Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Henry James: A Birth Story

It's been 2 weeks since the labour and delivery that brought us our beautiful, chubby, snuggly chunk of baby on the morning of August 14th. About time that I tell his birth story.

At almost a week overdue, I was starting to lose my sanity.  I was drinking copious quantities of raspberry leaf tea and doing squats and lunges in front of the TV with no results, so I decided to step things up a bit.  Our doula, who is also a registered acupuncturist, had been doing some preparatory acupuncture, and at this point, she agreed it was time to get serious. So at six days overdue, I had induction acupuncture and was told to stay active that day.  I headed to the gym for some elliptical action and barely sat down all day.  I also saw my doc and had a membrane sweep.  I was fairly confident that all of these efforts, combined, would soon bring me my baby boy.

Sure enough, at 2:30 am, I woke up with mild contractions and a sense of anticipation and crossed my fingers that it wasn't all in my head.  By 3:30 I was sure, and woke up the Hubs, who started timing.  By 6:30, Lilah's grandparents had arrived to feed her breakfast and take her to daycare, and our doula walked in the door around the same time.  By 7:30, my contractions were about three minutes apart and were lasting about a minute. It was time to head to the hospital.

The car ride to the hospital seemed to take forever, and I remember hitting a few bumps in the road while I was mid-contraction.  So painful.  We made it to the hospital and checked in around 8.  Apparently, it was a very busy Tuesday morning, and I lucked out and got the very last room.  The woman who delivered her baby half an hour after me had to do it in an assessment room with only a curtain separating her from the rest of the room.  Word to the wise: don't be afraid to moan and groan your way through contractions while checking in at the hospital.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease.  I was ushered directly into that last delivery room based on the noises coming from deep within me.

Luck was definitely on our side this time.  Things just went so... smoothly.  Doors opened for us, elevators were ready and waiting, and things lined up just the way they were supposed to.  Such a different experience from the one I had with Lilah.

This time, I got my natural, unmedicated, uncomplicated labour and delivery and the whole thing took just seven hours from start to finish.  Henry was born at 9:30 am, just an hour and a half after we arrived at the hospital, and the whole affair was just so beautiful and messy and uninhibited.  As a naturally reserved person, I surprised myself, and if I hadn't been in the midst of it; if I had been just a bystander walking down the hallway of the maternity wing around 9 that morning, I would have thought to myself, "Who's the screamer in room 15?"  The only word to describe it is primal.  And for me, that was perfect.  Just like the beautiful baby boy who was deposited into my arms at the end of it all.


Perfection in a tiny package.



That's 9lbs, 7.7 oz, by the way!





Big sister Lilah thinks he's pretty great too:

 
 
 
 
 
Little White WhaleLive and Love...Out Loud



25 comments:

  1. Your family is so beautiful!
    If you walked by room you'd have heard "F Hypnobirthing and it doesn't hurt. Get me the drug man!!! I know he's here!!!!" haha. They wouldn't get him as baby was already well on her way out. You think I'd have known the truth, it was my third after all.

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    1. LOL, I'm pretty sure I was unable to utter a sentence that long and coherent. I was mostly alternating between speaking in tongues and sounding like a wounded wild animal!

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  2. Love it! What a beautiful birth story. The photos truly tell the story. xo

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    1. Thanks, M! I handed over my camera to our doula (set on automatic, of course) and she did not disappoint!

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  3. Amanda,
    What a great birth story. I love how similar our birth stories are.
    With Sarah it was nothing like what I wanted. It was long, I had an epidural, there was the threat of a c-section. I wanted it to be different with Jack and that is why I went the midwife route. I laboured at home until the last possible minute. The ride to the hospital was unbearable. I was turned around backwards in the passenger seat yelling through contractions. I got to the hospital at 7:00 and had Jack at 7:57. And boy was I loud. I yelled and screamed and growled. I was so proud and am still so proud of what I was able to do. Giving birth is truly a painful, but beautiful thing.

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    1. VERY similar. So proud of both of us, and happy that we got to experience birth the way we wanted to the second time around!

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  4. What a great story. Thank you so much for sharing. Your family is absolutely gorgeous.

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  5. Congratulations! He is precious!!!

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  6. My tear ducts can't take this much awesomeness! My heartfelt congratulations to you and your growing, gorgeous family!!!

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  7. OMYGOD Amanda! Where have I BEEN? HOW DID I MISS Henry's birth announcement post??? Regardless, the warmest congratulations to you and your family. Happy tears for you friend. WELCOME Henry--your Mama is a good one :) Beautiful baby. Beautiful story. Beautiful family. Beauty all around!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah!

      Also, I wanted to tell you that I think it takes a very special kind of person to be a birth doula. You ladies are the best!

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  8. Congratulations! Beautiful photos!

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  9. The last photo made me all tearful. You know I was a crazy screamer. Towards the end of my labour a doctor came to check on me and told me to be quiet. Honestly... I told him to get back to me the day he is in labour.

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  10. Oh Happy Day!!! What a wonderful story! You are a strong woman, Amanda. Glad you got the kind of delivery you wanted.
    P.S. My first baby was that big too...he didn't want to come out after 44 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing, and one c-section later he FINALLY came out ;)

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    1. Yikes. Lilah weighed more than a pound less than Henry, but she was the one with the big head, the very long labour, and the threatened c-section.

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  11. Amanda, I love your birth story because it sounded almost exactly like mine! (I even used the word primal - not kidding) - the middle of the night contractions, bumpy car ride, moaning and groaning through the hospital and being rushed to the delivery room. Except I was one day before my due date and the whole thing from start to finish was 3 hours. And it was also SO easy and uncomplicated compared to the first one.

    So happy you had the beautiful labour you wanted and of course, Henry is gorgeous.

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    1. Wow, 3 hours! Cheers to quick and uncomplicated deliveries of beautiful baby boys! :)

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  12. Beautiful. Boys really are quite simple ;-) LOL!

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  13. Congratulations, Amanda! He's perfect! Primal, huh? Yup. That sounds familiar. :)

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  14. I read this on my iphone and had to come back and read again to comment.
    I am in awe of you. I was primal. I screamed. No one cared. I was 5 cm's and trying hard to cry when finally I was ushered in. A quick epidural (I'm sorry I'm a wimp) and Ava arrived.
    He is so perfect. And I love his name. And Ava likes younger men. That's all.

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