The Birth Story - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 05-31-2005, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In this, our last week of the workshop, we will focus on bringing our work together to celebrate and rediscover the journey of pregnancy and birth. In the past eight weeks, you have reflected upon the amazing process of becoming a mother with specific attention on focused, short writing assignments. I'd like you to weave your short assignments into a larger peice now, with the short assignments serving as stepping stones throughout the chronology of the experience.

You may choose to leave the short assignements as they are and fill in the gaps in time with more short assignments. You may choose to rework the short assignments so they flow together, creating a fluid peice that tells your story in intimate detail. Or you may think of something else entirely.

Your birth story should take us along your journey as an active participant. We want to ride the ride with you, next to you. Tell us less about what happened and more about how it happened. Quench our thirst for details and emotions.

Lastly, practice the careful economy of words. Use each word purposefully. After you think you are finished, go through each sentence and read it aloud, exactly as it's written. Take out the clutter. We can help, too. Post in the feedback thread and ask for technical assistance.

I'm so excited to read your stories. Be well and keep writing.

Jesse
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#2 of 12 Old 06-03-2005, 01:18 PM
 
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Hey Mommas! Here is my story. Warning...it is very long! I just felt that there was so much that needed to be said, so many things that changed in me and for me when I was pregnant and giving birth to my twins. I hope you all enjoy reading what I wrote. The experience of writing this story has healed me and enabled me and reaffirmed me in so many ways!
Blessings to you all!

Rebirth
by Nora Elizabeth Maxwell


Prologue

Inside the jewelry box in my bedroom lies a stack of used yellowed pregnancy tests. Each time I have been pregnant I have taken several tests. I took them before I even missed my periods so that I could watch the little pink lines get darker and darker as the days went by. I took them to reassure myself of each new life quietly growing inside of me. I took them because somehow in my heart I knew that those would be the last easy answers I would ever get when it came to questions about my kids. Looking at those pink lines was a concrete answer to one of life’s questions. I have never received a concrete answer to a parenting question since. There are no pink lines to look at when your child is hurting and you are looking for the answer to cure her hurt. You can’t pee on a stick for an answer when your child is seriously ill and you don’t know what to do to make him better. When Daddy leaves and you can’t explain it to your children because you can’t explain it to yourself you can’t just go to the drugstore and buy a test in a box to give you a fast and reliable answer in just three minutes. Parenting is one of the biggest risks that any person can ever take. It is hard it is painful it will completely change every aspect of your life. Nothing will ever be normal again; nothing will ever be easy again. Every day I put myself out there for my kids and every day I learn how to be more and more thankful that I have the opportunity to do so. Every day I ask questions and re-ask them and ask them again. And every day I find that no matter how long I’ve been a parent answering the questions never gets any easier. So I keep those plastic sticks hidden away in my jewelry box. I keep them so that I can remember how it felt to hear those little pink lines shout “yes” to me. I keep them as a reminder that even though life may start with a concrete answer that nothing else in life will ever be that black and white again. And I keep them because I am thankful; thankful for the easy answers the hard answers and all the ones in between.


The Story

I've always loved being pregnant. The anticipation of hearing the heartbeat for the first time feeling those first little flutterings deep in my belly watching a perfect little body in black and white floating and stretching and kicking on a screen; all of those things thrilled me to the tips of my fingers. I loved anticipating what each baby would be. Was it a boy a girl? After two pregnancies that yielded two perfect little people I anticipated everything with this pregnancy just as much as before. But I had no idea what the road was like that I was about to embark on. I had no idea of the changes that would take place within me and around me. I simply embraced my pregnancy and grabbed a hold for the ride. And immediately realized that the ride was spinning around and around.

I am sitting on the couch watching TV when all of a sudden I am sweating and the room becomes oh so small. Back behind my eyes and down deep in my ears the spinning starts and I am lost in a wave of nausea that carries me away and pulls me under. I can feel it coming coming coming up and I rise and make my way towards the bathroom. I stagger stumble almost fall into the dark coolness of the bathroom. I hit the light and the brightness seems to make the feeling in the back of my throat even worse. I kneel in front of the toilet my hands against the cool porcelain of the sides of the bowl. I think to myself that just being in this position makes one want to throw up. I retch and pay my dues to motherhood just as thousands of mothers-to-be have done before me. My ears are roaring with the dizziness and the thoughts in my head are fragmented broken short. Why…so sick…all day…every day…stop…now. I flush and rise slowly very slowly. Shaking all over I reach for the mouthwash and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My face is pale almost translucent and my hair is sticking to the sweat on my forehead. But my eyes tell a different story. There I see a small glow a flicker an…anticipation. The sickness comes back again and again hour after hour day after day. There is no escape from it. It consumes me so that I think of nothing but this life inside of me that is so strongly making its presence known. Until one day when I sit down to go to the bathroom pull the toilet paper away and see the bright red stain spreading into the white paper. I deny what I see flush it away and tell myself it won’t happen again. I am wrong.

The world is spinning around me but I am sitting still. The stall is freezing but there is sweat trickling down my neck and in the space between my breasts. I stare down at my underwear trying to comprehend what I see there. I am still spotting. It has been over 12 hours and the dark red brown blood assaults me like a fist to the stomach. I can’t breathe for the fear. I lean my head against the cool tile wall as I am sitting there and I try to slow the thunderous pumping I can feel in my chest. Time doesn’t matter. People come in and out of the bathroom do their business wash their hands leave and still I sit. I must get up. I must move my heavy legs and get to a phone. I must call my doctor. But still I sit. I concentrate on breathing in and out in and out. The coolness of the tile wall seeps into my forehead and the trickles of sweat slow then stop. Slowly the thumping in my chest subsides. Finally I am able to breathe evenly without gasping. There is quiet peace. As clear as if someone is standing next to me I hear “It is okay my child it is okay.” I concentrate inward and feel that somewhere deep inside me there is the life force of a tiny tiny baby. And that is enough for me. It will be okay. I finish my business set myself in order and go to call my doctor with peace and confidence clutched in my tightly balled fists.

I am lying on my back on a paper covered table with my bare feet in freezing cold stirrups. I am staring at a poster on the ceiling of a white sand covered beach and blue blue water that you can almost see through. The water rolls up onto the sand and I wish that right now I was standing there with my toes curled into the sand with the water lapping over my bare feet. Instead I am waiting for the doctor to come in. Instead I am chanting over and over in my head “there will be a heartbeat there will be a heartbeat.” It is a mantra and I say it and say it until I believe it. The belief overshadows the doubt that has been planted deep within by the blood on my underwear. I feel the presence of a life within but the fear is trying to take root. The doctor comes in sits down puts her hand over mine smiles. I am thankful that she does not say something stupid trying to erase my anxiety as though words have that power at this moment in time. The ultrasound machine is cold as it slips inside me and the image pops up on the screen. I see it before
the doctor says a word. Two separate individual sacs that look like little jelly beans; one little body inside each little jelly bean; one little heart beating away inside each little body. They squirm and dance in their water filled world. I feel my heart beating in my ears my chest my toes as I stare in wonder at those two tiny little heartbeats. There are two and they are both okay and there is nowhere else that I would rather be at this moment than on this paper covered table with my bare feet in freezing cold stirrups staring at my dancing babies on a black and white screen. And I feel the anticipation swelling in me until it is a force as strong and as loud and as peaceful as the ocean.

