[personal profile] reinaness

I planned to have Juan Diego at home with a midwife and a few support people. What happened was a little different than my plan but clearly what was meant to happen. I felt completely loved and supported and I am proud of what we did together. My son has a very special story of his coming into the world.

Here is my part:
I had decided that my last full week of work would end on Friday the 4th 2 weeks before the due date of the 19th and that I would just go in as needed from there. Sofia was a week early so I wanted to not get caught unprepared, I had a silly plan of having him on 9-9-09 so I could just be ready early. I had done a big nesting push on the weekend of August 30th and I felt good about the house finally and now it was just a matter of waiting and seeing friends for the last time before the baby. I was more uncomfortable but okay, and I was noticing how everyone around me was starting to worry about me especially when I was out of the house as if I was just going to drop the baby at any time. I got tons of phone calls and chats from friends and it was nice to feel like so many people were there to support me. While I was in the waiting part I tried to remove any last concerns and reservations so I could make way for him to come into the world.

When I had Sofia I had a salon night at my house the night before and cut my hair and went into labor about an hour after everyone left. I was superstitious about cutting my hair during the pregnancy because of the higher risk of miscarriage in the early stages so my hair was pretty long. On Tuesday the 8th I had a salon night so I could see people and get my hair cut because I thought I was ready to have the baby.  Lots of lovely people came over and we had a good time pampering ourselves. Late that night Jessica and Beth both cut my hair (it's really cute right now). But the baby didn't want to come yet so I waited and just kept going with my normal life the next day.

On Thursday the 10th I went into work and met with my business partners to wrap stuff up. I had done a lot of preparation for leaving, cleaning my desk and transferring responsibilities but the last little stuff was still unfinished and I finally felt good about where things were at work. Sarah and Jessica had been with me during the last week and that helped keep me going and feeling centered. So many people has helped me get ready for this and now I felt very distant. I was decidedly cranky that day not wanting to be touched and feeling removed from everyone. 

On Friday morning Sept 11th I woke up very upset and crying and needing Carlos to pay attention to me and cuddle. He was very sweet to me and calmed me down before he had to go to work. I was super emotional all day and Jessica stayed with me. The last couple of things that I knew I needed to do was move a mattress for her to sleep on to Beth's house and to set up a contact list for the birth. After I had done both of those things I had some bloody show and passed part of the mucus plug and I felt that things were different suddenly. I let Carlos know at 6:47pm that something was up but that there were no contractions I just felt different. I was kinda hoping to not have the baby on Sept 11th (just cause you know ,major national tragedy and all) so I figured unless it was a really fast labor it would happen the next day. But I was still very unsure that anything was happening yet. Later that night after it looked like things were still not happening yet, Jessica left to go to a party around 9:30 and Sofia was being really rambunctious. I was not feeling awesome about watching her by myself until Carlos came home from work especially since he stays even later on Fridays for Friday Football Fever which ends at 11pm.

Just as Jessica was leaving Carlos' Aunt Christina stopped by unexpectedly which was a relief to me since Sofia immediately tackled her and took her into her room to play. I was super grateful to have someone with me and giving Sofia the attention that I couldn't. I went into Sofia's room with them and caught up a little with Christina and around 10pm started noticing contractions. They were nothing to serious but I knew that I wanted to have Sofia sleep somewhere else so if it happened in the middle of the night I wouldn't have to call people then. Between 10 and 10:30 I talked to everyone in the birth plan to let them know to keep their phones on. Jack and Sarah came immediately to get Sofia but it was Friday night so we just hung out and talked. I called Carlos as soon as the Nightbeat was over at 10:35pm After I decided I shouldn't wait till after the football show to let him know. He left his live show and rushed home frantically to find us all in the living room chilling and having fun. I remember everyone looking at the suicide girls pinups at some point which I found highly amusing.

We started timing contractions after I called Vicki my midwife . I was aware that the house wasn't ready. We didn't have dish soap or ice and there was wet stuff in the laundry and all the weird little things that you think when you suddenly have company. Sarah started wifeing all around the house which made me feel a lot better. I knew she would take care of everything that would distract me and I started to relax and have fun. I ate a sandwich and drank lots of water cause I knew I might not be able to later. I was still unsure that this was it because I was not in pain and the contractions were not a minute long yet even though they were every 5 minutes or so.

