INTP


So my friend’s child was diagnosed with Angelman’s Syndrome…   I am grieving my friend’s loss.

 

For those of you who’ve never heard of Angelman’s Syndrome… It’s a rare neuro-genetic disorder which presents with stiff, jerky movements, absent or very limited speech, seizures, and excessive smiling or contentment.  All children affected with Angelman’s Syndrome exhibit severe developmental delays.  Most exhibit microcephaly, or small head circumference, along with several associated characteristics such as tongue thrust, feeding difficulties, and more.  

 

This news has really impacted my husband and I… Maybe it’s because our children our so close in age… Maybe it’s because we too had dreams and illusions about them enjoying a beautiful friendship…  

They will still be friends but there will come a time when the friendship will change… and that’s sad…

 

This is close to home and we feel for them and the turmoil they are living at this moment… With time, there will be acceptance and peace… but initially the devastation of losing dreams of your child doing the most basic things in life such as eating, talking, and learning to walk is a burden or the cross that these parents will have to bear… 

 

Everything happens for a reason and I hope that my dear friends can use the smiles and happiness that these Angel’s bring to our world to come to terms with the loss of their “fantasy” child and the presence of their new child… 

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So sometimes I get antsy… I want to jump on a plane and move to the beach… not just any beach… paradise… living simple sounds great… Not having to deal with the rush of city life… keeping up with the joneses… the judgemental attitudes that surround life in the suburbs… 

my wish a simple, comfortable life… making an income (a good one at that) on my terms with my knowledge… 

The salty air and sounds of the waves crashing has always relaxed me and brought me a peace and comfort that I lack in the suburbs of the city…  I love the carefree life of the beach… island time appeals to me… 

The city feels rigid and intolerable at times… The beach seems more free and accepting.  I am a hopeless romantic… 

I have decided to begin preparing myself and my family for a change… When will this change happen you ask?  Well, I am not sure… It will happen when we are ready… 

So sometimes I get antsy… I want to jump on a plane and move to the beach… not just any beach… paradise… living simple sounds great… Not having to deal with the rush of city life… keeping up with the joneses… the judgemental attitudes that surround life in the suburbs… 

my wish a simple, comfortable life… making an income (a good one at that) on my terms with my knowledge… 

The salty air and sounds of the waves crashing has always relaxed me and brought me a peace and comfort that I lack in the suburbs of the city…  I love the carefree life of the beach… island time appeals to me… 

The city feels rigid and intolerable at times… The beach seems more free and accepting.  I am a hopeless romantic… 

I have decided to begin preparing myself and my family for a change… When will this change happen you ask?  Well, I am not sure… It will happen when we are ready… 

I dream and dream and dream and dreammmmmmmm….

I have all these things, ideas, desires in my head… The hard part for me is having the guts to do them…

So far, I have met my dream of having a water birth at home… I finally started the practice model I’d been talking about since grad school…

Now the one thing that I keep coming back to is living by the beach… It’s my lifelong dream to live care free at the beach…

lately it’s been living in Bali and becoming a buddhist who practices yoga…

I want my kids to experience travel, culture, and diversity firsthand… but the other part of me wants the kids to have opportunities for the typical American Dream… college, business, engineering, what ever their heart’s desire…

I’ve moved them to a montessori school which I hope allows the creativity to develop and for them to find their strengths and loves not typically found in the traditional school system…

In Bali, there’s a private school called the green school… It looks absolutely amazing. Shouldn’t we all have the opportunities to send our kids to schools which offer and value life more than the traditional school system developed to educate factory workers… hence the bells that ring throughout the day…

Picture 1

Shipwrecked in Maui… Where I discovered Peter Lik…

So I am back to finish my birth story…

I was able to get through the surges without bringing much attention to myself and putting Diego to sleep… Although my Mom sensed something was up…

As we wrapped up with Di… I let my Mom know it would be sometime between tonight and tomorrow when she would get to meet her granddaughter… She indirectly made a comment to confirm her suspicion and well I ate the bait… jaja

We decided to watch a movie and well by about 900pm  I could no longer sit and watch the movie calmly… the surges were coming on strong enough to keep me from ignoring them…

