Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pregnancy Loss Colorways Make a Return at Three Irish Girls

They're back!  Glimpse, You Are My Sunshine, and Love Wins are being released this month from Three Irish Girls with the profits going to SHARE as they have in the past.  (Yes, I'm a little late in posting.  I blame moving to a new house and being totally distracted by all the details.  I did, however, order my yarn the very first day!)  I cannot express how moved I was that Glimpse was being re-released.  This has been a hard year in my journey of grief, and knowing that Glimpse will again be in my hands, knitting his memory into my life and into things to be worn and seen, while he can't be seen, is a great gift of comfort.  I hope other mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and grandmothers and grandfathers and aunts and uncles and friends can feel the same sense of closeness and comfort from Glimpse, You Are My Sunshine, and Love Wins.  I do get a Glimpse of my Sunshine.  Our Love for him does Win out over grief.  We may never cease grieving for our lost loves, whoever they were and however old they were when they left us, but we will bring them with us into the rest of our lives and never forget them.  Wearing their memory, in public or in private, is a part of the journey of life and grief.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Arrival of Our Beacon

Sorcha Marian, born Sept 25th at 4:41am after 48 hours of labor
Sorcha is Gaelic for beacon, light, bright shining.

Birth of Sorcha, Our Beacon of Light

I had been having regular contractions every day for several weeks, but they always fizzled out and let me sleep at night.  On the Thursday before she was born in particular, things seemed to progress all day until they spaced out again.  Contractions had become a daily chore, but spaced out enough to sleep at night.  Monday morning, at 4am, after only 4 hours of interrupted sleep, contractions began and were painful, distracting, and frequent.  During the day, the contractions were every 5-10 minutes, regardless of what I did.  I tried napping, but the contractions were more painful, although it did space out to every 15 minutes.  I went to bed hoping to sleep or have a baby.  During the night contractions spaced out again to every 15 minutes, and were painful enough to have to breath through.  All night long.  Again I was up for the day early.  Dh decided to work from home, waiting to be needed.   Contractions increased in intensity and frequency, so I called midwives Niki and Joella, and doulas Laura and Kristina.  Niki and Joella decided to rearrange their appointments and come over around 3pm.  I decided to have them check to see if I was making any progress, expecting little to nothing, and I was at 5cm and the baby at a +1.  I cried.  I was so happy to be in active labor rather than still being in an endless pattern of "practice".  I was happy she was coming to be with us and that it wasn’t going to be long.  HA!  Yeah, right.  My uterus was tilted out over the pelvis, and they thought it was probably slowing labor.  So they put on the rebozo to help lift the uterus back over the pelvis.  It felt really good, although after a while where the knot was hurt.  Anyway, they left to get what they needed, including naps, I called the doulas to come over and had Michael set up the birth pool.  After Laura and Kristina arrived, they timed me, and contractions were coming every 5 minutes.  So I got in the pool.  It was heaven.  And contractions all but stopped.  Great.  We put on two movies.  First we watched Big Trouble in Little China, which is one of my all time favorites.  It was awesome.  Then we watched Tango and Cash.  They’re seriously funny movies that I’ve watched so many times that I can quote it and watch it without watching it, if you know what I mean.  Then Jamie came in and was talking to Laura and Kristina and said to them, “I guess Sorcha is going to make it and get to be with us.  But Charlie didn’t make it.  He went to Heaven.”  I didn’t realize he thought there was a chance she wouldn’t make it because I always felt that she was going to be fine, but here was my 5 year old saying he was happy that his little sister was going to be born and live with us instead of dying and going to Heaven.  I hugged him and cried.  After that, it was hard to not think about my Charlie and to not remember his labor and relive it.  I tried to focus on Sorcha.  I felt she was okay and that she would be okay.  She was and is okay.

