Monday, June 15, 2009

our baby is 1

It is so difficult to believe Astrid is a year old today!

Right about now (last year)I was doubled over in pain. Skagit was on vigil at my side....Jeff sitting close and trying to help me through the contractions. Trying to figure out if it was time to go to the hospital yet... He told me that it was very difficult to watch me in that kind of pain and nothing that he could do about it.

I had awakened at about 3 am with cramping...6 am I figured I might as well get out of bed...since I couldn't get comfortable lying down.

10:00 am: We contemplated (between contractions, mind you) whether these were the "real" thing or not....I thought, holy crap - I have NEVER felt so much internal pain in my life - I was thinking these better be the "real thing"!......thinking...How much worse will these get?!

10:15 am: Jeff called the on-call Dr to find out if we should go in. We couldn't find a rythym to the contractions....they were erratic but getting so close together.

10:30 am: Somehow we got into the truck and got to the hospital. It was so difficult to move, sit, stand, walk, talk, think, BE.

10:45 am: Thank goodness we went when we did - I was already dilated to 7cm by the time we got there. I was so happy to hear this news... I wasn't just dreaming - we would soon have a baby in our arms!!!

The next hour or so rushed by (although, in a way, it was painstakingly LONG - how is this possible for it to be both?)...tried the birthing ball, and Jeff and I got in this standup shower thingy, too....I didn't think I would be able to walk back to the labor and delivery room.

I remembered all these videos we had seen in the birthing class - of women and their husbands pacing the halls, looking into each others eyes, seemingly collected, leading up to the birth which was hours and hours away. (yeah right - this was not how it happened for us). Astrid was FAST AND FURIOUS!

By the time we got back to the room I was dilated to a 9 and my water still hadn't broken. So, the Doc said "push" (which is something I didn't want to do at the time!! eeeek!) and my water broke against his finger...

Then he said "OK, YOU'RE a 10! You can push now!"... They had to bring a bucket over immediately because the pain rushed in SO BAD that I vomited. I think I vomited about 5 times after that due to the intensity.

This last hour was such a blur to me. Outside the delivery room (and before becoming a breastfeeding mama) I was a very modest person. But inside the delivery room with my best friend in the whole world (Jeff), one nurse and my Doc I couldn't have cared less. My brain simply didn't have the capacity for those kinds of worries.

When I first started pushing it seemed like it was against anything I wanted to do. It was a foreign thought. I wanted my baby to come out, but the thought of the baby coming out was SOOOOOOOOO beyond my comprehension of how it would be possible.

After the first contractions of pushing, my amazing woman's body that was made to do this sort of thing simply took was out of my control after I had gone through the motions of the first few pushes. This baby was coming, ready or not! Jeff and I were ready....we were ready to see who had been growing in there! Boy? Girl? hmmmm....

I asked a stupid question (but, one we ALL want to know!)...."How many more pushes do you think I have?" Jeff pipes in "I think you have about 30." My heart absolutely sank when the Dr. didn't refute this estimation....(Holy shit! 30!!! No freakin' way! I don't HAVE 30 pushes). The stubborn girl in me kicked in and I was thinking I am going to do this in LESS THAN 30!!! I helped my body push hard on every set of contractions! I think we (my body and my heart) had a baby in 15 contractions.

After what seemed like just a few minutes a head appeared (I didn't see it - I didn't dare look at first it was a scary thought - I had barely opened my eyes during the whole process thus far...). Jeff insisted though, and I'm glad he did. It was sooooooo cool to look down and see that little head with so much hair on it!

I remember another thing I was so surprised limber I was during delivery. The last trimester I had lost mobility for sure, and now, when Mother Nature kicked in I found this super strength within!

After one more contraction Astrid was born. At 1:38 pm, weighing 7 lb 11 oz, and measuring 20 1/2 in long. Jeff saw her "parts" first and made the announcement. We looked at each other in that powerful moment our lives were changed forever....tears of joy in our eyes. It was a GREAT day....It was Father's Day 2008.

It had all been worth it. And I felt like a superhero.


Anonymous said...

Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Little Astrid! I can't wait to go with you, Skag, and your Mom on your very 1st backpacking trip! Love, Auntie Lisa

Angel said...

Elizabeth you are such a great story I sit at my office with tears in my eyes! - ) Hope you have a wonderful visit with your Mom!! Love You!

Meagan said...

I love this post-I loved reading about your birth experience. Wasn't it the most incredible physical adventure of your life? Astrid is so beautiful, I can see Smith in her sweet little face. Happy #1 Astrid!