|Contractions intensity increasing|
Karen called her midwife assistant, Lisa, to help with the delivery since this was not going to be over by dinnertime. These women were amazing...working with the environment we provided and with the materials we had there...all the while their quiet confidence in me and my ability to birth my baby at home never wavered. They directed me and I clung to their instructions as a lifeline. Only once did Mario ask them privately if we were ok...once assured, my husband never wavered, even in the face of my duress. He told me that I looked at him with eyes of a crazy woman in another dimension, not unlike the eyes of someone under the influence, and said that I "couldn't do this". I recall the way he looked back at me telling me that I could and WAS in fact "doing it" . I drew on that strength for the duration of the birth and can see it still today. Without this team, Xavi's birth may have been a lot different. I truly came to the end of myself...Mt Kilimanjaro, the Olympics, the Ironman...none compared to the experience of birth. But none of these had the significance that birthing my baby without drugs or other intervention had...This wasn't about me or my comfort, or glory, or victory...only what was best for my baby and his future health. My desire was to allow him to begin his life full of his potential life force, without depleting any if at all possible. Through this crucible would I not only birth a baby, but I would find out who I was, facing every weakness and fear.
FINALLY, they allowed me to get back in the warm waters of the tub..what a relief! FINALLY, Xavi cleared my cervix as the swelling had been able to decrease enough for him to descend. FINALLY, I could push! And push I did...with all my might. Mario was under me in the water supporting my hips so that they could open fully, holding both of my hands. At times, he wondered at his ability to hold me, not knowing how I got so strong. I remember the sensation of his head in my pelvis..yes, pain but more it was unbelievable to imagine a baby's head there. FINALLY, his head came out and they assured me that the rest was next. All I had to do was push 2-3 more times...well, five to ten minutes later (and quite a few pushes more) with his head still submerged yet out of my body AND two midwives gently guiding Xavi's shoulders to turn...he was born. FINALLY, he was out and on my chest.
He was greyish blue and making noises. His skull was molded into a serious "cone head"...I of course apologized to him later for that. We rubbed him to assist his "revival" and talked to him, both of us calling to him. His heartrate never wavered throughout the entire birth, regardless of the intensity I felt, it was 130bpm, steady and strong. Never in distress, he was birthed in a gentle, albeit loud, manner and into warm, dark, quiet waters...nothing to alarm him or cause him to stress. As we talked to him, his heartrate increased in recognition of our voices..."Mommy's here, Daddy's here...Sashi's here, Dego's here" (And they were! Sasha checked in from time to time but mostly slept nearby during the whole birth. Diego moved wherever we went, sleeping, even acting as a labor support during a few of my contractions. When he heard Xavi cooing in the tub, he hopped up on his back legs to see inside the tub, to see Xavi. He remains very protective of what must seem to him a very special animal.)...Xavi remained connected to me by his cord until it stopped pulsing and he was receiving oxygen on his own. Once the cord was cut, all I had to do was birth the placenta. We should be close to being able to go to bed, right?
|My placenta, Xavi's "twin"|
|Mario and his newborn son, Xavi|
|He soothed himself while being weighed...already knowing how to suck his thumb.|
|Xavi's first diaper change|
|My angels, Karen and Lisa (left to right) ..not sure why it won't let me turn the image...please turn your head. :)|
For now, I am reminded that it was first by design, that Mario and I had a chance and brief introduction, overcoming many obstacles to be together. Every day I am thankful that he found me and gave me Xavi...the greatest gift I've ever known.
|Our Wedding day, 12/25/09, in the Galapagos. |