After the midwives returned, I got out and took a walk around the block with Mama, Laura, and Kristina.  Sometimes I stopped to sway through contractions, but that didn’t really help, so I decided to walk through them.  I felt like I was probably making better progress that way.  We laughed and I said some really funny things, including how I just wanted to have the baby so I could sleep again.  To heck with having a baby and all the wonder and joy, I just wanted sleep!  Yeah, I guess a week of only a few hours sleep at night takes it’s toll.  We laughed and got spunky.  Mama had to stop walking a few times to concentrate on not peeing herself she was laughing so hard.  There were many times on that walk that I laughed through a contraction, and as much as that hurt, it felt good.  The cold air, the dark night sky, the company.  And my baby moving her way down to meet us.  At one point, we heard a car collision up the street (minor fender bender), and we joked about pranking the cops there about me being in labor and giving my statement about what we’d heard.  I guess you probably had to be there. 

When we got back, I had some dinner and walked around some more.  I sat on the ball.  I got back in the pool.  In the pool, I still had contractions, but they spaced way out.  I tried squatting but that didn’t help much.  Joella checked me again, and I was around 9 cm, and the head had pulled back a bit.  So I got out, wore the rebozo again, and walked.  And OMG that hurt so very much.  So of course that was working.  I walked through some of the contractions, and stopped to sway through some of them.  I tried sitting on the ball again, and contractions would totally stop.  Every.  Single.  Time.  So I walked through contractions, stopping every so often to sit on the ball for a rest.  I would get up before anyone suggested it.  I didn’t want to delay labor, I just wanted to catch my breath.  I cussed a few times, which shocked Kristina.  Oh, honey.  I’m an army brat.  And I may have said that I was never EVER going to get pregnant again.  EVER.  Haha!  I even told my mom that if I even suggested getting pregnant again to remind me of this and to not  let me even think about it.  She humored me and said she would. 

I remember being driven to keep walking.  With labor going on so long I worried that they’d want to discuss going to the hospital.  I couldn’t face that.  They’d pressure me.  I couldn’t do it.  I knew my body was bringing her down, she was healthy and having a good time in there, active with a very steady and strong heart beat, with no signs of distress.  I believed she probably had her hands up like Renna did and the walking and squatting would help.  No one mentioned the hospital and I kept going.

Finally, we decided that things had progressed enough to lay down and get checked again.  Head was right there, and tilted.  Of course.  Just like her sister.  And then she said there was a cervical lip.  And it was swelling.  I had a moment of panic.  I could hear the tension and concern in Joella’s voice and could sense the disappointment in the room although no one said anything.  I knew from reading research that the baby’s head on the cervix will still draw back a swelling cervix, so I knew it was possible.  But it’s not well understood and the position to continue labor in that situation, despite having good scientific backing, is not supported in the US.  The cervix “swelling shut” is one of the big scares people talk about as reasons for c-sections.  I’m sure there are cases where is has seemed the appropriate course of action, but I wasn’t sure it was necessary here.  But I didn’t think I could defend that position at that moment and felt very vulnerable to whatever suggestions would be made.  And in that brief moment after Joella said there was swelling, I imagined being told we needed to go to the hospital and imagined what it would be like.  The contractions were coming so close and so strong that it seemed nothing short of extreme torture and I didn’t know how I would cope trying to slow labor in such chaos.  Joella looked to Niki.  Niki gave her some hand signal, and Joella turned to me and surprised me.  She didn’t say anything about going to the hospital.  She was going to push the cervix back and I was to push really hard.  No problem!  My body was doing that already, bearing down was exactly what I wanted to do.  So I pushed really hard, and Joella said the head was almost out.  I had pushed her head around the swollen part, something she had never seen before.  YAY!  Almost home free!  And I pooped everywhere.  All over everything.  I couldn’t stop.  Every contraction was also a bowel movement.  I was so embarrassed and felt like it must be the biggest poo in the history of poop, but they were fine with it and even happy.  As Kristina put it later, “the grosser things are and the more bodily functions going on at once, the more progress is being made and the closer you are to baby.”  I remember being afraid she’d be born into poo, but she wasn’t. 

