Ch-ch-changin'

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hey all,

So Bekah and I are all moved into our new house! It's adorable and awesome. I cannot say enough about it! We've been there all week this week, and I'm finally getting used to the whole "single mom on her own" thing. I feel so adult most of the time.

Bekah got to spend thanksgiving with her dad, but I'm so glad to have her home! A night all alone in that house is HARD.

I went shopping with the gift card my mom gave me back in October and bought myself some new jeans and shirts. Turns out I'm a couple sizes smaller than I was when I got pregnant. I've lost 32 pounds since I was at my heaviest back in February. It's so awesome... my life is pretty awesome. Check out my skinny face:
 I am finally in a good place, and I think I've been waiting for a long time to be here... longer than I care to admit.

Forgiveness is healing, and autonomy is liberating.

Welcome to my new life. :)

Picture it...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our photographer has posted a lovely sampling of the birth photography on facebook. If you'd like to go through it, I'll link it at the bottom. I made a little movie of our birth story. I hope you enjoy.

video
Her facebook fan page is: http://www.facebook.com/caroleebphoto and starting next week, her website is caroleebeckham.com

Journey

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I want to start this post off by saying how personal decisions about your body, your health, and your family are. I want to say that now, because I'm about to speak very frankly about something that is very personal. I simply want to share my beliefs that have stemmed from my experience.

I have been on a journey.

I cannot say where I went, because I do not know exactly. I only know it was further than I've ever been. It was darker than the darkest night, and brighter than the brightest sunrise. It was quieter than the most empty silence, and louder than the roar of the ocean. I cannot tell you where it was, because I've never been there before, and I can't go back now. But the journey itself has changed me. I am different.

Childbirth is a natural thing. It's something we are meant to do as animals. But as creatures with more awareness than most, we experience childbirth more acutely. Childbirth is a rite, and a ritual. It is primal, exhilarating, beautiful and simple.It is something you cannot know until you have done it. It is something you cannot appreciate fully if you are not allowed to experience it to it's utmost. The fog of drugs, the beeping of machines, the bright sterile lights... they interfere with the magic within. The amazing goddess of our bodies is best seen in the quiet shadow, the sacred space. Not interrupted or interfered with.

More than just a baby is born during an uninterrupted birth. A woman is born, reborn, and changed. Most of the time a woman comes out the other side as a mother... a reinvented version of herself with a new focus and a new life. I have had the unique experience to not come out the other side of the birth a new mother... the baby was born for another family, and in this moment another woman is experiencing that rebirth. Yet I was still changed, still reborn.

I wish that words were enough to describe the transcendence that is felt after laboring naturally. I have such a stark comparison between my first labor, and this one. The first is the epitome of medical interventions that went very wrong for me and my baby. This birth was a perfect contrast. It went exactly as I wanted. I was able to wear what I wanted, eat and drink what I wanted, move where I wanted. Beyond all that... my body was allowed to do what it needed to do. And when it slowed down, natural methods were all I needed to speed it back up again. I was guided by a wise woman who kept me and the baby in perfect health throughout, so that I could focus on what I needed to do.

In the darkest moments of my labor, I found pieces of myself that I did not know existed. I had no idea the depth of my determination, the power of my mind, and the strength of my body. If you had told me what my labor would be like beforehand, I don't know that I would have gone through with it. But in the moment it's the only choice you have. I don't know how many times I thought I was at the end of my rope, that there was no more to draw from... and yet I'd weather another contraction. I'd make it another couple minutes.

A baby was born that day... but so was I. My new life, my new start, my new self. Everything that was pointless, petty or angry just fell off in those hours of quiet and dark. It didn't matter. Why hold onto anger or betrayal? It didn't help me through those lonely hours. Only the good helped me through. Images of my daughter, my new house, and my family. The bad just weighed me down.

I have emerged from this experience changed. I wish for every woman who chooses to have children, this opportunity to learn about herself. You cannot know until you've been through it. You cannot understand the depth of your magnificence unless you test those waters. I hope that women begin taking this experience back from the medical world. That they are strong and brave and choose to revel in their godliness.

Healing

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hey all, happy Tuesday! It feels so odd to be home on a weekday. Yes, even after pushing out a big ol' baby, it feels odd and lazy to not be at work. I'm enjoying it though.

