Introspective Insights

Introspective - adj: Examining sensory and perceptual experiences. Insight - n: The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation.

Five Weeks and Counting…and Growing!

Five weeks – little Zachary is 5 weeks old today. As some friends predicted, he arrived just after the Superbowl – Monday February 4 at 2:44 am. My water broke at 4pm on Sunday February 3rd and I just laughed. For some reason, this whole pregnancy I had a feeling my water would break and I was in a great mood thinking about how in 24 hours or less, Zachary would be in my arms. I was nervous when I called the midwife and excited that she said as long as labor started on it’s own in the next 6 hours I was free to stay home. The contractions felt like low abdominal menstrual cramps and I actually had to ask myself at first, “was that a contraction?” They became regular about 6:30pm and were about 5-7 minutes apart when we left for the hospital about 9:30pm. When we got to the hospital they asked me if I wanted a jacuzzi room – I was excited thinking how comfortable that would be. (Turns out I never used it – more on that later.) They told me I was dilated 6 and 90% effaced. I was elated and happy that I was able to be home through so much of the first part of labor.

The contractions were intense, but I prayed through each one and held onto Jerry. I found labor to be a very inward, introspective experience. I closed my eyes through every contraction reminding myself that God created my body to do this work and I should not resist or tense up. When I resisted a contraction they hurt more and seemed unbearable.

Unfortunately because I had a c-section last time, they made me wear a fetal monitor at all times. It made it hard to move around although they could hook me up to a wireless unit, they kept having to change the position of the monitor to make sure they could still capture his heartbeat. I tried to walk, but felt best when I was lying on my side, but I knew that this slowed things down. I was unbearably hot – that was one of the most surprising things about the whole experience. (No interest in a hot, jacuzzi tub!) Even though it was freezing cold outside, they turned the heat off completely in my room. I can’t imagine if it had been on.

By about 1:45, the feelings were incredibly intense, I felt the urge to bear down, but didn’t recognize at the time what that feeling was. I just remember sitting on the toilet thinking that my pelvis was coming apart – that it was at the widest position it could be. I was right – I was fully dilated and 100% effaced. I remember the midwife saying to me, “It’s time to push this baby out!” I remember saying in a fog, “Really, it is?” I kept thinking – the hard part is over, right?

WRONG! I never realized how hard it would be to push out a baby – I just had no idea. I pushed for nearly and hour and I just remember thinking after each push – he has to be out soon right? I was so tired and the fact that I had not slept in almost 24 hours was taking its toll. Near the end they lost Zachary’s heartbeat and could not get it on a monitor on his head. That was ironic to me because I could feel him kicking me right at that moment. In the chaos I don’t remember if I said anything about it out loud. The midwife said to me, “If we do not get this baby out soon, I will have to cut you.” That was enough motivation for me and on the next push, his head came out partially and then the next push he came completely out. I’ll never forget that immense feeling of relief and the strange sensation of the umbilical cord still attached to my body. In seconds he was on my chest and I remember saying over and over, “Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.” He was so big – 9lbs 6oz. They said I could breastfeed him, but I couldn’t sit up, so that was challenging, but he sucked for about 10-15 minutes and then they wisked him away over to a bassinet to be weighed and other things.

I’m still overwhelmed now 5 weeks later thinking of the experience. I thank God that he gave me the perfect birth – no drugs, a short labor, a beautiful, healthy boy. I just kept looking at him when we were in our room a few hours after he was born and just marveling at how beautiful he was. We were surprised to find that he has two dimples. There is no one else in either my family or Jerry’s family that does. I remember during those quiet days in the hospital looking at him and thinking “God must have delighted in making you.”

Five weeks later I look at him in his swing making growling and cooing noises as he likes to do and being amazed at how big he is already – almost 13 pounds.

About jenniferpowell@introspectiveinsights.com

Hi! I'm Jennifer. I'm here in my little corner of southeastern Michigan observing relationships, family, and the world hoping to dig deeper and find the divine spark in it all. Thanks for visiting!

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