The pregnancy and birth of our last child was very public.
I posted weekly updates, sharing my joys and concerns. My readers saw me every step of the way through that journey. It was a fun way to celebrate new life!
Creed’s pregnancy followed on the heels of 2 back-to-back miscarriages – something I had never faced before. I wondered if my body was failing me, if I was getting old, or if there was something wrong. My doctor was convinced it was none of the above and even sent me a card as I waited to miscarry the second time, telling me how she looked forward to seeing me under happier circumstances. (note: I miscarried both of those babies naturally. The wait was excruciating, but it truly is much easier to deal with than having a D&C.)
Creed’s pregnancy came at my favorite time of year to be pregnant and give birth. I prefer to be sick during the hot summer and relish the cool days when I feel well, and have baby shortly before or after the holidays when there is so much to keep my mind busy. Creed would make the 4th birthday in January – born on my grandfather’s birthday (he passed away when I was newly pregnant with Creed).
We had an hour drive to the hospital in the early morning hours of January 17, 2013. The contractions I was having at my appointment just a few hours before were piling on top of each other, and I was pretty much screaming. (Yeah, I can admit it – it was not pleasant.) Once at the hospital, they did not relax at all (usually I have a bit of reprieve once I get to the hospital, but not this time), and I asked for an epidural.
I’m going to take a second here to talk candidly…
I refuse to guilt people about how they choose to birth. I’ve done this birthing thing every which way, and you have to make choices based on what you need at that exact moment in time. I have birthed 8 babies, and if I want an epidural, I am allowed to have an epidural. That won’t necessarily be my choice every time. But this time it was. (You can read the first 2 parts of my birthing journey HERE and HERE if you are interested to read about all the different birth experiences I’ve had.)
I did have a bit of a blood pressure dip during labor. I have low blood pressure anyway and I got where I needed some fluids to get me perked up enough to push. And because of my diastasis recti, my doctor had to position baby by pushing on my belly to get him where he needed to be. But, a few pushes and he was here – all 10 pounds, 15 ounces of him!
And as you can see, a head FULL of hair!
The hospital I birth at has some awesome newborn policies in place – kangaroo care (skin-to-skin) the first hour, 2 hours recovery for mom without interruptions, no vitals if baby or mama is sleeping the entire hospital stay.
But, we did have quite a scare that came later that morning…
The pediatric resident came in and took a very long time listening to Creed’s heart. At birth, he had been a little wet on his lungs, so we figured that was what the doctor was hearing. However, we quickly realized he was taking entirely too long for that to be all it was.
And then he asks us the question…
“Have you ever had a child with a congenital defect.”
My heart sank as we relayed Emily’s story. Emily had malrotation of the intestine, and it is not uncommon for that malrotation to manifest itself in other parts of the body – the heart included. Even though Emily’s heart had not been on the wrong side, we wondered if Creed might be exhibiting a similar defect. The doctor ordered a chest X-ray as I sat there in shock. I am embarrassed to say I could not even look over at Creed. He looked so much like Emily – his fluffy, dark hair, his round little face – the pain was too much. My mind raced along all the possibilities as we waited for the results.
Emily & Creed – the resemblance in the early days was uncanny.
Ty stepped out to get me a drink, and for many months kept from me the fact that he saw Emily’s surgeon in the hallway. It shook him to the core, but he knew he could not share it with me. I am grateful he kept that from me. I don’t know if I could have handled it at the time.
Meanwhile, my children all came up to the room to see the baby. The fear on my face was all to obvious, and they were ushered back out and sent home due to the potential for sickness and the fact that we were dealing with something traumatic. They didn’t understand what was going on, and sadly, they would not hold their baby brother for another week. More on that in a moment…
Finally, the doctor came back in and told us he is rarely wrong, but this time, he was wrong. I bawled. The wetness on Creed’s lung had pushed his heart over a bit. It would return to normal once his lung dried out. I finally felt like I could relax and enjoy my newest little one.
Creed was a dream baby. After a colicky 7th child, it was a welcome relief to have a child who was calm.
Remember, I said his siblings did not hold him for a week? Well, unbeknownst to us, the 6 year old was coming down with a fever the day Creed was born. By the next day, nearly all the children were sick. They were at two different grandparents houses, and it took a week for them to be well enough to come home.
During that time, Ty and I were like brand new parents. It was just us and Baby Creed. It was bizarre, but in many ways blessed. My attentions were not pulled in 10 different directions. I had only baby and myself to care for. Ty was able to spend a lot of time with baby as well. And my recovery was much quicker.
In many cultures, mom and baby take up to 2 weeks shut away from the rest of the world. I would have told you prior to this birth, that that would have driven me crazy. But no more. I see the merit in time with just mom and baby. I see the merit in really taking it easy. Sadly, in our culture, this is not typically a possibility. The women of the village are not available for this type of aftercare. And so we muddle through the best we can.
Fast-forward to today…Creed is now a roly-poly 15 month old!
He’s a joy to have around (although, I really wish he’d stop climbing up on top of the table!). He’s all smiles and giggles as he trots through the house.
And he has something to tell you!
This birthing journey isn’t finished yet…
Coming December 2014!