Now I know why my stomach churns and rolls in a way I have never experienced before. There is a reason for the constant nausea and the thinning patch of carpet in front of the toilet. I understand it now but it is getting harder every day and I begin to pray for it to go away as I stand at the kitchen counter the green box of vitamins clutched in my hands. My stomach is churning but I must try again. I must try to swallow these pills which make my stomach ache and churn and heave. They tell me that it is so important for my babies that I take these vitamins. They fill me with a sense of dread that my babies will have stunted growth or insufficient nutrients or birth defects. I want to take the vitamins. I really do. My body does not want to take them to accept them to use them. Each time I take them my stomach sends them right back up again. I feel the kitchen floor beneath my bare feet. I hear the ticking of the clock in the other room. Somewhere outside a dog barks. And slowly I open the box and remove the foil packets. I set them in a row on the kitchen counter and plead with them to be kind to my stomach. The glass of water sits ready and waiting and I open the first foil packet. And that is as far as I get. The smell of the vitamins is too much is too strong and it slaps me in the face. As I am running for the bathroom I think that maybe I will try again…tomorrow. Tomorrow comes as it always does and it brings with it a new set of problems and worries.

This is so not what I want to be doing this afternoon. I stand at the kitchen sink pulling a fine toothed comb through my daughter’s long wet hair again and again. A double diagnosis of strep throat and head lice makes Abby tired and grouchy. I feel a mixture of concern for my daughter and worry for the two unborn babies nestled deep in my belly. The chemicals that I comb through Abby’s hair aren’t good for her so how can they be good for two tiny people busy at the work of developing. Isn’t there a better way to do this? A sigh escapes my lips as my impatience with Abby’s squirming mounts. My poor girl is miserable but I feel nauseous and sweaty and tired. I am tired enough that I could lay down right here on the hard cold kitchen floor and fall asleep. But I don’t. I keep combing I keep telling Abby that it is okay that surely I am almost done. I think I must have been combing for hours but I want every last bug every last nit removed from her hair. I don’t want to do this again. Every time I think I am done I find another nit or bug. I want to cry I want to rest. I want to throw up. And I look around realizing that when I am done here I must start the task of vacuuming washing cleaning every inch of my house. And I know I will get no help no support no smile from my husband. He is too far gone too far away even though he is sitting in the next room. I put my hand over my swelling belly and know that I have never been more alone. Tears threaten to spill over. Oh but my poor Abby. She must be ready to cry now too. I know her throat is burning with infection and her neck must be aching from the awkward position she is sitting in. I comb and I bite back impatient remarks and I worry. I close my eyes for a split second long enough to voice a prayer. Please don’t let these awful chemicals cause any harm to my precious girl sitting in front of me with her pale little face and big blue eyes. Please don’t let any harm come to the two precious ones I harbor inside of me whom I have yet to meet yet already know.

I am standing in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room. From here I can see the empty kitchen where just a few days before I stood washing and combing the bugs from Abby’s hair the empty living room empty dining room the doors that lead to empty bedrooms. We have only lived here for one year and most of that time I have felt as though trapped in the claws of a nightmare. My children have been my one source of joy and if I concentrate on remembering I can close my eyes and see good memories. I can see my little boy walk for the first time across the living room floor in front of the big window his steps wobbly and unsure the sun shining in on his dark curls. I can see my daughter holding a wiggly spotted puppy on Christmas morning her hair in her face and sleep and a smile in her eyes. But my husband’s illness and his unwillingness to deal with it have taken over our lives. There are moments days weeks when I am screaming wondering why no one can hear me realizing it is only in my head. I am a mother of two…I have two more on the way…I am almost thirty…I don’t want to move back in with my parents. But I have no choice. My husband has quit his job and spends endless hours staring at a TV with no sound; endless hours telling me that I don’t love him that I never loved him that my family is out to get him. The rooms in front of me around me are beginning to swim in tears. I steady myself with my hand on the wall as the sobs shake me hold me consume me. I take the few steps to the kitchen door and step out into the sun. The brightness mixes with the tears in my eyes and the world is a blur. I think it is fitting that as I close and lock this door for the last time that I cannot see the rooms I am locking inside. Now I will go to the car where my children and husband wait and I will drive them to our new home in the basement of my parent’s house. There I am sure he will find another TV to stare at for hours on end until the day comes that I am ready to let him go.

And this is it. This is the moment. I have known for days that it was coming but I have not known how to prepare how to steel myself against the inevitable pain. His eyes are glazed over empty and cold. He is already gone even though he is standing here in front of me looking at me as if he doesn’t know who I am. His wedding ring that he took off and gave to me weeks before is cold and hard in my pocket and my hand is shaking as I wrap my fingers around it and pull it from its hiding place. I hold onto it as though it is a talisman. I put my arms around him hug him and he stands unmoving like a piece of stone. This man that I pledged my life to several years ago who was once so full of life is now just a shell of lost promises lost dreams. And I am broken. Deep in my belly the babies are rolling tumbling fidgeting as though they know all that I know; as though they can feel the coldness of my pain. I step back from my husband and find solace in my sister’s arms. My family forms a circle around David and offers up a prayer for his safe journey while he stares straight ahead unseeing. I try to hold it in but the sobs escape from me primal and loud and frightening. My sweet little girl places her skinny arms around her daddy’s waist buries her face in his stomach for a split second. And then she is gone into the other room hiding not wanting to see him walk out the door. My baby boy knows something is terribly wrong even though he can’t comprehend what it is. He clasps his chubby fingers together behind his daddy’s neck and buries his tiny nose in daddy’s shirt and refuses to let go. He cries and we have to pry him away from the man who has held him and loved him and cared for him and who isn’t capable of doing any of those things anymore. I see a flicker of pain cross my husband’s face but just as quickly as it was there it is gone and I see nothing. It is time. He follows his brother out the door and he doesn’t look back. I watch his retreating back and shoulders and I want to shout “STOP!” But I am quiet.

It seems like it has been mere moments but in reality it has been more like an hour and I find myself sitting in my favorite chair in the living room. How did I get here? What is time anyway? Why do we chart the pains and agonies of our lives in minutes and hours when those things know no time? I am staring up at the ceiling as though I can see through all the sheetrock the wood the shingles out into the bright blue blue sky under which my husband is driving farther and farther away from me.

Days and weeks pass and there are moments when I feel as though I am drowning black cold water pouring into me and pulling me under. But there are moments when I am removed from the pain or perhaps numb to it wrapped up in my children and my two babies growing in my belly. In spite of my loneliness I find myself wondering about these babies and counting the days until I know for sure who and what they are.

