Monday, May 12, 2014

Theo's Birth Story

What a month... Early april saw a very pregnant me bumming around Lopez waiting waiting waiting so did mid april, and then late april too...

this year i actually got to see the tulips and daffodils blooming in Mt Vernon. The last few years we've missed it by just a few weeks on our spring travels. 
but this year my friend Erin and I got to take a day and enjoy the beauty!

Then the week before my due date arrived and we headed off island for a planned few days to visit family and hopefully to go into labor off island. Julia got a birthday wheelbarrow and garden tool set from Grandpa Dave! 

my sisters came up and we got to see more tulips! I'd have a few decent contractions but not regularly. My due date of the 18th came and went... 

easter came and still no baby, but julia got to have easter surprises with grandma Gini. 

and finally i decided i'd had enough sitting around town waiting and i wanted to go home. 
julia discovered that the easter bunny came to the garden and left her my favorite kind of easter egg, the kind you smash open to find the treat inside. 

2 days later, on the 22nd i started having some pretty strong contractions as i was putting julia to bed and made a last second decision to try and make the last ferry of the evening, leaving 10 minutes later. we just made the ferry and our midwife just made her last ferry and we got to the hospital with a sleeping julia (in the chair) and learned that i was at 3 cm, but the baby wasn't yet engaged in the pelvis, (was floating high, -3 station and 25% effaced)  and so she couldn't break my water yet to get labor going stronger as there was risk of the cord prolapsing. The hospital was very quiet so they let me stay the night, (dave took Julia to Grandma Gini) but in the morning things were unchanged and they booted me out the door with instructions to go and walk a lot and come back in a few hours to see if things were progressing. Well I did, but they didn't. The whole day of the 23rd I walked and walked and nothing changed. That night we rented a hotel in Anacortes. the 24th was the same story except that now i had blisters on the bottom of my feet from so much walking. my mom and sister Anna came to town and we sent Mom home to lopez with julia and 4 baby turkeys from the feed store. that night we stayed at Gini's. around this time, i got checked again and learned that the baby had finally engaged enough that they could break my water, but that now there was a nurse staffing shortage and they couldn't break my water for two more days as too many women kept showing up in natural labor and it was the weekend. Well by this point I was just fit to be tied. I declared that if they couldn't break the water, I was going home to Julia.  

(she's pretending to have a baby in her tummy) and so we did, for two nights. I suddenly went from hoping desperately that my water would break to hoping it wouldn't again. and it didn't. Sunday morning, the 27th, I woke up with some fairly strong contractions that got more organized and closer as the morning progressed. We were leaving about 9 am on the ferry anyway for a scheduled induction, so we said goodbye (again) to Julia and my mom and went over to Anacortes. We got checked in and settled in our room and the midwife checked me again. I was 4 cm, 75% effaced and the baby was at 0 station. Since my contractions were so regular, she asked if I still wanted my water broken. I absolutely did! and as soon as possible so they couldn't send me home again!!! So at 11:45 am she broke my water. My sisters Grace and Caroline arrived (and later Grandma Gini and my brother in law John and his girlfriend Leslie and Grandpa Dave all arrived) and we walked the halls for awhile while my contractions obligingly got stronger and harder and closer. I want in the shower for awhile, and they got really strong and really hard and really close. I got out of the shower and started to feel perhaps a little pushy. The midwife checked again and I was 9 cm! and thank goodness as if I was only at 5, I would have asked for an epidural! It was really hard to handle the pain! Shortly I was definitely feeling pushy, and while kneeling on the bed I soon gave birth to a baby boy at 3:16 pm. 

Everyone came in and cried over him, then they all went to buy food and I was left alone with him on my chest for a good hour or so. (in which he nursed, looked at me, and took a big poop on me) then the midwife came back and weighed him and we learned that he was 9 lbs 11.8 oz! a full pound larger than Julia! I got two small stitches for a tiny tear and then everyone came back in and got to hold him for the first time while I ate and ate! Soon after, everyone went home again and we were alone with our little boy. I got out my list of names and to my surprise, Theoden stood out to me as a first name (Dave had suggested it awhile back, and I just wrote it down to humor him) and Horizon stood out as a middle name. Theoden Horizon, had a nice ring to it and for short, we could call him Theo. I suggested it to Dave and we slept on it that night. The next day he wanted to add Elias as well, in case Theo wanted a (slightly) more conventional name at some point in life. so he was named, Theoden Horizon Elias Sather. 
Gini came by in the morning 
He got his first clothing put on and we were checked out in time to catch the 10:40 ferry home.  

At home, Julia and Grandmomma Dawn met us at the door and Julia helped me carry Theo inside. She didn't yet know if he was a brother or a sister, so I told her, and that his name was Theo. She said "well, I wanted to name him Kiley Julia Dinosaur" and I told her that it would be fine if she wanted to call him that. She seemed ok with this and got to hold him for the first time.  

The first few days were so nice with my mom there to cook and clean and care for us all. Dave went back to school to sign a paper and promptly got sucked into some huge school dramas that have been ongoing since. So much for paternity leave! But we did fine with my mom there, and when she had to go, a few days later my sisters Caroline and Grace both came for a few days each. So we've made it to 2 weeks with relative ease. Theo is nursing well and growing. Julia adores him and smooches him every chance she gets. I've managed to care for both kids, the house, the garden, the chickens and the turkeys. Lots of people in the community have brought us meals so I've had to do little cooking, which is probably the thread keeping it all together. Julia's watched an incredible amount of netflix which has saved my sanity most afternoons, but isn't something I'm super proud of. I am super thrilled not to be pregnant anymore and am delighting in watching the number on the bathroom scale fall while my other irritating pregnancy symptoms subside. (heartburn, restless legs, tingling fingers, swollen everything, miniscule bladder, sore back) I'm making milk like a prize cow, so I'm pumping about 10 extra ounces daily and will donate it to a couple from Seattle who want breastmilk for their adopted daughter. It's nice to feel like I'm doing something good for someone even when I don't leave the house!