Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Wednesday-10:45am Ian Thomas McGregor!
First of all, Mama and baby are doing fine. Daddy, too. All is well. We are all thrilled! But whew! I will tell you the tale of Ian's very long awaited arrival. Of course, Dagan and Leah could tell you much, much more...and Ian, if he could talk...but I can only tell you what I know or have been told...that I can remember with my tired, fibro-fogged brain. ;)
Okay...since last we spoke...
I went over to Dagan and Leah's on Friday, as planned.
Took these pictures on the way home.
Was so nice to see blue sky. I kind of live on apartment row--LOL!
Here I'm waiting to turn by my apartment complex...
...to drive down the short way...
... to get behind the apartments to my garage. And the door wouldn't go up more than a couple inches. I did get out and use the key and it went up manually. (And the key doesn't often work until the second time you turn it--but I don't have time to report that right now and I may as well wait until it's totally broken again.)
Our days have seesawed between blue and gray skies...sunshine and rain.
This was what it looked like a few hours later.
Okay--grab a cuppa and a snack. ;)
At 3:50am early Sunday morning I got a call from Dagan that Leah had gone into labor about 1am. Truth--I had been up late finishing Gone Girl because I couldn't put it down (disappointing ending for me, but great writing and loved the concept), so I had only gotten two hours of sleep before Dagan called. I showered, packed my stuff (coffee, camera, book, etc) and headed over to their place. Took this picture on the way to the garage. The moon was hanging in the pre-dawn sky.
I had to stop on the way over to let a family of Canadian geese cross the road. Looked like the mom in the front, a passel of juveniles, and dad in the rear. I've never had to stop for a family of ducks or geese before. I took it as a really good sign. :)
Leah's water had started leaking in little gushes at 7pm Saturday night, but she didn't start contractions until 1am. The midwife was notified. Leah was very calm...just waiting out those phase one contractions. It was so peaceful and calm. So different than being at the hospital. I loved it! Leah alternated between sitting on her big rubber ball and leaning her arms and head on their bed (most comfortable for her), lying on the bed, walking...she could eat, drink, and even took a shower. I went up every few hours to visit with her a short while, but it was their time, you know? :)
The contractions fluctuated between 2-5 minutes apart...they'd be closer together and then get farther apart for a while...then closer together again. When they were farther apart sometimes she dozed on the bed...and sometimes Dagan dozed with her. The midwife seemed unconcerned. The tub was all set up in their master bath ready to be filled when the birth was eminent.
I'd never seen one of these.
I've never been around a home birth--let alone a water birth. This was so exciting.
In my family we have babies kind of fast and furious...so I have absolutely no idea what it is like for a mother to be in labor for more than a few hours (personally less than four from the time the water broke). Leah was making slow steady progress, the midwife assured me. Everything was okay. The baby was fine. (And I could hear his little heart for myself from downstairs when they checked his heart rate--so cool!)
I completely read The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver and loved it! Watched the second season of Derek (also a thumbs up--even if I can't stand that sleezeball, Kevin). This was the view from Dagan and Leah's house Sunday afternoon.
When I went up periodically to see Leah, she was magnificently calm. Dagan came downstairs regularly to exchange ice packs or make her a little food or get more water. He took Leah's lead and was very calm, too. The midwife, Beth, spent time downstairs and said all was fine.
It was a long night. Beth dozed on the guest bed upstairs. Dagan and Leah dozed off and on. I tried sleeping in the recliner with little success. Everyone seemed so calm, collected, focused, unconcerned...
By Monday morning when Leah hit 30 hours of labor I was getting worried that this had gone on too long with not enough progress. Leah hadn't reached that getting-down-to-business birthing phase or dilated much more than 4-5. No water had ever gone into the tub. No assistant to the midwife had been called for the delivery. Dagan and Leah were dozing together up on the bed again. Beth lived close by and had gone home briefly a couple times. Everybody else seemed totally at ease with this taking so long and Beth assured me that everything was okay and some women have longer labors and the baby was not stressed. I could tell Leah wasn't...and Dagan wasn't...
But I had been there for over 26 hours with about 45 minutes of light sleep in the chair--twice. My body had pretty much maxed out (even though I love the new recliner they bought for me and would NEVER have lasted that long without it). I was getting very nervous and jittery inside--and did not want to be the bundle of worried energy in the midst of all that calm and quiet. So I went up to tell Dagan and Leah I was going home for a while to try to take a nap and check on Karma.
I slept 2 1/2 hours and was wide awake again. No phone call that Leah had reached the delivery phase. I connected with them a few times during the day on Monday. Let's just say they were very busy (and so were my bowels by that time with the stress and all), so I stayed put. They didn't need my worried energy, you know? I believe everyone sends off energy--even when they don't say a word, you know? I knew Dagan and Leah are such a team and I just had to trust the midwife. If Leah or the baby were in any danger that Beth would get them to the hospital.
It was a long, long day.
Warm and humid.
