oh my gosh, i almost forgot how to create a new post. what? you don't think that's just a little funny? =)
its been 7 weeks since what i'm about to show you happened. seven weeks of nursing in a house with no air conditioning. seven weeks of trying to keep a new human alive despite the enthusiastic affection (read: dangerous attacks) of two very adoring older sisters. seven weeks of feeling what its like for my heart to learn how to love all over again. seven weeks of trying on that one pair of pants, you know the one, every day to see if just maaaaaayyyybe this time....seven weeks of absolutely reveling in my rediscovered ability to sleep on my back and give marty a smashies hug, seven weeks of wondering how i got so lucky.
and most relevantly, seven weeks of avoiding eye contact with my blog.
but i'm back now, a little older with a story to tell. beware, the lead character is quite a charmer. he might even steal your heart, my shiloh.
shiloh's birth was different than my first two. the difference began with his pregnancy. things we're a little shaky there at first and the dr. instructed me to not exercise in the same way i did when i was pregnant with the girls. if i was a die hard fitness guru, i may have been more disappointed at this news, but my reaction was more like, "phew, so great to have an excuse! i'm tired and busy and out of energy anyway, thanks doc." after that, on the surface this pregnancy flew more or less swimmingly along. i enjoyed the comments and i admit, attention i got as i photographed weddings 8 months along. so impressive they thought, so adorable. what they didn't know was that although on the outside i was a little ray of "really, its no big deal to be so pregnant and working!" sunshine, on the inside i was more stressed and tired than i'd ever been in my entire life.
so much so that i was looking forward to delivery. as a BREAK. two nights and three full days of hospital stay, care and even food? sign me up. i didn't want to have to work for this birth, i wanted to r-e-l-a-x. and though i know that's not exactly what a medicated child birth is, it sure seemed better than the effort, enthusiasm and mental preparation that i felt a natural birth would require. after all, i did have a little bit of experience in this matter as myra and wren's births were both incredible, natural birth experiences.
and so shiloh's birth was scheduled, yes scheduled, something i would have fought tooth and nail a few years earlier. martin and i recieved a call from the hospital at 6am on June 14th, saying, "come on in," as casually as if they were telling us our take out was ready. we took our time. i blow dryed my hair, because you know, photos. we stopped at our favorite place for french toast. we giggled together thinking we'd probably finally meet out baby boy by evening, and wasn't that great, and no i didn't have to pretend to be quite as strong this time around.
at the hospital we signed where they told us to sign and waited to meet our man. i hadn't fully converted to the non natural process, i admit, and was overjoyed when my contractions seemed to take off on their own, meaning there was no need for pitocin. i confess, i was less than confident when the anesthesiologist who looked to be in his last few hours of a 36 hour shift, showed up in our room with a cheerful,"i'm ready to give you your epidural!" looooong before i even mentioned to the nurses that i wanted to go ahead and get one. "next door," they whispered, as i exchanged worried glances with marty.
then when the pain really set in i anxiously begged for the eager anesthesiologist to return. 45 min later, he did - i closed my eyes and squeezed uncle marty's hand (i've only ever heard about, and never actually want to see the size of that needle). at only 4 cm dialated, and seemingly an eternity to go, i was grateful for the relief, so, so grateful. i did get a little bit yucked out by how i started to feel numb almost up to my shoulders, and "why couldn't i wiggle my toes? he said i would be able to wiggle my toes..."
at least i could relax, and i thought i might even take a nap like the nurses told me the woman in the next room was doing as i stood screaming, in un-medicated labor with my first daughter 4 years ago (don't get me wrong, it was the most amazing experience i'd ever had up to that point, but yeah, ouch). our sweet nurse checked me and i was at a 5. i started to worry my contractions had died, that's what not being able to feel them tear through your body will do to you. but marty and my mother assured me they were still coming every 2-3 minutes.
our nurse started to look a little concerned, and said something about his heart rate being a little on the slow side and that they wanted to monitor him more closely. they went to do so, and found i was at a 10! good gravy! it had only been 15 minutes since my last check. "honey, that's what happens when its your third," the nurse said.
time to push? i thought. what is happening? it was all to calm and serene. all the appropriate people seemed to crowd into the room, giving me the go ahead. i pushed once. "that's the baby's head right there," our dr. said. "are you serious?" i asked. this was soooo different from myra and wren's births where the pushing ended up being the most intense and painful part and i essentially begged in a not so quiet (may have been screaming) voice for my sweet babies to please come out immediately. this time the only discomfort i felt was that of being mostly naked in front of so many strangers. the dr. asked martin if he wanted to deliver the baby. martin smiled yes and suited up. i could feel the baby's head, sort of, but no pain, and waited for them to tell me what to do. push again. i did so, 3, maybe 4 more times and our baby boy slid out so easily, i felt like i must be imagining it. martin caught him, our dr. gave him a few sturdy pats on the back - before i knew it, sweet shiloh was screaming in my arms.
and then something very rare in yan land happened, i burst into tears. the heavy, heaving kind. you might not believe me when i say i don't cry a lot, but its true, i just kind of don't. i'm constantly trying to convince marty that he's lucky he didn't mary one of those emotional types. that being said, i did cry at the birth of the girls, but those tears started out as pain, and became mixed with the intense beauty of the situation in one big, hot, red-faced mess. these tears were different. they were joy, and awe and nothing else. the release of emotion felt purer than anything i had ever felt, almost as pure as the perfect boy i held in my arms.
with the exception of the first two photographs taken by uncle marty, my sweet mother was the photographer for this event.
thanks mom, i am so grateful for these.
p.s. i forgot to mention the part where my water broke and got all over my dr's pants and he had to go home and change
p.p.s. i know there are in no way enough pictures of shiloh in this post to satiate your tastes. what can i say, the kid was covered in goo. =) but the next post is his big, perhaps not quite so successful debut as a baby model. warning: may or may not include many pictures of shiloh being smothered by his sisters.