Saturday, 26 March 2011

Ode of my body

Thank you dear body for working so well
thank you for giving me this miraculous story to tell

You who gave me a pregnancy as simple as a dance
and a delivery that was like taken out of a novel of romance

You who give me the strength to stay awake every night
and the amazing ability to get breast feeding right

Dear body that expanded and stretched for several months long
fitting into my skinny jeans after four weeks seems wrong

You extraordinary body that grew a new life 
and added one more title to daughter, sister and wife

Thank you dear body for healing so fast
and thank you for making me a mother at last

Friday, 11 March 2011

The War Story

Between getting to know Bubba, getting used to being a family of five, visits from family and friends, and settling in to my new role as a sleep deprived cow, I haven't found the time to put words to the birth of our baby boy. Now, while Bubba is sleeping in his stroller after a long walk and his first trip to the store, I'll try to get some of it down.

In list form, here's the story of the day our Bubba was born:

Sunday February 27, 2011
• I woke up with mild cramps, similar to menstrual cramps, but with more of a wave-like pattern.
• Went for a walk with Diver Dude and Kona and cramps turned into contractions every 5-10 min, whenever I had a contraction I would hang on to D's back, breathe, close my eyes and continue walking until it passed. Talked to the neighbors and felt normal between contractions.
• Took a warm bath and started timing contractions. D started tinkering with his motorcycle in complete denial of what was happening. Realized that contractions where 5-6 min apart, experienced a strange trickling sensation as if I was peeing with every contraction. Thought maybe my water was breaking...
• Called L&D and told them what was happening, explained that we live 45 min away. They told me to get in the car and head that way asap. Went out to tell Diver Dude who looked surprised and wondered if he could finish what he started. I told him he'd better help me finish packing our go-bag instead. Once he saw me having a contraction he started moving without arguing further.
• Drove down to RAF Lakenheath around 16.00 and stopped for lunch at Burger King. One Whopping burger with fries and a strawberry milkshake, and what felt like a million contractions later we checked into L&D.
• They checked my contractions that came regularly every 3-5 min, made sure Bubba's heart rate was good and then went on to check my cervix.
• 2 cm - WTF?!? - and 90% effaced - We were told to walk around the parking lot for two hours and come back.
• We walked, me hanging on to D with every contraction, and walked, and walked. The parking lot was freezing so we soon moved into the warmer corridors of the hospital and walked some more.
• At 19.00 sharp, we where back at the reception asking to be checked again. This time we got better news, I was at 3-4 cm, 100% effaced, and got checked in to the last L&D room available.
• Contractions picked up intensity and I was happily following the progress with nice breaks in between. Watched Knight & Day and relaxed. Thought about taking a shower and held off on the IV for that reason. Drank water like it was going out of style.
• 22.00 - Suddenly became violently nauseous. Saw the Whopper and strawberry shake for the second time that day - a lot less appetizing this time around. Asked to get hooked up to the IV after brushing my teeth, so I wouldn't have to think about drinking so much water.
• 22.40 - With a very strong contraction I felt a bubble down below that burst with a pop and water gushed out over the bed. Had time to laugh about the fact that I'd been peeing in the bath tub earlier that day. 7 cm dilated and +2. Diver Dude helped during contractions by pressing his hands on my lower back. Thought briefly about the fact that I was missing The Golden Globe Awards.
• Contractions came fast and hard, intense like crashing waves, and I called UNCLE - give me some drugs!! Was told I could get narcotics through the IV while we waited for the epidural guy to finish in the room next to mine. Did I want that? Since I couldn't answer between contractions I was not given any drugs. Started feeling an uncontrollable urge to push. Was told to wait, that I had a long way to go and that Dr. Gray would come in and check me again soon.
• 23.00 - Dr. Gray came to check me again and surprised us all by saying I was fully dilated and ready to go. The option of drugs in the IV was out the window, the epidural guy was still working on the lady next door, but if I could hold off from pushing I could get the epidural soon... There was no way I could hold off on anything at this point. I was grabbing on to the side bar of my bed as if it was life raft, moaning loudly with every wave of pain.
• With a nurse, a technician and Diver Dude holding my legs I gave pushing a try for real. It burnt like hell and I got a little scared. Diver Dude encouraged me and told me things like "you're a strong woman" and "you can do this" and I somehow I found the courage and strength to push like my life depended upon it.
• I pushed with two contractions and suddenly the intense burning sensation consumed the universe and in a fog I heard the nurse tell the technician to "Go get Dr. Gray asap, we're about to have a baby" and Diver Dude saying something about seeing the head. I asked if the baby's head had decended below the pubic bone and the nurse laughed and said "this baby is going nowhere but out with your next push".
• Pushing through the burning Bubba's head was delivered as Dr. Gray came running through the door. She told me to breathe and not push anymore. I tried. Huffed and puffed, but couldn't control the urge to push. So I pushed and I felt his entire body slip out of me.
• Bubba was born at 23.29, and I've never felt a bigger relief in my life. Suddenly the pain was gone, replaced by the beautiful sound of my screaming baby.
• Our son was placed briefly on my chest before he was whisked off by a serious looking technician and nurse. They started rubbing and sucking and tapping his back mumbling things like "water in his lungs" and "get him going". Diver Dude walked over to them and started calming me down by reporting about his color, how he was doing just fine and that he looked strong.
• Dr. Gray delivered the placenta and I was told the cord was coming out from the side... and she said something about us being lucky he hadn't had any problems in utero - still haven't had a chance to google that...
• After some local anaestetic my 2nd degree tear was carefully stitched up while I talked to Mamma on the phone. I can't remember a single thing from that conversation.
• After what seemed like an eternity Bubba was finally brought back to me and placed on my bare chest.
• The room quieted down, the lights were dimmed and everybody congratulated me on a perfect delivery and a perfect baby boy. We were left alone. Me, Diver Dude and our little Bubba.
• Our world was changed forever.
One week old - with eternal wisdom in his eyes

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Introducing our circus child

Our son Douglas Maximus, aka Bubba, was born February 27, 2011 at 23:29.
He weighed in at 7.38lbs - 3347g and stood tall at 20.5" - 52cm.
Mamma, Diver Dude and Bubba are all a little shell shocked since it all happened at the speed of light - he was born less than five hours after we got checked in - but we're happy, healthy and safely at home.

Promise to tell the war story later, for now I leave you with an image of perfect bliss ;)