Jack and Carlos were going through their entire list of people they knew asking about who might want to buy a house before the tax credit deadline, which was an absurd thing to do while I was in labor but was so amusing that I kept laughing. Jessica came in looking gorgeous and drunk from her party and I was relived to see her. I had many contractions while laughing with my good friends. Sarah lost patience with the boys talking shop and took over the timing of the contractions from Carlos. She was great at keeping everyone focused while everyone was realizing the we were having a baby (I was still in denial).

At some point the lights went out in the house and we got out the candles. I was able to tell people exactly where things were in the house because I had done so much organizing and nesting. I felt like it made all of it worth it that I was ready to have a baby with no electricity if I had to ( ha!) But the lights quickly came back even though it was raining really hard outside. Jessica Carlos and I changed clothes to be more comfortable. Sometime around midnight Sarah finally decided I was in labor for real  because my contractions were closer together and more than a minute and at this point we called Genevieve and Vicki. We had Aunt Christina, Jack, Carlos, me, Jessica, Sarah, and Sofia (sleeping) all at my house and I had to decide who I wanted to be there  for the birth. Jack and Sarah and Christina were all not originally in the birthplan but I decided that I wanted Sarah and Christina to stay and Jack to take Sofia to their house.

I went to get in the tub and get my birth necklace with all of the beads that people had given me. I had my belly cast from when I was pregnant with Sofia hung on the wall and the necklace had lived up there for a few days. Vicki and her assistant Leanora and my friend and healer Genevieve all showed up and got the bedroom ready for the birth. I was glad to be in the tub and not have to see all of the activity. I asked for Carlos to come in so we could have a moment alone together. I was feeling pretty peaceful with him there but I was too hot and I needed to move around for stage 2 of the labor.

I moved back to the living room and started having more intense contractions. It started to hurt a little and sarah brought me sofias boo boo pony an child icepack which made me laugh. Then we got into a rhythym. The general system was Carlos and Jessica holding me up and Sarah putting a hot pack on my lower back to help me relax and let my lower body drop down. I felt like my body knew exactly what it was doing at this point and I just had to get out of the way. I felt like I was making progress and I was able to keep from thinking too much. I would start to feel pain and suddenly I had people I love holding me and reassuring me and I was able to find that zen place and stay there. I am sure that lifting a 165 lbd naked woman every 3 minutes for several hours was taxing but they were so awesome at keeping me grounded and safe, I never felt alone or scared with them holding me. Vicki Genevieve Leanora and Christina were there and staying in the background waiting till they were needed.

I decided I wanted to move to the bedroom and we had more contraction but these were more intense and I was starting to loose my center. I had slipped into a state were I was no longer aware of what was happening but I felt all of the peoples energy in the room.  I was deep in my body and it was hard to process language when people were talking. When I did come out enough to listen I would feel a lot of pain and get scared. I kept going between those states. I was totally okay when I was in my body I knew what to do and I was absolutely fine. Things had been pretty okay so far so I was still not really believing Vicki that the baby was close to coming. I suddenly needed  people to stop touching me and started to feel nauseous. This was transition.

We had one more contraction on the floor and my water broke and Vicki wanted to check me and make sure I wasn't sitting on the baby. I got on the bed and Carlos came over to be with me and Genevieve stayed at my feet. I was aware of Carlos' voice and his face next to mine I felt other people in the room stand back. I was trying to listen to what Vicki was saying so I got into my head and got scared, but she was good at talking me down. What she was saying is that the babies head had not cleared the cervical lip. As I was adjusting to lying down I had a few contraction but these were pretty serious. Genevieve had my foot pressing into he stomach and Carlos voice was comforting and these felt like something was really happening but I was still not having the out of control scary pain that I had during transition with Sofia. Vicki kept telling me it was soon but still I did not believe her because I still felt pretty good and relaxed ( no one in the room with me would believe it but I was totally good most of the time except when I came out of my body).

