Monday, May 30, 2011

Absolutely Perfect

That's how I feel about Hazel's birth. It was perfect. It's already been ten days since the birth of our baby girl. I've been thinking pretty hard, processing the experience, and wondering what to write. I don't believe I became a mother the day Hazel was born, but that it was a process. It started the moment Mike and I decided we wanted children, and I am still working on becoming a mother. Like any parent, I only want what is very best for my child, which is what led to our decisions about my prenatal care, and the
birth experience we wanted, not for our benefit, but for Hazel's.

I did so much research. I read so many books, hundreds of birth stories, and we took an amazing birthing class. All of these things led us to believe that the very best choice for us was to switch from our ObGyn, and my plan to "try" to have a natural birth in the hospital, to a midwife, and to plan a natural birth at home.

Hazel was born at home, Saturday, May 21st. I had a feeling on Friday morning that Mike should stay home from work, and we should do some shopping and preparation. I threw up that morning. I said to Mike quite a few times throughout the day, "do you think we'll have a baby tomorrow?"

My water broke at 7 pm on the dot. I was excited, and so was Mike. We actually laughed pretty hard when it happened. I called my midwife Cathy. She said she'd plan on arriving around midnight, and to call her if things progressed more quickly.

My mother and sister arrived around midnight, My midwives around 12:30, and we all proceeded to get plenty of rest. We knew we would need it.
There wasn't a second that I was afraid or uncertain. I was comfortable between contractions, moved around as I pleased, and ate and drank as I pleased. I was in my own space. It was hard, really hard, but it was peaceful. Never frantic. I knew I was being cared for and loved by everyone present, and I felt confident.

I climbed in the birthing pool around 6 AM. I knew that the warm water would make the contractions a little easier, and they were getting hard. My sister woke up, and began taking photos. My mother had to run to work to open, and was worried she would miss it. She arrived back at the house around 8:30. I am so glad that they were both there.

Mike had been loving and comforting me all night, always reminding be to breathe through the pain. The midwives would occasionally check the baby's heart rate. Always fine. They would tell me I was doing wonderful, was beautiful, powerful, and were constantly encouraging me. They held my hands when Mike was busy, and always stared straight into my eyes, as if to say, "we know you can do this." Their Presence was very powerful.

Hazel was born right after the sun came out, at 9:59 AM. the contractions leading up to it were very difficult, but pushing hazel out was not at all what I expected. It was not the horrible pain I imagined. Mostly, I just remember wanting her out so badly. I don't remember burning or pain, just relief that she was almost here. I felt my body pushing on it's own, and I tried really hard to just let it happen. Mike helped me to relax, breathe, and not push on top of it like I had read, heard from other mothers, and been taught in my birthing class. I would hum loud as I breathed through the contraction, and my body would push on it's own, and the pushing was so powerful. Then she was out.

Mike raised her out of the water, and handed her to me. I held her for about 45 minutes, and she cried most of that time. Sometimes she would stop and stare. I just stared back at her, and touched her face and body over and over and fell in love with her. I expected a huge outpouring of emotion, but that isn't what I felt. Just peace, and happiness, and amazement that I had done it. I knew I could all along, but it was over with, and she was there in my arms.

I had no sense of time at all. I thought it was mid-afternoon and was surprised to hear what her time of birth was. I felt no pain at that point, and my body forgot about all the hard work it had just been through. It was amazing. I didn't suffer any tearing or swelling. Of course I felt a little stiff over the next few days, but overall it was just minor discomfort.

I nursed her within an hour after she was born, then took a quick shower. The midwives, Mike, Megan, and my Mom cleaned everything up, and then she was weighed and examined. She was a perfectly healthy newborn baby, weighing in at 7 lbs, 6 oz. and measuring 21 inches long.

The whole time I had a total of 2 cervical checks, no medication, and nothing was done that I didn't ask for,  understand, or consent to. I cannot imagine going through any of this in a hospital. Being forced to submit to protocols and  unwanted procedures. Having strangers in and out of my room, being told what to do and when to do it, being only allowed liquids, maybe crackers, being told what position I had to birth in, and being tied to monitors, even occasionally. That would feel so discouraging, to be so out of control of the situation. All of those things seem ridiculous to me, especially now.

