Sunday, June 3, 2012

Baby makes SEVEN!!

Cohen’s Birth Story

       This post is of course, old news, since Cohen is a month old now- but we were a little busy! :)
Photo taken by Brenda Schaefer Photography (unedited)
             After being in prodromal labor for days after our last midwife appointment a week prior, we were greatly anticipating Wednesday May 2nd 2012 for a multitude of reasons. The first was that our midwife had told us that if I was more dilated and effaced she may consider breaking my water to progress labor along and so that AJ wouldn’t miss the birth since he worked so far away (about 45 minutes) and my labors were so quick. At six o’clock AJ and I were praying and fretting over my appointment and nearly having an anxiety attack in the waiting room. I was dreading hearing what Laura (my midwife) might say, thinking she’d say I’d gone backwards and was not going to be having this baby anytime soon like had happened to us with my pregnancy with Griffin. Finally it was our turn to see her and she ushered us in and shut the door so she could check me in privacy. After checking me she said I was dilated to a stretchy 5 (woohoo!) and effaced 95% , however, she also said that she would not break my water because she thought I’d go into labor naturally within the night. I was excited, but devastated at the same time. I am a control freak, and my need to have things in order in my life and absolute answers to things had me chomping at the bit over the complete lack of control in this situation. I wanted her to break my water so that I knew I was ABSOLUTELY going to have a baby in the next 24 hours! Of course though, patient and wise Laura just smiled at me, and was also of course totally right as usual. Within minutes of leaving Laura’s office I was beginning to contract. By the time I got home they were timeable and coming at a pattern of four three and two minutes apart, in that order, repeating again two times in the same order before going to a three, two, two pattern, and then a two, two, two pattern. We called Laura, and she said to call her back after I’d had contractions for an hour. I was not in any pain, and I was walking around and smiling and laughing so no one was taking me very seriously yet. I knew that it was time to get moving though. It was 7:30pm at this point. I called my mom and she was in the middle of watching a TV show and said she’d come over after it was over (still no one thought I meant business, obviously) I called her back in less than ten minutes and told her to come sooner. She laughed at me but came over anyway. When she arrived she was still looking at me like I might be kidding since I was showing no signs of contracting even though they were still a steady two minutes apart. AJ was playing his gory shoot em’ up game on the Xbox and we had called the neighbor girls to come watch the older kids, but they hadn’t arrived yet. I called Laura back again and told her we’d be there by 8:30pm.  While we were waiting for the babysitters to show up mom and I decided to go for a walk. We chatted about the baby’s name, the logging project down below the house, the Christmas trees, and all sorts of things. Mom asked me periodically how I was feeling, though I could tell she was wondering why I’d pulled her away from her show when I was not even pausing conversation for contractions. At around 8:25 when the sitters got there and we’d circled back to the house I announced it was time to go to Laura’s. Both AJ and my mom looking a little surprised said okay and loaded things up, Mom scrambling last minute for her camera that she’d misplaced (that’s kind of important!). We got to the birth center first since mom had to stop and get gas and Laura already had the tub full and the jets going. Still feeling perfectly fine and cheerful but feeling the contractions getting closer together I put my swim suit on and hopped in, relishing the idea of the hot water relaxing my back muscles. It was heaven! Laura had it at the perfect temperature and my whole body instantly relaxed…until I had another anxiety attack! Laura wanted to check me and asked me to tell her when I was having a contraction, and I couldn’t! I couldn’t feel them anymore! My eyes got big and Laura laughed at me explaining that the jetted tub took away 30-50% of the discomfort of labor, and since I wasn’t in pain to begin with, it took it all away! My mom leaned in and said something mocking, something along the lines of "this is going to take all night" , to which I replied in a return mock voice saying ‘What, are you mad at me because I’m not having another quick labor?” We both laughed. My labor with Griffin, my previous pregnancy was only about 30 minutes long in the active stage, so we had gotten spoiled. Laura checked me though and said I was at 8 centimeters with just a little lip left to efface. She also said that my water must have broken because there was no barrier in front of the baby. This is when I chose to tempt fate and asked her mockingly if it was ever going to hurt. Ha! You won’t catch me doing that again! Immediately after I said that the contraction from heck with two L's lit into me and took me by storm. My whole body seized up and I clenched my hands and feet. It took me halfway through the contraction to remember to breathe and try to relax. Sometime before the serious contraction hit my mother in law Lela showed up as well and Laura told everyone that baby would probably arrive within an hour. (Take that mom!) That was at 9:26pm. After my first painful contraction was over Laura asked if I’d like to get out and sit on the toilet for a little bit to see if it would relieve some pressure. I did, and it did relieve some pressure, but within seconds another crazy contraction hit and I was rocking and moaning saying "relax, relax, relax" over and over to myself. AJ was sitting on a stool in front of me and kept trying to offer me his hand to squeeze, which I batted away like an annoying fly...I hate to be touched when I'm in pain. Laura came in and asked politely, but with some authority, for me to return to the tub after the contraction was over, she said she’d delivered babies on the toilet before but it wasn’t her favorite. In my head at the time I was confused, thinking, I’m not having this baby anytime soon, what are you worried about? We listened to her anyway though and when AJ and Laura helped me up we saw that there was vernix off of the baby in the toilet. Wow! Maybe we were going to have him soon! After returning to the wonderful soothing waters my relaxation was brief because the mother of all contractions (ha-ha) hit shortly after. Laura checked me again and told me to push, while at the same time pushing the last little lip of my cervix up over the baby’s head. During that same contraction one push and two breaths later Cohen Jesse Isaac was born!!  He had his umbilical cord wrapped loosely around his belly and I untangled him as Laura helped hand him up to me. What a doll! He had a perfect and flawless little head. No smashed ears, crooked nose, or cone shaped head from a long labor- how could it, the labor was only 15 minutes long if that! He was born at 9:32pm- only six minutes after Laura had said there was probably an hour left. What a whirlwind! After I held and admired him for a while and the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, AJ cut the cord (the first one of our children he ever did that with!) and they took him into the adjoining room to weigh and measure him. I thought for sure he was smaller than Griffin since he had a smaller and more petite head and body figure- but he was four ounces heavier at 8 pounds 12 ounces! Griffin was taller by an inch though as Cohen was only 21 inches. I was shocked at how big he was! I had even carried much smaller this pregnancy than I had with Griffin! Goes to show you can't predict anything when it comes to babies. :)