Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day 29: A Baby is Born

It was Tuesday evening/midnight and I was busy finishing some things on my laptop while laying on the bed. I moved around a bit strangely with my legs (there was kind of no other way, considering the size of my belly) when I felt some wetness and thought that maybe I had peed myself a bit.

I went to the bathroom to check what happened and change panties when I noticed that there was some blood in my panties and that I was ‘peeing without peeing’ – as fluids were running out without me actively trying to urinate. By now I figured my water broke but the blood point was new to me. All I had heard/read about was clear fluid or fluid that was yellow/green – where the latter would indicate that the baby had passed stools in the womb which would be a sign that the baby was in distress and that we had to move quickly. I went back to the room where Gian had just gotten into bed to go sleep and told him what was happening. From underneath the blanket I hear him take a deep breath in and then a deep breath out as he swung the blanket off of himself and jumped out of bed. Since we both didn’t know what to think of the blood point (should we rush to hospital or do we have some time) we did a quick search on the net and then called our doctor. She told us to go to the hospital as I was going into labour.

A few weeks ago I had done Self-Forgiveness on the various scenario’s the birth could take – placing myself both in the position of ‘how I planned it’ and then placing myself into the position of ‘it happening before the scheduled date’. What was clear from all the reading I had done, is that you could have a plan and a wish for your pregnancy and birth to go a certain way – but in the end your ‘choice’ is really limited and you just have to go with how things progress – which can be unpredictable. From that I learnt that I could have a preference, but that realistically I had to be okay with things not going the way I planned it. So I did Self Forgiveness on my scheduled plan as well as things not happening according to plan, so that in the end, no matter what happened – I knew I would be okay and just walk whichever scenario would take place.

So - as I was hit with the ‘surprise’, I remembered the Self Forgiveness I did and the Self-Corrective Scripts I had laid out for myself. I uploaded the scripts within myself and decided to walk them immediately. It was pretty simple: Walk and Breathe!

The baby bag had been ready but I hadn’t gotten to making my own bag for the hospital yet. I opened the door from my room and yelled out to Maite, saying ‘Now’s the time to come help me make my bag!’.

We got everything together and then I went off to the hospital accompanied by Gian and LJ.

We had already done our pre-admission just the week before so that on the day itself all our information would already be in the system and we could skip this administrative stop. So we went to the front desk, was guided to the maternity section in a wheelchair and was then transferred to a bed and into a hospital gown. It was nice to get out of the wet clothes lol. Once I got into the clothes I was also asked to pee in a little bowl so they could test the urine for protein/pre-eclampsia, which was all fine. The nurses asked whether I was experiencing contractions to which I responded that I didn’t. They then checked if I had started dilating which I did. This was very painful as they stuff their hand up your cervix and then kind of with their fingers check how far you are dilated (AUCH!). There seemed to have been some communication problems because somehow the nurse that ended up tending to me had not been informed by the other staff that I had arranged for a C-section with my OB Gyn, and so she hadn’t contacted my doctor to let her know I had arrived at the hospital and was waiting for me to progress in labour. This meant more checking for dilation (just awful). At some point then the information reached the nurse and then finally things got set in motion. A catheter was now also placed for my bladder (also awful). At first because I wasn’t dilated very far, the doctor had arranged to do the C-section around 6 in the morning. It then got moved to about 4 in the morning as I was progressing rather quick and was at 7 cm dilation by the time we got into theater. The funny thing was that I still hadn’t noticed that I was actually having contractions until they were very close together. The past week I had had such awful backpain that I couldn’t fall asleep at night until eventually exhaustion surpassed the physical pain – which was by the time everyone got up in the morning… Whenever you read about labour and contractions, it’s said that ‘you’ll know’ and ‘oh you’ll notice!’ – but I hadn’t since the pain of the contractions was only a deep discomfort compared the the pain I had been in with my back for the last week.

During my pregnancy I would dread looking forward at the time I would be spending at the hospital as I wasn’t keen on the whole zero-privacy aspect as you get inspected from every side and hole into your body. Though while it was happening it was actually ‘alright’, in that while it was happening I wasn’t making anything out of it which made it just another passing moment. It’s funny how people always say how life is ‘what you make out of it’ – while it’s actually quite in reverse, as it’s not about adding layers/dimensions to a moment as energy experiences but the opposite as not ‘making anything out of it’ and simply experiencing the moment bare, naked – as it is. So simply moving myself to be here with every breath made moments which I had imagined to be really uncomfortable to just be another moment / part of the birthing procedure.

Once in theater everything went pretty quick. The epidural was done which was a bit painful and a strange experience as it started to kick in. Luckily my OB Gyn held my hand and talked to me to distract me while the epidural was being done.

