Thursday, April 9, 2009

Birth Story

Zion, I want to share with you a story; the story of your birth that started almost a decade ago in our hearts, and continued when your Father delivered you with his hands on Monday, September 29th 2008 at 12:37 in the afternoon. I woke up early in the morning on Monday at about 2 o’clock. I went to the bathroom a few times and felt like you may have been preparing the path to come. I remember lying in bed at 4am and telling Daddy as he rubbed my back that “at this time tomorrow morning, we will be at home with our son”.
I was feeling sick to my stomach and jumped out of bed just in time to make it to the sink. I actually felt relieved. We were surprised that I threw up a few times, but I didn’t mind because it was always when a contraction was finishing so I knew I had a moment to rest. From that point, I got in the bathtub and Daddy stroked my face and whispered encouraging words to me through each contraction. He noticed that the contractions were coming quickly, three minutes apart, and lasting for at least a minute. Daddy knew it was time to pack the car to go, so I stayed in the bath, and turned one of the jets in the direction of my lower back. I realized that traffic would be unavoidable on the way to the birth center, so I had decided that it would be best for us to stay home until at least 8am, I wasn’t worried about having you somewhere in between, it just seemed like the logical thing to do.
At 6am, I was still in the bathtub as I heard Daddy on the deck talking, I knew that he must have been making a video for you…even at a seemingly chaotic time; he is always clear-headed enough to capture a special moment. It was an absolutely magical morning, there was thunder and lightning, but the sun shined brightly and a rainbow was painted across the sky. Daddy came inside and helped me out of the bathtub and into the shower. The warm water was just so therapeutic. Though my contractions were back to back at this point, I kept thinking this must get harder. I trusted the urgency in Daddy’s voice when he asked me to get out of the shower and get dressed.
He helped me get my clothes on as I leaned over the bed, never was getting dressed so complicated or time consuming! During the process, I was crawling from place to place and felt quite animal-like, Daddy says that my sweat had a very unusual scent, and he enjoyed seeing me in such a raw state. As we drove down the hill at 8:30, Daddy started tearing up and said; “When we return, we’ll be a family”. Daddy had made the most wonderful CD for us to listen to during labor; I closed my eyes and allowed the music to wash over me. I asked Daddy to repeat the songs Let it Go and Falling Slowly over and over again. I didn’t even mind being stuck in traffic because the sun was so warm and soothing and your Daddy hummed with me through contractions to make sure I stayed low-pitched and calm.
An hour later, we were a block from Best Start Birth Center in Hillcrest and my water broke, it felt like it was boiling and I knew I had made a huge mess! Daddy asked, “How do you know your water broke”? I just laughed and said, “oh, you’ll see”. We decided to leave our bags that had been perfectly packed and ready for the past month in the car and settle into our room first. One of the midwives, Ruth, set us up in the smallest, but most private room, and checked my progress. I was shocked to see surprise in her face when she announced that I was 10 cm dilated and asked if I had the urge to push? I replied, “I guess so”. She encouraged me to move around the room, get undressed for the bath, and said she’d be back soon. I squatted beside the bed for the first pushing contraction and Daddy reached down and exclaimed “I can feel Zion’s head”! I literally tore off my clothes because I knew the next contraction would be coming quickly.
Ruth returned and started the bath, I practically dove in. I squatted in the tub and Daddy sat on the edge behind me, the water was so welcoming, that the urgency of my contractions seemed to melt away. Ruth asked me to make some noise while I pushed; I really had to muster up the ability to bear down. I wasn’t tired, I just felt very peaceful, and even napped between contractions. I could feel you descending even when I wasn’t pushing, so I asked if I could allow you to slide out on your own. Ruth and her assistants laughed and said no, that they would like me to keep pushing. Another midwife, Jude, noticed that you weren’t turning, I looked her straight in the eye and was determined to do whatever I needed to in order to avoid complications. I did two lunges on the side of the tub and Daddy was amazed that he could actually see you dramatically drop, gravity is an amazing thing! I was rushed to the bed to check your heart rate, and all was well. I was eager to get back into the tub, and looked to Daddy for approval, as we always worked as a team.
“Oh, Zion”, I called you by name again and again, gently encouraging your birth. I felt your head a few times with my hands; I knew that you would come when you were ready. Daddy massaged my perineum and seemed to assure you that it was safe to join our world. He welcomed you home and placed you on my chest. You glanced up at us, announced that you had arrived with a little yelp, and latched on and began breastfeeding immediately. I told Daddy “this could not be more perfect”. You didn’t leave mine or Daddy’s chests for hours, as we reveled in your strength and perfection. Zion, you made us so very proud that day, we know that you will continue to make us proud. You, Zion, are our heaven.