I am healing very rapidly, and steadily. My midwife came and saw me yesterday and said I'm doing fantastically. Everything is healing well, and I'm starting to get up and about more. Now if my back would just stop hurting! That back labor did a number on my muscles.

Honey, Kirk and Daemon are all cozy settled into their house. Kirk has had the last two days off, and is enjoying fatherhood immensely. Honey is already feeling the weight of motherhood. There is no way to know how wonderful, terrible, amazing and hard parenting is until you are in the thick of it! She is doing such a marvelous job, I'm incredibly impressed by her spirit and her heart. She is a fabulous mother and just keeps getting better. I can't wait to be around them again and witness for myself the awe of new motherhood.

Life feels like it's just getting started for me. I'm having a really hard time staying down and resting (though my body isn't!) when I really want to just be up and getting on with the show! Tomorrow we go and see my Honey and Daemon, then we go to court and sign all the legal papers. I can't wait!

This week I'm going to buy the last bit of furniture I need (new mattress!) and then this weekend or early next week... I move into my house!!!! I can't believe we're finally here. It felt like forever. Forever + 60 hours ;)

Well, time to get back to my sewing project. The projects keep me from going stir crazy waiting to be all recovered. I'm making a really cute advent calendar for Bekah. I'll have to post pictures when it's done. Oh, and here at the end, just to reward you for reading this post... a picture of the most adorable little boy on the planet: My Godson :)

Daemon 3 days old

Happy Birth Day

Monday, November 15, 2010



Well, it finally happened. As we all knew it would, for all babies come out in time. I had little Daemon Saturday afternoon. What follows is my birth story. I cannot capture in words what happened to me during those 60 hours. It was... painful, exhausting, life-changing, epic, magic, terrible and wonderful. I've never been through anything like that before... and I have come out the other side different. Almost exactly 60 hours of being within in my own body, with no one there to comfort or protect me from the process. It was excruciating. And I wouldn't undo it for the world.

Anyway... here is my story. :)

Thursday morning I woke up about 4 AM with strong contractions about 8 minutes apart. I couldn't really sleep through them so I got up and puttered around the house. By noon they were good and strong but still 8 min apart. I spent most of Thursday with my mom. We puttered around my house, went to D.I. and just mostly tried to keep my mind of my contractions since they were still 6-8 min apart all day. My midwife suggested a walk, and we tried that. Thursday night Honey came over and the contractions started to get closer, about 4 min apart.

Thursday night I got no sleep, and my contractions still hovered at about 4 min apart with no let up. I spent most of the night trying to get some rest between the contractions, but it wasn't restful. It was one of the longest nights I'd ever had. I remember Honey fell asleep at one point, and my mom was already in bed and I felt so alone. I just cried and cried for a while. I didn't want to go through another night in labor. I wanted to have that baby by Friday!

Friday all day the contractions were about the same. My midwife came and checked me, and I was dilated to 4. She knew I'd be going for a while and left to go some things she needed to do. Friday night came and we were at the same place. 3-4 min apart. Honey and my mom were exhausted from the previous night of no sleep, and our doula came over to take care of me while they slept. Another night with no sleep for me... my contractions were about 3-5 min apart all night (for the second night in a row!) That night I was able to get almost an hour of sleep, but the exhaustion, mental and physical, was really beginning to set in. The doula called my midwife in the wee hours of the morning to come check me and see what we could do. I'd now been in active labor, with no sleep, for 48 hours.

My midwife came while it was still early, I think about 6 AM. She said we could do one of two things, we could slow it down with herbs so I could get some ok rest, or speed it up. But all would depend on my dilation etc. I was so exhausted at that point, but slowing down labor to let me rest didn't sound good. I had already had two hellish nights of trying to sleep through labor... I just wanted to be done! I was so scared she'd find me still at a 4 or 5, and say it was better to rest. I prayed. I prayed that I would be dilated enough to keep going.