Then everything stopped and I got very still I wasn't in any pain and there was nothing but my weight pressing down on the bed. I rested for about 15 minutes but I was in a timeless place just being still. Vicki checked me again and was trying to see what to do. She told me to turn to my left side and went to go to the bathroom. Labor started again almost immediately and this time I felt full of crazy energy and screaming. I remember pushing that energy straight into Genevieve  belly as his head went into the birth canal. Vicki wanted me to open my legs for delivery and I was told to start pushing. I wanted to crawl out of my body and I said "I can't do this" which, even at the time, I knew that everyone says that.  I didn't feel ready but I pushed.  I still didn't believe that is was already time. I pushed a few times and they asked me if I wanted to feel his head. I was totally freaked out because I still wasn't ready and just unwilling to believe it was already over. At 5:11am the put him wet and naked on my chest and I saw the top of his head and his hair pattern just like his daddies.  He was hugging me and making noise so I knew he was okay even though I couldn't see his face. They were still working on delivering the placenta and he was wiggling and the chord was still attached which felt really freaky. 

They took the baby to Carlos to feed him and to check him out and I repositioned on the bed. Genevieve held my feet and told me to turn off the faucets in my uterus and tried to bring me back into my body. I had totally left my body but  I was able to come back and I concentrated on contracting my uterus until the blood loss slowed down. Vicki was there to give me drugs to stop the bleeding if i needed but I was able to do it on my own with Genevieve. I was still in shock but I was not in danger and I had not lost very much much blood. They gave me some oxygen and checked my vitals. I was completely ok and the baby was healthy and perfect and 7lbs and 18 1/2 inches.  I was bruised but no tears and wanted to eat. I got some vanilla ice cream and emergen-c and it was the best thing ever.

My experience with Juan Diego was overwhelmingly positive and my body did exactly what it needed to. It was everything I wanted and I am healing up great. I am very proud of everyone that helped me. I know it must have been harder to watch than to do it.  I had him in the same bed I made him in and I stayed grounded and focused and put a good group of people around me to support me.

Sofia's Birth story

I became a mom
but it took this long for it to finally sink in, I think
Spending some time away from her kinda made it kick in
No matter what else I am doing and how fun it might be
I feel incomplete without her
I can't imagine my life being different
I have a daughter

Why did it take me this long to figure it out?
well let me tell you about unmedicated birth

I was 90% effaced and 1cm dialated at 36 weeks
wich means in the language of my husband "ready to drop"
After that I was doing the major nesting thing and getting my house ready
which Jessie had declared "done" on tuesday the 9th of August, my 38th week
We were both wondering what we would do if we got done with the house and the baby was late (HA!)
On Wednesday I had a really good day of seeing friends, I felt great all day but I wasn't hungry
This was shocking cause I had been hungry all the time since January.

We had a Salon Night on Wednesday night
and had a wonderfull group of mostly women come over and paint toenails and get haircuts
It was a most excellent time and lots of female energy
I cut my hair shorter than it has ever been in my adult life
I talked about my hair as the symbol of maidenhood and
how I didn't really want to be one of those women that cut of thier hair
when they got married and how I really wanted to be a long haired wise old lady
but it looked good
not that anyone noticed because...

after everyone left at 3:30am
we were cleaning up the party mess a little
and I sat down and couldn't get up
not because I was in pain really
I just really needed to concentrate on sitting
Standing was not an option
Carlos came over to me and sat with me and started to time the contractions
they were 5 minutes apart or less and 1 minute long
They weren't very intense and I had been told over and over about false labor
so I did what they had told me and had a glass of wine and tried to go to sleep
Then I threw up
(Carlos sais this is when he knew, but I was in deep denial)

I tried to go to bed and I let carlos sleep for 2 hours while I soaked in the bathtub the bath is the place I feel safest in the whole world
aroung 5:30am I woke him up
mostly cause I was lonely and I didn't want to do this by myself
the contractions were more intense and I was sore
but I wasn't quite in alot of pain yet
i still wasn't sure i was actually haveing a baby
But as long as I could look into his eyes during a contraction I was fine

