anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Greyson's Birth Story Part II

As I said before, I love reading birth stories, but when I was thinking about writing out Greyson's birth story I realized that I wanted to know the other side of his birth story. I wanted to know what Brian was thinking and feeling when Greyson was born. I wanted to see it through his eyes. After all, his seat was much different than mine. I wanted to know how he saw me through the birth and what he thought as we brought our son into the world. So I asked him to write out the birth story for him. So here it is :) 

If you follow me on social media, you know it’s no secret that I really wanted a Friday the 13 baby. Everly was born on a super blue blood moon so it seemed only fitting that our next child would be born on a similarly significant winter’s day. Adding to my desire was the fact that it seemed very likely after we had events seemed to indicate that his birth was nigh. Rachael was due on December 12 but the doctor told us she didn’t think there was a chance we would make it long past the 11 without a baby. When the 11 came and went, and then so did the 12, I decided it could only be because Greyson was meant to be born on the 13. I awaited anxiously at work that day just waiting for the message from Rachael saying it had started, but the message never came. I got home and tried encouraging Rachael to do the things that would supposedly induce labor, but it was all in vain. 
I then became indifferent regarding when he would be born but still figured it was imminent. However, the next few days turned out to be ordinary. We had scheduled an induction for Wednesday, December 18 on the very slight chance that we hadn’t gone into labor already but with each passing day, I came to believe that ultimately, that’s when Greyson would make his appearance. 
On Monday, December 16 we had my annual company holiday party, and this year we went to Top Golf. Rachael and I both had fun with my coworkers swinging golf clubs and discussing everyone’s mutual surprise that we had no new baby yet. Actually, I should say I feigned surprise but in reality, I strongly believed Greyson would be born at the scheduled induction two days later. 
We arrived home about 9:30 pm and feeling both tired and very sore from golfing, I took Tylenol and Benadryl to help me sleep that night. Quickly thereafter, I laid down expecting to get a full night’s rest. 
I never ended up falling asleep in bed because I noticed Rachael was having trouble settling down. I watched her toss and turn before getting out of bed and pacing a bit. I asked if she was having contractions and she said yes. I told her I wanted to try to sleep for a couple hours because I’d taken Benadryl but to let me know when contractions reached the point we needed to go to the hospital. 
Of course, upon realizing that we were likely having a baby that night, there was no way that I could fall asleep. So I laid there listening to Rachael move about and prepare while trying unsuccessfully to sleep off the Benadryl. 
Rachael informed me around midnight that it was time to go so I quickly got dressed and we went to the hospital. We got checked in and upon settling into our room, it finally felt like the Benadryl took its effect and my body was ready to fall asleep. 
The next few hours blur together because I was fighting sleep while sitting up but mostly failing. The doctors and nurses would come in and check Rachael’s progress and then leave, during which time things were relatively quiet and uneventful. I drank copious amounts of caffeine during this time to try and wake up but none of it seemed to have any affect. 
A little after 4 am (I had a brief hope that he would be born at 4:20 am), things had proceeded to the point where we knew Greyson’s arrival was close so it was time for Rachael to start actively pushing. Rachael was progressing rather quickly but I didn’t dare tell her that for fear of repeating the mistakes we made with Everly where we told her for three hours that she was just a couple pushes away. It seemed our prince was going to make it out completely uneventfully!
As he got closer to making his final descent, his oxygen level started to dip during the pushes. Then they asked us if it was ok to use the vacuum on his head to try to pull him out quicker, even though there was a slight risk of brain damage. I noticed that a team had started gathering in the back and I was told they were there, “just in case something it’s necessary.” The fear welled up as I felt we were about to have a repeat of our baby being instantly whisked away from us while we watched helplessly from the sidelines as the doctors and nurses rushed and hurried about.    
But then, he was here. They instantly put him on Rachael’s chest and no one took him away from us. It’s incredible how quickly the feeling of dread of evaporated and was instantly replaced by the most remarkable tenderness and awe. Rachael kept him on her chest for an hour while he ate and then slept. She just held him and I got to be there. He looked remarkably like Everly and I knew he was ours. 
Thinking about it later, it’s astounding how he just instantly felt a part of our family. An hour before, we were a family of three and that was just how it was. But then he arrived and there was no doubt that he was just as much a part of our family as any of the rest of us. Also, his birth was so much less traumatic than Everly’s, as was just our whole hospital experience. Labor was literally just a fraction of the time, the delivery went (mostly) fine, and then at the end, we were able to just bring him home after two days without having to fight to get him out of the NICU.   
Regardless, now he’s our Greyson and we are complete. 

Thanks for reading! Hopefully we get to see many more birth stories from husbands and partners in the future!

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Greyson's Birth Story

I love reading birth stories. Especially when I'm pregnant or have just given birth. There's something magical about reading how all these little babies came into the world. Everly's birth story was a little rough, luckily this one is better.

Honestly, leading up to labor I was really worried that things would go the same way that they did with Everly. I was worried that I wasn't going to get the kind of birth experience that I wanted. So when the labor and delivery birth asked me what I was looking for in this birth experience, I told her that I wanted a healthy baby. Everly was healthy, but she wasn't with us in our room. We never got that "golden hour" together. 

