Morgan Perry Dodge, born at 7:23 a.m. on Saturday, May 29, 2010. He weighed 7 lbs 12 oz, is 19" long, with a 15" head circumference. Here is his story:
I woke up at 1:14 a.m. to a sharp, painful contraction. I went into the bathroom, not wanting to wake up Ben, and came back to bed a couple of minutes later. I tried to go to sleep but was awakened by another contraction at 1:27 a.m. Again, I headed to the bathroom, but at this point I was a little bit scared and shaken up, so when I came to bed, I woke up Ben. I told Ben that I had had 2 contractions and I wanted him to sit with me through the next one, and we could start to time them. I told Ben that I thought they felt much different than anything else I had felt before. I was a little shaky and feeling really scared, honestly. I think that I knew it was the real thing happening, but I didn't want to say it out loud.
We don't have any regular watches or anything to easily time the contractions, so Ben quickly downloaded an app for his Droid that times the contractions for you. Gotta love technology! After about 5 more contractions that came at most 5 minutes apart, we called the midwives (Rebecca Egbert and Erin Ellis of the Green Midwife Community Birth Services). Rebecca advised that we try to relax and sleep through them (yeah, right!), and that maybe we get into the water, and to call her back in an hour. We filled the tub and I sat in it for a few contractions, but I found that I wanted to move, and the tub wasn't big enough for me to move in. I really liked the hands and knees position, or the knees-to-chest position, so I sat through a few contractions on the bed in the knees to chest position. I really liked that.
At 3 a.m. or so, we called Rebecca again to give her an update, per her request. Again, she advised that we try to rest through the contractions and we agreed to call her back when we wanted her to come over.
Around 3:30 a.m. I decided that I should call my Mom to have her make the drive from Missoula. I hadn't wanted to call before 4 a.m., but at this point, I wasn't sure I she was going to make it if I called any later. We didn't tell her how close the contractions were (3 minutes from start to start!) because we were worried about her making the drive as it were, being so early in the morning.
Around 4 a.m., we called Rebecca again. I was feeling a little "pushy" but knew that I should be trying to resist the urge, because I didn't want to push before I was fully dilated. But, realizing that things were progressing quickly, we called Rebecca and told her we wanted her to come over. She told Ben that "She's probably only 2 or 3 cm right now, and she'd come over, but it still might be a while". Ben hung up the phone, relayed the message. In the next contraction my water broke (4:14 a.m.) and I told Ben that "if I'm only 2 or 3 cm dilated, I don't think I can do this!". It was intense, and because I had no previous experience to compare it to, I was worried that perhaps I was only 2 or 3 cm dilated and not just not nearly as "tough" as I thought I would be!
Rebecca made her way over, showed up at around 4:45, at which point I was laboring on the toilet or in the hands and knees position, hanging on Ben's lap. I was very vocal during the contractions, and I was surprised at how natural it felt to vocalize, and how I didn't feel self-conscious about it at all, even though I thought I would be. Rebecca took one look at me and said "Okay, I'll get set up", realizing I think that we didn't have as long as she thought we would with most first time mamas.
The advice to resist the urge to push continued, I'm not sure how long, but maybe for another hour even. I finally told Rebecca that I just couldn't resist anymore - it was taking all of my willpower and concentration, and I found myself pushing during contractions, like I couldn't help it. She did a quick check, determined I was fully dilated, and gave me the go-ahead to push!
Pushing was WAY better than not pushing. It hurt, sort of, but it was also incredibly rewarding. I could reach in and feel Morgan's head, and I could feel him enter the birth canal. It was awesome. It definitely did hurt a bit, and I was afraid of the "ring of fire" that I've heard about, which is the burning sensation you get as the tissues of the vagina get stretched to the maximum. However, I knew it was inevitable, so I might as well embrace it. We ended up pushing for about 30-35 minutes, primarily in the squat position, with me resting between contractions hanging on Ben's legs (he was seated behind me in a chair). We ended up giving the final push in the hands-to-knees position, which proved the absolute most effective at that point.
When he was born, Ben immediately said "It's a boy!" and I exclaimed "Oh! He's so cute!" I was expecting the typical Winston-Churchill look-alike newborn, but to me, MY baby was cute :) I guess that's the maternal love hormone cocktail working it's magic. I wish we had gotten the birth on video like we had planned, but everything happened so fast that I forgot to get the video camera upstairs, and for that matter, I didn't show anyone how to use it, and I even forgot that we had a video camera until I was pushing. We did get lots of birth photos that we are making a slideshow out of so I'll share those soon :)
Reflecting on the event, the thing that surprised me the most was that I never felt like I needed or wanted any drugs. The only time I had any self doubt was when the contractions started up for the first time. Well, and then when Rebecca said she thought I might be at 2 or 3 cm is all, but I knew that she wasn't here to see me so she was just guessing. At least, I had hoped she was very wrong!
