Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beautiful Birth (31 for 21 post 2)

I had been having contractions on and off for a week.  After the very fast labor with Cadence I was nervous about know when it was real.  Lori told me that when it was real I would "just know".  I went to bed on the night of September 16th completely at peace about Reagan being born when she was ready.  I woke up at 5:30 and didn't really know why.  Then the first contraction came.  And I knew.  It was strong or was just...different.  So I lay there for a while thinking I'd go back to sleep if I could, but the contractions were nice and regular every 10 minutes, again not painful, but it was morning and I was excited about my baby so I got up.  I called my Dad and told him not to go to work, but that there was no hurry in getting my Mom out of bed and out here.  I restrained myself from calling Lori until after 7 since I didn't want to wake her up too soon :)  I told her she was right and that I knew it would be sometime that day.  Then Clarisse woke up and I spent some time cuddling with her and telling her that her baby sister would be born that day.  Then we woke up Daddy and told him not to go to work that day.  At around 8:30 my parents arrived and I cooked everybody eggs for breakfast. I had a chiropractic appointment scheduled for 10:30 which I wanted to keep since being in alignment can be really helpful in labor.  Through all of this my contractions were a consistent 7-10 minutes apart.  After the appointment my mom and I went to Target for some last minute shopping.  I don't remember why we went but I do remember getting this set of candles that I will always love for having acquired the day Reagan was born.
 After we got home I tried to eat some lunch, but suddenly my contractions were coming closer and I was feeling a little uneasy.  I didn't want to arrive at the birth center at the last minute again so I called Lori and told her I wanted to come.  She had prenatal appointments with other clients, but I didn't mind, I just wanted to get there and settle in and relax (it is an amazingly beautiful, relaxing place).  We got to the birth center at around 1:00 pm and settled into my beautiful birthing room.
 Lori took my vitals and went off to finish her pre-natals while my family and I settled in to play a game on the living room floor.  My family teased me about the time limit on my turn as I paused to breath through contractions every 5 minutes or so.
 Lori called me back to check my stats again right as I won the game (they all promise they didn't rig it while I was out of the room)  and I decided it was time to get in the warm tub for a while.
 Sweet bliss.
 I contracted comfortably in the tub for a little while until the other mamas were all gone for the day then I decided to get out and walk around the house for a while.
 Someone brought food for my family and I nibbled on some snacks I had brought and drank water as I roamed around.
 At a little after four I could tell things were really starting to move.  Contractions about 3 minutes apart that I could no longer walk through.  I kept moving and relaxing through each contraction for as long as I could and then I had to sit down so I sat on the ball while they re-warmed the tub for me.  I was feeling the slightly claustrophobic panicky feeling that always comes right before a baby is born.  Not so much painful as incredibly overwhelming and inescapable.
I climbed back in the tub sometime around 4:30 and again...sweet bliss.  (notice I haven't mentioned my water never did)  I felt her moving down and tried hard to work with it and not against it.  At a few minutes before 5:00 we called the family in...the girls climbed up on the bed to watch their sister being born.
A few minutes of slow, gentle pushing and Reagan Candice was born (5:08) in the most beautiful setting and most relaxed birth I have ever known.  She emerged still in her amniotic sac which was cleared away as I pulled her up.
 I pulled her sweet, squishy body up onto my chest and looked at her perfect newborn face and as I kissed her head of dark hair...I knew.  My baby girl had Down syndrome.  Here's the thing that beautiful candle-lit room, surrounded by love and high from a perfect birth, it didn't really matter.

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