I could sit here and watch this all day long. My babies are turning looking right at me on the screen. They are sucking their thumbs and twisting and stretching and kicking one another. I can see their perfect little hearts beating and notice that one of them has a full bladder. The black and white screen is the only thing in my universe at this moment besides the comforting presence of my mom and sister and daughter at my side their eyes glued to the screen as mine are. We are rocking on the tide of this tiny yet expansive universe together. I know these babies; have known them since the beginning and I know that I have a girl and a boy as surely as I know that the moon will shine tonight but I wait for confirmation from the doctor. And now I hear that Baby A is a girl and the tears start to come slowly trickling out of the corner of my eye. And Baby B is a boy and the tears catch in my throat as my mind forms the prayer of wonder that my lips cannot. They are perfect and whole and mine and I sit and stare at their little bodies with a silly ecstatic grin on my face. And no matter what may be going on outside of this cool darkened room for this moment everything in this universe is as it should be. I leave this room and go out into the bright sun where I shield my eyes with my hand the anticipation of it all raging through and through me. But a feeling of guilt accompanies the anticipation. Guilt that deep inside of me is a sadness that sometimes overshadows the anticipation. Sadness that I am going through this alone; this wonderful heart-wrenching process of growing new life is something that I cannot even share with the father of my babies for he has left. Each time I anticipate a new experience or a milestone the anticipation is mine alone and that saddens me. And I feel guilty for being sad when my body is doing the miraculous work of creating two new lives.

Regardless of my guilt my pain my joy my excitement my body continues to grow and change to accommodate my little ones. And not just my burgeoning belly. I begin to wonder if my legs will ever look normal again. They are swollen and water-filled and enormous. I sigh. And I have months to go yet. I am only in my second trimester and I cannot begin to imagine what my legs will look like in the last months of my pregnancy. I play a little game of leaving fingerprints in my skin. I can push my finger into my foot my ankle my shin and the imprint of my fingertip stays until it slowly fills back up with water. I wear flip flops everywhere I go because my feet will not fit into any of my other shoes. And I am beyond caring about how unprofessional it is to wear my flip flops to work. I flip flop flip flop down the hall to the bathroom and then flip flop flip flop back down the hall to my desk. And I wish I had some way to elevate my feet as I sit and can feel the water filling filling filling up my already swollen legs. I try to work but my legs are throbbing with the pressure and I just want to go home and lay in the recliner with my feet up and my eyes closed the ceiling fan blowing wisps of hair around my face. But instead the tiny little fan clipped on to the shelf in my cubicle is whirring whirring and still I sweat. My shirt is sleeveless my shoes are off my head is leaned back in my chair and the sweat drips down the back of my neck and my bra is sticking to me. I am hot and miserable. And I know it is not really hot in here. It is my raging hormones the weight of two babies the extra blood pumping through my body that makes my face red and my skin sticky with sweat. My co-worker is shivering in her cubicle and she complains that just the sound of my little fan makes her cold. I wish for a really really big fan to be sitting right in front of me blowing cold air in my face on my hot arms and sweaty neck. But my little fan blows away and makes this hot stuffy little office space with its pink/purple walls seem not quite so small. I put my face right up to my little fan and close my eyes and I sit and I breathe. And I will my skin to somehow absorb the cool air to pull it inside of me to where the heat starts and rages and spreads. But the phone rings and I jump eyes opened and still I sweat. And without my knowledge as I sit here swollen and hot my babies are putting pressure on my cervix that will begin to change my body and my circumstances.

I am now 26 weeks pregnant with a shortening cervix and for the fifth time in three days I find myself sitting on a hard hospital table in the labor and delivery unit waiting for someone to come in and poke a needle into my hip. The room is hot and stuffy and unfriendly and my dad sits in a chair by the door his head leaned back against the plain white wall. I lie back on the crinkly white paper covering the table and close my eyes. The exhaustion is getting to me making my head hurt and my body ache and I know it is getting to my parents for I can see the fatigue behind their eyes and the dark circles underneath. For the past three days they have driven me the thirty minutes to the hospital every twelve hours so that I could get the shots that would help my babies’ lungs to develop faster. I hear the door open and I startle not realizing I had dozed off. A heavy set nurse walks in and asks me the same questions I have been asked over and over every time they stick me. She asks me which hip and I answer it is the left one this time. I roll over and pull the edge of my pants down exposing myself in this too bright room. I feel the familiar needle stick and then the pain of the drug begins to spread outwards. And on the long drive home I lean on my right hip my face pressed against the glass of the car window and chant in my head behind my closed eyes “just one more just one more just one more…”

But a couple of weeks pass and my body continues to slowly open and I soon find myself confined to bed. I settle back into the stack of pillows on my bed and look out the opened window at the sun and the sky and the bright red flowers growing in the flowerbed. And I remember. I remember the way I had felt not quite right for the last couple of days. I remember the crampy tightness of my stomach and the effort that it took for me to walk from my chair in the waiting room to the table in the exam room. I remember the doctor’s hand inside of me and the words that my cervix was dilating. And I am only 28 weeks and I am falling falling inside of myself reaching grabbing for something solid and sure to hold onto. I remember the nurse in the labor and delivery unit trying and trying again to get an iv into my hand and the pain that made me bite my lip and the blood that spilled from a blown iv all over the bed. I remember the relief when the needle finally slipped in and I could feel the cool fluid rushing into my veins. I remember waiting waiting watching a stupid soap opera on the tiny tv. I remember a nurse and her not so gentle exam and hearing that my cervix had not changed any more that labor had stopped. I remember being handed a prescription for a blood pressure medication that would keep my uterus from contracting and the written instructions that I was to go home and to bed and that I was not to get up except for trips to the restroom. And now here I am stretched out on my bed my enormous belly rising up from me like the moon rises at night. The babies are still right now and I slip my hands under my shirt and place them on my bare stomach and close my eyes. They feel the pressure of my hands and respond with firm rapid kicks. The simple sweet love I have for them washes over me and resonates as a beautiful humming melody in my head. And I know that I will do anything and everything to keep them safe inside of me for as long as I can. I feel myself relaxing surrendering. And I am grabbing onto my will my strength my faith and they are solid and sure. I fall asleep with a smile playing on my lips like a feather floating in the wind.

