Happy Birthday sweet girl. We are so happy to finally have you vibrant and healthy on the flip side.
oh she is a sweet thing, nursing easily and being good to her mama. There has been much processing and thoughts as to her entrance into this world and we all continue to learn, accept and heal as the days go on. As some of you may know, my sister and her man had planned an uncomplicated, peaceful and “boring” birth at home with me and their midwives to support them. Her birthing sensations began pretty much back to back and we all thought that in a short few hours we’d finally be meeting this babe, nearly 3 weeks post edd. As time revealed there was little cervical dilation compared to the strong work of her uterus and amongst some other concerns we transferred to hospital. While the couple never imagined going to the hospital nor packed a possible overnight bag they both accepted the changes and happenings with open minds and enduring strength. She stuck to her goal of an unmedicated labor and blew us away with her ability to remain present one wave after another and there were many many waves of various strengths and characteristics over the next 26+ hours. We cried, laughed, rocked, walked, rested, massaged, listened to hypnobaby, took breaths, kept the lights dim, took homeopathics, did pressure points, kept medical staff at bay, cried some more….it was a crazy and emotional dance crashing at the prospect of an unimaginable caesarian. Those words were so hard to hear and to let sink in. She wanted so badly to give birth in the beautiful way she imagined. She tried so hard, let go so much, danced the dance in every way possible. For whatever reasons guessed and assumed by series of events my sister’s uterus resulted in a Bandl’s Ring. i had heard of it, studied it but never imagined i’d ever see it. So what is it? It’s difficult to find information about it due to it’s rare occurrence. It results from prolonged and/or obstructed labor (uterine fatigue/fetus malposition) when a “ring” develops around a “depression” of the baby, in Astrid’s case around her neck. i imagine the uterus being tired and sort of caving in, cinching like an hourglass with baby’s head in the lower part and rest of her body in the upper part. Each time the uterus contracts then, baby gets a big hug but there is no progress in moving down and out. As you can imagine there’s no way out other than by caesarian. Astrid showed no signs of distress for the longest time and even up to the end she just had small dips in heart rate after each contraction and they picked up quickly. There was never any sense of urgency (gratefully) and so there was some time for processing and making decisions, coming to terms, making peace and preparing for the difficult next step. It was scary and anxiety was high. We were all greatly disappointed in the anesthesiologist who refused to let me into the OR. (i was down right pissed off and at one point i grabbed the greens and nearly barged into the OR but i’m going to avoid going any further into that here). The surgery was nothing short of traumatic and the recovery far more intense than labor itself. Happy to be home now with their little “creature” where they can find a family rhythm, take the time to heal, tell the stories, celebrate, fall deeper in love….and so they are 3.
Sunday May 16th, 2010 @ 5:55am he swam into my arms and i fell in love all over again. He’s gorgeous and awesome…i’m still taking him all in.
keeping mostly in the moments here, i have yet to write our birth story. the short version; it was fast – 3 hrs 39 mins. supported – the house was full with my women. smooth – i moved, paced and talked through most of it. surprising – a boy! those first days were sweet, gushy and short. the abundance of milk was once again overwhelming! the crash of hormones unyielding. it’s good to be on the flip side. me and my littles are out and about. on that note, Little A has been really patient and amazing, all the while breaking a new tooth – so many transitions for him.
(thanks for all of your comments in the previous post. i can’t figure out how to make this blog private so it remains open for now. )
little A said to me the other day about these magnolia buds, “let’s open them up and see inside”.
this reminded me of something Glo wrote;
Nine days ago, a student in my doula course brought me a beautiful
bouquet of white lilies which I put into a vase full of water. I
pointed out to the doulas that some of the flowers had "fully dilated"
and were displaying their exuberant female genitalia while others were
closed up tight or just a fingertip dilated. I asked the students what
they thought might happen if I "helped" the closed ones to open a bit by
manipulating the delicate petals. They were horrified at the thought,
of course, and were completely confident that the flowers would work
things out on their own.
The flowers were left to themselves and gave off a lovely aroma to those
who came in and out of the office through the week. On the fifth day
that they were in my care, they served as a model for a midwifery course
on the vulva, vagina and cervix. Still a few of these flowers seemed to
be stuck in "failure to progress". They were unyielding and refusing to
This morning I went into the office and noticed that some of the lilies
had turned brown. These were the early bloomers and, as I picked them
off and discarded them, I noticed that every single blossom had fully
and perfectly bloomed. The office had been closed for three days. The
bouquet of lilies had been alone, dark and unassisted and all had
bloomed into full beauty and splendour. They had only received one big
drink of water when I originally put them into the vase.
These flowers are such a beautiful metaphor for having faith in the
perfection of birth.
Gloria Lemay, Vancouver
i am learning/noticing that in comparing my 2 pregnancies this one is not at all the same as the last. i had it real easy with little A in so very many ways. i’m not saying that things are super tough this time but i really need to let the first experience be just that and open up to the new way my body wants to stretch and grow as a vessel for this babe. i’ve been experiencing an assortment of pains and tweaks these past months that have been making me uncomfortable and feeling anxious, scared about how this birth experience could be really painful. i was reminded by Glo with a story, that feeling pain in childbirth is essential so one knows how to move ones body. it clicked. i had been trying to move and do things the way i did in my first pregnancy and when it wasn’t working i felt like i was flailing, tensing up with more pain. this new yoga class i’m going to, they dance and make a lot of noise and it’s so fun and it feels so good to find new movement – so that’s where i’m off to this morning.
a quick project – i freshened up little A’s receiving blankets and sewed on some beautiful linens.
when asked if he thought it would be a girl baby or a boy, little A replied, “i think we should call it a she but i hope it’s a boy because i don’t want it to grow up and make more babies”. oh my. he’s curious and finding his place in this birth/sibling planning thing. his friends have become older siblings but he’s not so sure what that all means or if he’s up for it. we all have our anxieties about stirring up the current threesome – it’s an adventure to unfold for sure.
at first he thought i was saying ‘baby in the room’ and was asking a lot of questions about what it looked like so we each sat down to draw our own versions. his rocked!
a story he made up and had me write for him (it was one big long run on sentence – i had to sneak some periods in there somewhere);
his spelling by sounding out the words amazes me! “i drew the pictures of the book written by mommy”