Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A late and much postponed birth story for FIG, finally

Has it really been since January?

I've just belatedly finished watching OINTB Season 2, on my phone, as my tv watching goes these days- restless baby nursing in bed accompaniment.  I won't spoil it, but I will say I'm a little disappointed, I think the producers took the easy way out. Predictable, and I'm definitely not as hooked as I was after the first season.  Ugh, now I need a new series to get swallowed by.

42 weeks in 42 week out.  This feels like a marker, she is growing into herself so fast.  This little being has preferences, she has sounds that mean things, she is fiery.  Nick says she's like our dog, who speaks only in capital letters.  She is a nuzzler, when she's not feeling so hot, she sleeps on my shoulder in bed, she likes to be close.  When she is feeling fine, she rolls away, and takes her own space.  She pushes through things that are in her way, Nolan, the dog, toys. She is a mover.  She nods her head in agreement, she crawls over to the park swings and raises her arms and bops up and down.  She knows how to get what she wants. She plays peekabo with everything. She is brave.  Today she crawled right into Lake Michigan. Today she stood up in the bathtub.  She is a discoverer.  She likes opening and closing doors, she likes dogs fur, she likes nibbling noses and tasting and biting everything.   She loves feeling her hands and feet in dirt.  She has one dimple and seven teeth and a crinkly face smile.  She has a natural mohawk.

42 weeks ago, on a cool summer night Nick and I were watching Sherlock, Nolan was sleeping in the big bed, there were a few dishes in the sink.  I was waiting. Our baby had been cooking for 42 weeks 1 day, and it was go time.  I had acupuncture at 3pm, and was desperately hoping for a natural beginning to labor, natural

and... cut to returning weeks later to finish up and add pictures and my writing is gone.  Feeling very frustrated and pissed at web karma.

This is a picture of my left shoulder.  I had acupuncture and some form of scraping earlier that day, and the practitioner and I talked about how we didn't know the gender of the baby, I told her our name choices and I thought the conversation was over.  Before even getting into active labor, Kristy, our doula mentioned that I had an "F" on my shoulder, and maybe it would be our Frances that was on the way, perhaps the accupuncturist knew it would be a girl and was giving me a clue.  The F is very faint in the picture, squint and you can see it! 

Figs birth story got interrupted, much like her birth.  Here is the story, or what I can get out in the next few minutes before she wakes up, or Nolan presses the power button on my computer.

When I say natural, I mean, anything but castor oil, birthing at home in the tub with candles, without intervention, at my own pace.  I got my wish, it all happened, sans the candles, which are still sitting on a shelf, tall and unburned.  She started to make her presence and intention known at around 9:30 pm, which I retrospectively marked as the beginning of labor.  Since it was imminent, one way or another, I finally downloaded a contraction timing app (already during the beginnings of contractions- I must not of wanted to jinx myself by doing it before).  And knowing finally that it was going to happen, I did the dishes to stay busy, I think I subconsciously left them in the sink thinking that if there were dishes then she would definitely come, because that would signal "unready" in some way, which would therefore make it the right time... does anyone but me follow that kind of thinking?  Weird I know, but maybe it worked.

This picture and the one following and the only pictures of me in labor.  The last moments of my baby in belly. 

I guess there are some candles.... 

So things picked up and I remember telling Nick not to have a second beer because it was now or within the next 12 hours or so and no matter what, he was going to have to be awake.  He obliged. I think we called Kristy, our doula to keep her in the loop, and she decided to come at around 1:30 am and just be here in the case that labor picked up really quickly.  There was a lot of concern around the baby coming fast because Nolan's birth was relatively quick, this being number 2, anything could happen.  Also, I was at 4-5 cm before labor even started.  Thinking about it now, it should have been a surprise to no one that Frances entered the world at her own pace, taking her time to come on down.  Everyones hurry ended up being unnecessary.   The midwives Amy and Sarah arrived sometime early in the morning, maybe 4:30 or 5, the pool was inflated, I threw up twice.  I remember someone saying that as awful as  throwing up is, in labor it is productive and I probably dilated another half centimeter.  Contractions were more and more intense and I got in the pool.  We all thought baby was on her way at around 7, and then Nolan woke up.  Everything slowed down almost to a halt.  I don't remember this, but now I know that my body was waiting for Nolan to be safe,  I  couldn't have predicted feeling this, but I wanted him not to see me in pain.  I could not have the baby with him there.  Our buddies came and picked him up in their wagon, the midwives told me to try and rest.  Which I did, all the while thinking that this is totally crazy, contractions are really happening now and they want me to sleep.  I needed support, but tried to rest for about 30 minutes until it became too uncomfortable to be on my side.