I haven’t had a shower in days. I am confined to my bed and although my body has been sponged off repeatedly my hair is hanging limp stringy oily sticking to my face. I cannot get comfortable in this bed and I cannot stand to lie on my greasy nappy head. My frustration is heavy almost palpable. And in walks my mom pulling the large green laundry basket behind her. She has emptied it of the dirty clothes and she instructs me to lie down my head over the edge of the bed hair hanging into the basket. She brings pitcher after pitcher of warm water to pour over my hair and she massages the shampoo into my scalp. It is hard for me to lie like this with the babies pressing upward onto my diaphragm. I concentrate to breathe at the same time relishing in the feel of her gentle fingers working the dirt and grease out of my hair. Again she brings pitcher after pitcher of warm water to rinse my hair. Breathing in this position is becoming increasingly hard and I am ready to turn back over onto my side. My mom wraps a fuzzy towel around my head and offers me a hand as I slowly clumsily manage to roll my body enormous with baby onto my side. I have developed a headache and I am still finding it hard to breathe a full breath. Oh but I don’t care because I am clean. The towel is removed and the comb is pulled through my pregnancy thick hair. And I fall asleep with my wet clean hair fanned out on the pillow around me. Inside of me things continue to change to open.

For three weeks I have been laying on my back in bed. For three weeks I have had to explain over and over to my two children why mommy can’t get out of bed and play with them why they can’t get up on the bed and crawl on mommy. For three weeks I have stared out this window into the beautiful September sunshine aching to feel its warmth on my face. Instead I have settled for watching hour after endless hour of the CSI marathon. And now I lay here on the exam table watching my doctor’s face as she examines me and I know that the news is not good. She withdraws her hand and pulls off the latex glove. And then she says the words I have been expecting and dreading. My cervix has dilated another centimeter and my bag of waters is bulging. I am being admitted to the hospital this afternoon. They wheel me downstairs in a wheelchair so that I can tell the kind elderly couple from my church who have driven me here today that I am to stay that they can go ahead without me.

I am wheeled into a room and given a hospital gown. I am told that I am allowed to get up and use the restroom and that I am allowed a ten minute shower every day. The shower part thrills me as that is more than I have been allowed at home. I put on the ugly flowered gown and crawl into the bed with its stiff sheets and realize that I have nothing here. I have no toothbrush no comb no lotion no books to read and most importantly no clean underwear. I will call my parents later and ask them to bring me what I need. For now I just lie here and look out my window into the parking lot. Cars come and go people come and go and here I lie. And the truth sets in. I am thirty minutes away from home and I know I will not be able to see my kids everyday. I will have to settle for brief agonizing visits on the weekends. My heart aches inside of me at the thought a quiet ache that is furled tight and then spreads outwards. Their dad has left has deserted them and now I am leaving them too and I catch my breath with the pain. In the same instant that I am reeling from the blow the gratitude comes quietly like a gentle summer rain lightly pattering on the grass. Oh what I have to be thankful for! I didn’t want to move in with my parents three months ago but I am beginning to realize that it was all a part of some divine plan for I know I will never have to worry about whether my kids are safe or getting enough to eat or enough love and care to sustain them. They are with my parents and I know that their every need will be provided for. I have only been here for a few minutes but I am already lonely for them and I cannot help the tear that rolls down my face onto my belly full of babies. In that moment I am reminded why I am here what all of this is for. And I put my arms around the stomach that is holding protecting the two little ones that I have yet to meet. I hold them and love them and breathe in and out willing myself to be strong to do what needs to be done.

Oh but it doesn’t end there. My body continues to try and expel my precious babies cervix dilating water bag bulging. And I am sent over to labor and delivery and hooked up to an iv that will pump magnesium into my bloodstream in order to try and calm my overstressed uterus. And the needle is in is taped to my left hand and I think I am dying. It starts out as a raging ball of heat in the center of my chest and then it expands outwards until I can feel it in the tips of my fingers and toes. I can’t breathe and I feel like I am going to throw up. This must be what hell is like. I want to rip this iv out of my hand. I want to be somewhere cold freezing arctic. I press the button to page the nurse again and again until she calmly walks in my door as though she doesn’t realize this is a serious emergency. I tell her that I must be dying that I am going to pass out that there is this unrelenting heat coming from somewhere inside of me. She tells me that is perfectly normal and turns the thermostat in my room down to 65 degrees. Normal? Is she crazy? I start to cry and my mom arrives. She takes one look at my red face and the sweat dripping off my hair and asks for a fan. She then promptly puts her coat back on. For three days this drug is pumped into my body in an attempt to stall labor to keep my cervix from dilating past 4 centimeters. My family takes turns staying with me wrapped in their coats and blankets while I am in a thin cotton gown sweating profusely. The drug numbs me and I cannot even tell when I have to pee. Every so often they help me to get out of bed to use the portable toilet the nurses have placed in my room. I have no control over my legs they are heavy like lead and useless so they use their hands to pull one leg and then the other to the edge of the bed where they put their hands under my arms and pull me to my feet. And I sit on the toilet and go and go and I did not know I even needed to go. My speech is slurred and my vision is blurry. I cannot concentrate to watch tv or read a book because everything is swimming in front of my eyes. I cannot roll over in bed because the wires attached to my stomach lose the babies’ heart rates and nurses come rushing into the room ordering me to lay this way or that way. My hips begin to ache a dull steady ache and my sister rubs them trying to relieve the pressure. I cannot eat anything but jell-o and chicken broth but I am starving and overdo it and promptly throw up bright red on the white sheets on myself in the little kidney shaped bowl that my mom holds. I go back to drinking sprite and water. I don’t sleep at night. I am hot I am hungry I am stiff and uncomfortable and in need of a shower. But I close my eyes and think of my babies that are too tiny to be born yet. I visualize them getting bigger stronger fatter. As much as my arms ache to hold them it is not time yet it is not safe yet.

And on the third day the iv is turned off. Labor has stopped. Four hours later I am allowed to return to my room and allowed to take a shower. I sit on the plastic chair eyes closed face turned up letting the warm water run over my belly and breasts ripe and beautiful with pregnancy. And I pray.

I am bored of sitting in this bed staring at the tv hour after hour and I am trying to write in my journal but my hands are shaking so hard that I cannot seem to hold onto my pen. My handwriting resembles the scratchings of a child learning to write. The terbutaline is keeping my uterus from contracting but I cannot seem to quit shaking and I can feel my heart thumping away in my chest. I let my pen drop to the bed and a drop of red ink spreads into the sheets. I settle back into my pillow and think. For that is what I do day after day after long day in this hospital bed with the unchanging view out my window. I am lonely and tired and angry. My anger colored in red and orange reaches out over the miles the oceans the countries to my husband far far away who has left me to do all of this alone. I have missed him I miss him still. But my anger at his immaturity his self-centeredness his willingness to abandon his children abandon me is becoming stronger than the ache of missing him. In the back of my clouded mind a realization is dawning that I will never see him again. But I do not cannot acknowledge it yet. For now it is easier to focus on the anger. I bite my lip to keep from disturbing my roommate on the other side of the thin cotton curtain with the words that long to spill out of my angry mouth. I am quiet. My fan blows cool air across my hot feet and hairy legs and I wish there was some way to get that air into the hot sweaty place between my enormous belly and the tops of my thighs. My heart is racing racing and I sigh and fall into a not so deep sleep for it is late.