I don’t usually take much medicine or pain medication and it had been a long while since anything ‘major’ had happened to me which has required heavy drugs. So when the epidural kicked in I really had to breathe and stick to being in one breath at a time as I could feel the effects not just go down my rump and legs but also creep upwards a bit towards my lungs which was a very strange experience, and it felt like I really had to be here with every breath to make sure that the breaths took place. It was also a strange experience to have someone cutting into you and have their hands into you without feeling any pain but just a general experience of ‘something messing around’ in there.
They got to the baby pretty quick but had underestimated how big he / his head was and had to really pull the c-section opening open to be able to get him out all the way – which wasn’t a very fun experience either. Even though I couldn’t ‘feel pain’, I could feel my body was being strained and taking a hit.

When Cesar came into my eye sight, screaming and gooey with white stuff as he was just removed from the womb – I for a moment shifted inside myself. This was the first time I was seeing ‘my baby’ and I was not having any particular experience around it. Since I didn’t experience some feeling of ‘connection’ – I for a moment assumed that this meant that I was ‘disconnected’. I was in essence reacting to there not having been a reaction that took place. I could see how I started doubting myself as I started to interpret and analyze the possible ‘meaning’ of there not having been a particular experience and what this would mean for me on road ahead as a parent to Cesar. I then again remembered Self Forgiveness and Self Corrective Statements I had done on this point as it had come up as a slight fear during pregnancy – and I remembered where this trail of thought would lead me if I decided to follow it (into depression) so I immediately disregarded the experience and stopped myself as I wasn’t interested in setting myself up to be depressed and realized that I would be in fact sabotaging my own relationship with Cesar through interpretation and assumption of a single moment – which was frankly quite silly.

Cesar was born on the 30th of October at 05.14 AM weighing 3.51 kg, measuring 48cms and a head circumference of 38 cm.

I focused again on breathing and turned my head as far as I could so I could see Gian with him and see how they were cleaning the baby etc.

When I went over this moment again later on, I realized that no experience came up which resulted in me shifting inside myself, simply because I didn’t have any memories/experiences relating to babies at all, as I had never had any interaction with babies during my life – and in that moment of seeing Cesar, out of my belly – my mind had nothing whatsoever that it could relate to in terms of my recorded history inside myself – and because there was simply nothing there and my system kind of froze – I immediately went into an assumption of self-inadequacy to try and ‘make sense’ of what was going on and have at least ‘some type of meaning’ for the moment that was happening in front of me. So while I did not have a distinct experience – my mind went and made an experience about not having a distinct experience lol and so in the end got to make something out of it anyway. In these type of moments you really get to see the mechanical nature of the mind and how it’s just another operating system working with memory and data files. And it’s interesting to see how such a small moment of ‘malfunction’ where the mind couldn’t immediately match an experience to the picture that was presented in reality, a rift was created which could have real consequential outflows if one were to really go into that point of ‘oh no, I did not experience anything when seeing my baby for the first time – this must mean something – this must say something bad about me’. All the while all that happened was that your system couldn’t match a memory to the present moment and then we go about and make something personal out of it.

Cesar was being checked, cleaned and taken to the nursery while I was being sewn up and having my vitals monitored for a short while after the procedure was over.

I only got to see Cesar later and for only a few seconds. They brought him to me when I was placed in my room to check his sucking reflex on my breast. The moment I confirmed that the reflex was there they grabbed him off of me and took him away with great haste. His blood sugar levels were very low and he was getting cold very quickly so they wanted to keep him in the nursery where they could monitor him closely and keep him warm. This wasn’t a very nice experience but I was so tired and drowsy from the meds that I had to tell myself to just breathe and trust that whatever needed to be done to stabilize him would be done as I could tell I did not have any energy to waste ‘worrying’ and would be better off resting so my body would be a bit more restored when I would see him later. I loved the moments they would bring him to me for nursing and I would just sit there and hold him – even though it was quite painful on my nipples. He wasn’t with me all the time and was being topped up with formula while being in the nursery because my milk supply was low. The pain from the C-section was quite intense for the first three days. The first day was especially though since I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything besides sucking on ice-cubes after the surgery. Once I could eat again I could tell my body was getting into super repair mode and then I recovered quite quickly. The breastfeeding was painful but ‘okay’, which I think the pain meds I was on took the edge off. At some point my nipples started bleeding and then a nurse helped me to get a better latch with Cesar which led to less pain but it was still painful.

After three days in the hospital me and Cesar were discharged and could leave. He had a bit of jaundice but his levels of bilirubin were quite low so the pediatrician was confident that it would clear up in a few days if I kept breastfeeding and give him some sunlight every day to help work through the excess bilirubin. I was quite chuffed we could go, even though I had no idea what things would be like and had to say bye-bye to the nurses taking care of Cesar but I trusted that I/we would figure it out as we would go along.

Driving to the farm was quite cool, especially as we drove by the fields down the road towards the gate and seeing the awesome environment that he would have the opportunity to grow up in.

In the next blog I will share how my first days were at home with Cesar… Stay tuned :-)
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