I must have labored on the ball, standing, walking for a while, I think I got back in the pool at 9 ish.  Cold washcloths, cold water, someone else getting my hair out of my face: I remember choosing not to push, waiting until the urge was impossible to resist.  I got to the point, which I remembered from Nolan's birth when it felt impossible, summitting a never ending mountain with no air to breathe, and then someone said they could see the head.   Back to reality, saying I can't do this, someone said, you are doing it right now.   Then it was really imminent, she was coming, things sprang in to action, no one had realized how close she was to swimming/ shooting out into the world.  I saw Amy put towels on the warmer.  My water broke at 9:28am, I pushed 2 times.  She was born at 9:31am.

The blurry first moments of life on this side. 

Giving us her classic WTF face. 

I love the clarity of Fig's face in this one, moments after birth. 

Taking a breath, relishing the moment. 

It took her a while to pink up, and then she was so pink, like red pink, much more color than Nolan.  She's fair like me.  My stubborn placenta didn't want to let go, needed some encouragement, but finally gave way, and like with Nolan's birth, I bled a lot.  At one point after trying to pee for the first time, I fainted and fell, and like an angel, Sarah caught me, an exhausted, depleted, thrilled pants-less new momma.  They had me lay on the floor for 30 minutes or so with my feet up, all the while Nick had Frances on his chest.

Skin to skin with daddy while the placenta came and I got cleaned up. 

  She was trying to nurse, eating his chest hair, and I asked for help to the bed so I could finally have her with me.  Here she is, nursing away, my girl.  

Our first nurse. 

The fainting was from fluid loss, once I ate and drank a lot, I was on the mend, recovered, and had color in my face again.

8 lbs 10 oz! 

Amy making it official with footprints. 

The first of many sleepy snuggles.  This is actually pre faint.  

First close up, Oma's knitting and a Nolan sleeper. 

This is my team! Amy and Sarah were amazing. 

Brother meets sister for the first time.  There was definitely toe counting going on.   
And now, almost 12 months later, I finish her birth story, and it's time to start writing the story of her first year.   Here's a sneak at what she's up to.  She is amazing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter update

Well I feel like a success right now. I (we) got through a tech week and weekend of performing and came out if it feeling good about the dance and the experience. My family survived my evening and daytime absence and I only took one sick day at work.  It was a special gift to dance with someone who knows me so well.  (Is this where I hashtag Kristina Fluty? :) Because our friendship is so long and storied we could focus on the integrity and honesty in the dance: A true and rare delight for me. I am pleased to say I want/ need to do this again, and feel motivated to make it happen.  I am so grateful for the gentle observers in the dancers and audiences and the generous comments that made me feel so appreciated.

At home, there has been tons of cuteness going on, and milestones jumped over all the time. Everybody is growing up so fast. Maybe reverse chronological order is appropriate since it's been a while.

Nolan's getting ready for Mardi Gras! 

Light, shadow and love.

Snow (or extreme cold) day snuggles this morning.

Jam sesh after the show last night.

This kid is a performer.

Family cuddle puddle. 

Pic from dress rehearsal (photo by Lizzie Leopold).

Car seat sleep pics on the way home from Iowa Christmas last weekend.

Sleepy face mouth breathers.

Our girl loves to smile big!

And Nolan gets in at least one squeezy hug everyday, which Frances is not so sure about...

It's been a packed few weeks. Nick has been the rock that we all balanced on and I am forever grateful. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grutz says, "Well...........maybe I'll start a church." or "I'm having issues with a rat's nest."

A gift beyond words.

We held our 'Iowa Christmas' last weekend.  A house with 17 wonderful people is a true joy.  And of course, a ridiculous amount of gifts.  One gift though, needs special mention.  My grandfather, Bill Linden, made me a glorious stained glass window.  Frankly, the content is secondary.  I'm gobstruck at the detail and can't imagine the time and effort.  Unfortunately, Papa Bill left the gift for me and I was unable to see him and thank him in person.  I'm going to have to remedy that....
Now I just need to build a house around this.....

Hey guy!