Tuesday, October 20, 2009

 Because some people like details...

...And because I don't want to forget.   Malachi's birth story.

 We really thought he was coming on Sunday, October 11th.  Although I did have my doubts, since I had been sent home in my pregnancy with Jay,  after being in labor and having every thing stop at 6 cm. I wanted it to be the real thing so much on Saturday and Sunday.  I was excited. I just knew in my heart that Malachi was okay.  At that time he was two weeks early - but Jay had been 3 weeks early and Noe had been 3 weeks early and they each were so healthy and so "full term" in every way.

 I had gone to bed around 9:30 pm, Sat. night, and awoke around 10:30.  Although I had been having contractions for months - and many more in the previous few weeks - they felt different that night. I only waited around for a few.  My original plan was to get in our wonderful jacuzzi tub when labor started and just relax for as long as I could.  I wanted to be sure that labor was real to avoid going through the process of getting admitted to the hospital - hanging out there for who-knows-how-long, and then being sent home.  Um - yeah, what I wanted to avoid was exactly how it played out that night.  I did not stick to my original plan because nerves kicked in a bit.  I had been 3 centimeters dilated at my appointment the previous Wednesday and I was afraid of waiting too long.  When we got to the hospital I was relieved to find out I was 5 centimeters.  Contractions were coming every 5 minutes.  They were very mild, but lasting longer and going all the way around to my back where the pain was beginning to intensify.  I knew it was real this time.  Within 4 hours I had dilated to "6-7" centimeters.  Progress!

 My dear friend Jasmine came to the hospital and stayed up with me all night. Dave kept himself occupied with a little Discovery channel "Dirty jobs". That was some gross tv viewing - but it amused us as we waited for contractions to get stronger and closer together. They never did. In the early hours of Sunday morning we all began to wonder... The doctor on call came in and assessed the situation. Contractions had become very inconsistent.  My dilation stayed the same for hours. I was pretty discouraged.  I had fallen asleep, lightly, a couple of times but for the most part had been up all night. My doctor was out of town and the doctor on call was not inclined to do anything to get my labor going stronger.  He was concerned about me being only 37 weeks, 3 days.  I did not share his concerns and I told him if he just broke my water I would quickly dilate the other 3 centimeters and we would have a baby within a few hours.  I know my body.  I know my history.  Let me tell you, there is nothing like being ready - laboring on and off for 20 hours, getting very little sleep, and then completely stalling out and going home. Just a little anticlimactic. I most certainly wanted God's best timing and I did not want to rush the birth if it was, indeed, too early. I can't explain it - I just knew that he was ready and every thing would be okay.

 As most of you know it was during this time that Dave went home to get a little rest and check on the boys when he discovered K was not doing well and that he was displaying some signs of possible shunt malfunction.  As he left with K, to a hospital in the opposite direction as the one I was in, my labor picked up for a few hours and we both wondered if he would be present at Malachi's birth.   I stayed at the hospital until 8:pm - but by then every thing had completely stopped and I was discharged.  The consensus seemed to be that Malachi, who was already slightly turned the wrong way, had turned even more in the posterior position and contractions were simply pushing him against my tail bone instead of my cervix.  Big sigh...

 My mother in law came and picked me up and then proceeded to completely take care of me and the boys during the next 2 days.  At first I wanted to say I didn't need the help - didn't need her to spend the nights or take Jay to preschool, but I am so glad that I didn't do that whole "I'm fine I can take care of it" bit that I so often do.  Having her here was so comforting and helpful.

 On Tuesday I went in to see my doctor.  She checked me and I was STILL 6 centimeters.  At that point I kind of went into an emotional tirade. :) My poor doctor. I suppose she has seen her fair share of emotional pregnant women though. "I am SIX centimeters dilated! My back hurts constantly! I am having contractions all the time and they aren't doing any thing! I can't sleep! We are 25 minutes from the hospital!  What if he turns and it goes really fast?  I am stressed!  This is silly!  I know he is okay, I know you have to be cautious and I can appreciate that, but look at my history!"  She sympathized, but continued to say she could not do anything for at least another week. Then she looked at me and paused for a good long time.  "Okay, let me go talk with a few other doctors.." About 10 minutes later she came back with a few options.  After taking the test to determine Malachi's lung development I went home and waited for results. She said they would be back in a few hours.  I got home around 2:30. I waited, and waited, and waited.  I was so curious and waiting seemed to take forever! Dave and K finally arrived home right around the time that I did that afternoon. It was so wonderful to all be under one roof again and we enjoyed our evening.  My phone was never more than a few inches away from me as we continued to wait for my doctor to call. I finally decided that the results likely were not coming in that night and began to ready myself for bed.  We put the boys down for the night and just as I was about to try to get some rest myself - I got the call. "His lungs are completely developed.  I can deliver you tomorrow. Can you be at the hospital at 8 am?"