It is 5:30 am and the nurse comes in to give me my meds and attach me to the monitor for my non-stress test. The room is still dark and I hear another nurse talking quietly to my roommate. My nurse takes my blood pressure and checks my heart rate. And she cannot give me my meds because my heart is beating too fast. I could have told her that. Only minutes out of sleep I can feel every hard fast beat pounding pounding in my chest and I feel faint and nauseous. It seems that the room with its white walls and pukey pink curtains is spinning around and around. She comes back in two hours and my heart is beating even faster and I feel so sick. I wonder if I am going to have a heart attack. And at the advice of the maternal fetal specialist they discontinue my dose of terbutaline. I am at 34 weeks and they have done all they can do. And I know that this is the beginning of the end. And at that end waiting expectantly for me is a new beginning. I close my eyes and go back to sleep.

My eyes open and I am not sure why. The clock on the wall says it is 2am and the room is dark and quiet. If I listen carefully I can hear my roommate’s soft steady breath and somewhere down the hall a door closes. And then I feel it. A cramp in my lower belly that starts in the center and spreads outwards like a shaft of lightning spreading across a black sky. I wait. And five minutes later I feel it again and this time I catch my breath. It has only been a little over twenty four hours since my last dose of terbutaline and already my body is ready to complete the journey towards birth that was started 34 weeks ago. I watch the clock and every five minutes or so a powerful surge grips my belly. The babies are active twisting and turning and kicking. From the outside I can make out little feet and hands pushing against my too tight skin. And I smile knowing that today I will get to meet these little people that I have sheltered inside of me. My nurse will come in at 5:30 for my non-stress test so I decide to just wait for now quietly and peacefully. I want to be alone with my babies. I want to anticipate the moment that I will see each of them and the moment that they will be introduced to their big sister and big brother. And I pray. In the quiet darkness of this room with the view of the moon and the stars outside my window I pray that they are big enough that they will be okay that it is safe for them to come now. If I could kneel on this cold tile floor I would but instead I lie on my side in my narrow hospital bed and let my prayers swirl around me and above me. I let them lift me up. I wish I could reach my hands up up up to the sky and grab a handful of the stars to hold for they are so very bright tonight. And every few minutes I stop to breathe deep through the pain.

Is there an end to this non-stress test? I look again at the clock with its slow moving hands. It is 6:30. I have been hooked up to this machine with its wires criss-crossing all over me for an hour. And still the pain comes every few minutes making me close my eyes tight and breathe cheeks puffed out and I want to pull these wires off of me and throw them with gusto into the trash can. And every so often the nurse comes in and looks at the paper that is printing out my contractions and the babies’ heart beats. She studies it as though it makes no sense to her and then she leaves as if she thinks when she comes back the next time the paper will say something different. I want to scream at her “I am in labor don’t you understand that?” But I say nothing to her. I am afraid of what I might say. Instead I reach out my hand pick up the phone and call my mom.

The machine has run out of paper. But the tightenings the crampings the surgings continue with force. The nurse comes in and wonders why I did not call her to tell her the paper was gone. I just look at her and decide that it is not worth it to tell her that I don’t need a paper printout to verify that I am in labor. She would not understand. They have decided to put in an iv and pump me full of fluids to see if they can stop my contractions. I try to object but am told it is doctor’s orders. My mom and dad and sister arrive in time to see the nurse attempting to put the iv in my arm. Of course it blows and blood is everywhere and finally I cannot take anymore. My arms are covered in bruises varying shades of purple and green and black from my weeks in the hospital. I am tired of being poked and prodded and I cry and scream that I just want to be left alone. I am sure I must look half crazed with my red tear streaked face and uncombed hair and bright angry eyes. And I no longer care. But my mom takes my hand and whispers to me that today is the day that it is almost over that I can do this. So I only cry softly as the nurse tries again with the needle and this time succeeds. The fluid drips drips drips and the bag empties and flattens and still my belly surges. As I knew it would. And then the nurse reaches inside of me and calmly announces that I am still at four centimeters as I have been for weeks. And I do not understand. How can that be? But she smiles at me and says that because my little girl is lying transverse there is no pressure on the cervix with my contractions. And my eyes close over the tears as another pain grips my abdomen and I am lost somewhere inside of myself. Surely they will not leave me like this in this pain. The nurse throws the latex glove in the trashcan and goes to talk to my doctor.

My family sits with me their quiet presence loud with its love and support. And almost before I realize what is happening my nurse sets my chart thick with weeks worth of hospital papers on my bed and the brake is being released. And this is it. I am wheeled past my quiet roommate out the door of the room that has been my home and down the long hall towards labor and delivery. My family grabs the video camera the other cameras and runs to catch up. I hear their feet behind me on the tile floor. I am wheeled into a room where my mom dons a sterile gown and cap while my dad and sister make sure there is film in the cameras. I am given a sour purple liquid to drink to keep me from becoming nauseated during the surgery. The taste of the horrid liquid itself is enough to make anyone nauseated and I swallow against my gag reflex. My gown is lifted up and my hair is shaved where the incision will be made. I scrawl my signature on a consent form for the anesthesiologist. And all this time I am fighting not to lose myself in the pain spreading through and through me. It is time. I am wheeled into the OR with my mom beside me my dad and sister waiting outside the door.

I have been hovering on the brink of a turning point for weeks unable to give myself over to it. I have spent six weeks on my back in bed and I have been here at the hospital for three of those weeks. I have been poked and prodded and drugged all in an effort to keep my precious babies inside of me for just a little bit longer. And just a few minutes before I rounded my back and tucked my chin to my chest and felt the stick of a needle go into my spine as I tried to breathe. I felt something spreading from my toes and then I felt nothing at all from my chest down. The nurses picked up my legs and helped me to lie down as they moved my body into position. And here I am with a blue curtain in front of my face so I cannot see what is happening on a table so narrow that I feel I would surely topple off if I could move my extremities. An oxygen mask is being strapped to my face and my mom is given a stool to sit on right next to my head. My body has given up it has rebelled and my babies are going to be born today. And I am no longer hovering on the brink of my turning point but falling into it with sudden fear and unacceptance. In the back of my mind I have known for weeks that I would probably end up having a c-section but I have refused to think much about it hoping praying pleading that my babies would move and turn. But they haven’t. And now I want to cry as I realize that my babies will be cut from me in this cold white sterile room. I stare at the white tiles in the ceiling and concentrate on counting them concentrate on keeping the tears from spilling over down my cheeks and dropping to the ammonia bleached floor. Nurses are all in a bustle around me and my doctor is scrubbing up and the doctors and nurses from the NICU are putting on their sterile gowns and preparing the warmers for my babies. And in the noise and ordered chaos around me I also begin to face the reality that I will not be taking my babies home with me like I had hoped. I now know that they will spend time in the NICU hooked up to wires and machines that I will not be able to hold them immediately that I will have to leave this place empty handed. I have refused to confront this for weeks but with the incision about to be made in my belly the time for illusions and fantasies has gone. My swollen overtaxed body simply cannot contain their growing little bodies any longer. I have fought and fought to keep them inside of me for this long but the time has come. And as my mom sits beside me her hands gently on my head I also confront the reality that my husband is gone and that he really has no place at the birth of these children. My parents have loved and cared for my kids and me for months and it is right and natural for her to be here with me. It is at that same instant that I begin the journey to knowing and understanding that my life will continue to move on without him that I will be happy and at peace without him even though I do not yet realize it.