That overwhelming emotion that I expected to feel when she was born slowly appeared over the next few days, as I nursed and stared and cared for and loved my new little baby. Im sure that it will continue to grow throughout my entire life.

It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding. I have no complaints. It was the best experience of my life. I would do it again tomorrow. It was worth the long wait, the weeks of morning sickness, the months of heartburn, the occasional hip and back pain, leg cramps, any sleepless nights, and every contraction.
Hazel has been the most peaceful baby in the world. She hardly cries, she sleeps for long periods, she eats well. Not fussy. I attribute this to the peaceful atmosphere she was born into, and the fact that she suffered no trauma. No bright lights, no shots, no tests, and no rough handling by nurses or doctors. She was welcomed directly into her home, with nothing but love surrounding her. She had nothing to fear. Her first impression of this world wasn't scary.
like I said, it was perfect.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Girl

Hazel. Hazey. Hazelnut. Nut. Suckerfish. Eggroll. Baby. Wrinkles. Long Legs. Little Tiny. Milkface.
So many names.
I'm smitten. Overcome. Elated.
On cloud nine.
I'm a Mom.
I've been told, and imagined how much it would change my life.
I had no Idea.
My universe has been flipped upside down.

I'm afraid I will forget this. Her little tiny squeaky noises. Her long, squirmy legs. The way she moves her arms when she sleeps. Wrinkly forehead. Perfect baby-doll lips.

I woke up last night to her little hand stroking my face.
Sleeping next to her is better than anything.
I never want to leave her side, and I don't want her to grow up.
My perfect, tiny girl.
I want to spend my days kissing her toes and nose and cheeks and tummy.
Taking in her smallness, with all of my senses.
Staring at her sleepy face, gazing in her big wide-open newborn eyes.
I don't ever want it to change.

She is so happy, So peaceful, so easy to take care of. The only hard thing about any of this is knowing it will change. It wont be forever. I can't just come back here, to this moment, and hold my five-day-old baby.

These last five days have been the best of my life. Nothing I've ever experienced even compares. Every day, and every moment is so  much more precious than it was before. The days are going too fast.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Only 3 Days old.
I'm already sad that she is going to grow up.
"Please stay new forever", I keep thinking.
I just stare and stare.
I did a hard thing.
I did it right.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Midwives are Amazing

This blog post was written by my midwife, Cathy. I love her. Midwives are the way to go. I mean it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Worth the Wait

My friend's Nate and Holly, who have been hoping for a very very long time to be parents, have FINALLY been chosen for placement.

Their wait is over. I am so so happy for them, as I can only imagine the pain and anguish they have been through. I've only glimpsed a small part of what they have experienced, with my one miscarriage, and my silly impatience in these last few weeks of waiting for my little baby.

They have suffered through multiple miscarriages, and even more failed adoptions, over many many more years.

In around 20 minutes they will be signing papers, and they will Finally have a baby boy. They will be a family of three. Hurray for them, and Hurray for the beautiful birth mother, whoever she is, that has chosen them. They SO deserve this.

Isn't it great?

Monday, May 16, 2011

oh, baby

could someone please inform this child of my very important schedule, and how she is terribly inconveniencing me by not arriving promptly?


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I have a problem

My problem is that I don't like to do anything by myself. If I do something alone, than I didn't really do something. I have tried to enjoy my alone time. I just don't. It feels like wasted time. I'm only having fun when I am with people.

There are no people here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yet another reason to love Tina Fey

She inserts the perfect amount of witty humor into everything
A Mother's Prayer
by Tina Fey

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be beautiful but not damaged, for it’s the damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty. When the crystal meth is offered may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with beer.

Guide her, protect her:

when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from acting but not all the way to finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the drums to the fiery rhythm of her own heart with the sinewy strength of her own arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a tiger flower blooming magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, for I will not have that shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Via Peonies and Polaroids