When her head was out, I demanded they just pull her out.  Haha!  Yeah, it doesn’t work that way.  And then Joella said something else.  The shoulder was stuck.  She barely got the words out before Niki and April were on top of me, pushing on my belly, pushing the baby.  They told me to bear down as hard as I could.  I was shocked but had no real time to react emotionally.  I just pushed really hard.  And then she was out at 4:41 am.  Joella looked at her for a second, assessing her, then passed her up to lay on my belly.  I was so happy she was there.  I talked to her and stroked her.  She was calm and beautiful and looking around like, “Cool.  This is what the world is like.”  At some point Niki and Joella discussed Sorcha’s breathing, saying she was fine, just calm and steady.  I later learned that it’s unusual for a baby that got a shoulder stuck during delivery to not need “serious” help breathing.  I’m glad I didn’t know that beforehand or I would have worried.  She was just laying there, looking around taking it all in, content. 

Then the placenta finally came out and it was HUGE.  And the cord was still pulsing.  With the baby on my belly, and the placenta out, it was still pulsing.  Joella was listening to it pulsing on the fetoscope, and asked Niki what she should do.  Neither of them had ever seen that before.  I guess I’m just full of firsts.  Niki said with it being detached that Sorcha probably wasn’t getting anything from it, so she could cut it.  Mama cut the cord and said it was very thick.  She had to sort of saw on it with the scissors.  Joella and Niki cleared away the bloody pads, and watched the bleeding.  And kept watching it.  I asked if I should try to get Sorcha to latch on to help shrink the uterus but they said it wasn’t necessary.  I guess it was too much bleeding for that to help much.  I think I did latch her on anyway, but she wasn’t that interested.  They massaged the uterus but I was bleeding a lot, so I got two shots of pitocin and a pill.  About the time the bleeding stopped, Sorcha latched on really started feeding. Overall I felt fine, and when I later got up to go to the bathroom, I didn’t get dizzy.  Niki said some tolerate bloodloss better than others, so I probably didn’t need an iv unless I wanted it.  I should just take my iron and drink a lot and not be alone when standing up for a while.  They checked the uterus again, and it was much smaller, so they were really happy with that.  I got stitched up, and they joked about being so tired they didn’t want to mess it up.  April said that since she had been an EMT for so long she could stitch me up with her eyes closed and they’d be perfect.  I liked that.

They assessed Sorcha, who by then had fed from both sides and was a happy girl.  She pooped 4 times before they could get her weight.  She was 9lbs 2oz, 21.5” long, and had a 14.75” head, at the normal angle but larger when tilted, of course.  My Sorcha was finally born and safe in arms, 6 days late.  My beacon of light, my joy.  She has been a very easy baby and very happy and growing well.  She’s impressed every pediatrician she’s seen with how robustly she’s growing on “just breastmilk”.  That’s my girl.  Her brothers and sister love her very much and love taking care of her and giving her kisses.  She has already blessed them with smiles when they talk to her.  Sean has decided Sorcha is his baby, and his partner the way Jamie and Renna are a pair.  They are so very loving and I am so lucky to have been so blessed as be allowed to be their mother.

Periodically during labor, I talked to Sorcha, encouraging her to keep moving and working to be born.  I didn’t talk to her that much because I remembered talking to Charlie during my labor with him.  I had hoped he was still alive while I encouraged and consoled him to be born.  I hoped we could see him alive before he died and that I could hold him and that he could feel in his entire body how much I loved him.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way, and most of the time I talked to him, believing us to be working together one last time, one flesh for the last time, he was already gone and it was just me.  It was just me working to deliver what was left of his earthly existence.  I wanted to feel that same oneness with Sorcha but this time with a living child, but couldn’t talk to her much.  I didn’t want to remember Charlie’s death while giving his sister life.  I probably should have just talked to her and let the memories come.  They did anyway.  I worried that that was keeping me from progressing, but after her birth and realizing that her head had been tilted, her hands up, and her shoulders cocked (because her head had been so tilted), I was relieved it was mostly her position.