Afterwards, Ben asked me if it was the hardest thing I've ever done. I thought for a minute, and said "No". It wasn't, really. It was intense, and it definitely wasn't easy, physically. But, it was easy in the sense that I trusted my body to do what it needed to do, and I knew that whatever was going to happen wasn't optional. My body was going to give me a certain amount of pain/stress, and it was up to me to handle that pain in the best way I could. I also knew that, like everything else in life, this too, shall pass. I just kept thinking about the fact that when this was over, the pain would be gone, and I would have my baby in my arms.
However, if Ben had asked me the same question sometime between 5 and 7 a.m., I might have had a very different answer for him. That's the thing about natural birth - it only sucks when you're in it, and then you immediately forget. Thanks, oxytocin!
I have been bad at updating my blog, but it's not for lack of thinking about it. Here's pretty much all I have to say right now:
Becoming my own planet. Looking for a name - maybe I'll go with Pluto since that's now up for grabs.
Apparently my gravitational field is so strong that the dogs are unable to leave me alone. Seriously.
I also seem to be breaking everything electronic that I come into contact with, save my laptop (knock on wood). But, seriously, everything else keeps breaking.
Wait, let me check......Yep, still pregnant.
But, I have figured out some details about the postpartum class I will be holding at Bridger CrossFit, so I thought I could update ya'll on that:
Who: All new mamas and their babies (optional), aged 1 year and under.
What: CrossFit, of course, modified for postpartum moms!
When: July 12 - September 2, Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Where: Bridger CrossFit, 1404 Gold Ave #4 in Bozeman
Why: To get back into shape and meet new friends
How: For more information or to register, call 551-2092 or email me. To sign up online, click here. Cost is $250, with down payment of $100 and 2 payments of $75.
Details: This 8 week class will meet 2 times per week for 1.5 hours each. Mamas are welcome to bring their babies, as we will take turns working out and watching the babies. Even if you need to show up breastfeeding, that's okay - you can jump in the second half of the class to get your workout in.
Also included: Two seminars on topics of interest to new moms. We'll have a seminar on postpartum nutrition, with emphasis on proper nutrition to maintaining milk supply for exercising, breastfeeding moms. The second seminar is still being determined, and the interest of our class attendees can influence what we decide, but we're talking with physical therapists, doctors, and chiropractors about various lecture topics that are important for postpartum women. (The seminar dates will be decided with the input of the mamas who sign up for the class.)
Not Due until July or August? Don't worry, we'll start another Postpartum Class in late September.
I have made it to 38 weeks. That means that I have between 0 and 4 weeks to go! For a planner like myself, it's really difficult to NOT be able to plan my life out for the next couple of months. Hell, I could have a baby tonight, really. That sure would ruin my plans for tomorrow :)
Last weekend, my wonderful coaches and I all gathered and programmed workouts for the gym for the next 12 weeks. That's.......downright awesome. What's even more awesome is that the workouts that we have programmed for the end of June and beginning of July look like pretty darn awesome workouts for me to do to get back into CrossFit. I think I will supplement the workouts with some strength work, if for no other reason than I LOVE to lift weights!
But, again, it's hard to plan, because I know I need at least 3 weeks of recovery, and that's just before I will be okay with some light lifting (as in, low impact). But, that means that I can start working out anywhere between 3 and 7 weeks from now, at the earliest. See the problem?
I'm not complaining, however. I will enjoy the last couple of weeks of this pregnancy and get ready for the baby to come. We are almost completely ready. I still have to install the carseat, but at least I have the car and the carseat, now. I also have to put the diapers away into the changing table, but at least they are all washed (with the exception of my 2 wool covers). That's pretty much it!
I have no photos of me working out to show you. Honestly, I haven't been working out lately. I've been walking as much as I can - but I find it hard to motivate to go walking when it is SNOWING, which it has been for the past few days. I've also been incredibly busy for a couple of reasons.
#1. My puppy, aka my baby, aka Mikey, pictured above. He ate his dinner too fast, or something, and ended up with an obstruction in his stomach (well, where his stomach empties into the small intestine). He had to go in for emergency surgery on Tuesday. He spent Monday night throwing up and drooling like a Saint Bernard. I knew something was up, so we took him in, and after a series of diagnostic tests, discovered the obstruction, and they went in to operate. Thanks to the vets at 360 Pet Medical in Bozeman, Mikey is just fine. He's spending the next few days at Grandma and Grandpa's house, where he can be isolated from Sammy (our other dog). He's not supposed to run, jump, or play. For Mikey, you might as well tell him he also can't breathe. Poor guy.
#2. My Dad has been in town for the past 2 days helping me re-finish some furniture. Why I thought it would be a good idea to refinish furniture, I am not sure. But, Dad came to the rescue and did the majority of the work. Ben also helped out all day today. I probably shouldn't be breathing those fumes anyway, so I got off the hook. But, it feels good to have our nightstands and dressers re-finished and ready to go. I can't wait to put away all of my workout clothes and get them ready for when I can workout again!
Speaking of that, I am 37 weeks today. That's officially full-term, and I am now cleared for my homebirth. Now, I have a 5 week window in which Sprocket can arrive and we can birth at home, if all goes well.
My mom's first baby arrived 3 weeks early (that's at 37 weeks, folks). I arrived 3 days late. Any bets on when Sprocket will arrive?