I felt loved by the whole universe staring into his eyes.
But whe I couldn't get eyecontact it was as if the darkness would envelop me
Love and Fear were fighting for my soul and the life of the baby

this is where my experience statred to fragment into diffeerent experiences all hapening in non linear time and space
I think it has taken 3 whole moths to either forget, edit, or integrate the expereince into a coheent memory
parts of my brain were just not on speaking terms since the birth
it was a surreal dream that I am just now waking up an trying to peice together

we decided to call Jessie (my doula) and from the time she got there around 6:30am till the birth was extremely intense. later i deduced this was "transition". I felt electricity running through me. My body knew exactly what was going on and if I surrendered and yielded enough everything just fine. But the trick was convincing my mind to SHUT UP. My mind and body were not communicating. My boy was on this primative auto pilot and my mind was trying to process the information and failing.

As each contraction came (now every minute or so) I tried to ride it like a wave listening to jessie' voice and repeating my mantra.
"the energy passes through me, it is finite" which i made up right then
i needed desparately to know that it would end and that it was only painfull if i chose for it to be. If i thought about it for one second the pain was completely overwhelming paralizing and terrifying. but if i just got my mind out of the way it was just information and I didn't feel pain just energy. I know that sounds all hippie but no really it does work. i did it both ways. Feeling the pain was so completely scary I wanted to crawl out of my body, break things, cry, scream, totaly emtional breakdown. Eperiencing it with just my body while distracting my mind, was a lot like doing really intense yoga, it almost felt good. I fely connected and loved and safe, alll things were happening as they should be.

I had a fast labor, but I didn't know it was going to be fast. I had only been in labor for 4 hours which is not very long at all, but i just knew after this part that i couldn't take much more. i wanted to go to the Birth Center because
a) my bathtub was too small and
b) I couldn't get any rest between contractions
c) i wanted the drugs if there was going to be any more of this insanity and I made Jessie swear that she would make them give me painkillers

Then I had the bloody show and water broke and we decided to transport me to the birth center around 8:30am. My water braking was a lot less gushy and more like a pop!, then a trickle, not at all what I was expecting.
Hilarity ensued when my wonderfull husband and devoted friend tried to get clothes on a wet naked woman having only about 45 seconds between contractions. Pants were not an option even though i was leaking, so we finally found a large white housedress that I could manage to get on between getting on my hands and knees to go through the contraction. i could feel her head pressing on my cervix (I didn't know that was what this was) I felt that i needed to cross my legs to keep her inide me.

about 9am after I was dressed we got me to walk to the car which was a slow process
having several contractions in the parking lot in front of the morning joggers. I finally got in the car and kept my legs crossed. We got to the center and I got inside and went staight to the tub but I leaned forward against it and felt myself open. "the baby is coming",I said and my dutifull husband runs over and tries to catch her. then i get my clothes of and get over to the bed as I was directed. carlos was on my Right and Jessie was on my left all in the bed together. they teell me that she was crowning and that its time to push. this was great news! it's almost over! I smiled. Up untill that moment i wsn't sure if this was it. i hadn't ever had a baby, what did i know?

I pushed once which felt great I asked if I was going to tear and they said it looked fine they had to move her hand away from her face. carlos said she was coming out and I reached down and touched her head. This made it very real for me she was coming from me she was made of me. I pushed again and her head was out then they had to unwind a chord then one more push and shoulders and again and she was here.
they had to remove about 12oz of fluid from her cause she didn't get all squeezed in labor she wasn't very squshed and her head was only slightly molded.

They put her on my chest little alien wiggling lizard purple sqirming wet thing with huge eyes still attached to the placenta still inside me. totally unreal. I kept looking at carlos and Jeesie to make sure this was happening. They were having there own moments of overwhelming emotion so I felt like I was grasping about for something to make sense of it and everyone was busy. I started to get cold and go into a little bit of shock, the placenta detatched and I pushed and it was out. they started to massage my uterus (no fun). I got myself better arranged on the bed with my peeps and started to nurse her and she latched on right away. I started to feel the endorphin high, and the uterine cramping, and the oh my god what in the hell just happened here? Wasn't I just at a party?

6 hours and 4 pushes and
Sofia Grace Reina was born
at 9:30am Thursday August 11th 2005

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