Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Aria Luka Hazen - Born Friday June 22nd - after 2 pushes and 3 minutes

And suddenly we were 4... no really. In about 3 minutes...

I had had 4 random days (within 2 weeks) of contractions after I started losing my plug (starting Wednesday June 6th.) I didnt lose my plug with Atlas until the morning of the day I went into labor (and lost it all at once) and since Atlas' birth was so fast I immediately went on high alert with Aria and summoned my first time mom instincts that I had skipped the first time around.... EACH time I started having contractions.

*Contractions - Saturday June 9th what might have been 37 weeks and 3/4 days [Atlas' bake timer], but according to US it was still 36 weeks

*Contractions - Sunday June 10th
Then (June 14th) Bob went out of town to buy a house in PA and Mom came into town and watched Atlas for me so I could go out for my birthday (June 15th) (OOT). After I dropped Bob off at the airport, I headed to Kelli's and she checked me. I was 2 cm and 40% effaced. That made me a little nervous to be closer, but I knew I would NOT give birth without Bob by my side. I didnt make this kid alone, I wasnt laboring and birthing without hi!

*Contractions - Sunday June 17th, Bob was back in town that morning

*Contractions - Thursday June 21st, this was the longest at 7 hours. I went to see Kelli Friday morning June 22nd to get her to check me...I was finally 4 cm and almost effaced, but she laughed at my eagerness.

Each of these times I had alerted my closest 51 friends, no really, we are a super duper tight mommy-clique and they were all promising to be AT my house if I went into labor and Bob was not there... and I know for a fact that 90% of them would have been. Heck, they would have shown up if given permission even if he were there. We are kinda birth freaks in that kind of way.

So on Friday, June 22nd I wasnt too concerned that this was finally for real. However we had dinner and I had trouble sitting... which was what happened when I was in labor with Atlas and didnt know it. After dinner we went for a long walk... walked twice around the subdivision, stopping to throw my head under the handle bar every 2 minutes and 30 seconds for a total of 35 seconds. While they were consistent, they were not the 5-1-1 you read about.

I alerted my midwife, Kelli Johnson, before we went walking that I was having contractions yet again. She said to shower and see what happened... but we went for a walk instead, I could shower later. I recall LOVING the heated spray on my lower back during labor with Atlas. I told Kelli the walk had regulated them.

 I talked a few times to my girls on facebook about when they actually called their midwife to head over... some waited until the got in their birth tubs, others much earlier, I have fast labors and my midwife had her granddaughter at the bounce houses at Monkey Joe's... so if this was another false alert I was just a royally bad person.

I posted a screen shot of the contraction timer on my phone and then left the computer with the ladies all calling for a webcam and lighting their candles. I realized things were slowing down again because I was on facebook and damn it I was going to make this night #5 (of false labor) if I was not careful. So I got off facebook and started texting my point of contact with these girls, SarahB, from the floor of the bathroom between contractions that had me rocking on the floor on all 4s. At one point I got a text from Kelli saying she was calling the birth team. It was 9pm.

I took a shower, shaved my legs, washed my hair, put on mascara (something I had vowed to do before Atlas' birth too, but alas missed) and got out of the shower to my birth team walking through the door and suddenly crumbling over to the floor again for a contraction.
I remember hearing them and thinking if it happened right here do you think they'd notice, I was behind the bedroom door with it closed. I got through that contraction. Its amazing how much you can get done between contractions! I jumped up, threw on clothes, opened the door... and *BAM* back on the floor rocking while they hardly noticed and went about setting things up. Several times Chylain or Sharon would come over and squeeze on my hips, opening them up and releasing pressure. Most of the time that felt good, sometimes I didnt want to be touched.

Kelli checked me again, threw her head down and laughed. I got so frustrated - "WHAT?! Did I really not progress at all?!!?" "Oh no, you are at 8cm! You are just in too good of mood, no one is this happy at 8 cm :)"

10pm - Immediately Bob was calling mom - GET HERE NOW.

I had been texting and calling my photographer since the middle of the day but not reached her. So my last reach out to my little friends in the computer was to get Erin Monroe on her way over. When she had learned of us moving to Pittsburgh 2 weeks after the baby was set to arrive (or 5 days after my due date, but I was getting her out before then!) she was eager to get to be a part, but I didnt want to change my plans too much so I asked if it was OK to have her on backup. She was more than happy. Bob was calling her, my girls were texting and facebooking her. (She took most of these pics)

Chylain and Sharon were filling up the birthing tub, Kelli was doing whatever it was she does between knitting a baby hat and birthing a kid and Bob was getting Atlas to watch Cars.
I asked when was it normal to get in the birth tub and they said I could get in at any point. The water was too hot the first time I tried to get in, a few minutes later it was perfect. I asked if people normally get in with underwear on or go ahead and strip down. Chylain said its hard to birth a kid through underwear, but I was feeling modest for a split second.