Jamie and Renna saw Sorcha crowning, but Jamie freaked out about seeing the blood and Renna freaked out that I was so loud and in pain.  Mama went to take care of them and missed the actual birth, which disappointed her greatly.  She had missed Sean’s birth because he was born in a hospital and had to stay with Jamie and Renna while Michael went with me.  She feels that seeing a live birth will help her healing after seeing Charlie’s stillbirth.  Maybe next time.  (Yes, I did say next time.)  They came back after the birth to meet their new sister and to check on me.  I couldn’t tell that Jamie had been crying, but they told me he’d been upset but I could tell Renna had been crying and reassured them both that I was okay and so was baby Sorcha.  We talked about it a few times in the next few days (a periodically since then), and I told them the blood was okay, it’s just a part of having what Sorcha needed while she was in my body.  I told them I was loud because it hurt, but it wasn’t horrible pain, but there was pain and by making noise I was letting it out so it didn’t hurt so much.  They seemed happy with that. 

I talked to Laura and Kristina later.  They had said how very proud they were of how hard I worked, and they seemed to be at the time, but I thought it was normal supportive talk.  After reading the post on their website about a mama working very hard to bring the baby into the world (me), I wondered if the labor really had been that hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was DAMN HARD, but I figured I was just being a wuss or that most women had labors that long and hard.  Or that it was my own demons (memories of Charlie, fear of going to the hospital and being pressured to progress or get cut open) making it so hard.  I thought I just needed to suck it up and keep going because this was what every woman went through.  Both Laura and Kristina emphatically said no.  Apparently, for a healthy baby and mother labor and birth, it was one of the hardest they’d ever seen.  They said they had never seen a mother labor so hard and for so long.  It made me feel really good that the way I struggled and pushed myself internally wasn’t because I was a wuss but because it really was very hard.  I pushed myself with thoughts of the baby I so desperately wanted to hold and see with my eyes and not just my heart.  I pushed myself to keep going with the knowledge that women have done this for thousands of years and some have labored harder than others, but they all gave birth.  Okay some mothers and babies died, but I was being well cared for and neither Sorcha nor I were in any danger.  I pushed myself with the fear of going to the hospital and being pressured by protocol.  I didn’t think being too tired was reason enough to stop helping my body labor.  Laura, Kristina, and my mom kept me fed and hydrated which helped keep up my energy and hydration.  I knew my body could do it, and I just had to keep going until it was over.  I hung on through each contraction and pushed myself to keep doing what helped labor progress.  Then I hung on some more knowing that it would all end eventually and any discomfort I felt was just temporary.  Sorcha was coming.  Finally.  And no matter how awful it was, all I had to do was hang on and it would all be over and she’d be here and I’d feel great.  And that’s exactly what happened.

Here she is, less than an hour old.
Here she is, later in the day.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dear Charlie,

It's January 13th.  Two years ago today you left us.  It seems like so much has happened and yet like it was only yesterday that I held you.  I know you're with me everyday, and that helps the missing you.  I bought white miniature roses for your anniversary.  They are small and pure and beautiful, just like you.  You are remembered every day.

A friend showed me this by Jess MaHarry a few weeks ago. 

On the back it says, "I am always with you.  Be brave, have courage, and love life."  Your memorial was on the Jewish New Year of Trees, and as my friend described it, it's the promise of the light to come from the midst of darkness.  The dove, well, yeah, you get that symbol.  And we're the mother and child.  The mother is supposed to say those words to her child, but I have always felt you saying that to me.  I do feel you are always with me.  My sweet boy.  I will be brave and act with confidence as much as I can.  I will appreciate life's blessings and embrace them without reservation.  I will act with kindness and patience and love.  I will love life.  And I will live it to the fullest knowing you are with me, by my side.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Even If I Couldn't Stay

My mother loved me
So much
That I broke her heart.

While wrapped in the loving embrace
Of her womb,
I was perfect.
To her.

I am no longer encumbered
By the imperfections of my body
I was born into the Light.
My soul is free.

My freedom
Came at a heavy price
For her.

She held my tiny
Body with love.
She saw only perfection.

She could not feel
My arms around her
While she cried.

But they were there.
I held her
While she held me

Ever after
Each gutwrenching sob
I held her

One day
We will be

She saw the imperfect child that I was
When she held me.
She will see the perfect soul that I am
When I greet her.

