Tuesday, April 12

finally, baby B's arrival story!

So, I was reading a friend's blog today about how she has time to get all these projects done while her new baby sleeps. I don't know if I'm super ineffective at utilizing B's down time or what, but it seems like my project list just keeps getting longer! Or maybe it is because I am greedy and I like to have B sleep on my chest for naps, so that prevents me from accomplishing as much as I might. Ah well. I cherish these snuggle moments. While he sleeps, let me tell you the story of his birth...

Boston was due on February 7. Sunday Jan 30 I spent the night chatting online with my parents and sisters. We joked about how he would come sometime that week and I'd call them on the way to the hospital. I was already dilated to a 3 and about 80% effaced, and my doctor had told me on Friday she wouldn't be surprised to see me sometime that weekend... but I guess I just figured I was still a few days away. About 1am on Monday morning the 31st, I woke with some cramping. This had happened before, so I figured it was just more of the same. Then I kept waking up every half hour or so, going to the bathroom and feeling the cramping. At about 3:30am I woke Jason up with yet another trip to the loo, and some moaning on my part due to the intensity of the cramping. It was getting stronger, I just knew it. He tried to find something he could do for me, being the sweet man he is, warming up a heating pad, getting me water, etc. The only place I was comfortable was on the toilet. Sometime in the next half hour I lost the mucous plug. I wondered what that meant. Then I was bleeding all kinds of bright red blood. This had me worried, as I hadn't read anything about that, so about 4:30 in the morning Jason called the hospital to see what that could be. The doctor called us back a while later and when I told her how I was feeling (crouched in child's pose on the floor of the hallway), she said, "Oh, you're probably just in labor." Oh. Right.

So we timed the contractions since they were now coming in more frequent waves and I figured that meant they WERE contractions. They were getting super strong and I kept calling out for Jason to come stand by me and pet my head or whatever he was doing that was comforting, and he reminded me to relax and breathe. The contractions were anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes apart, so we figured we'd better finish packing our bags and get going. I had a list on my phone from some website of all the stuff we should pack, so Jason was rushing around putting things in various bags, as I just hung out on the toilet in his bathroom and occasionally yelled out, "Jaaaaaaaaaaaaay!" and he would rush in and remind me to breath and to try to relax. I tensed up quite a bit still, despite all my HypnoBirthing training... just the fear of the unknown I think.

Finally we got all packed up with way too much stuff (4 bags? yes.) and headed to the hospital. It was freezing cold with snow on the ground and this aided in my tensing up... I had my iPod playing in my ear with the relaxation track, trying to go to another place mentally. That helped actually. Though I had started shivering a while ago and it worsened in the cold car. Jason was white knuckled, driving as sensibly and as quickly as he could the 15 minute journey to LDS Hospital. He didn't speed but did have to run one really long red light after he stopped at it and there was neither traffic nor any indication that it would be changing anytime soon.

We got to the hospital and I stood up out of the car and realized I was all wet! Water broke. Luckily I was wearing black pajama pants and my black Ragnar hoodie... so you could totally see my wet butt as I walked in. Classy. I kept locking up as I walked in because of the contractions and the cold. Jason just led me slowly, carrying the millions of bags and not entirely sure what to do here. We found a bathroom on the main floor since I felt the need to go again. I failed to mention that when I got into the car, I felt like I had sat on something, and I had already started to feel the need to bear down when I was at home. I didn't tell this to Jason as I knew it would freak him out. So I just held on.

When we checked in at the front desk, I had already pre-registered, but they still have paperwork for you to do, for some reason. The nurse people found out I was a first-time mom, so I think they figured I had a long labor ahead, as is usual for first-timers. I was pacing up and down the hallway and did as much as I could before I had to go into my mental place again and left Jason to finish up whatever. All I remember is looking at the pictures of babies on the wall and lots of pacing and leaning over the front desk and moaning when they wanted me to sign something. I think we got to the hospital around 6:45am.

They got me into a nice room and I checked it out, changed, and got ready for whatever was next. It had a jacuzzi tub and we asked for a birthing ball. They did some checking of stuff and found that I was dilated to a NINE already so, "Uh, we'll call the doctor." Yeah. I was ready. I told the slightly disinterested-seeming nurse that I was feeling the need to bear down and she said to go ahead, they'd handle it. Hmm, nope, I'll wait for the doctor, methinks. Dr. Servoss arrived finally and they said to just go ahead and push whenever I was ready.

