Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nico's Birth Day - Part Two

Two months ago, Nico was born at 2:20am after 5 1/2 hours of labor in our home in the water.  Overall, it was a "dream" birth.  He weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and measured 22 inches long.  Healthy and strong,  Xavi's baby brother finally joined our family officially.  We had a few names picked out and even one that we were leaning towards...but I couldn't decide.  The one we were thinking to name him didn't quite suit him the way Xavi's name immediately suited him.  We talked about it and I didn't want to rush it because your name is so critical to your identity, I wanted to be absolutely sure and pure in motive.  It took about 4 days to settle on Nico Felipe.  Felipe for my father Phillip, meaning "lover of horses".  And today I'm confident that his name suits him 100%.  Sweet, pure little Nico.

The night Nico was born, Mario had a workout with Xavi's "help".  I was busy putting groceries away and making dinner.  For whatever reason, I had spent the day grocery shopping and running errands like we were expecting a blizzard.  That whole day I was having a hard time walking and even my shorts felt too tight in my lower belly...like he was sitting really low and the waistband was on his head.  I think that innately I knew what was coming but I was hoping for just a bit more time to get ready...we were at 38 weeks, could I make it until 40?  
 Xavi and I saw Dr. Jen that day.  I tried to get her to guess when he would come and she wouldn't commit...just saying that I could be like this for a week or he could come anytime now.  But she did note that my belly looked different.  I called Rachel and asked her opinion based on her experience.  I think she knew, I think I knew, I think Jen knew...but it wasn't until I was making dinner that I noticed "huh, these "cramps" are pretty consistent.  Maybe I should pay attention.."  I got the stop watch out and timed a few.  3 minutes apart but lasting only 15-20 seconds.  I didn't say anything just yet and finished making food.  I told Mario what I was feeling but not wanting to alarm anyone, I decided that I'd just rest on the couch and see if they slowed down or stopped.  Maybe I just over did it that day?  They slowed a little bit but kept on coming.
Mario and I got Xavi ready for bed and I even read stories, nursed him, and put him to sleep...all the while timing my contractions.  We prepped the room, just in case this was really happening; joking and laughing with each other.  I got in bed to rest/relax as I could but  they were coming a little stronger and longer but still 7-8 minutes apart.  Xavi woke up and climbed in bed with me.  By this time, I was not able to talk during the contraction and even made some intonations/humming with each wave.  We called Karen, Debbie, and my mom.  Debbie got there just in time as I really needed to get in the water for some relief as they were coming harder and had quickly gone to only 2-3 minutes apart, lasting for 45 -50 seconds.  Debbie took Xavi into his bedroom and stayed with him throughout the next few hours.  I think it was around 1 am. when I got in the water.