She will not see the
Baby she lost.
She will see the
Man I am.

Until then
I am her angel.
I hold her when she gets lost
In the pain of my absence.
I will watch over
My brothers and sisters.
She makes sure
they remember me.

I loved my mother
So much
That I sent her my brother
To fill her aching arms.

He holds her tight.
And I hold them both.

I am still here.
With my family.
With my mother.
I am still loved.

My mother loved me
So much
That I broke her heart.

But I loved her
So much
That I had to come.

Even if I couldn't stay.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dear Charlie

Dear Charlie,

It's been a year since we lost you. It's been a year since we held you, lifeless. It's been a very hard year. Since your death, we've welcomed your little brother into our family. Since your death, I've had some serious health problems for months with severe pain, and am finally recovering now. Since your death, your father successfully defended his dissertation and started a new job in another state. Since your death, we moved across country and brought you with us. Since your death, we have missed you and grieved for you. When asked how many children we have, you are always included. I think of you everyday. I try to not think about what I had hoped, and mostly succeed. I try to not relive your brief life, but mostly fail. I remember holding you, growing inside me. I remember holding you, born and lifeless and so small. I loved you with all my heart. I still do. As Father Bob said at your memorial, I look forward to the day when we will be together again and instead of holding you, you will hold me. And I will be healed. Until then, I will always ache for you and be grateful for the love we could give each other. Love is eternal. And so are you.

I remember you. Dada remembers you. Nana remembers you. We'll help Jamie and Renna remember you and we'll help Sean to know you. You are remembered by those who love me. In this way you will live on as more than scars on my body and in my heart.

A yarn colorway was designed in your memory, Glimpse. The sale of yarn in this colorway raised a lot of money to help other heartbroken parents. Sharon, The Yarnista of Three Irish Girls, designed the colorway perfectly with help and input from two other women who asked her to make an expression of the heartbreak and hope of love and recovery and life that parents experience when they've lost a child. It's perfect. In the yellows, I can see your smile shining down on me through my grief, loving me. I knit myself a sweater in it. I wear it and remember you. I feel you near me. I have a shawl in, knit for me by a friend and given to me for Sean's birth. I wear it and think of you. Nana knit a sweater and hat and booties for Sean, in memory of you.

We remember you. We love you.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Getting It All Together

Happy New Year to everyone. We've been getting organized. The stash is organized and the for sale or trade yarn photographed and up on Rav. I worked on getting the yarns I used for old projects updated and stashed and linked to the projects and it's almost done. I still have stash to list on Rav. I haven't photographed it yet, but I'm not sure I'm going to do that. I'm using the stash notes to find projects and updating my queue with notes on the yarn and for whom. We've made a list of crafts to make people for Christmas as well as putting a reminder on the calendar. We've made a schedule so I can get time for working on my dissertation and so Mama can get time for writing. We've made a budget and we think we can basically stick to it. There's no room for anything else, even emergencies, so we're going to keep our lives as simple as possible. We'll be making everything we eat from scratch, including bread (and since I make awesome bread that's no sacrifice) and we won't be eating out at all. We'll be using up stash yarn and fabric. If we can't make it ourselves, we'll see about buying used. And really, it feels great to be living simply and using up what we have instead of accumulating more. We've discovered yarn and fabric we'd forgotten about and tried new recipes we now love and rediscovered old recipes we love. We're making Jamie and Renna a new blanket out of stash fabric. It's double sided, very colorful, and is going to be very warm. And most of the fabric has been in stash for years and now it's being put to good use.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sean Is Born!