Here I am in the hospital room

Trying to relax and "breathe the baby down"

There was no time for an epidural, but I didn't plan on one anyway, so that was fine. They told me I wouldn't be needing that birthing ball. :) I felt the need to just sortof chant/sing this one low note over and over, sortof an "Auhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" sound. I'd get louder as the contraction intensified. Finally when they told me to go ahead and bear down, I was scared to do it. But I knew the end part felt like you had to go #2, and I had felt that way for a while now and had been holding off, so I figured I might as well try. I let out a great yell like you do when you're doing some intense weight lifting, and push push pushed, still trying to breathe well and such. Ouch! It hurt but still felt the need to keep going.... kept this up for a few minutes and I was exhausted. I hadn't eaten since the night before and I was a little dehydrated and had thrown up the milk I drank around 4am... luckily Jason kept the Propel electrolyte drink comin. Yum. I had done about 4 of these yelling pushes when I just felt spent. It was so intense and I felt like I didn't have it in me to finish. The doctor was just shifting her weight back and forth, waiting for me to keep going. They could see the baby's head; Jason told me he had dark hair. He was real! He was coming out! But still, the sheer exhaustion... I looked at Jason and I told him I didn't think I could do it. He looked me in the eyes, right into my soul like only Jason can do, with those kind, wonderful eyes, and he told me, "You can do this. I know you can do this. Your body knows what to do." That was all I needed. His confidence, his assurance, and his expressed belief in my ability and in my body's ability to do it. So I said to myself, 'The only way to it is through it,' and I focused on the image of my baby coming out and them handing him to me, and I gritted my teeth and bore down with all I had. There was yelling, and about two or three pushes and some intense burning, like the fire of eternity, and suddenly he was out, and they were checking him and placing him on my chest, and Jason was cutting the cord, and he was there, and he looked like a Korean baby, why is he Korean? And oh my goodness, he is so beautiful and let me hold him, and he looked right at me and had this look like he wasn't so sure about this bright cold room but he'd be ok if I held him on my chest, and there he was, and did he really just come out of my body? and Jason is there at my side and we did it and OH, he is fine, and beautiful, and perfect, and the pain was 100% gone and forgotten. Jason said to me, "Joy as exceeding as was my pain, eh?" And I responded, "Oh, the joy far exceeds the pain. FAR exceeds it." It was like the pain never even existed. It was the most beautiful moment of my entire life up until that point. It was heaven and earth all in one place, and time stopped, like when Jason and I kissed for the first time. And everything else was blurry and it was me and Jason and our little baby boy, and it was perfect.

Boston David Graham, born at 7:58am

I ripped a little, just minor ripping, so they sewed me up and I guess I delivered the placenta at some point but I was so caught up in looking at our baby. Jason took some video and we just stared at him. They let me keep him on my chest for 20 min as requested for bonding and resting and such before they performed any tests. They checked him out and weighed him. 6 lbs 15.8 ounces, so they rounded up to 7 lbs, and 19.5 inches long. One week "early" and absolutely perfect. They put that eye goop on him eventually, dumb, so he couldn't see us for a while but then we could again. I tried to feed him which of course was completely foreign and awkward but that's to be expected, I figured. They got me cleaned up a bit and eventually got me out of the bed and wheeled me with baby in arms and Jason at my side to a maternity ward room where I'd spend the next almost 48 hours. They played a special lullaby over the PA to welcome the baby. Very cute.

Wise eyes for such a little one. A few hours old.

I spent the next while trying to learn to care for a little one, trying not to bleed all over everything (too graphic?) and crying all the time because my heart was bursting full of happiness. I had a few very special and spiritual moments with Boston and with Jason that I won't share here because of their sacred nature. Suffice it to say, the veil was thin, and the universe seemed, to me, to center on what was happening in that small hospital room. It was divine.

I spent two days in the hospital, which was super nice for my first and which we had to do to claim all the benefits from our supplemental insurance. The nurses were fabulous at helping me learn to breastfeed, staying on top of my pain and stool softener meds, and making sure I remembered to eat and sleep. Jason was plain exhausted but wonderful. He seemed to grow into the role of father so naturally, and I was obsessed with taking photos of him with baby.

I was super happy to have gone natural, as I could walk right away, use the bathroom (with some help for the first trip), and both baby and I were nice and alert. It was a deeply beautiful experience, and I loved it. I have said that I'd do that again 40 times and not mind it at all. If I weren't so nauseous during pregnancy, I might even think about having another kid. Haha. Hopefully that part doesn't repeat for the next time....