I went into labor Monday night. I was 5 days overdue and so sick of everyone walking on eggshells waiting for me to go into labor. It's very lucky that I didn't punch all the people who asked me how I was feeling. As if I could tell them just when the baby would come. We had gone to Brian's company Christmas (Holiday?) party at top golf and had just come home to get ready for bed. I was so tired and so ready for a good night's sleep. I honestly could have left the party an hour earlier because I was just so tired, but after we got into bed I realized that wasn't going to happen.

Contractions were so much worse than I had been expecting. Obviously, this was my second time around, but with Everly, my water broke and I didn't have any really painful contractions before I got an epidural. I walked around the room that we had been storing all of Greyson's things in, timing contractions and just waiting until they were close enough together to get to the hospital. It was really painful. I could feel them radiate down into the tops of both of my thighs. Right then and there I let go of any ambition to deliver naturally. Ever. 

Finally, it was almost midnight and my contractions were close enough together that I woke Brian up and we left for the hospital. '

I remember on the drive there that Brian sped a little bit. I remember telling him that the baby wasn't coming THAT quickly.

We got there and we checked in. I felt so annoyed when they were asking me why we came in. Looking back it makes sense, but in the moment, I just kept thinking, "This is labor and delivery. I'm in labor. I'm here to deliver."

We learned not long after we checked in that my doctor wasn't going to be able to deliver our baby. It broke my heart a little bit. I wanted a familiar face. I wanted to feel safe because this was the doctor that had been with me from the beginning. It just wasn't meant to be.

Labor went much more quickly this time around. We only spent about 4 hours from the time we checked in to when we started pushing. I was dilated to something like a 6 when we got there and the nurse was pretty sure that my water had broken already. The slow leak kind somewhere at the top (which made me feel better about all the times in the past several days that I had wondered if it had broken, but wasn't confident enough to go get checked). It ended up breaking at the bottom one of the times that she checked me.

I got my epidural not long after I checked in and I was so glad to have a good anesthesiologist. He was comforting to me (even though there was more pain/discomfort with the placement than last time) because he reminded me of my brother. He patiently explained to me everything that he was doing and what I might feel as he did it. I had a great epidural just like last time. I could feel and move my legs but there was no pain during contractions. 

We were introduced to my doctor, a young-looking man who seemed kind and like he knew what he was doing. We kept waiting for me to be fully effaced. They eventually had me turn on my side to help put pressure on my cervix in one spot that didn't want to go all the way away. They told me to tell them when I felt pressure on my tailbone. Honestly, I felt pressure several minutes before I said anything because I wanted to be sure, but then I told them and everyone was coming in and gowning up for the delivery.

The delivery itself is kind of all blurred together. I remember that they gave me oxygen at one point and I had the mask on until the end of the delivery. I have no idea why. I remember they told me that Greyson's heart rate was dropping and that they needed to use the vacuum on him (which is actually a little circle that suctions to their head and is attached to a tube and a handle that they pull on to help them out). I remember the NICU nurse coming in, just in case. It was about that time that I was sure that I was going to be a repeat NICU mom. I remember him telling me that he was going to cut me to help get the baby out and I was just praying that the epidural was strong enough (with Everly they had to give me extra medicine before they cut me because I could feel the knife when they were about to start). Luckily, I didn't feel it and soon Greyson was out and they were putting him on my chest. I think I remember crying. I remember looking down at the top of his head and people saying things about how he looked and I just kept thinking that I couldn't see him. He was on my chest, just like I wanted, but I couldn't see anything, he was too close. 

But he was here. They didn't take him away. I got to keep him on my chest for the hour after he was born and I got to feed him right away. It was a huge blessing and tender mercy. When I finally did get a good look at him, I was so happy to see the little fat rolls of his arms and the fuzzy little hair that covered him all over. His eyes were this deep blue on the edges with a bright blue in the middle. He was mine. He was safe. 

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Poems of Motherhood | September + December 2019

And just like that, we'll be caught up to the present day. I kind of like that, because it will keep me writing in the moment, but I also am a little nervous. Posting these a little behind where we are has been nice to reminisce and also, it gives me a little space from what I'm writing. Which I need. It helps me edit out things where I got a little carried away being poetic, and because they are so personal, it helps me feel better about sharing them. So here's to being brave in 2020. 

Sept. 15, 2019

For Everly

You ran to daddy
still in your PJs
stood there and hugged him for more than a minute
just because

Sept. 16, 2019

For Everly

You held my legs
a plea not to go
it made the crying this morning worth it
because for a moment
I felt what "Momma" meant when you said it

Sept. 20, 2019

For Everly

I guess we've given you enough of goodbyes
what with the dentist and doctor appointments
you're eagerly wishing everyone goodbye
when they've just arrived

December 5, 2019

2 Moments:
for Everly

You crawling up onto the couch
onto "Auntie's" chest
for a kiss before "nap"

You laying back on my pregnant belly
while I read you stories
you hold Daddy's hand while I read

Thanks for reading! I'm excited to write more poetry about both my children and also about transitioning to two babies. It has been a wild ride already.
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