 The water provided immediate relief and I quickly found the position that was the most comfortable.  The contractions ramped up pretty quickly and I disappeared into my primitive brain.  That part of our brain where reality, normal senses, memory, and time disappear.  That part of the brain that a laboring female has to go to in order to move the new life down and out.  While there I remember thinking "oh crap!  this is hard.  this is really hard.  i can't do it.  i don't want to do this again.  it's too hard."  oh yeah, and "i'm never doing this again!"  (but I said that last time so...)  Eventually all those thoughts made their way out of my mouth and I got louder and louder.
 Mario was the perfect partner as he empathized perfectly with me for where I was at and what I would need in this moment.  He told me to go to that place I needed to be.  He told me to do whatever I needed to do.  He said later that the sounds I made were the same as with Xavi and he immediately was taken back to that experience.  I remember thinking that I sounded a little like a lion and my throat was sore the next day from the roaring and growling.  But it was what I needed to do to ride out each wave and find rest on the other side.  That's the thing about labor...the waves are huge and crashing, potentially crushing, but then there is a lull, a rest where you can catch your breath.  Get the salt water out of your nose and take a few deep breaths.  He also told me to take them one at a time which helped more than anything that night.  And any night you are giving birth...because if you are thinking ahead to how many more you might have to go through, if you think ahead to the effort it will take...there is a very slim chance that you will actually make it to the finish line.  So we did.  We took it one at a time.
 Karen had to drive about 45 minutes over the mountain to get to us, but her assistant lived close and she arrived first.  Talking loudly and unknowingly pulling me out of that part of the brain I so needed to be in...she wanted me to look at her, to stop screaming, to relax...Mario knew I was about to get rude and/or punch her.  But I surprised him and only put my hand in the direction of her face to STOP her voice, words, energy.  She was a student and couldn't help with the birth unless Karen was there...so she put Karen on speaker phone to keep things legit.  Karen finally arrived with about 20 minutes or so to spare.  Everyone got busy preparing for the baby to arrive.  My senses, being so heightened in this stage of labor, could barely tolerate the extra noise of the crinkling paper, the whispering voices, the...who knows what else!  Mario took matters into his hands to quiet and calm things back down so I could stay in the groove. I was already pushing as a matter of course...I mean I just couldn't help it.  I could feel his head coming down but didn't want to believe that we were so close.
 I kept saying "I can't. I can't"  and they kept saying "you can.  you are! you are so close! it's just a matter of a few pushes".  After all, with Xavi I thought we were there many times and it took SO much longer...that it couldn't possible be time to push him out already.  There was a few times that things "stalled":  I was pushing like crazy but he just wasn't moving down very much.  Karen asked me to change position and I said "no" but then proceeded to do exactly what she told me to do.  (I guess even in my primitive brain I have a smart mouth and talk back??)   Karen had Mario get in the tub with me again.   Once she asked me to stand and then squat to use gravity to move him down.  I did NOT want to stand up nor did I think I could but sure enough I did and could almost feel him move down/drop down further.  We then assumed the exact position that I pushed Xavi out:  he was under me, supporting my weight and helping my hips to open.  I pushed with all my might while holding his arms/hands.

With just a few mighty pushes, Nico was out and on my chest.  Immediately, I feel no pain.  There is no more waves, the roaring has stopped, and I only know incredible joy, relief, and peace.  We did it.  Again.  We brought a beautiful little life into this world with as little added interference as possible and achieved our goal of keeping his life potential intact.   Working together as a team, Nico and I, Mario and I allowed the body to do what it knows how to do and do so beautifully.  

 Within 20 minutes of being born, the placenta was out and we were snuggled in bed where Nico nursed without issue.  We kept the cord attached for another 30 minutes until the pulsing had absolutely stopped.  This required putting the placenta in a bowl and keeping it close so that Nico could move with me.
 I got examined while Papa held his son.  No tears or other issues...no passing out, far less blood loss than with Xavi.  All in all, I felt good except my throat was sore.

He's laughing because Nico just did his first poop on him.  
 After giving us time together as a family, the midwives examined little Nico where he passed with flying colors, even for being a little "early".

checking reflexes
We slept for a few hours and I couldn't wait to see Xavi.  I wanted him to see the birth but after being awake through my yelling and roaring, he fell asleep just when Nico was born.  Debbie let him sleep an came out to check on us, marveling at how fast it went.

Xavi had his breakfast and then Mario brought him in.  This was the first time that Xavi didn't reach for me immediately.  He clung to Mario, unsure of what had happened and who that was with mama.  Eventually he crept closer and closer, curious and wary.  

I had to take a picture of his feet...both my boys have big feet like Mario but it was the toes that got me here.
Larsen joke:  "you could climb a tree with those!" haha
 Early days:

 Present day:
 Xavi has adapted to this new life of ours and loves his brother.  He asks to "hol" him, to "ug" him, and frequently and passionate kisses him until I intervene.  If he cries, he looks at me and says "OH! Baby! Baby cry!"  and insists that we go immediately to pick him up.  Twice blessed and then some.  Yes, I birthed these babies but it was I that was "born again" each time. I was born to be their mama.

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