So I decided to call my midwife, which we had been texting all day back and forth about what was going on… She asked me if I wanted her to come  check and I asked her to come…

It turns out her and her partner rented a hotel room about 5-10  minutes away due to the ice storm… It still took them about 20-30 minutes to get to my house since the ice was pretty bad…

Talk about midwifery professionality… this made everyone more relaxed and grateful to know they were close by…

see initially when she asked if she should come check me I figured she was about 30+ minutes away in normal weather and her partner probably about the same distance in the other direction…

it would take them who knows how long to get here and I wanted to make sure they got here before I felt things were going, going, gone…

They came and well I was a little disappointed to realize that I was only 2 cm dialated and already was unable to ignore the surges… My midwife very wisely stated as I got into the shower discouraged… we may have to come back another day because your still not quite ready…

Well let me tell you that did not go over real well with me…

I was more than ready and not willing to go on with these surges for days…oh no… enough is enough… let’s get this over with…

So I started doing my job… showering… getting on all 4s… sitting on my birth ball… tried to sit on the toilet… and trying to remain calm throughout the entire process…

I felt alone mostly… well because my husband was more worried about his loss of sleep and tiredness then trying to help…

apparently he was just as stressed out and felt like he was responsible for me and lu… that is he would never forgive himself if something happened to us…

This was his way of dealing… sleep is his avoidance… needless to say not the best responses to a woman in labor who needs some emotional support…

as previously discussed with my midwife in postpartum there are points in your labor which you will have to do alone…find your own inner strength and inner voice and move forward… even if you do have the support you were expecting in the end it is you who will have to start, work through, and finish this amazingly beautiful and miraculous process…

So as the story goes we start to move forward from the sleep but I begin to fight the surges maybe because I’m impatient, they are more intense, and a little bit angered by my husband’s reaction to all this…  a passive man… :0

So it’s about 1230am on February 2nd when I call my midwife and just tell her I’m impatient, I don’t know what else to do, and I need some help…

So she states that in 2 hours I am not anywhere near 10… it takes more time to get to 10… as we are talking a surge begins and she coaches me through the contraction…

She tells me to relax my shoulders, stop fighting the contraction, and breathe through it… I really really needed to hear that…

it was quite humorous to me that she just knew I was tensing my shoulders without seeing me in the moment… Could she hear it?  Was it her years of experience?  Did she get to know me well enough during our prenatal appointments to know where I tend to tense up in stressful situations?  or Did she observe it the when they came to check me at 930? Only She could answer that…

Turns out my hubby and I worked through the surges as best we could until about 230am… We weren’t quite in sync… I was ready to call my midwife at 150am like we left it and he encouraged me to wait longer…  I remember telling myself out loud… relax, relax, relaxxxxxxxxxxx, relax… jaja!

We missed their phone call and text… We only realized it because I changed positions during a surge and saw the light on my iphone… ja!

At about 230am, I once again became upset with my hubby because he stopped massaging my back before the surge ended and he began to laugh… It made me angry…  I felt like he was laughing at me… because I definitely wasn’t laughing with him…

Turns out it was a nervous laugh but definitely not appropriate to the moment and situation we were in…

He was nervous due to an ice storm which could prevent us to get additional help if necessary and the fact that we had already been up for 24 hours at that point and well this was a whole new experience for us and the first to experience this in our circle of friends…

so we had a lot of people in our social circles who made us doubt our heart-felt decision… It was a decision based on research, interviews, and gut feelings… but it’s easy to rethink it when you choose to go against the norm…

Needless to say… I texted my midwife and asked nicely… Please come… I need to be coached through some contractions… and they came… with 30 minutes… It was between 3am and 330am when the midwives arrived…

Ahhhh… finally some real support… let’s just hope they stay… Please God make them stay… was all I could think…  and well they coached me through a contraction as they walked into my bedroom…

They check me and what a relief!!!!!   wow… I was 4-5 cm dialated.. not quite 5 but real close… my cervix was very very thin, my water in tact, and baby was moving down but not all the way down… I started bawling as my midwife told me the great news… We are going to have a baby today!!!