 Oh the relief - the joy - the anticipation!! :) The next morning I got ready to go and took one more good long look at that belly.
My doctor broke my water at 8:45 am.  And nothing happened.  I walked.  And walked.  And nothing happened.  I walked for about an hour, then we started talking about pitocin.  I decided to first try some position changes.  I leaned over the birthing ball for a while.  That had been recommended as a great position to try to turn him the right way.   And that is exactly what kicked in the good strong contractions.  No pitocin needed.

 


I don't remember all of the exact times, but I think it was a matter of about 3 hours or so from the time my water was broke until labor really kicked in.  And that is when the smile was pretty much wiped right off my face.

 


-Which of course was a good thing and meant progress. I dilated to 8 cm - asked for an epidural and within about a half hour was completely dilated and ready to push. Dave, Jasmine, and my wonderful nurse Jill were incredible encourager's as I embarked on, what I think, is some of the hardest, most taxing work and effort any one could ever exert. They kept telling me they could see that he had lots of dark hair and that motivated me a lot.

 


Malachi was born about a half hour from when I started pushing.  One minute I was exhausted and working and wondering if I was making any progress at all - and the next... ...there he was.  And he was beyond beautiful.  I knew it would happen, that immediate multiplying of my heart's capacity to love.  I have experienced it before.  Every time.  But it still amazed me as they laid him on my chest - that feeling of all consuming adoration.

 


"You are ours, and you are beautiful! We have waited so long, and here you are! This perfect God breathed miracle!" I couldn't help the deep emotion any more than I could help the steady rhythm of my own heart.

This perfectly formed miniature person was so whole and healthy. So much dreaming, so much hoping and preparation.  And then in that moment there is this amazing culmination of all of it.  The day Malachi was born also happened to be pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.  In the first few minutes that I held him my heart reflected not only on our amazing blessings, but the two losses that have ripped my heart in two.  As Malachi snuggled into my arms I felt another familiar feeling. It was a continuation of the mending of that tear.  A certain restoration of the despair we felt - even one short year ago.  It was a beautiful day.  One which ended in a very healthy baby and mama.  Things went very smoothly.  We felt such completeness and rejoicing as our fifth son came into the world. I wanted to get it written down so I would never forget, but I know in my heart I would never - I could never- forget.

28 comments:

Lindsay said...

Rejoicing with you!! What a beautiful baby boy you have ... and yes, I LOVE details :)

Blessings & rest to you sweet lady!

Lois Lane II said...

Oh my goodness! Wendi, you are so blessed. Congrats! I am so happy for you!

Katie@The Baby Factory said...

This is a beautiful story :) Made me cry. And you looked great the entire time! Wow!!

*With Hayden they kept telling me he had a lot of dark hair, too...and they kept saying 'You're almost there!' for like 40 minutes I wanted to cry....oh wait, I did :)

God is so good!

Sara said...

Yep, I love the details. Girl I'm with! ENOUGH already. lets go, time to get out.;)
He is gorgeous. Proud of you lady!

This Heavenly Life said...

Oh, I LOVE birth stories, and Malachi's was perfect. Chill inducing and beautiful :)

creative gal said...

Beautiful!

Katarina said...

Thank you for sharing. Praising God for the amazing blessings He is fililng your life with.

Stacey said...

You are so blessed! Hopefully your time at home has been joyful!!

Don't worry about sleep, you can do that anytime!!Smile!

Anne Elizabeth said...

I love getting to read your birth story and what a beautiful birth story it is! It made me cry. You look amazing in all your pictures. I love the one of you on the birth ball.

Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful story! He is a sweet blessing, and I am so happy for you all!

Sarah said...

I so love birth stories!!! God is so good...and each story is so unique. Something to remember and cherish...Josefine (4mos) is our first and it seems as time goes by, one could possibly forget...but, once you start thinking about it...all those memories flood, flood, flood back! And it's oh-so-wonderful to revel in the blessings of God! We wrote Josefine's birth story down from each of our perspectives...comedic at times, but always a MIRACLE! :D

Congrats again and again...and thanks for sharing! :D

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