Karma could tell I wasn't planning on going anywhere because I was washing clothes, so she asked to go out...
...on the hot porch.
There were pretty parts of the day with lots of clouds to watch rolling by. I had a hard time focusing on anything more than laundry and watched Orange Is The New Black to keep myself from pacing.
Karma got a lot of porch time.
Maybe she didn't want to be around nervous me, either--LOL!
But she has to grab her porch time while she can lately...
...because the rain clouds came rolling back in that evening.
Dagan called me late Monday night and said that they were going to shut off phones and see how the next few hours went, because if nothing had changed by morning Leah would have to go to the hospital and they might have to take him cesarean.
I finished season two of Orange.
Got in a 2 1/2 hour nap during the night.
Dagan called 6:30 Tuesday morning--they were going to head to the hospital.
I can see the hospital from my window. Essentia is right there in the center of the horizon.
The police were here again for some reason.
Waited for news.
Finally I couldn't take it anymore and called the hospital at noon--thinking they could give me some information since I hadn't heard anything since 6:30am, right? I didn't want to disturb them if they were in the middle of delivery or if she was having a C-section...but they patched me through to her birthing room. Dagan answered. They had given Leah medication to increase the strength of the contractions and thought it could be within an hour or so (which he doesn't remember telling me--LOL!). Leah still wanted to have him naturally. I was so glad.
I felt like a father in the old days...just nervously stalled in the waiting room.
I texted Dagan at 4:30pm.
I texted him again at 6pm.
I tried to call his cell.
Went to voice mail.
I finally called the hospital and they patched me in to Leah's room.
Beth answered--told me in a hushed voice that Dagan and Leah were both sleeping.
This is Rita, Dagan's mom...
But Leah had woken up and took the phone.
Leah told me that the contractions got so bad so fast immediately after they gave her the medication that she ended up needing an epidural. So she wasn't having the crazy sharp pain and was resting...but hadn't had the baby yet. Said I had to call because I hadn't heard anything since before they left for the hospital and told her to go back to sleep.
Rain moved in again.
Finally I got a text at 10:37pm!!
Ian Thomas McGregor was born at 9:52pm and mother and baby were doing fine!
Of course, I tried to text him back to ask height and weight and was it natural or cesarean? Waited...but my patience had worn thin by that time and I was too excited, so I finally called him. :)
Leah had Ian naturally.
He weighed 10 pounds 9 ounces!!
And did I want to come over and see him?
From the nerves of almost 69 hours of labor there was nothing left inside of me for IBS to be an issue at that point--LOL! So off I went to meet my grandson!!
OMG!! He's huge!!
They put him under a warming light and were checking his blood sugar level because that had dropped during the stress of the long delivery...
...but that was okay before I left and they could all finally sleep (1:30am?--all a blur!).
I held little Ian for quite a while and heard jumbled details about the whole ordeal. They wanted to do a cesarean, but Leah held out. (She's amazing!) They couldn't get Ian's heartbeat at one point with the tummy monitor and so during the awful contractions that didn't subside they were trying to attach the monitor to his head inside of her--and that took three tries. Right after that Leah was going to get into the tub to see if that would help with the pain...and Dagan was helping her take her blankets off...and he pulled it back out! He said--I lost it! He just cried he felt so badly after what she had just gone through to get that fetal monitor in during all that pain. Leah was reassuring him that it was okay...it was okay.
She said she did a little better in the tub for a short while, but the contractions were so violent and painful that she just couldn't take it anymore even in the warm tub and agreed to the epidural...which they had a difficult time administering and it took more than once...two or three times, they weren't sure. Whew!
But then things kind of stalled again, it sounds like. The doctor finally said she could give her half an hour more but then she'd probably have to have him cesarean. Leah wasn't having any of that--so she just pushed like crazy!! Dagan was so proud of her! Can you imagine how tired she was!?! Her water had broken over three days before--and she'd been in labor nearly three days! But finally little Ian arrived! (Well, he's not really little--LOL!)
I think I got home about 1:30ish. Needed to unwind a bit and watch some Big Bang repeats...grinning from ear to ear. Actually crashed from 3-9:30am, but was too excited to get back to sleep again. Going to go over to the hospital after I finally finish this post (which by now it is almost 2:30pm!). Gramma Rita is over the moon! :) :)
I'm sure I have missed a lot and may have gotten a detail wrong, but I am doing my best...punch-drunk-tired and still grinning! More to come! You betcha!
“Babies are soft. Anyone looking at them can see the tender, fragile skin and know it for the rose-leaf softness that invites a finger's touch. But when you live with them and love them, you feel the softness going inward, the round-cheeked flesh wobbly as custard, the boneless splay of the tiny hands. Their joints are melted rubber, and even when you kiss them hard, in the passion of loving their existence, your lips sink down and seem never to find bone. Holding them against you, they melt and mold, as though they might at any moment flow back into your body.
But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child. That thing that says 'I am,' and forms the core of personality."