This was such great news… I felt like I actually did something and pain that came along with the surges were worth it… I was a happy time… a time of relief… So I continued to work through the surges…

The midwives walked me to the kitchen to eat some cheese and ham and fruit… I ate a little… wasn’t much into eating… I prefer to drink water and juice… of which I drank plenty throughout the entire time… My midwives were impressed at how hydrated I kept myself… with their help and encouragement of course…

When I went back to the room… I wasn’t able to hold down the food I had eaten…

So it’s been almost 8 months since I’ve written this blog… I don’t know what possessed me to reach out to this blog and work through the emotions that build up when I think about this beautiful birth miracle that I, yes I, got to experience…

I almost can’t believe we did it… I almost want to cry just to think that I was given this gift…

So as best I can remember…  I started drinking either water or juice for the rest of the labor and delivery since I couldn’t hold down any food…  I drink cranberry juice for a while and then the acidity started taking its toll and moved onto apple juice towards the end.

I remember showering, using the counter to lean on and “ohhhhing” through the contractions…

I remember looking up at my midwife who was sitting on the edge of our bathtub crossed legged with pen and paper in hand… How sweet, encouraging, and understanding her look…

Her partner always there to massage and coach me through the surge…

At some point we went to the bed… I was exhausted and was checked and was not quite at transition…  It was tough…

I was in a lot of pain and at time doubted our decision for a home birth…  Although… I kept telling myself we had made the decision and we had to finish this experience…

I underestimated the amount of pain I would endure… I think most women probably do…

When I did make it to transition, I asked to get in the portable spa and well… It helped a lot… I had jets and water…  I was excited I finally got to go to the birthing tub…

but soon enough I was asked to get out of the tub… It seemed that the water was slowing my labor… I was still at 8…  exhausted… The midwives suggested I sit on the toilet…

Not my favorite labor spot… I said no… They encouraged me and I said it hurts really bad how about I get in the shower and they said no water for now… They reminded me that the toilet with very effective and productive place for labor…

They also told me that it would help me see my daughter faster… so we compromised 3 contractions… I think I stayed for 4… the lights went out and that helped so much…  at the time, I couldn’t focus on anything else but my contractions and my birth…

My husband apparently went stir crazy thinking the fireplace is electric and we had our son and my mother across the way… I was soothed by the lights going out and asked them to keep them off when the electricity came back on…

It turned out they started rotating power outages to save electricity and avoid a disatrous outtage due to the snow storm… Now let me ask you this… When was the last time we had a snowstorm in the DFW area… uhhhh… Maybe this was the first one ever… jajaja…

I eventually got back in the  shower and just let go… I closed my eyes and let the water pouring down on my body give me peace and rested as much as I could in the shower… Until I felt like I was overheating…

I remember my midwife’s partner saying I did good resting in the shower… It’s amazing how a little acknowledgement or encouragement can go a long way for a person in a very vulnerable place…

I got out of the shower to the bed… I was still at 9 and basically checked out for a while…

My husband at my side caressing my hair and the midwives next to me watching patiently, observing, and letting nature take its course…

I may have even fallen asleep at that point… It was like I finally gave in… I was exhausted and could do nothing else but give in to nature’s way…

When I woke up the midwives checked me and the exciting news was that I was at 10… YEA!  PRAISE GOD…  I finally made it… but wait… I am not done yet… oh… but can I get in the spa… yes… the answer waasss yes… we are going for a water birth…

A little disappointed when I got in the spa and realized that the warm water was lukewarm at best… It turns out the rotating power outtages continued on although I wasn’t aware that they were happening… needless to say my warm spa was no longer warm…

I remember the midwives plopping down on the edge of the bed and waiting… My husband sitting on the rocking chair ottoman…

They were waiting and watching… Joel leaning over and rubbing his head out of exhaustion and worry… By this time it was about 9 or so and our son woke up about 745am…

Luckily my mother was a trooper and kept Di busy on the computer in the office… My husband would only leave when we could hear my mother struggling to keep Di engaged on the office on the computer or playing cards…

