Friday, August 15, 2008

Our son Antonin Richard

Antonin= "invaluable; worthy of praise"
Richard= "powerful leader; brave ruler"
My second pregnancy was very different than the first one. I was VERY sick. I had a two year old (Caleb) to take care of mid bouts of horrible morning sickness. I learned to not eat much breakfast…and to eat later in the day. :) I was hopeful to have my baby naturally [VBAC] . I wanted to do everything I had longed to do with my first pregnancy/birth. I desired to go to a midwife for prenatal care, and to succeed with a calm, natural birth in the midwife’s birthing center. The midwife’s expertise of using preventive natural remedies and a healthy diet was attractive to me, and proved to be extremely helpful. I began having some signs of high blood pressure mid-pregnancy. The midwife changed my diet, gave me some natural "medicine", and the problem disappeared. I enjoyed a very good pregnancy (after the morning sickness was over) and did not swell as badly --though there still was some swelling simply because it was another summer pregnancy/birth! Soon after Caleb's birth, I had stated, "I'm never having another baby in August!!" Well....guess what? Antonin came along 2 yrs. and 2 weeks later--in August. I learned that God has a sense of humor...and that I should not make such statements. :) :) : )
The birthing center was in the middle of nowhere—in the Ozark mountains of SW Missouri, and it didn’t concern us that the nearest hospital was a good 30 minutes away from the birthing clinic—we figured it was close enough should we need it. Looking back, God had us all in His hands…in spite of ourselves!!!
I went one week passed my due date ….and wondered when I'd have the baby. I remember sitting on the front porch,not able to play with 2 yr old Caleb, because I was too big and weary! I was ready for the baby to come! Richard worked an evening shift during this time ( came home from work at 1AM), so I was concerned about going into labor without him home. One evening in particular, after putting Caleb to bed, I could not sleep. I was sitting on the couch reading, waiting to get sleepy….then … my labor began!! It was 1 AM on August 25th. I got up from the couch to walk around the house. I had had a lot of false labor pains ... but this time the pains never stopped! They kept coming, and I continued to breathe through them, hoping that Richard would hurry up and get home (we did not have any cell phones). I met Richard at the front door around 2:30 AM…he had stopped at the grocery store before coming home. Before he could say anything, I demanded, “Where have you been?! I think I’m in labor!” [instead of thanking him for bringing groceries home ] As always, he was very calm. He quickly put the groceries away and then began helping me through the labor pains. We informed the midwife, labored at home for about another hour until the pains came harder/longer, and then packed my things (and Caleb) into the car. Richard’s parents were going to meet us at the birthing clinic so they could take care of Caleb. It was a 45 minute drive..and once there, I began doubting that I was actually in labor. The midwife eased my doubts by confirming that I was indeed in real labor, and I got settled in my birthing room. I think Caleb was watching a video in the waiting room until Richard’s parents arrived…I don’t really remember that part. The labor was pretty calm ....we listened to soft music and Richard was so faithful & sweet to breathe along with me, as I worked through one pain at a time (I would start to panic if I breathed alone; I guess you'd say that Richard's breathing/calmness was my "focal point/concentration"). There was a Jacuzzi tub in the birthing room, and I loved it!! The water was very calming, and a great relief to my back labor. I went the entire labor and birth without any medication. Around 10:30-ish AM, I had stalled at 9 cm (bringing back memories of Caleb’s birth). The midwife broke my water…and I was soon at 10 cm and ready to push. By this time, I had gotten out of the Jacuzzi tub--wishing I could get back in it (they let you labor until 7 or 8 cm and then make you get out), and I was literally leaning on Richard for support. The pushing began at 11 AM. Most women naturally feel the urge to push, but I did not. All I felt was excruciating pain. Richard felt like crying. He asked, "What can I do to help?" I responded rather quickly, "Nothing! There's nothing you can do! Just be quiet and help me breathe!" The midwife normally allowed women to take their time during this last stage of birth, but she was concerned about our baby’s heart rate. She was calm, but I could sense the urgency in her voice as she coached me to “push harder than you think you can…”, and I eventually got mad at her because I couldn’t possibly work any harder!!!! That’s when she mentioned the baby’s heart rate. “We have got to get this baby out!” (it was spoken calmly, but with urgency). Memories of Caleb’s birth came to mind, so I tried to set to work even harder, ignoring my pain. Finally, after an hour of pushing, Antonin Richard was born into the world August 25th, 2001, at 12:14 PM, with his umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck! Antonin was given oxygen, and more oxygen (he was crying and had a tinge of blue to his skin/lips) and then I held our new son. We were so happy to see him! : ) : ) The midwife soon made me hand him to Richard. Without going into detail, there were afterbirth problems, and she almost sent me to the hospital. She was eventually able to get everything under control. I happily took Antonin back into my arms, anxious to get to know him more. He hadn’t been weighed during this time….and all of a sudden he had a huge bowel movement [I was glad he had been swaddled in a towel by that time]. The nurses and midwife helped clean him up, and said that such a thing was not normal for a newborn (to that degree). Antonin had been in distress during his birth!!! We will never know how much he weighed at birth…he weighed 7 lbs., 13 oz., and was 20 ½ inches long-- after his bowel movement-- the midwife thought for sure he had been an 8 pound baby at birth. ;) Birthing clinics typically send mothers and babies (& fathers too :) ) home several hours after birth. I should have gone to the hospital instead of going home. We misunderstood the instructions with some natural medication, and I ended up having problems at home that night. Everything ended up okay, but I was very anemic afterwards. God is certainly worthy of all praise; we realized God’s goodness to us, and were so thankful for His protection and the safe birth of our little Antonin. I am hoping that he will live up to his name and always bring God glory and praise.
This experience caused me to become more passionate about Doctors and midwives working together in a hospital or birthing center setting (besides home birth). There’s so much a midwife has to offer in preventative prenatal care, and techniques in keeping the mother more calm and comfortable during labor (unmedicated!). However, when there are high risks/problems involved, Doctors and medicine are desperately needed. I’m happy to see the increase of doctors working with midwives in the Midwest, and hope that it continues. It’s nice knowing that maybe my daughter will have some pretty good options when she has children of her own some day. I’ll share the birth of my daughter soon. Even though her birthday isn't until December, I might as well share her story too! : ) :)

1 comment:

Christi said...

I enjoyed reading Atonin's birth story too. :)