Friday, May 11, 2007

The Birth Story ~ Part VI ~ The Delivery

How fitting that on Keenan’s first birthday I sit down to write out this account. It’s been a very nostalgic couple of days and it’s been great for both of us to relive all those moments in photo’s, conversations with friends and in those rare quiet moments when there’s just Sean and I awake.

So back to where I left off last night...I spent a lot of time reading about pregnancy and childbirth before and during my pregnancy. A lot of those words were dedicated to things I would feel. But most everything was described in a fairly ambiguous fashion. “Pregnancy effects everyone differently and although we’ll do our best to [insert topic du jour] you may or may not feel this/them as described”. For example: I knew contractions would be very painful but it could not be compared to any other pain. When Keenan’s head entered the birth canal I knew exactly what the hell was going on. I knew baby was on the way out and like right now. I have never in all my life felt such a sense of urgency. Mother scratcher did I ever wanna push that baby out. Everyone was telling me “no!” and in seconds the doors to our room flew open and all the equipment for delivery which was wheeled in. As everything was getting set up I started to feel the contractions building. This whole time I’d been pushing so hard during them and now everyone was telling me to breathe through them and relax. It felt very counter intuitive to follow their request and I voiced my opinion. Immediately the whole room broke into a low panting chorus of “ha, ha, ha, ha” and I joined in and ha, ha ha’d my way through the contraction. That was the last time I felt any pain. In the meantime the room filled with people. The doctor, Sato-san was there, 2 other midwives, the birth nurse and an intern. I remember the birth nurse throwing hospital gowns at Jess and Sean and they both fumbled to get them on. It was going that fast. I could feel the baby’s head moving down and I could feel its legs pushing against me from the inside. I watched my belly changing shape and honestly it freaked me out a bit. I’d spent 9 months and 8 days protecting this little person with my body and now he or she was on their way out and I had no control over it. I had one other very big long contraction and we did the ha ha business again. At this point Sean told me he could see the baby’s head and that the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck. So two things were going on here. First of all Sato-san was trying to slip the cord over the babies head and secondly she knew the baby was going to be large and she was trying to spare me from any tearing. She succeeded on both accounts and she truly is the best midwife in the whole world. With the next set of contractions I was given the green light to push as hard as I could and our baby came out just like that! Our baby was born at 12:14 pm. I saw him come out but Sean told me it was a boy. I could hear him getting suctioning and watched him getting wiped off and then he was placed on my tummy wrapped partially in a green paper towel, still attached to the cord which was still attached to the placenta which was still inside of me. Wild. It was all just so overwhelming. Cameras were now going off. The entourage in our room seemed to swell. People were saying how big our boy looked. He was so slippery and round! He had all kinds of guck in his hair red curly hair and he was very quiet. ‘We had our “congratulations” photo taken by the hospital and then they cut the cord while Keenan was on my tummy. We got to feel the cord and it was soft like mochi. I suspected it would feel like well, like a telephone cord! A piece of the cord was cut off and was later given to me in a small wooden box. A tradition I wasn’t prepared for but it was cool all the same (can’t wait to get that through customs in Canada this summer!). Finally, Sean got to hold Keenan and he cried tears of joy. I was next and then Jessyca. There were tears all around. After that Keenan was taken to be weighed and his health assessed and I got to the task of delivering the placenta. I didn’t feel it at all. It came out without any contractions and naturally Jess and I wanted to see it! So the doctor showed it to us and we of course took pictures of it! Then I got a couple of stitches for some internal tearing and we had a really nice time chatting with the doctor both during and after the stitches. He was pretty sure Keenan was the biggest baby born to his hospital that year and the biggest first baby ever born in his hospital. Excellent titles to hold! Keenan was returned to us and we were told he weighed 4373 grams and was 51.5 cm long. He had a bit of a minor internal infection and was given antibiotics to help clear that up. He also was running a bit of a fever but that as likely due to the infection. I remember holding him for that first time and being so totally flooded with emotions, joy, relief, excitement, wonder and disbelief. Here was our beautiful baby on the outside. In my arms! He was a perfectly beautiful, round healthy boy. We immediately named him Keenan Thomas. Keenan is a Gaelic name and in Japanese it means “anniversary or in memory of”. Thomas is the name of Sean’s father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Someone asked me before I left the delivery room if I would give birth without any pain relief again and I was a little unsure at the time. In hindsight I’d say yes. For the next one I’d like to do it naturally as well. As much as I can’t find the words to convey what the pain felt like I felt good knowing that I could feel everything. You can’t really read enough or attend enough classes to fully prepare yourself for what you’re going to go through. So much knowledge was gained in that first experience. I know it’ll be different the second time around but most of the critical unknowns are no longer a mystery to me.

It’s 12:14 am. Keenan is 1 year and 12 hours old. Tonight both Sean and Keenan are snoring in their beds as I write this. A whole year has gone by since you were born sweetest boy. We’re so lucky to have you. Happy Birth Day babelet!

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