She checked me again and found me to be dilated unevenly to about a 6. I had a bump on my cervix, and baby was crooked in my pelvis making me dilate almost completely on the back with 2-3 cm still remaining in the front. My bag was bulgy so on my next contraction she pushed on it and bammo, my water broke. Then we used black and blue cohosh and who knows what else (I just drank the vile stuff) to augment my labor. Every hour or so they'd give me more of the tincture, and within 10 minutes my contractions would get rolling again. I think at that point they were like 1-2 min apart, but I have no idea. That was 6 am on Saturday the 13th, from then on I was in crazy active labor until about 3 PM when I started pushing. Saturday was like the crazy day from hell. After all that time with no sleep, doing 8 hours of hard labor was pretty crazy. I really felt like giving up SO many times. Thank God for my midwife, she was like my rock. I would just stare into her eyes during contractions and watch her breathe. I could keep my breathing even if I watched her. She stayed with me for what must have been hours. What's time when you're in labor?? My mom kept telling me I could do it, and not in that meek supportive way... because she knew I could She'd been there before... and survived too. Because of all these women in my room I was able to keep going. I didn't give up.

I started pushing about 3 PM. I had hoped pushing would make the back labor go away... not so much. Finally after over an hour of pushing I got the cries of joy at his head crowning. My midwife wanted me to slow down as I pushed him out but there was no way. After 60 hours of labor I pushed that baby out in two pushes, head, then body. Daemon Anthony was born at 4:34 PM on the 13th. He had his cord wrapped around his head and hand three times, but was just fine. What a cry on that one! We laid on the couch with him on my belly as they cleaned us both up. He stayed attached to the placenta til his cord stopped pulsing, and was warm and red and perfect!



After an hour or so of laying with me and Honey, I handed him to her so she could feed him. She and Kirk were just elated as they fed and burped him that first time. Then was time for his exam. He was so still and alert and happy during the whole evening. He weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz and was 21 inches long. He got his vitamin K shot and didn't even cry! He spent the rest of the evening swaddled warm and wide-eyed. What a happy, happy baby!

He went home with his parens at about 7:00 PM and they had a wonderful night together. I got cleaned up (no stitches necessary!) and washed up and finally about 9:30 the adrenaline and endorphins wore off and I fell into a peaceful coma-like sleep. After over 60 hours with no sleep it was amazing!

I am so happy with my choice to do a natural home birth. If I had been in a hospital, I would have had a repeat C-section. My labor was too slow, but pitocin increases your risk of uterine rupture on someone who's had a C-section. They wouldn't have been patient with my body, and I'd have had surgery. My midwife was amazing. She supported me, made things go faster, monitored me and the baby and since we were both fine she kept us going.


The best part of no drugs is that after that baby is born... you feel amazing. There is no foggy feeling, no numbness, just elation.


I was in bliss watching Honey and Kirk hold their little man for the first time. I would have cried had I not been full of endorphins. They were amazing to see. It was like their world just finally completed itself right in that room. Kirk was such a typical dad.... he was scared and clueless and doing so well. And Honey just jumped into the mom role immediately. Asking our midwife all these questions about what to do with what, and bossing Kirk around... it was adorable.

 weighing the baby

I am so happy with everything. I'm happy to be back in my own body again, to see Honey and Kirk's life start... and to get my own fresh start. Amazing!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I can't find anything positive to say today. My house is coming along but even that is depressing... today is another day between me and moving in.

:(

Odd-ity

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Well... I've officially made it to 40 weeks. Now the "overdue" count begins.

The funniest thing about doing a natural birth is the reaction of people in my life. It's really funny how people react to the fact that I won't be induced (save medical necessity) that I've declined vaginal exams to check my dilation and effacement and that my midwife is, as they put it "just waiting around" for me to go into labor.

One gal I know told me she just won't go into labor herself, her doctor always has to induce her. (Her last one was induced a whole 2 days after her due date....) Another lady at work told me that every day past their due date they get sicker and my midwife was crazy to not just induce me this weekend (she then added how convenient it is my due date is on a friday so I could be induced over the weekend!!).

These women have been sold the "induction is normal and necessary for most women" line that the U.S. health system shoves down women's throats. If that was true what would have happened to our species before modern medicine? How do European countries like the Netherlands have substantially lower infant morbidity and mortality rates than us, yet use much less inductions and medical interventions?

Babies come when they're ready. Only about 2% of women make it to the 42 week mark without going into labor. Those are good odds. Yet almost 25% of women who are induced end up having a cesarean. Not so good odds.

Plus the final nail on this coffin... I'm doing a VBAC (Vaginal birth after cesarean) and if you induce a VBAC you up your chance of uterine rupture. Big no-no!

So this rant all leads to this... I have a 75%-ish chance of going into labor in the next few days... and a 98% chance of going into labor in the next two weeks.

I like those odds!