We spent the rest of the morning dealing with the shock of suddenly becoming parents, and calling everyone. We got a hold of Jason's folks soon after delivery and also my dad. It was so fun to share the news. So funny that we had told them we'd call on the way to the hospital, but there ended up not being time for it! We had arranged to have a friend come and take video for us but that went out the window as well in the rush of things. 4.5 hours of labor for baby #1... wow. Fast. My mom was at the gym when he was born, so when she came home, my dad had left her a note on the counter that read, "Boston David Graham, 7 lbs 19.5 inches." She freaked out of course and we had a nice fun chat soon after. She changed her flight so that she could come to our place on Thursday. We checked out Wednesday afternoon after two days of resting in the hospital, the trauma of taking B to get his heel pricked (the agony! oh my heart!) and Jason taking him for his first bath and for his circumcision, and I got to take a couple of showers and went to a breastfeeding class which was super helpful. We got into a rhythm of waking him every 3 hours to eat so that he'd remember to eat, gain weight nicely, and so my milk would come in nicely, and then we headed off to our house with this dumb look on our faces like new parents must all have, and with a bundled up baby to try and beat the freezing absolute coldness of February.

Mom came on Thursday and loved on our little man. She was a lifesaver in teaching us how to bathe him, helping me not to worry so much about every little thing, and she'd take him and burp him and put him back to sleep so I could sleep at night and sometimes during the day as well. I didn't realize how much labor takes out of you, and I was plain exhausted for a good couple of weeks. Luckily Boston seemed to have night and day figured out already, so he only had one wakeful period in the middle of the night while Mom was here and she got some good rest also! What a thoughtful, considerate little child.

with Grandma Karen after his bath

We now spend our days just staring at and adoring this little man. He has grown so much already--now at 10 weeks he hardly fits in the below outfit anymore. And I feel like my heart has grown by about 3 sizes... I have this enormous love for this precious little boy, and it occurs to me that Heavenly Father feels this way, and more so, about me and about everyone I will ever meet. Becoming a mom has also increased my love for and patience with everyone around me. They are all precious.

Some initial thoughts on his personality: Boston seems to be a patient, wise, and curious spirit. His body is strong and his mind is alert, and his heart is big. He is mellow and happy and full of life and the assurance of who he is. Already I feel I have much to learn from him.

My boys. Notice how he holds in his pacifier. So cute.

Boston at 9 days old

And finally, some photos from a weekend trip we took a couple of weeks ago. How we love this little man. He has filled our days with joy.

I am loving this. Motherhood is my favorite career. God be thanked for the gift of being mom to this precious, perfect little boy.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I couldn't keep the tears from coming and can't believe we'll be doing all this tomorrow. Seems so surreal!

Andrea Bangerter

The Anderson's said...

What a great story! He is so darn beautiful and perfect. Hope all is well!

Marci Wittwer Butterfield said...

You are a superwoman- and you have one super cute kid. I loved hearing your story cause it brings so many emotions back. Motherhood really is the best career and don't you feel like the luckiest woman in the world?

Brianne said...

I love reading birth stories! They bring back so many feelings and memories. Thanks for sharing. You have such a sweet family!

Amy said...

I loved the story! Can't wait for that someday for myself. Hope to meet him soon. :)

J and Company said...

Oh what a wonderful job you did describing something that is nearly impossible to describe! I honestly cannot believe that you had such a short labor, that is crazy!! It pretty much sounds like the ideal labor (you know, as far as labor goes lol) and I am SO happy for you and your little love. congrats again and again

Talyn said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I love your life. :)

jeanine said...

Oh I just love birth stories! Every one is unique and yet the same!

Trisha said...

You have a gift with words my dear. You described it beautifully and it brought back a lot of emotions that I felt as Sam came into our lives. Love all you Grahamypants so much!

Gogo said...

Oh. I just about cried.

I'm excited to meet him.

yours truly said...

Thank you for writing that, Laura.

Brandon & Michelle said...

He is such a precious boy! You guys will be such good parents. Congratulations again! And be warned, the birthing time only gets shorter! :)

Kevin said...

I'm so glad you have a good, supportive husband. I definitely don't have one. But I have a good, supportive wife. Congrats on a (not-so-much-of-a-) Korean-looking baby!

Jeff and Andrea Ashmore Family said...

What a sweet post. I agree that motherhood is the best! The name Boston is super cute!
This post helped me remember when we took our oldest home from the hospital. I sat in the backseat with him because we were so nervous about what to do with him and Jeff wouldn't drive on the freeway with him in the car. Precious babes.

Miriam said...

I've said it before, and and i'll say it again--motherhood truly is the best life has to offer. I've been happier as a mama than I've ever been my whole life, and I've had a very happy life! Also, someday when it's my time to look back on my earthly life, I know that each one of my labors will stand as my most precious earthly experiences--you described the whole thing beautifully (go natural!) Loved reading it.
Also, my first labor was 5 hours, my second under 2, and my third 1.5--watch out!
He's a real handsome little chap, congratulations!