Saturday, March 8, 2008

Welcome to the world, Baby V!

At last, I have a chance to update the blog! These last two weeks have been jam packed, as you might imagine, with feedings, screaming fits, diaper changes, small and infrequent stints of sleep, and more joy and wonder--and exhaustion--than we've ever known. And as nothing that Joe and I ever do can ever be simple and straight forward, our son certainly gave us our fair share of surprises and curve balls.

Jonas Mathay Vinciquerra made his way into the world and into our hearts on February 26, at 4 a.m. He weighed 9 lbs, 7 oz. and was 21 inches long.

My water broke at 5 am Monday morning the 25th of February. I naively thought (or was it hoped?) that this whole process would take me not much more than through the afternoon. That'd be about 12 hours, pretty good for a labor, I'd say. Besides, my mom was in labor with me for only 4 or 5 hours. I was hoping to have inherited some kind of speedy childbirth gene from her.

After my water broke, we stayed at home for another 4 or 5 hours, weathering regular contractions by making the rounds around our dining room and living room. I remember this part pretty vividly. Where I got lost in a time warp was once we got to the hospital. Once I got all set up in my room, time began to fade away. As the day progressed, I began to feel great pressure and pain in my back. Contractions intensified and became more frequent. I was even fortunate enough to experience double and triple contractions--lucky me! The midwife had me try a myriad positions to get through and help me progress faster, only I was in this for the long haul, little did we know. Thank God for Joe and the midwives (there were two by the second half of the labor). Joe supported and encouraged me brilliantly. He was an amazing coach!

Somewhere between 12 and 15 hours, I had reached full dilation. They kept asking me if I had an "overwhelming urge to push". I had been waiting (desperately!) for this sensation to happen, but I can't say that I ever felt it with the kind of certainty that I've heard others talk about. What I did feel was the most intense pain and pressure on my lower spine that I've ever felt. It was crippling. Although I didn't have a great physical urge to push, emotionally ready to do anything! Anything to get this baby out and alleviate the back pain.

After an hour or so of pushing and making relatively little progress, I made a quick (and rather unpleasant, I might add) trip to catheter-land. Let me just say there's nothing quite like getting catheterized in the midst of your contractions! Needless to say I was not excited at all by this detour, but what else could I do? Apparently a very full bladder can inhibit the baby's descent.

The pushing resumed for another two hours. It was now nearly 11 p.m. I ended up laboring drug-free for 18 hours with back pain that had reached the point of being excruciating, only to have it confirmed that the baby's positon was occiput posterior, or "sunny side up" as my friend calls it. They weren't even sure that if I continued, I'd be able to deliver him naturally anyway. Close to 11 pm that night (18 hours into this ordeal), we made the call to do the epidural. At midnight, the anesthesiologist administered an epideral (amidst two more contractions) with hopes that it would eliminate the pressure of the baby's skull from my spine.

After "going numb" we rested for a while. With the back pain gone I was up for anything.

Recharged and ready "to be done with it" 3 more hours of pushing brought Jonas into the world!

It was night and day difference. I was able to make much more progress on the pushing without the back pain, and it went by pretty quickly since I was no longer in agonizing pain. We were all laughing and telling stories for the last few hours.

We were also very happy to be able to avoid a c-section, although by midnight I was so desperate that I was open to whatever options were available to me. At one point, it was looking like a c-section might become the only alternative. Joe and the midwives encouraged me to first try delivering naturally with the epidural and see what would happen, and then we could make the call to do a c-section if it were necessary. Fortunately, it was not.

I have the greatest respect and admiration for our midwives. They were fantastic. I truly credit them, and Joe my greatest advocate, for helping us to achieve what we wanted: a natural childbirth. They were with us every step of the way, which is so unusual in today's highly "efficient" hospital situations.

We spent three days in the hospital and finally returned home on Thursday to our cozy home--oh, how good it felt to be home!--and Jonas' new friend, Auntie Ginger. Now the fun really begins.

1 comment:

Judy MSM said...

Hi Lizzy...I'm glad you posted on your blog. I've been checking every day! It's so exciting being a grandmother -- even a "step" grandmother! I show everybody his pictures! You all look good...especially Jonas! Get plenty of sleep (ha ha) and enjoy! Love, Judy