Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Four Weeks

It has been four weeks since we were blessed with Benjamin.  

Four Days Old

These past four weeks have passed both quickly and slowly at the same time.  Sometimes the moments are crazy with many kids running, yelling, playing, and crying (including Mama) and other times everything is calm and moving with a rhythmic pace.  I decided back in my pregnancy to take the first two weeks after Ben's birth to relax, recover, and soak in the sweetness of new life.  We had already decided that he would be our last babe and so I wanted to really enjoy this time.  I had no idea how difficult that was going to be.  The reality of it was that it was lonely.  For all the women that I know and connect with in the community I felt like I was stuck home alone with my kids with no one.  I wanted to feel connection.  I wanted to talk about my birth. I wanted everyone to stop telling me how it looked like I was doing great and assuming that everything was fine.  I was still fragile and I wanted people to see that and most importantly I wanted validation that it was o.k. to feel that way.

With my third birth I thought it was going to be different.  I had experienced both a crazy hospital birth and an intense homebirth and this one was going to be the birth that wasn't intense and crazy but was going to be calm peaceful and at home.  I got the calm and peaceful part just not at home.
With this pregnancy I had a lot of braxton hicks that each and every time I thought was the real deal.  They started at the beginning of mylast month of my pregnancy and it was the same thing every couple of days.  Intense contractions that lasted 2 - 3 hours and then stopped. This made for a long and emotional last few weeks of pregnancy. I got a lot of people telling me to relax and it will happen when it happens.  By the time I actually went into labour I didn't trust myself to know if it was really labour or just braxton hicks.  I was emotional spent before I had even started it felt like.   When I finally did start what was actual labour I was so afraid it was going to stop, and this was all I was focusing on.  My midwife came and then my midwife left as labour was long and slow.  Watching her pack up her stuff was difficult for me as I felt that again I didn't know it was labour, I had called too soon, and who knew when I was going to have this baby.

Four Minutes Old

After a few more hours at home and labour was not stopping, getting more intense but still very slow I decided that being at home was no longer where I wanted to be.  I was tired, in pain, and emotionally feeling like I could not go on.   In the moment that we decided to go to the hospital all I could think about and focus on was what was everyone going to think.  Everyone I knew and myself included strongly believed in homebirths.  I had fought so hard to get my first home birth and here I was choosing to leave and have a hospital birth.  There was no emergency, no one was in distress I just no longer wanted to be at home.  I felt like a failure on my drive to the hospital.

It is now difficult to be upset about having made the decision to leave home as my body has told me loud and clear that it was the right decision.  Ben was born within a few hours of arriving and I was home sitting in my living room that same night.  The rest I received with the epidural allowed my mind to shut off and let my body to do what it was meant to do and knew if could do, but all my mental thinking got in the way.  Ben was born into a quiet, dimly lit, peaceful space.  I was the most present I have ever been at any of my births and the birth I am the most happy about.

Now my whole world has been rocked as I try and wrap my head around having my best birth at the hospital.  Four weeks ago I thought something like this was never possible. I feel that with every birth I was somehow changed. Sam rocked me, Lily healed me, and Ben has transformed me.  I am not too sure how the transformation is going to take place, but I can feel the movement.
Four Weeks Old