Friday, September 19, 2008

'We are under attack' & homebirth?..Part 2

Before beginning this post, I want to say everyone has their own opinions and desires as far as birth plans go. We were very blessed to have a Certified nurse midwife that had delivered hundreds of babies at a birthing facility come to our home and be with us the entire time. In addition to this, we had full Physician back up in the event of an emergency and our Pediatrician on call should the need arise. We know every one won't agree with the way we chose to do this, but looking back, I would do it all over as long as there were no complications- especially down to the final hours :) Read on if you wish..

With that preface, has it REALLY been seven years since...

The following week it seemed the nation was glued to television. American flags hung abundantly and proudly almost everywhere you would look. Restaurants were almost vacant as people were staying in watching the latest developments on the terror attacks and it seemed like the only traffic on the roads were pizza delivery drivers. :)

We were also watching and waiting as our nation slowly began to emerge from the shock and horror of events days earlier. As my own due date grew closer and closer we were once again joyous beyond words and at the same time saddened at the mounting loss of life for so many families.

Dave and I had a busy day on the Monday after 9/11, and finally got to bed around 1:00 a.m. or so. About an hour later, I felt what I can only describe as a 'tumble' and then..

Reaching over to wake Dave, I knew there was no turning back. This day we were going to have our baby. Or so we thought.

Looking back we should have gone back to bed and attempt sleep before my contractions REALLY got strong, but silly us, we were beyond excited and there was no way we would have been able to sleep...then.

The wee early morning arrived, daylight poured into our room with the birthing pool right beside my side of the bed. It was time to start filling it. We waited until as much after 8 a.m. as possible to call our nurse mid-wife hoping she was getting some very good zzzzz's since she would be needed at full steam later in the day!

My Mom had prepared a turkey dinner for everyone (but me) that would be at our home and she arrived around noon with turkey and trimmings in tow. It looked and smelled delish! We had fresh roses on the table from friends and my house was probably as cleaner than it ever has been since ;) !

Contractions were VERY strong beginning late morning and continued every few minutes. Throughout the day, I kept thinking I wasn't sure how much longer I could go on, but Dave remained right beside me and was my right arm, my strength and I know if it weren't for him I would have crumbled.

Backing up a bit, I made Dave promise (prior to going into labor) that if I told him I couldn't do it, to IGNORE ME, tell me it's getting closer etc etc,, but to tune me out when I would say it.. WELL, he did. As the hours clicked on, soon I had been in labor for 26 hours with very little progress. At one point I begged him to take me to the hospital, but according to the nurse midwife (who was amazingly wonderful), the baby was doing great, and Dave kept telling me "everything is ok"... hummm he wasn't the one in labor without DRUGS at this point!!! Bless his heart, he was so exhausted around 3 a.m. he fell asleep and I told our nurse midwife to get a few hours sleep and I would call them if I needed something.

I had to keep walking all those hours as per the instructions of our Nurse Midwife. We were attempting to make the most out of each contraction and when I laid down they weren't as "productive".

I think our baby knew I told everyone to go rest because just as they dozed off, I thought I was going to die. Seriously, I thought, ok God, this is it. I'm going to die tonight right here in my bathroom while people are sleeping 15 feet away. I was ready to flush the Bradley Method birthing book down the toilet.. (just kidding it would have stopped it up and I needed it- the toilet that is. ;)

So, I yelled for Dave. After what seemed like eternity, he stumbled in, mumbled something and then walked back to bed. He was so exhausted he was not coherent. He later remembered walking into the bathroom and turning around to go back to bed, but the poor guy was beyond tired. He had been pushing on my back for the past 12 hours with all his strength to combat back labor and his arms were shaking. ... There I sat.

Finally I was able to arouse Dave enough to convince him I really did WANT! to go to the hospital and begged him to take me. I think it was the tears that convinced him this time..(Remember I made him SWEAR that if I asked that, to IGNORE me, so he didn't know what to do at this point since the baby's heart beat was good etc..

So I was a wimp.

After 32 hours of labor at home without any pain intervention, I went to the hospital and was only 5 cm's. A few tricks up the Dr's sleeve, and one epidural, pit drip, and who knows what else later, we were into our 3rd (YEP THIRD day) of labor!!

I can say it was the third day because 49.5 hours after feeling that 'tumble' and contractions beginning, almost 70 hours of virtually no sleep, our beautiful son entered the world at 5:04 A.M. September 19, 2001 with the highest apgar score. (No C-Section!) When the Dr. told me our baby was perfect, I wasn't the least bit surprised. God had granted us an incredible peace through out the entire 9 months and we were basking in the happiest moments of our entire lives.

(ok ladies, look at your watch right now, remember the time, then, see how long 49.5 hours really can be!! LOL LOL)

John David has brought us such great joy, joy we almost missed as we had been married 19 years before his birth. We praise God daily for both our blessings and marvel in the miracle of this new life in the midst of massive loss of life unfolding all around us during that terrible week for our nation.

Happy 7th birthday our precious John. Daddy and I are so incredibly proud of you and who you are.

Mostly, we are proud of your heart and who you have now chosen to reign in it.

I love you so much.


Paula said...

I always tell my friends who are going to the hospital to give birth:
remember, they don't give out medals at the end. A healthy baby is your reward and such a blessing.
I had wanted to go natural when I had my daughter, but when I was 4cm it got too painful (now I REALLY was a wimp) and I got the epidural. I was so happy to see that anesthesiologist come through the door :)
Your son is gorgeous, then and now!

Patricia/NYC said...

Oh my goodness, Susan, I had NO IDEA what you went through!! WOW!!
He is such a beautiful boy!!

Hard to believe he is 7 already!!! I remember when we were in China & he was back home & just 4! That's how old our girls will be this year...mindblowing, isn't it!

Susan Stevenson said...

Such beautiful photos! And what a wonderful story too.