I started up a 3-5 minute full strength contraction labor pattern Thanksgiving evening around 11pm. It continued throughout the night, keeping me from sleeping. This continued all the next day as well. I was able to knit some, but mostly stayed on the birthing ball trying to get things going in the hopes that this early labor wouldn’t last as long as it did with Renna’s birth. No such luck. I went to bed around 11pm and the contractions spaced out enough for me to sleep a few hours at a time. I woke up at 6am and couldn’t sleep anymore and the contractions were back to every 3-5 minutes, lasting a minute to a minute and a half. The in-laws were taking Jamie and Renna to the Children’s museum, so I knew I’d have some peace and quiet for a few hours. After everyone was up I went back to bed and stayed in the bedroom. I didn’t really want anyone around me. I kept up drinking and peeing and eating, with Mama bringing me food and drinks and checking in on me regularly, and tried to rest when it felt right and move around when that felt right. I expected to want to go in the shower at some point but I didn’t. After the in-laws came back with the kids, they had some leftovers and then left to drive back to Oregon. The kids resisted going to bed. Renna had wanted to be with me as much as possible and wanted even to sleep in my bed while I labored. The moans didn’t bother her much. She seemed to want to comfort me, but seemed to have an understanding that it was okay and what needed to happen. That is what we told her, but she didn’t need any reassurance about it. But she wanted to help me and was upset when Mama and Michael made her go to bed. Jamie was very upset. He didn’t like the moaning. I don’t think he remembered Renna’s birth at all. He came to see me, but would leave pretty soon after a contraction. He didn’t want me to be in pain. He was excited that it meant Sean was coming, but the labor and me being uncomfortable were just things he didn’t like AT ALL. He was the same way when he saw I was in the hospital for the infection. As soon as he got on video chat and saw a hospital bed behind me, his face crumpled and he left very upset and didn’t talk to me again until I was back at Bridget’s house. It didn’t matter that I told him I was okay. Around midnight the contractions were coming about every 2 minutes and lasting a minute to a minute and a half. So we decided to go to the hospital because I didn’t want to be in transition while driving there. Mama and Michael decided he would go with me and she would stay home with the kids. Renna woke up and climbed into bed with Mama pretty much as soon as we left. We got there and checked in around 12:30am. They checked me around 1:30am and I was 5cm, 80%. Not great. Clearly hospital syndrome in effect. I was starting to lose control and having great difficulty dealing with the pain and intensity. While not transition, it was clearly getting there. There was no back labor, this time, but that didn’t seem to matter much for pain level. The doc checked me around 2am and I was 6cm, 100%, and the head was at +2. They moved me to a room around 3am and I walked all the way there taking like 15 minutes, and Oh My God that was awful. After getting to the room I labored sitting up in the bed. I used to like leaning over the bed, but I didn’t like that this time. The doc checked me again just before 4 am, I think. I was 7cm, 100% (still), and at -2. She said I had a lot of amniotic fluid and that was what keeping Sean from coming down. Yeah, amazingly my water hadn’t broken yet. That was like the first thing to go with my labors with Jamie and Renna so I had been surprised it hadn’t yet. So she broke my water and I swear I must have contained the entire Pacific Ocean in there. With every contraction I soaked the new towels and eventually soaked the bed, too. They started bringing in the warming table and getting everything ready for birth, and that made me feel somewhat hopeful that this wasn’t going to go on for another 6 hours. After 6 contractions that were beyond awful with no rest between them, I couldn’t keep from pushing and said so and was getting a bit desperate. They brought the doc in and she checked me again and said there was a cervical lip all the way around and I couldn’t push yet. I tried my best but even what helped me not push with Renna didn’t work at all. The last half of a contraction and my uterus would contract very hard on it’s own and nothing in this world was ever going to stop it. (Apparently there is some debate about whether or not pushing on a cervical lip is really the wrong thing to do or if it just helps to complete dilation, but that’s a discussion for another time.) After 2 or 3 contractions I knew it wasn’t working and said so and asked for help. Begged might be a better word. She checked me again and I had a lip on two sides and she said she’d just push them back. And then I had to roll over because as Sean was turning down the birth canal they couldn’t get a read on his heartbeat with the monitor, and that took some serious doing and I think in the end they had to help roll me over. I tried moaning through it the way I did with Renna but it wasn’t as productive as pushing without moaning, so I tried to do it without vocalizing and it did feel better. After 4 contractions he was born. It was 4:21am. Less than 4 hours after arriving at the hospital. Less than half an hour after breaking my water. They put him on my chest right away. He was purple and I started talking to him and rubbing him. He was moving and lifting his head and gurgling so he was okay, but they asked to take him to the warmer to help get the fluid out and I said okay. He started crying a minute later, but it was a quiet cry. Every sound he made was quiet, but certain. He pinked up quickly and they brought him back to me and he laid there looking around quietly and making little growly noises. Like a bear. Jamie said Sean should be a bear and he was right. So they were working on delivering the placenta, which took a few pushes and got stuck halfway. Fun stuff. I was bleeding a bit more than she was comfortable with, and she said she wanted to give me pitocin to help it and I said fine. It did make the after contractions a bit more owie and of course them pushing on the uterus to help empty it out and shrink it was not the most fun I’ve ever had. So then she was sewing me up for what seemed like forever. I tore just like I had with Renna, third degree back and first degree front. I think it was at that point that I said, “Can I have some pain killer now?” Haha. They gave me fentanol. Ah, the good stuff. Around 5am Sean started nursing and he nursed for the next 2 hours straight. They wheeled us into a room in the maternity ward around 6am and left us alone. I stayed awake and ordered breakfast around 7am when Sean decided he was done eating and went to sleep for what would be a 4 hour nap. Mama came with Jamie and Renna around 11:30am. Jamie came in smiling and so very happy and relaxed and said, “Hi, Mama! I love you! Where’s baby Sean?” Haha! Renna came in and said, “I want to see baby Sean!” They held him and kissed him then sat with me and snuggled a bit. It was wonderful.

