Monday, November 7, 2011

Strength comes in all forms....

I always knew I would be with Michelle for the birth of her first baby, but I told myself it was ok not to be there, just in case I wasn't brave enough to do it. I told Michelle not to expect me, and she put no pressure on me to do so... but when push came to shove, there was no other place I could possibly be.. then right there with her.

As her mom, I worried about so many little things. I couldn't share
my worries with her, because I wanted Michelle to know that I had every
confidence that things would be perfect. But man she was big... she was sore in her ribs, she was overdue and tired. I worried about hours of labor, epidurals, c-section, birth problems... cord problems... I was Michelle's mommy first, and an expected Grandmother second.

Because she was overdue, big and sore... they planned to induce her on Saturday, Nov 5th, 7 days after her due date.. I know they arranged this because Saturday is my favourite day of the week.. as I may have mentioned before. They started the process around noon hour, which again, suited me perfect.. because I drove up Saturday morning, through black ice, snow squalls and a near empty gas tank (oops) arriving at 1:00 at their home. I followed Scott to the hospital and we arrive just as the first few labor pains began at 1:30.

There I sat, nervously, wondering how long would this take, and when should I leave... where should I sit, what should I do... We had the company of a nurse in the room to monitor the drug in her system that brings on labor. It felt like we should be on our best behaviour with her there... and we sat in silence for the first little while. But after just a few minutes, we all started chatting and it became a little more relaxed and it made the time go by a little faster for Michelle. Scott and I traded seats after a few minutes and he held her hand and I sat in the corner. My heavens, thing progressed very quickly and with in an hour Michelle was "blowing" through some fairly tough contractions. We took our cue from the nurse and started to talk her through these contracts and I blew through them all too. Its a wonder I didn't pass out with some of the blowing I was doing!!! Soon we were standing up beside her and Scott was the Kleenex holder, tear wiper, the hand holder, the sweet nothing whisperer and I was the facecloth wiper, the firm talker, the praise dropper. There was no time for talk of epidural, no talk of c-section, no time to even thinking about leaving. An hour and a half after I arrived, Michelle felt the need to push and everyone took their spot. Two nurses.. one for Michelle, one for the baby... the Doctor and Scott and I. We were instructed on what we were to do.. and we each held a leg, and Scott was the metronome counter.. he counted through the tears, the groans, the constant bantering of nurses and me. We all held on to every word he said, because he was like the time keeper, the taskmaster, the light at the end of the tunnel. After each count of 10, Michelle could take a break. Sometimes her body wouldn't let her take a break, but other times she could rest for a minute, talk about what was happening and even have a cheerful giggle at how close we were.

Now, I am not a blood and guts kind of person, although I deal with it at school all the time. But I am not one who can watch surgeries on TV, or even watch those childbirth stories. This was part of why I didn't want to be in with them when Jack arrived.... just afraid, really of the whole idea. But you know... when the doc started saying she could see the babies' head... I had to sneak a peek.... i didn't see a head... but after a push or two.. I did see something... a very tiny peeking head... Confused, I thought to my self that Jack's head was really small! But I didn't say anything.... another push... and more of the little tiny head... I whispered to Michelle that Jack had hair... and she giggled.. because she herself was as bald as a cue ball, when she was born! Another big push and the rest of his "not so small" head came out.... and it wasn't gross at all.. it was amazing. His big chubby face, and eyes were slammed shut.. wondering what the heck was happening... And then.... three more pushes and baby Jack was finally out.. and up on Michelle's body... looking big and bright and happy to be out with his mom and dad...
It was absolutely amazing to be a part of this whole miracle... This big and healthy, little boy was born just two and a half hours after I arrived in the room. We were all in awe... and I was full of wonder, as was Michelle and Scott. So fun to look in his little face and watch his eyes, his cheeks, his little mouth... We waited and wondered for months, who he would look like... and we all see lots of both parents in him. He is a perfect mix of both of them...
Jack Terrance Matheson
November 5th, 2011
3:49pm 9lb 11oz

Saturday, November 5, 2011