I’ve been trying to put in to the words the topsy turvy feeling I’ve been navigating for the past few weeks. I have rapidly realized that I cannot put everything in to one blog post, so what started out as one is now evolving into many.
Let me start at the beginning and announce that we gave birth to our beautiful baby boy Noah this October. Although he arrived early, a month from his due date to be exact, he’s happy and healthy. With all the excitement I’ve done my best to breathe, stay as present as possible, be forgiving to myself, and allow myself to become an observer as new life unfolds before our very eyes.
Baby Carr Arrives!
All along, I had a strong feeling that Noah would arrive prior to his prescribed due date of November 11. Though my intuition was right, I had no idea he would come a full month ahead of schedule. Not to mention that he arrived on the actual day of his baby shower. No, we did not make it to the shower, but my amazing friends were in town and helped get our house set up for our homecoming. We are so grateful for their help!
I meandered through a haze of shock for the first few weeks and spent much of my time in “process mode.” It’s taken some time getting used to our new routine, the emotional ups and downs as my hormones and our family adjusts to Noah’s arrival, and the crazy way having a baby flip flops your priorities. I believe that having a strong spiritual practice over the years helped me to stay grounded and move with as much grace as I can through it all. Additionally, my practice has also given me the courage to admit when I’m overwhelmed by being honest with myself and trust that even though I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m doing my best.
Our Birth Story
The day I went in to labor started out as any other, with the only exception being I was having some new symptoms which I thought were related to pregnancy, not preterm labor. Keep in mind, I was only 35 weeks along at this point. I had been carrying the baby really low and working a little too hard, so it was easy to make that correlation. I got home from work and took the dog for a walk when low and behold, my bag of water released (although at the time I didn’t believe that was what was happening).
In my state of denial I texted a girlfriend of mine who told me to immediately call my the midwives while she called my husband at work. Hubby came home immediately (in rush hour traffic no less) and off to the hospital we went, where I was checked out and yes, my bag of water had released. Labor had indeed started.
As the nurse made this proclamation, I sat in disbelief, turned to my husband and started laughing uncontrollably. “Oh my, we’re going to have a baby!” was all I could say. Actually, I probably used more colorful language than that, but for the sake of this post, just go with it. We laughed for a good ten minutes straight and I thought, “this can’t really be happening, it’s too soon. We aren’t ready!”
This was Thursday night and the next few hours proceeded with regular surges (contractions), deep breathing and as much rest as I could get. Our doula Lindsey arrived at about 3:00 a.m as things were starting to pick up. Having her there was a godsend. She helped me stay focused on my breathing and relaxation. I think her presence was also helpful for my husband, because…you know…we’ve never done this before!
Things continued to progress steadily throughout the morning and afternoon. Around 2:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, the nurse started prepping the room for the arrival of Baby Carr. I recall that at this moment I looked at the clock and thought of the date. It was Friday, October 10. Something inside told me this baby wasn’t coming until the 11th. I don’t know how I knew, but I just knew. Maybe the fact that 11 is my favorite number has something to do with it, who knows? Regardless, I continued to work through my surges as best I could in the hopes that I really wouldn’t have to wait another day to meet our baby.
It was at this point that things started to slow down and my intuition proved right once again–he wasn’t coming that day. Although labor had pretty much progressed through transition (or to the point where I was fully dilated and ready for baby to come), he had other plans. Surges got further apart and my energy started to wane. It had been well past 24 hours at this point. Still I kept moving forward until about 2:00 a.m. in the morning, nearly 12 hours later, when after a short pow wow, I decided to take my midwives advice and get an epidural in order to get some much needed rest.
The epidural helped and although it wasn’t part of my birth preferences, it was what I needed to regain the energy I needed to deliver the baby the next day. We all got a few hours of sleep and when I woke up in the morning I knew something had shifted in my body. It was time to start pushing!
|First family selfie|
Now, my memory is that I only pushed for an hour and a half, but my husband says it was three hours. Regardless, Mr. Noah arrived just before noon “sunny side up,” crying and much larger than the NICU team expected. The first thing out of my mouth when I saw him was “we made it!” I could hardly believe he was finally here–it only took over 40 hours to make it happen!
Magical Mommy Moments
So that’s the story. While it has been challenging, it has also been an amazing experience and dare-I-say, getting easier with each day. As I sit here today squeezing in what words I can while Noah naps, I am still in awe! I realize there’s much to come and learn, but over the past few weeks I’ve navigated the ins and outs of breastfeeding (of which I’m still figuring out), discovered that I can operate on less than three hours of sleep a night if I need, refined my ability to accomplish tasks with one hand, and realized that I have the best friends a girl can ever ask for. Their advice and support has helped me immensely. That’s what friends are for after all!
I need to give a special shout out to my husband once again. He’s been phenomenal and regularly gives me opportunities to have time to myself. Having his support has been so important to our success.
And while there’s plenty of laundry to be done and other householder duties to attend to, I’m doing my best to go easy on myself and take one day at a time. Although I desperately miss my yoga mat, this is my new practice and I’m really okay with that. The asana will come back to me when the time is right. I’ve always been a believer that the practice evolves with you and as you need it, so in that way we’re just going with the flow over here. That’s the best lesson I can learn from any practice.