It’s been a week and I’m feeling much better. The OB was appalled that I still had the tube and had me call the urologist that day to try to schedule an appointment to get it out. They couldn’t fit me in until this coming Wednesday, so I’m looking forward to getting rid of this damn thing. I may need to have a stent put in so the stoma will heal but he’ll have to evaluate that when the tube actually comes out. They’ll need to take the gallbladder eventually, too. But that will probably be in a few months. I am so thrilled to be feeling better. And I am. The kidney pain is much better now and the tube is capped off and everything’s working properly the way it should. There was no sediment even two days after the birth, which is how I knew I could cap it off and it’d be fine. I’m gaining strength every day. The tube still bothers me, of course, but it’s better. I’m so hopeful to be healthy and normal soon. Until then I’ll be having a babymoon with my little miracle. We sleep very well together, especially on the couch with him on my chest. He still wants to be in the womb, and that’s as close as he can get. And we both love it.

The birth was intense and I wasn’t as composed as I was with Renna’s birth. In early labor Mama took good care of me, leaving me alone when I wanted it and bringing me drinks and food, and staying with me when I wanted her to. At the end, I was the screaming woman in movies who no one wants to be. Seriously. But for a hospital birth, it was very good. The doctor treated me with respect and was responsive and didn't treat me like I was a difficult patient for being a vbac. Perhaps that's in large part because labor was so advanced and progressing so rapidly, but I appreciated it. Michael was helpful and helped me keep what endurance and focus I had. He didn’t promise that things were almost over, he just told me how well I was doing, how strong I was, how every contraction brought Sean closer to us, and got me to breathe. He could tell when I was nearing transition and his calm and confidence really helped me know that things weren’t going to last forever and that it was okay. Although, to a certain extant, I’m not sure how much I heard him sometimes. I was so busy trying to hang on and find that calm place I had with Renna’s and Charlie’s births. Throughout the labor, I wanted to be holed up away from distractions, dangers, people, etc. I think my endurance and pain tolerance were severely impacted by all the pain I’ve been in for the last 4.5 months. I just didn’t have any more endurance left. I just didn’t have the reserves for handling labor the way I wanted. But in the end, I did it. I gave birth to my son. And he’s amazing. Before leaving for the hospital, I told Mama and Michael that I didn’t want to do this again. No more labors. If I was going to have any more children it would have to be a scheduled cesarean because I was done. My boy is eight days old today. And I’ve already decided he’s should have a little brother or sister.