Thursday, December 29, 2005
I can trace Mikayla's conception date down to two possibilities. It was carefully planned so that we would have her in the middle of January. Apparently, John and I were a little loopy when we did the math on that one! Later that month, when I began feeling like, just possibly I could be pregnant, I doubted - what were the chances we'd have both kids on the first month we tried? But, the feelings cont. and I remember taking Brayden home early from a visit from Michele's, leaving at 9pm, just to catch up with John at home and take a pregnancy test. Yes, I was right. We then went to the computer, and what do you know, Mikayla's due date was Christmas Eve. OOPS!
Mikayla's pregnancy went just as smooth as any could. I ate and ate and ate, and ended up losing weight when I weighed in. My metabolism had done this big shift after having Brayden and it was a dream come true for me. I ended up gaining 17 pounds less with her than with him, despite eating twice as much. Thanks to Zantac, even the heartburn was under control. It was a great pregancy.
Actually, the doctor noticed too, and asked me to consider having a "water birth" with her. I remember having watched a video about such a thing in my freshman year of college in a child psychology class. it seemed way too earthy, but I read the literature and I do love my baths..... and knew that soaking in the tub had helped with Brayden, so I took a leap of faith and said, "sure".
Brayden had been 11 days late, so I didn't think Mikayla would be coming prior to Christmas. But, I organized and prepared like she would be. Christmas Eve came and went - and so also, the passing of my Grandpa. I remember passing the due date and delivering part of the eulogy for my Grandpa at the cemetary- all the while my second cousin, just a couple years younger than me, was so worried I'd burst any moment!
After considerable "negotiations" with my doctor (who really wanted my body to decide when I went into labor, but I wonder if it really knows how - Brayden was nearly 10 pounds....when was my body going to think it was finally time to kick him out?) We set Dec. 28th, 5pm as the time to check in. Sounds good. I practically skipped in, still no pain - they set me up to monitors, started a little pitocin and nothing..... I hopped on the bouncy ball, watched bowl games - and laughed the evening away waiting for my body to show any signs that I was in labor. Just when we were thinking I would be given sleeping medicine to let me rest through the night, the doctor successfully broke my water. And, then the ball got rolling. Minor labor pains, but becoming consistent. Construction began on the portable hot tub (funny watching my OB turned into handy man with a wrench and common garden hose hooked up to the sink). At 1 am, I was able to get into the luke warm hot tub (an hour after my water broke) and finally, things got intense. Michele, John, and Jodi all knew that if I started the stopwatch, no one was to talk. It was a half hour of serious pain, when the nurse checked me and I was at 7-8 cm. The doctor wasn't in the room, but that didn't stop Mikayla. The very next contraction brought out her head and one more and she was in my arms.... What a frenzied panic that room had become, my doctor was just a little flustered.
For me, it was the most exhilerating moments of my life. To give context, Brayden's labor had been agonizingly slow, painful, and exhausting. When I finally agreed to an intrathecal, everything changed. I felt nothing, was happy as a lark, and delivered him quite quickly. I was hoping to not repeat that experience with Mikayla. Obviously, it was night and day difference. I couldn't believe that my body just knew what to do on its own, sitting in that bath- it hurt like the dickens, but it was so quick! I also felt so good afterwards, I was even up videotaping the bath for Mikayla.
I shudder when I hear women make generalizations about childbirth. "Oh, it's really not that bad, as long as you're in shape..." or other callous comments like that. The reality is, it's different for every woman and every baby and there is no way to compare, nor is it necessary. For me, Mikayla's experience was perfection, but Brayden's was far from it. The results, however, are all that really matter- and the memory of the pain erases with the years. Thank God!
Happy fourth birthday, Mikayla - you are a miracle!