My midwife tells me the contractions are going to feel different and to push when I feel one… I didn’t feel one for what seemed like forever…

I think I may have pushed before I felt one… which created a domino effect… My contractions came in cycles of 4 at a time… I remember wanting them to come but not 4 at a time… I’d say no no no not again… I am tired I just want to rest…

My midwives encouraged me by saying I was a strong pusher… In my head I felt like I made a loud animal-like grunting noise… like a lion… You know the type of noises you hear when someone picks up a heavy box or weight…

I swore everyone could hear me and at one point my mom’s emotions crept into my mind and I pushed them out because I needed to finish…

I was tired and just wanted to rest and be done with labor and delivery…

I would say… I need something but I don’t know what it is…  My midwife would offer me juice or water… until the turning point…

That last time she offered I was in no mooooooodddddddddddd… I was no longer whiney, nice, or inhibited in any fashion…

I stood up out of the water and said no… I don’t want any… I don’t know why I felt like I needed to stand or be very stern… It was one of those… don’t mess with me type of responses…

I kneeled back down into the water… and I was given some space… in a very calm and unaffected voice my midwife’s partner said can we check you…

It was amazing…  The whole time I in the water both midwives were hanging out on the bed like no big deal… My husband confessed that he was a little bewildered and confused…

He was like aren’t they supposed to catch the baby… What happens if she pushes the baby out… will they get to it in time…

It turns out that with their experience and professionalism and nonstop observations they came close when it was time to be close…

In the meantime, they watched from a safe distance giving me the space I needed to continue on my journey of delivering my beautiful baby girl in the water on my terms…

So now the midwives are at the edge of the spa… I believe my midwife is standing and her partner is kneeling and turns to my husband and says… Dad do you want to see your baby?  She plops a mirror into the water and his face was unbelievable…

My husband’s eyes lit up and a miraculous “I can’t believe it” look as he saw our baby’s hair swaying in the water…

I could hear the midwives saying “wow look at all that hair…”

Put your hand down there so you can feel your baby’s head…

I could feel her hair moving back and forth in the water… I could not feel the diameter of her head just her hair…

I am smiling with joy and nostalgia as I relive this joyous unforgettable moment… The moment when my little girl was born in a safe calm and peaceful place with lots of love and support surrounding us…

“Just a few more pushes… about 2 or 3 and she’ll be here…”  I was like well lets get to it because I am tired and ready to be done…  jajaj…

The midwives were absolutley in the KNOW… It took about 3 pushes and she was born… I believe that at one point I actually felt her head… My husband was standing close to the spa watching the mirror as Lu was born…

In fact… when I pushed her head out I felt a stinging burning sensation… It felt like a burst as she was born…

Her head was out.. and this momma decided she was done pushing… Mind you Lu’s head was still underwater… and I decided I was done and wasn’t pushing anymore…

It turns  out that Lu has broad shoulders like her daddy… So I needed to push again and a nice strong one at that…

So the midwives were patient for a short time… I’m a couple of seconds or so… and they asked me to push and I said no… I was done and tired and I didn’t need to push anymore… They calmly and sweetly explained that I wasn’t and I needed to push… I was adamant I was done… They said just one more time…

Their calm and gentle request became a little more directive… They needed to get Lu out… Joel came close and in Spanish told I needed to push and he was getting scared so I needed to push hard… Because I gave in and pushed a little and the midwives said that wasn’t enough… so I said ok fine… 1, 2, 3… grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… and out came Lu…

jajaja… I couldn’t believe it… I can’t believe it… the joy the amazement… the happiness… the bonding… the “I did it”… “I can do anything I want”… “the power”… The passage of womanhood… the “true” motherhood experience… the “real” labor and delivery… “the way it was meant to be”… All these things going through my head at once.