And before I am ready an incision is being made in my belly and I feel pressure and I am scared and straining waiting praying to hear a cry. And at 11:37 am my little girl fills the room with her angry cry and my heart soars at the sound and the tears of relief joy thankfulness roll from my eyes. I want to see her to touch her and hold her. I can hear her cries as the doctors work on her as I feel more pressure more pushing on my stomach. Oh please let him cry too let him be okay too. And at 11:39 am my little boy is born and he cries. And my heart leaps into my throat and I cry with him the joy and the love filling me up from the inside out and overflowing into that operating room that had looked so unfriendly just a few minutes before. My mom is smiling and taking pictures and telling me they are beautiful. I ache to see my babies to look on them with my own eyes and tell them how much I love each of them. But my doctor is stitching me up and there is pressure and I feel hot and I cannot breathe and I am sick. Too late the anesthesiologist injects the anti-nausea medicine into my iv and I miss the bowl that my mom holds in front of my face and I throw up on her and the floor. And while I still have the rancid taste in my mouth my babies are brought to me wrapped tightly in blankets before being taken away to the NICU. I touch Malaika’s pointy little nose and Isaiah’s tiny tiny ear and I marvel at the small packages of beautiful perfection they are. And I hope that somehow my touch comforts them.

As my babies are taken from the room I repress a sob for this is not the birth the beginning that I have wanted for them. But in spite of my sadness my disappointment I know that I have gained a release of monumental importance. This beautiful cold October morning my mom has tended to my needs I have thrown up bright yellow all over her she has talked tenderly to me and advocated passionately for me and I have realized her deep love for me. In these moments her love has lifted me up to a place of peace. And I have turned the corner given myself up to the experience and accepted what is.

And now after all of the hustle and bustle of the morning I am alone. Totally alone in a cool empty room reaching my hands down to my stomach and for the first time in months not feeling a kick in response. My babies are down the hall in the NICU my family is with them and I am alone in this recovery room. And I miss my babies. I miss the reassurance of their kicking and twisting inside of me. And I am lying here aching to hold them to make sure they are alright. I am so tired and I close my eyes and almost immediately I am spinning into sleep bright colored lights behind my eyes. But the door opens and in walks the social worker. She has news about my babies and I am instantly awake. She says that Malaika is four pounds two ounces and Isaiah is an even five pounds. Malaika is doing fine and I knew she would be and I begin to relax. But Isaiah has to work too hard to breathe on his own. They have given my sweet boy a dose of surfactant to help his lungs contract better and he has been hooked up to a ventilator. I imagine my tiny little man with tubes down his throat and I want to run to him. But I can’t. I cannot even feel my legs yet. The social worker assures me that he is doing very well they are just being cautious she is sure everything will be fine. But I am crying and she is uncomfortable and she shuts the door quietly behind her as she leaves. And now I know I will not be able to sleep and I turn my head to the wall and let the tears run down the side of my cheek to soak the pillow under my head.

I am propped up on pillows in my bed in the post partum unit and I am watching the hands of the clock tick slowly by. I want to see my babies. My family has been in the NICU with them all afternoon and two of my friends have been allowed to see my babies but still I sit here in this bed the spinal finally beginning to wear off. And now I am itching. My face itches deep deep inside from the morphine I was given to make me relax for the spinal. It feels like something is crawling in there and my face is red from the scratching. I am beginning to feel stinging stabbing pain in my lower abdomen and am given oral painkillers. I want to see my babies. I am told I must wait a little longer until my legs are stronger. I cannot go to them just yet. I clench my hands into fists over and over. And I wonder what kind of a mother I am allowing someone to make me stay here when all I want is to run across the hall to my babies. My heart aches for them a slow steady pain in the deepest part of myself.

Finally. It is just now after 7pm and they are finally helping me into a wheelchair and slinging the bag from my catheter over the bar on the back of the chair. I am pushing myself against the pain catching my breath in short little gasps. My fluids iv is attached to a pole on wheels and we begin our slow procession across the hall. My heart is pounding in my chest and I want to leap out of the chair and run to the NICU because I do not like moving this slow. The only thing that stops me is the pain in my belly. I sign my name to the sign-in sheet and wash my hands and suddenly there they are. Perfect and tiny and almost hidden behind the wires and tubes that are crawling all over them. My heart melts. Isaiah is on his back and I can barely make out his face behind the breathing tube that is taped to his face before it disappears into his mouth. But I can see enough to know that he looks exactly like his big brother. There is a rag over his eyes to keep the bright lights out and he has an iv run through his belly button. He is covered in wires that lead to machines that read his heartbeat and his respiration rate and the level of oxygen in his blood. And he looks so tiny and helpless. He hears a loud noise and startles arms flung out to the sides. I put my finger into his bony little hand and he squeezes tight body relaxing. I am not allowed to hold him because of the breathing tube so I run my hands over his fuzzy hair and his perfect nose and feel the soft warmth of him. I stroke his stomach and his legs and can feel all of his soft little bones underneath his skin and I whisper in his ear that I love him. And he turns to the sound of my voice and something inside of me begins to sing for even though he was taken from me and I have not yet held him my son knows me. I continue to speak softly to him stroking his hair and he breathes evenly and sleeps. And then there is Malaika. She is even smaller bonier pointier than her brother but she is strong and immediately turns to me and opens her eyes up wide for there is no rag over them. She too is covered in wires but she has no tubes down her throat or iv’s in her belly. And I am allowed to hold her. She is tiny and feels weightless in my arms like I am holding nothing but a fluffy white cloud. She has closed her eyes and gone to sleep and I am left to study her moon shaped fingernails and her little eyelids that have no eyelashes yet. I can feel her breathing softly and she has snuggled down into the crook of my left arm content and quiet. And I know that she knows me too. I run my fingers along the outline of her soft spot on her head and I unwrap her feet and notice that they aren’t even as long as my littlest finger. I lean my head back and close my eyes and just feel her body next to mine. But they notice that I am looking tired and take her from me. Before I leave I kiss the tops of my babies’ tiny heads and I am given Polaroid shots of them to take to my room with me. I clutch them in my hands and to my chest knowing they are no substitute for the real thing and that I want my babies sleeping in little bassinets next to my bed within reach of my arms and my eyes. But that is not to be and so I sigh blinking back the tears as they release the brake on my chair and wheel me away from my little ones.

