At this hour three years ago I was in the hospital waiting to deliver my little Silas.
I had grown more anxious as the last days and weeks of pregnancy arrived. I had managed to stay peaceful and hopeful throughout the pregnancy even despite consitantly measuring too small and a few extra investigative ultrasounds.
However, fear and impatience started to take over as I approached my due date. 3 and a half years earlier when I was delivering Roman he had gone into distress and it became evident once he was safely in my arms that the placenta was very calcified and it was really miraculous that it had still been functioning. Even the umbilical chord disintegrated and fell off of the placenta as he was being born. The rest of the labour with him was almost pleasant and uneventful...dispite no epidural. But at the end I was faced again with the fragility of human life. I was so thankful to have a gorgeous dark haired healthy baby boy.
If Roman hadn't been born that day, four days before his due date, I hate to think of what might have happened. That memory of Roman's birth and the memory of loosing our first son had me down right paranoid. I was a little wierded out about our odd baby pattern...we lost baby 1 and 3 and Silas was baby 5. Ridiculous I know. I was also worried about the fact that we lived 30 miles from town , it was -40 celcius and we had been having blizzards shutting down the highway.
So many things could go wrong and the thoughts of them all really threatened my peace.
I started to fear. I had worried about Silas' placenta, failure to thrive, the size of my belly and it compounded in those last days. I had a non stress test...(the baby, not me....I would have failed) to make sure the placenta was still functioning. It was, but I was still worried it wouldn't hold out until Silas was safely out. I wish I could go back and tell myself to chill out and stop with the worrying.
The week before his birth I began to have , as usual, "false labor". The kind that keeps a woman awake and in pain all night or day but doesn't progress past a certain point...then stops. All week on and off I would be awake all night with strong contractions five minutes apart and then...stop. It was exhausting! One night I made it to the hospital convinced he was finally coming and then it stopped again. I was stuck at 3 cm.
The morning of January 17th I was given "cervi-gel" to help me get into a more active labor pattern. It most certainly did...within seconds!
Those drugs hit me like an out of control freight train! I maybe should have had the patience to wait until my body was ready to do it without help, but I was afraid to wait any longer. ...and I was exhausted and sleep deprived from a week of all nighters.
The frustrating part about the next few hours of "mad scientist labor" was that no one believed me when I said I was progressing so quickly.
The contractions which were incredibly strong and instense ,because of the induction drugs, were right on top of each other. There was not so much as a second to catch my breath in between. The little paper scroll that moniters and measures contractions was skipping around like crazy. My little belly rictor scale was right off the top of the paper chart. Typically induction drugs are not given without an epidural too...there are always exceptions but the two usually go together. I now know why.
My dr then came in and broke my water (like I needed the labor to be any more intense and fast!). I was rather upset because I know how my body reacts to no amniotic fluid. That baby slammed up against my pelvis with amazing force. There is really nothing beautiful, natural or sentimental about that kind of sensation.
No time for the epidural I had pleaded for, baby was coming. I was irrationally convinced by then that death was imminant and at that point I welcomed the thought. I think that is a fairly common sentiment amoung labouring woman....at least during that last part...the "screaming labor". Most of you mothers know what I'm talking about. I still don't know how women can video childbirth. I would be too horrified and embarrased to ever watch it. Maybe some woman give birth a little more daintily or beautifully than I do.
At about noon 3 hours after that nasty drug was given my boy was ready....and I was too. I remember vividly the realization that he was stuck against my pelvic bone. I pushed my hand onto my lower belly and shoved his little head off of my bone back to where it belonged. Then within minutes he made his appearance. Well ,his head did anyway. His big broad shoulders were caught. I wasn't aware ,because no one told me until afterwards...they just kept yelling for me to push! All I wanted to do was sleep...or die but I pushed. Nathanael told me later that his head was out but he was caught at the neck, he turned blue and went limp. He was scared for his boy. No wonder they were screaming at me. He was fine though, once he was out.
My big 7 lb 11 oz baby boy.
The poor little guy had bruises all over his sadly misshapen head from his run in with my pelvic bone. His eyes were bright red and blood shot. Those crazy strong contractions had been hard on him too. He wasn't crying which concerned me, and he was shockingly grey. Not quite as grey as the picture but pretty darn close. He was handed to me right after he came out and I remember holding my ugly headed, squishy faced , puffy lipped, grey baby and being rather concerned. I know mothers are supposed to think their babies are gorgeous upon first view...but some babies have to grow into their looks. He appeared to be gulping air not breathing it. His little blue hands and lips weren't getting any color. I think my cautious little boy didn't know what to do. I started poking and rubbing him until I had him aggrivated enough to belt out a good cry. Once he had a good cry and got some air he started to get a little pinker.
Me, looking a little shell shocked shortly after Silas was born. He was my first day- time baby. The others were all night owls.
Roman and Aili came to the hospital for their first visit that afternoon. It was amazing to see my three babies together. They were so sweet with him and continued to be very doting siblings. My fuzzy blonde headed baby was well loved right from the start.
My hospital adventure was not yet over. I returned to the hospital after being home only one night. I had become very ill very quickly. I spiked a high fever and could barely get out of bed that next morning. I don't think I've ever felt so sick. I thought I had caught a flu or something but considering the close proximity to child birth I decided to get my sorry butt back to the hospital. Turns out it was septicemia, a bad infection rather than the flu. I still have no idea why. That wasn't much fun but eventually after a few more days we all made it home again. Because of the strong drugs I was taking I had to bottle feed for a week. We got back onto nursing afterwards though.
After all that Silas ended up being my best tempered baby, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the addition he has been in our family. Well ...I didn't thoroughly enjoy potty training him....but for the most part have cherished every stage he has gone through. Having a bit of an age gap between the boys reminded me how fast they grow up and how to stop and enjoy.
My birth experience with Silas was not exactly what I had planned for but it had a happy ending and we had our boy in our arms. That is what I had hoped for. For that we are SO very thankful. Today we are going to celebrate with a big Mexican fiesta! Rather by coincidence the party is scheduled at noon today. It just occured to me that the party will be at the same time of day he was born. We are going to pick up our kids in Santa Fe this morning and bring them to the party. It should be a lot of fun!
FELIZ CUMPLEANOS SILAS!!!!!