(This is no way judgemental towards any women who have had C-sections or medicated births… this is the experience that I wanted and the goal that I fulfilled… )

And at the same time the bonding and happiness I felt with Lu who was crying and wanted to nurse but it turns out her umblical cord was too short… which apparently had something to do with why it took me a long time to get through early labor and for her to move down…

so if you can imagine the midwives are busy doing something because I don’t know what it was but their movements were quick graceful and non-urgent…

I mentioned I felt something tugging at me and they said in a matter of fact non-urgent way…  It sounds like the cord is a little short bear with us while we wait for the cord to stop pulsating in the meantime keep her head above water but don’t pull her to your breast because the cord is too short…

The midwives asked my husband to hold me up in order for Lu’s head to be out of the water… You see I’m a little short and the water was at capacity in the spa…

My husband placed a plastic stool in the water for me to sit on and keep Lu’s head out of water…

the cord was quickly cut as soon as the last pulse went through… I was asked immediately to try and deliver the placenta and in the meantime baby would be wrapped in a towel and passed to dad…

I stood up delivered the placenta in this plastic bedpan type thing… I think the bedpan was blue… then I was helped out cleaned off and put in bed…. I was shaking out of cold, fatigue, and adrenaline… It was a more than tremble… almost like convulsions…

The midwives asked if I wanted to let my mom and son in and I told them as soon as I was calm and felt a little stronger… The spa was covered because I tore and bled a little…. I didn’t want to subject anyone to any kind of unnecessary panic or worry…

The midwives did their thing and fed me… They actually asked me what I wanted to eat but I had no idea… I was in a state of excitement… I was in awe of what had just happened…

So they brought me fruit and proteins to eat and some juice… I finally stopped shaking violently and my husband went to get my mom and Di… I hear my husband say in Spanish… Di come here the baby’s here… Lu is here… and typical of my son to say No… she’s not… and my husband having to go get him…

I believe I fed Lu right away…

Di was suprised and my mom was relieved… maybe… My husband was relieved, happy, and in a state of happiness…

Then everyone was asked to leave while baby was placed on the bed while I got stitches… My only thought at this point was “do I have to feel more pain”…
The midwives hated to have to stitch but recommended stitches for proper healing… They assured me that lidocaine would keep me from feeling anything…

They stayed until oh I don’t know around 145 or 2pm…

My midwife conducted the newborn screening in front of all of us including my mom… Di decided he wasn’t interested and watched tv in the living room…

We were all amazed at how well my midwife kept baby from crying… Her soothing softspoken sweet voice would keep Lu from screaming out of control… The baby was comforted in such a way that only one would believe it if they saw it…

My mom was more than impressed… My mom was given the honor to give Lu her first bath and dress her…

I rested and was up walking later that night… Di sang to Lu and held her and kissed her and read to her…  Lu and I slept  in the bed together and my husband decided to sleep on the couch…

What an amazing experience…

She was born at 945am weighing 7.6lbs and 20 inches… She appeared much bigger than her weight… probably due to her big head at 13 inches…  Active labor lasted about 9 hours, the pushing stage about 45 minutes…  not bad for a first time vaginal delivery… I must say…

So my water broke or maybe it was bloody show at 3am this morning… Feb 1…   We called the midwife and informed her of our exciting news…

We went back to bed and later realized we needed to dry the sheets I had washed last night and make the bed for birthing… I got hungry and had to pee… We both had our moments of excitement, anxiety, nostalgia,  and intimacy… Lots of cuddling and gentle kisses and caresses…

We were both preparing for a long day and reassuring each other through our actions we could count on each other for support, love, and guidance through this new birth experience…

As the day has progressed, I was able to spend time with our son… play, watch tv, and even eat a wonderful lunch prepared by my mother with lots of love… Whom we decided to keep our little secret that her one and only granddaughter was making her way to our world…

My husband took a nap while I played with our son and then I took a nap while he played with him…

Contractions have gotten stronger and closer together…

Now the trick… wait about 3 more hours for our son’s bedtime and officially let my mother in our little secret… I’ve been in labor since 3am…

I must say one huge difference between my hospital birth and the beginning of my home birth… is that I am calm, relaxed, and enjoying this beautiful adventure…

My husband has made comments about the differences between my behavior in the hospital and home… He’s even asked me several times if I feel pain… yes… I feel pain… but I’d rather like it to be put that I feel uncomfortable surges…

My motto during these surges:  Relaxation breathing with “I Trust My Body”…

To be continued as time progresses…

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