It has been four days since my babies were born and I have treasured in my heart every moment feeding them holding them loving them. I have been in the NICU with them all day every day only going back to my room to sleep weary and sore. But I am with them even then as I close my eyes and dream of their little eyes and lips and noses. But the time has come for me to leave them. The pants lie next to me on the hospital bed but I do not put them on. I stare at them; I stare at my bag that sits packed and ready to go. This hospital has been my home for weeks and I can’t remember the last time that I wore pants. I pick up the pants and hold them in my hands. The tears start slowly and then come faster and faster. How can I just go and leave my babies here? How how how? No mother wants to give birth and then go home empty handed. If I put these pants on then I must get up and walk out the door and leave my babies in someone else’s care. But even if I stubbornly refuse to put them on I must leave anyway. I must walk out the door and leave my precious ones hooked up to machines that monitor their well-being. I must kiss their tiny little fingers and toes and go home where I will stare for long hours at the empty crib next to my bed. I quiet the sobs that are racking my chest and I sigh a long long sigh attempting to blow out the pain like one would blow out a candle. It doesn’t work. Still fighting fighting fighting I put one leg in the pants and then the other wincing from the pain of the fresh wound across my lower belly. The pants are on; I stand to leave wincing from the pain of the fresh wound across my heart.


Epilogue

Months have passed since that cold day in October when my babies were born. And they are home and growing fat little thighs and fat little toes and finally all is well. My anticipation continues to grow day by day a steady solid force that lifts me up and gives me joy. I anticipate every day with my four blessings. I anticipate what each of them will do or say or learn that day. And slowly peacefully the sadness and the guilt in my heart has been quieted and all that matters is the light that I see in each of their faces and the light that surrounds us every moment. I anticipate spending the rest of my life watching each of them knowing each of them learning from each of them. For with the births of my babies I have been reborn.


*For Abby, Maxwell, Malaika and Isaiah. You are each a treasure from God, and I love you each so very much. For you have made me who I am.
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#3 of 12 Old 06-05-2005, 12:52 AM
 
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I found this group just a couple of weeks ago and have been reading everyone's posts. I've read several of yours Nora, and thought they were all beautiful. It's so good to see it all put together into such a poignant and beautiful story. I'm in tears as I finish it! Very well done! Thak you for sharing!

Jessi Kirby
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#4 of 12 Old 06-05-2005, 02:46 AM
 
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Well, I just finished my birth story (this most recent version anyway). This has been a very fufilling experience. I share this story with you in trust. Each of our stories is so life changing, affirming, beautiful, hard, amazing. I look forward to reading the stories written and posted here, and hope to hear back from you about mine. (Nora, I started reading your story and will continue tomorow...sleep is calling my name. Your story truly touches my heart and you write very beautifully).
With love and light,
Simcha

The Birth Story of Amaya Madrone

I want to remember my power on those laboring days. My perseverance and inner strength. The supportive loving women who helped me and my wonderful man. I want to remember that I rode each contraction…I never once thought of pain medications. I only knew to let each one come and pass through me.
Life on her way through me.
The eternity in the bedroom…hands and knees and pushing back into a cat-like position. And Delilah (my kitty) wandering in and out to see what I was doing. All those moans and moans and moans. And later, as I reckoned with the forces, the growling. Not struggling against, but surging with undeniable power. Pushing with all my might.
And continuing to do so for 10 long hours
and hours
and hours.
My man and my midwives encouraged me to stand and walk as perhaps that might aid my pushes and bring this baby down and out. "How about walking outside" they suggested. The eternity between the bedroom and the sliding glass doors...I could not fathom the long journey. So I stood and hung from my man's shoulders. That pressure...the most incredible, intense, un-explainable force surging through me. I could barely handle it. Yet I did, for hours more. I stood when I could, and even braved a shower on my own. My babe's head pressing against my inner most being.
Yet, she was not born...not yet. I asked my man the time, he told me "4 and some change" (though after the birth he admitted it was 3 minutes to 5). Though there were few to no thoughts outside of labor, I was able to do the math... I had been pushing for 7 hours. Why was she not here yet? What was hindering her descent? Desperation and exhaustion led me to the tub once more. It was there that one of my midwives told me that the heart beat was starting to be off and that we really should go to the hospital birth center. I knew that we had to go at that point...for my baby. Yet the despair of leaving home and the birth I had envisioned left me feeling so dissapointed, worn out...Actually there aren't even words for those few moments of time. The realization that the dream was not to be. Getting out of the tub, into some pants, slippers, a robe. Unable to talk to any of my beloved birth team. Beyond tears.
Out the door into the pre-dawn morning. Pausing for contractions. The car ride, surreal. The midwife's van ahead, her rear lights, gleaming red in the darkness. Pushing in the front seat. Drenching my pants. Pee, amniotic fluid. And pulling up to the hospital.
And then, when I was told to lay on my back with my feet on the squat bar, and without water, and with an oxygen mask (on and off and on again) and with the fetal heart monitor, and with a few minutes of the uterine catheter in place, I still pushed. When that doctor came in the room and said I may need a cesarean, I continued pushing, seeking reassurance from those loving people surrounding me, trying to believe that I could bring forth my baby into the light.
I pushed with all my might, through exhaustion, through puffy eyes, through fear, determination. I pushed through disbelief and not being able to see my yoni opening, opening, her head filling my opening. Pushing through my pain, my maidenhood, my lost expectations, past all that. And even when I agreed to the vacuum, me-miss natural homebirth spokesmama, I was grasping at the possibility that with the help of the vacuum my baby could be born, the exhaustion over.
And so I pushed with a force unknown to me and there is barely any other recollections in those moments. Only pushing and burning and then – I felt her body slide miraculously from my body into this world. And through the flurry of activity that followed, with that brief glimpse of her face and head - not yet in this world, but still shifting over, I knew that she was ok. I did not worry – only yearned for her soft body snuggled on mine. She was cut from me, brought to a warming table for breath work under bright lights. The beginning I had tried to shield her from. Yet when the time came when she was brought to me, my sweet baby child lay in my arms and love poured forth through and within me, immersing me with awe, love, reverence for this beautiful being who lay peacefully looking into my eyes. She was here, the babe of my dreams, a little girl after all.
My eternal daughter, for you I will endure anything. I love you Amaya Madrone.
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#5 of 12 Old 06-07-2005, 12:32 AM
 
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Nora,
I have tears in my eyes. What a long, difficult journey you took to bring your babes into the light. You are so strong, brave & perservering! I am happy to know that now all is well with your babies. I wish you & your family joy & bright blessings. I wish I could see a picture of your sweet twins. girl: boy: I would love to hear the story of the day you brought them home! Please e-mail me sometime if you'd like....[email protected]
with thanks for your shared story,
Simcha
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#6 of 12 Old 06-09-2005, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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To say thank you seems so superficial, but please know when I say those words, I say them with tears in my eyes and fullness in my heart. Thank you for sharing your stories, both of you. I want to go back and re read them when my kids are asleep. I look forward to spending more time with your words.