11pm - I had Bob turn on Indigo Girls, he apparently also turned on the webcam to video. I later found out he had cameras set up around the room for quick access.
11:19 - The ladies were all watching Cars in the living room with Atlas, Kelli was busy knitting. I let out a slightly panicked moan when I felt a hard contraction and heard Kelli say "it's time, let's get in there." They all came in and started taking heart rates and compressing my hips.
Bob and Atlas were squatted near around talking to me and playing with the water. I reached down and could feel the head. The contractions got even closer together and I realized Kelli had given me space as we had discussed, but I cried for her to come help. She felt the head and told me I was doing fine. I remember needing to bare down and telling her "No no no no no, I'm not ready." She told me, "Yes you are." Just that simple. I had been waiting for this and she was right, I WAS ready. The dog barked and Bob thought someone was at the door, Kelli demanded, "Forget the door. Get back here." I kept thinking it might be Mom. It wasn't the door, just the crazy dog.
11:21 - I heard myself get loud and focused so hard to tone it down deep. I would not scream, I would have the lowest "OOOOOO" I could have. It gave me a focus. OOOOOO was to OOOOpen my cervix up and allow my baby to slide out like "butter." The dog started barking, Atlas burst into tears, Bob hugged him and they just watched.

I OOOOpened and Kelli said, "Head is out." I felt and then did not stop pushing. It didn't even hurt after that point, it was pressure. She slid out. I flipped over. They say it was so fast that this next pic is from a cell phone and that they actually missed the "coming out party"but she was on my chest a split second later. I kinda wish I had let her swim around for a few seconds.
Kelli - "She's out, She's out."
Bob - "Pick her up! Get her"
I rolled over and lifted her to my chest.
She was out.
It was 11:24pm.
I was in disbelief. "She's out?! Really?" I knew I was holding her, but I couldn't believe here she was.
The girls started draining the pool to get the water level low enough for her to nurse. At 3 different times Kelli asked if we were ready to cut the cord, I said no, I wanted to try to birth the placenta before cutting it.
Contractions had continued after her birth, that happens for several days. During one of those contractions, the placenta folded and was able to be guided out in one beautiful piece. I dont remember the reasoning that we finally agreed to clamp it other than the cord had stretched and was empty of pretty much every drop of blood possible. It was later partially dried and encapsulated and half of it was tinctured by Full Circle and Amanda Johnson.

I dont remember when we announced her name, but Aria was handed to Bob and I was helped to the shower. That hot water felt so good cleaning my body. I got out and Kelli checked me and needed to give me 2 little stitches. While lying in full glory my mom (ARRIVES) knocks and goes to open the door. I tell her I will be out in a moment. I was so happy Mom had made it, sad it was a little late, but she was here! Once I was cleaned up I went and cuddled with my family and fed Aria.

Kelli took Aria's weight (7lb 5oz) and head size (13.5in just like Atlas) and chest (13in just like Atlas) and waist (13.5in just like Atlas) and length (19.5 or 20in, shorter than Atlas). They all laughed when she started doing her foot prints, her little cold purple feet were turned pink with ink, but then back to blue when wiped clean. BUT... this might have been the pinkest baby ever born to Kelli and her birth team! My child was hot pink! The camera does not lie.... that is pretty much accurate.

 baby booty!

As Kelli was filling out the birth card, the middle name was asked and Bob agreed to Luka immediately. He has his "Luke-I-am-your-father" baby now. And I have my beautiful song baby.

I took a few pictures with my birth team when they were done cleaning up and a few with my mom.

The ladies left a little after 1am and the photographer a short time later. We sat up doing nothing but talking. Bob took Atlas, who had been up without a nap all night, to bed, laid him down and Atlas passed out within seconds. Then we got Mom set up on the couch (which in my defense is super comfy) moezzied on to bed. Aria did not sleep well.

Atlas woke up at 6:30am and I brought him back to our bed to see his baby sister. Mom spent the first part of the day with us and then went home. ... and the babymoon began.
I knew that you magically just get more love when you have a new child, but to be honest, I felt my heart double in size. I didnt just suddenly LOVE this child, I suddenly loved everyone... a.lot.more.

Oh, and unlike Atlas' birth... I was out jogging Friday morning :) I never stopped.

.. and then the Oxycitocin wore off, we moved 1000 miles away to Pittsburgh (from Orlando), and I struggled through a short bought of PPD. But around 8 weeks I recognized signs and am still able to fight it off.

Today we are golden. I truly feel like I have *survived*.