|Our five sons|
Ihbeleg, Luc, Israel, Caesar and River
The quick stats are:
7lbs. 12 oz.
21 inches long
11.5 hours of labor after bag of waters broke.
Weeks and weeks of pre-labor
28 minutes of pushing
For those who like birth stories, keep reading:
For weeks I'd been having prodromal labor. Every night for weeks I'd go to bed having contractions and dream about going in labor, my water breaking, etc. But, I'd wake up still pregnant. I'd have such strong contractions that I'd seriously wonder, "hmmmm....should I call my mom?"
At the same time my grandmother, Grandma Della, (my dad's mom) was being taken care of by hospice. On Monday, September 19, my grandmother (my dad's mom) passed away. Her funeral was the following Monday, the 25th. The question was, "Should I go to the funeral or not?" It was a good 4 hours from home. I couldn't imagine missing my grandmother's funeral. But, the thought of having the baby far away from home or in the car was not a pleasant prospect. So, I sat down and had a talk with the baby in my belly. "Listen my darling, I am as anxious to hold you as you are to arrive. But, I need you to wait until at least Tuesday, OK. We need to go say goodbye to Grandma Della."
On the morning of the funeral Gana put the birth kit in the car (just in case) and made the middle back seat into a bed for me, so I could just lay down and sleep the whole way. Obedient child that he is, he waited.
My Dad decided that my mom better come home with me from the funeral. So, Mom and Grandma Jones came home with us. And then we waited. And waited. As much as I love being pregnant, I was ready to go into labor. I was 71 pounds heavier than my non-pregnant weight, the baby had dropped and I was uncomfortable! (Yes, you read that correctly. I gained 71 pounds this pregnancy. I did not gain it on junk food either. I'm mildly proud of that.)
Six days passed. On the evening of Sunday, October 2nd, I sat on the couch next to Gana with a bunch of markers. We started writing on my belly messages for the baby and for labor.
We love you.
Can't wait to meet you.
I went to bed about 10pm. At 3:15am or so I went to the bathroom for about the gazillionth time. I got myself tucked back into bed when I felt a small pop--like the baby adjusting himself. Then some water leaking. I thought, "Oh, no. Do I have to pee AGAIN?!" And then a great gush of water. I nudged Gana. "My water just broke." He rolled over, kissed me and said, "Congratulations!"
We called my sister and the midwife. Gana tidied up the room and lit the candles in our bedroom.
We went back to bed. And I went back to sleep, with light contractions about 12 minutes apart or so. Whenever I opened my eyes I could see the three candles burning.
Gana, Me, and River.
Faith, Hope, and Love.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I woke up about 6am when the midwife arrived. Contractions about 8-10 minutes apart. I listened to Bethel's Be Lifted High on the ipod and relaxed back to sleep.
I woke about about an hour later with contractions about 7 minutes apart. We spent the morning walking around the house, dancing a bit to the worship music--now blasting from the stereo, snacking on cereal, almonds, and toast. My sister, her children, and my grandma arrived about 8am. Contractions were getting progressively closer together and more intense, but not really painful. I could still visit with them as I walked around in my very attractive muumuu About noon or so I decided to take a shower, figuring it might be my last chance.
By 1pm or so I was on my bed and not going anywhere anymore. The contractions were super intense and getting overwhelming. Thankfully, I had my birth ball, my labor oil, my Gana and my Meggy with me. I vocalized through each contractions and could talk between them. Telling everyone, "Man, I'm just so hot." Next minute I was too cold. I had them hoppin' with cold wash cloths and heated rice bag! My Meggy held my left hand, giving me sips of water and radiating empathy. (How does a 10 year old girl know how to be the perfect doula?! It's innate, I'm tellin' you! Women know how to do this!) Gana held my right hand and told me how great I was doing. My midwife sat at the foot of the bed and my mom next to the bed, both with complete patience. They hardly said anything, except that I could hear them quietly praying, mostly in tongues. (I love that. I felt infused with faith.)
|Meg and Me|
We're a team.
About 2:15 or so I really started feeling pushy. By 2:30 my body was doing it's full work! Pushing, even without me. But, it felt good to push, so I did. I never had a vaginal exam. As the contraction was gaining intensity they hurt. But at their peak when the baby put the most pressure in the pelvis, it actually felt good. And I told the midwife that between contractions. "I love that feeling of fullness at the peak of contractions! But, I don't care for the part leading up to it." What a crazy analytic thought to have during labor!
When we knew that it would be any minute now we called all the kids. My six children were there and my three year old niece.
After about 15 minutes of pushing, which to me felt like eternity (my second stages have thus far been very short) I reached down hoping to feel my baby's head. At the peak of the contraction, even reaching inside I still couldn't feel it! This just bummed me out! I said--well, more like cried, "Why can't I feel the baby's head?!" I'm sure I sounded like a desperate woman. Or a child throwing a tantrum because they can't have the toy they want.
My midwife checked me for the first time. She said, "Well, you have a little lip of cervix." She gently lifted it. I pushed and then I could feel the baby's head! But, what else? The midwife grabbed her flashlight. What's that? Fingers? My little man was coming out with his fingers plastered to his head! So that was what was slowing this thing down! Little booger.
In a few more great pushes where I think I made some primal noises not heard in the civilized world anymore, he made his entrance! It was 2:58pm.
We cried and laughed and he was on my chest. In a matter of moments, without my help, he latched himself on and started nursing like he was starved and he hasn't stopped since!
At birth he weighed 7lbs 12oz. At 8 days old the doctor weighed him at 10lbs. That's what around-the-clock nursing will do.
We named him River Arvin. Arvin (pronounced Arveen) is the Mongolian word for "plenty" or "bountiful." The inspiration for his name is Psalms 36:8, "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fullness of your house; and you shall make them drink of the river of your pleasures."
We are so blessed, drinking from the river of God's goodness towards us and enjoying all the abundant fullness of His house.