Jesse
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#7 of 12 Old 06-16-2005, 07:54 PM
 
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This is the story of the birth of my DS who is 10 now. It definately wasn't the birthing experience that i wanted so it is cathartic to post it here, Thank you for reading



WEYLINS BIRTH by Kelly G 6/16/05



Resting in the bathtub, tears streaming into the unsettled waters, i think back on the midwives words, I would need a c-section.

Nervously trusting my midwife, i quaked with fear as i pondered the reality of a hospital where personal rights had no meaning.
The water began to cool, i used my toe to reach the faucet trickling hot water into the tub., my great belly emerging from the water like a floating beachball.

I looked over at the plastic shower curtainthat was deemed to catch the flowing lifeblood that would lubricate the bringing forth of my first baby. I even bought dark red sheets, it wasn't fair.

My tears , building up like a swollen river, now raged past imaginary boulders as rounded as my babys head. He would not make that journey through the birth canal, would not press forth through my universe.

I stepped out of the tub, wrapping myself in a threadbare towel and shivered my way to the bedroom.....



Mike and i made our rounds about town that evening. Around dusk, we entered our favorite resteraunt and talked to the woman who made outrageous hats as we waited for our dinner.
As we read in bed that night, he nodded into a light sleep. The light was still on. I rose and paced around the house. Unable to sleep and uncertain as what to do.
I had not packed any bags because i was still in denial that i wouldn't be having this baby in the beauty of my own home.

At around 1:30 AM i had the first contraction of my life. I revelled in the pain of the cramp that began large and shrunk its way into the center of my being. I doubled over in its intensity and smiled, my baby was coming.

I woke up Mike to tell him it had begun, though in hindsight i wish that i had just gone off alone to have the experience of laboring with my child.
After calling the midwife, we piled into the car and wove our way to the hospital. We went directly to a place that mimicked a living room, yet smelled antiseptic. We paused every now and then for me to bend over with anticipatory pain.

I lay on the bed and a nurse put an elastic belt on me. She told me that the machine didn't show me having a contraction, yet i felt clearly the comforting tightness and dull, creeping pain that signified his coming, the machine was wrong.
I balked and lay on my side. They put a needle in my back. The Dr checked me and nodded as they wheeled me into the surgery room.

Mike lovingly cradled my head in his hands as i felt the pushing and pressure from without as they brought forth my baby boy, a job that was stolen from me

I no longer cared as we met eyes for the first time. He, held over the blue and white surgical drapes. Me , flat on my back as i reached for him, they carried him away. Paralyzed with longing and tethered by my inability to move, i cried as they went out of my sight.

I , now alone waited as they washed the white cream from my baby. Mike had gone along to supervise, unable to interveneas they rinsed the birthing juices from my little boys perfect body, He cried and reached out.
Helplessly, Mike mourned the fact that i would not experience the ecstasy of feeling my baby wriggle his way towards nourishment.

Eventually they brought my baby to me so i could nurse him, his eyes red from crying.
Nursing wasn't as easy as i had thought it would be. I lay on my back. Nasty stitches on my belly. Love tucked in the crook of my arm , rooting his way towards my nipple. He latched on as he took in the colostrum. A nurse talked to me about supplementing with formula and left a stackfull of coupons on the bedside table. My milk wouldn't come in for a few days and "surely, he will be hungry". I ignored her as she turned and left us alone. My arm ached, Mike put a pillow under it.

My whole family was now in the parody of a living room, watching my prone form, waiting to hold his tiny form. He was swaddled tightly in the white blanket with blue stripes,little blue hat covering his thick ,dark hair.. He popped off the breast and i handed him grudgingly to my mother. He made his rounds with my family as they briefly said hello before gently placing him back in my arms. our skin seperated by the thin blanket as we snuggled down into the heavier one to be wheeled into the recovery room.

I had to lay on my back until the anesthetic wore off, then they propped me into a semiseated position. My baby constantly attatched to my breast.

On the second night he began crying and wouldn't stop, even to latch onto my breast. My temperature soared as i stared at the TV in the upper corner of the room. It was settled, i would remain in the hospital until my fever was normal for at least a day.
I still couldn't walk without the help of a nurse. They helped me to the batheroom and told me that i wouldn't be released until i had my first bowell movement. Terrified that i would burst my stitches, i still held back.

I , alone sat in a gliding rocking chair and a nurse brought me my baby, placing him in a bassinet across the room before whirling around to leave.
Unable to get to my whimpering baby. tears sprinkled down my cheeks as i pressed the 'call' button. no one came. My boy was now wailing as i tried in vain to reach his traumatized soul. I burst into tears as the door to my room finally cracked open.
"when you calm down, i'll hand you the baby" she said as calm as the sky before a snowstorm, but there was no calming down as she stood between me and my baby. When she finally passed him to me, he was too upset to latch on to my breast..

I rocked him in the glider that was my jail for the moment and he finally calmed down enough and was able to suckle my now dripping breast. I loosened the blanket to contact his skin. The nurse shook her head as she exited my room. He wriggled down in the loose folds of skin that had once been his shell. I leaned my head back in bliss, glad the evil nurse had left the room

When i was able to go home, i settled into the orange recliner that didn't match the rest of my house.
I could walk slowly, but not yet carry him in a sling, so we spent our days in that chair, skin to skin as we grew to know one another.

                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
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#8 of 12 Old 06-19-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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Thank you for sharing your birth story. Your writing brought images clearly to my mind of your experiences. I am so glad that you trusted your instincts about nursing and holding your little babe. I am so sorry that the nurses and hospital personell did not honor your wishes, I pray for the day when women and mother's wisdom is trusted and honored. I hope that you are fully enjoying motherhood and your precious babe now that you are home!
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#9 of 12 Old 06-19-2005, 06:00 PM
 
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Simcha, thanks for the feedback, it is always helpfull.

Are you writing a birth story?

I'm working on the one for my younger DD, who was natural (a much happier story)

I hope to see more people post theirs (a birth story junkie)

                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
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#10 of 12 Old 06-28-2005, 01:22 PM
 
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Simcha, I'm so sorry i didn't pay attention that your birth story was already posted. Did you have a c-section? that is what it seems you said . The whole experience did bring tears to my eyes (like i said, i'm a birth story junkie)

I'm sorry that i have no constructive feedback, i thought the story was wonderfully said, except i would've liked to hear more about how they cut her out of you, partially from my own experience. I'm sorry that you didn't have the homebirth that you wanted, but the whole experience brought you your beautifull Amaya Madrone, so that makes it perfect no matter what.
You also write very descriptively, i also felt what you felt, along with your dissapointments.

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#11 of 12 Old 06-29-2005, 01:42 AM
 
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Hi. I did push my babe out...no c-section thankfully. Thank you for responding to my story, it's good to hear from someone...especially since so many people seem to be reading these stories with no response. Be well!
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#12 of 12 Old 06-29-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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subscribing to come back and ready when i have time!

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