, 2010 you were born!

The doctors gave you to daddy to hold and I got to touch your face and look at you – the most beautiful of sights – before they took you to weigh and measure you and make sure everything was alright.

Jeannine and daddy took you to an adjoining examining area to check you out and record all your specs while the doctors sewed me back up. (Sewing me up took longer than the actual delivery itself.) I missed you like crazy during those long moments as I lay still on the operating table, and I longed for that moment when I could finally hold you myself with daddy back at my side.

When they were through I was wheeled into the recovery room and waited for you to finally be placed in my arms. It was such a precious moment as I held you for the first time and put you to my breast. You easily found your way to me and attached yourself like you had always known that this was the way it should be.

Daddy later told me there was some loud noise/alarm going off in the adjacent room but I didn’t hear a thing. All I could see was you, and everything else faded into the background. It was a very happy birthday for you my dear Levi Scott Booker. 



I don’t know how long we were there in the recovery room, but eventually they wheeled us to the maternity ward where I ended up staying for the next 5 days.

It was hard not being able to go home as soon as I had anticipated, especially since daddy was not able to stay overnight in the ward with us, but I had to stay longer because I developed a couple of fevers (which in the end turned out to be nothing serious).

As difficult as it was so stay there in the hospital, I know it was for the best. It forced me to take it easy and let others take care of me during those early days, which of course was good for all of us. The hospital staff took good care of me, and daddy and Gigi and Gramps spent most of the days with us. We also had a steady stream of friends visiting, which was so much fun. Finally introducing you to the world was such a joy!

Although your birth didn’t go as we had planned, it was still wonderful and special and so, so good.

You are such a gift to us, and we will forever be grateful for—and celebrate—the day of your birth!

Loving you so much it aches,
momma xx


p.s. These photos of you are from when you were less than 5 hours old... being held in the strong arms of an extremely proud Gramps. Oh, so very precious.



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