But from the start - the VERY start - Judah has been different. He took only 3 months to conceive (over 24 for my others) and he showed himself within the first 4 weeks on me....three's a charm, right?
And so...no water breaking on my own. Here's his story...read if it interests you.
9am - I don't feel so well. Just kinda off and heavy and a lot of pressure.
10am - in the shower...my thought: "This is probably my last shower before I have a baby...." how do we kinda know? But kinda not?
11am- take every thing out of my refrigerator, wipe it down, empty yucky stuff and organize. Last ditch nesting?!?
12am - call my friend, labor coach and OB nurse Sandy while frosting some Spring cookies to have for my mom and kids cuz the pressure is getting about 10 minutes apart
1:30pm - arrive at hospital and only 2-3 cm dilated....darn.
1:30-5pm - walk the halls of Toledo hospital that is hopping with pregos everywhere.....so much that I do not even get into the maternity wing until AFTER I give birth that evening. I gave birth in the OR (Operating Room) and I labored in a "Special Post Ops" room. With no shower or baby stuff. Awesome.
5pm - still 3 cm dilated....getting sad...but as I walk contractions increase
5pm-8pm: walk halls and start squatting at the end of each hall. Had read the day before on squatting during natural birth - brings the use of gravity, hip opening and took away my back labor (amazingly)
8pm - they check me - I am at a 4. We decide with the doctor to break my water....we prayed to progress one more cm before that and things start to move fast.
Equal and Opposite Calm
I had also read that while squatting to try to relax and calm every muscle to the equal and opposite degree of pain in the contraction. Where I had squeezed hands and writhed and bounced on a ball in each contraction with Olive....now I squatted, hung limp over the bed and as Sandy touched different parts of the body, I tried to relax at each touch. Breath it out. It took GREAT concentration and control. But really helpful.
10:30pm They check me again... only a 6cm dilated...have to get to 10....... Sad. I felt defeated. Wasn't sure how long I could do this. They shifted me back off the bed (um...no thank you! But movement is another key with getting you dilated) and I did a few more squats....and then everything moved REALLY fast. Like a crazy train...like you are being overtaken. Pretty nuts. I transitioned and Judah came out 45 minutes later!
7 minutes of pushing (about 3) and at 11:16pm Judah Peter Seiffert was born!
Reflections: Squatting Spirituality
I squatted through my contractions and tried to apply equal and opposite peace and calmness in my body compared to the level of chaos in each contraction. It was a mental discipline that I honestly felt like my athleticism and pain management in tough matches, tough races, tough games had paved the way for me. It felt like an intense athletic event with the BEST prize ever after.
And the same needs to hold true in motherhood. When things get crazy, kids get loud, disobedient, rude, pull attitudes, refuse instruction - the chaos has arrived. The contraction of the moment. I often want to go around squeezing heads and writhing and yelling to control it all.
But may I "squat" through the chaos...applying equal and opposite whispers to their yelling, applying gentleness to their hitting, applying peace to their inner emotional storms that are spilling out all over our family.
May our contractions in child bearing be our teachers in daily motherhood. May we listen and respond with grace, peace, kindness.