11 December, 2008

Wow...August...That's Pathetic...

I can't believe that I haven't posted since August! So sorry people!!!

Well, as you can see, our life has been busy! John Ross Boerschinger was born on November 28th, 2008!!!! He is such a sweetheart!!!

I decided I wanted to take the opportunity to blog about our birth and adjustment experience. I don't want to get so far away from it that I forget!

We were told by our doctor that if baby was more than a week late, we were encouraged to induce. This was not something I was hugely in favor of, but I trust my doctor explicitly and I figured she knew better than I. We opted for an induction the day after Thanksgiving. We spent our last night as "just the two of us" at my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner (small for me) and a game of cards. I was SO ready for the baby to arrive!!!

We awoke at 5:00 on Friday morning. We had a hearty breakfast of eggs, fried potatoes and toast and then headed off to the hospital. We arrived to discover that our doctor had accidently called our orders into the other hospital in our network and had to wait while they had the orders transferred to our hospital.

At about 7:30 they hooked me up to the monitors for my contractions and the baby's heartbeat and started the pitocin to induce contractions. I was already having small contractions fairly regularly, but not enough to know when things were going to pick up. Kevin and I spent the morning watching TV, the movie Elf, and just talking. I enjoyed several yummy popsicles...:)

At about 11:30 Dr. Mary arrived to check on my progress. I was already 2-3 centimeters and she asked our permission to break my water. After breaking my water, the contractions got stronger. They were still tolerable, but definitely more intense. We switched our viewing choice over to a Deadliest Catch marathon.

About 1:30, the pain started to intensify to a point where I couldn't focus or relax as much as I would have liked. We consulted with our nurse and although we had hoped to go completely natural, we opted for a dose of the narcotic Nubane. It immediately started working. Not only did it focus the pain to a point that I could breathe through, but it allowed me to relax to the degree that I slept through the time between contractions. Kevin was a rock. He stood beside me the entire afternoon and provided both mental and physical support (I literally pushed against his hands as a breathed through contractions). I think Kevin had the more intense experience to be completely honest.

About 4:00, I opted for a second dose of Nubane. Again, I was trying really hard not to have an epidural, so this was a good option. Although the second dose isn't quite as effective as the first due to the stage of labor, it definitely helped.

Much to all of our surprise, I was started to feel the urge to push. Our nurse, Jacqueline, helped us through the first hour or so of pushing. By about 5:00, it was clear that baby was ready to come. It got a bit frenzied toward the end because it all happened faster than we expected. They had to call Dr. Mary down from the desk 3 times because it happened THAT fast. When she arrived in the room it was about 3 pushes and he arrived!!! The last 20 minutes or so all I kept saying was, "I can't do this...I just can't keep going...it isn't going to happen", but Kevin kept encouraging me and telling me how he could see the head. I couldn't have done it without him. Seriously...John Ross Boerschinger was born at 5:37 p.m. after only 10 hours of labor!

When John was born it was several minutes before I even thought to ask what HE was! They put him on my chest and I just kept saying, "Hi baby, hi baby, hi baby..." It was truly amazing! Kevin couldn't believe how quickly I went from "I can't do this" to "That wasn't so bad", but truly, the experience was so powerful. I've read and heard from several sources that birth is the completion of the female sexual experience and I can totally support that idea. It is amazing to be a co-creator of this little being.

Our first night was a bit surreal. I was on a bit of a high and Kevin was SO exhausted. Like I said before, I think his experience was actually more intense than mine...but he was amazing and no one has a husband as fabulous as mine. It was a little challenging because the nurses are constantly in and out of the room and John was still adjusting to life outside the womb.

I did start nursing him almost right away. He and I spent much of the night trying to figure out the whole feeding/eating thing. He slept through most of the night and although I tried, I don't think the hospital bed manufacturers have actually ever slept in one of them...the second night I opted for a spot next to my hubby on the pull-out sofa in the room.

We had a few visitors on Saturday and spent the day adjusting to the idea that we were parents...diapers, feedings, little fingers, little toes...crazy!

On Sunday John had started to show a bit of jaundice, but they discharged us and made us an appointment to see the pediatrician the next day to check on it. Walking out of the hospital as 3 instead of 2 was completely unreal. Both of us were very emotional for the first few days. There was lots of laughter and lots of tears as we tried to make the adjustment.

On Monday we saw the pediatrician and were given the green light on his jaundice. He had already lost 1 of his 8 lbs which isn't unusual, but it is slightly more than they would have liked.

John didn't take to nursing very well. This was really sad for me. I had really wanted to nurse him for awhile, but despite lots of effort and suggestions from the lactation specialist, he wasn't seeming to get enough to eat or enough sleep. So, I've opted for supplementing. I pump breastmilk to make half of his bottles and use formula for the other half. It really broke my heart the first time he took a bottle. No matter what I told myself, I felt like I had failed him.

In truth, what I discovered, was that I had met his needs in a way that only a mother could. After several teary nursing sessions and the pathetic "I'm hungry" cries that he gave me, how could I do anything but whatever was necessary to meet his little needs? If that meant formula, how could I feel guilty. After a day, he was a completely different baby. He was content, eating well, and sleeping peacefully. I couldn't argue. And truthfully, any amount of breastmilk he gets is amazing for his little body. Any amount he gets is giving him the antibodies he needs.

Some women believe that breastfeeding and attachment parenting are the only "Catholic" way to care for a baby. It is certainly one great way to do so, but it is not the way that we choose to parent. We assessed our baby's needs and responded in a way that tells him that we will provide whatever he needs. It is easy to feel guilty or less qualified when you are being told that this is the best way to be a mom, but in truth, I know by my baby's response, that I did exactly what all those mom's are telling me only their method provides; a sense of commitment, attachment, attention, and love.

I type this because I have heard too many new moms, including myself, feel guilty because of comments other mom's have made about decisions we've made. We need to support each other as best we can in whatever parenting style we choose. New moms need confidence, not questioning, and I wanted to share our story as a positive and supportive witness.

Truly, becoming a parent is transformational. My marriage is completely different and so much stronger. I am even more in love with my husband and in a way so deep I couldn't even imagine. It changes what you think about and when you think about it. It changes how you function mentally and physically. It is overwhelming and intimidating, but I wouldn't have it any other way!