The Squid exited my vagina and entered the world on September 5th! (remember, remember, the 5th of September!)
I had the insanely awesome experience of a homebirth, and while I had all kinds of wonderful ideas for this deep earthy tribal birth experience, it was really too fast for any of that. …my labor was literally under 3 hours.
I woke up at about 5:45am, having contractions. since I’d been having plenty of those lately, I wasn’t all that worried about it. I took a hot shower and some Cal-Mag and laid down to see if they’d stop. by 6:20, I decided that wasn’t happening and woke Ethan up.
Now, my husband is not a morning person. in fact, he’s not a waking person. and the awesome thing was, Saturday was his day off, so he thoroughly planned on sleeping in and had only gotten to bed at about 3:30 that morning.
the conversation went as follows:
The Domestic Anarchist: Ethan! (shaking him) Ethan wake up!
The Husband: huh?
TDA: the baby’s coming!
TH: oh. okay. (rolls over, goes back to sleep.)
TDA: Ethan! (shakes him violently)
TDA: did you hear what I said?
TH: no! why don’t you shut up? (rolls over again)
TDA: ETHAN! the baby is coming!
TH: oh, shit!
he does not remember any of this conversation, but finds it hysterical.
anyhow, to continue with the timeline, after we bitched at eachother a little while (me labor-bitching, and him morning-bitching), we left the apartment at about 7:20, and walked to our friend Danielle’s house, who happens to be a doula, and had offered the use of her house and her support. it’s not a far walk, just under a mile, and usually only takes me about 15 minutes, but today it was a little longer, since I was in the throws of labor and had to keep stopping and hanging on Ethan. Ethan had his phone in hand the entire time, offering to call different people for rides, but I know walking can further labor, and I was of the opinion that any amount of time shaved off of the hours of labor I was predicting in my future would be good.
when we made it to Danielle’s, I was bent over on her steps before she had the chance to open the door. once they got me inside, I quickly found the same position, on my knees, with my face buried in her comfy recliner. Pamela, our midwife friend who we’d asked to observe the birth, and called before we left the house made it there about 10 minutes after we did. at this point I started getting a little scared, because things were quite intense, and I remembered Israel’s labor which took about 8 hours, and built in intensity the entire time. Pamela let me know pretty quickly that she thought it wouldn’t be much longer, and after that it was much easier to roll with things.
my support people were brilliant, Danielle would catch my eye if I started panicking, and remind me to bring my voice down low, and take some deep breaths, Pamela kept telling me everything was going good and it wouldn’t be too much longer, and Ethan’s hands applying counterpressure on my back not only took the edge off the worst of the pain, they were like a syphon pouring energy into me. all of a sudden I knew I needed to stand up, and when I did my water broke. Ethan instinctively lead me into the bathroom, where I threw one foot up on the toilet and Sydni joined us a matter of minutes later, at 8:29am.
so we did it! we had a completely natural home-birth experience! we did it on our own, and much like our wedding, we did it our way, without going through the medical system, or buying their bullshit. Pamela was there to tell us if anything looked wrong, and to check the baby over afterwards, so, when you think about it, our birth fit in perfectly with my parenting philosophy of freedom within the boundaries of safety.
anyhow, The Squid is absolutely beautiful, of course. her birth was so fast that there was almost no molding on her head at all, and her coloring was perfect right off the bat. she scored an immediate 10 on her apgar, and we all love her desperately. our darling girl. her eyes are such a dark blue that when seen in the light, they actually look to be a shade of deep lavender, though that will most likely change as she gets older, and her ears honestly come to points. we’ve tried to find anyone on either side of the family with similar ears, but so far we’ve been unsuccesful.
anyhow, Ethan is thrilled beyond words to be a daddy, and is of the opinion that she is the cutest, strongest, healthiest, smartest baby to have ever been born and that he’s responsible for breeding the next evolution of humanity. he’s completely in love with her, so much so that this morning when he left for work he was so busy giving her kisses that he almost forgot mine. …I didn’t mind. I know the overwhelming powers of baby-brain. he spends most of his time that he’s home lying in bed with her and exclaiming in astonishment about everything she does. I already knew he was a great dad, but Israel was three when we got together, and pretty much all the experience I have with fathers (which chalks up to: my dad, and Israel’s biological dad), they seemed to be of the opinion that when babies are babies they’re womens territory, and once their big enough to be able to play and rough house with, that’s when the dad starts functioning.
watching him with her solidifies everything I already knew about my husband. that no matter what anyone thinks, and no matter what stupid shit he’s ever done, he is an amazingly, shiningly, incredibly wonderful man who I am very much in love with. he’s beautiful, and when I watch them together I feel like I’ve never loved him so much. …the interesting thing is since she’s been born, it’s seemed like he has even more patience and empathy for Israel. like just being there when he was born kicked in the ‘daddy’ part of his brain into high-performance.
Israel is being a very good big brother. he has not once complained about me not being able to do something with him because of the baby, and runs to fetch the boppy when she needs to nurse. he started school the week before she was born, so I was worried that he was going to get really jealous, because just when he’s being at home less, we have a new baby who needs attention. it hasn’t caused any problems so far, and if anything I’m the one running after him to try and get time and attention. I miss him. however, I’ve discovered that I can pretty easily nurse Sydni and read to him at the same time, which helps us get time together that won’t be interrupted.
…Ethan’s family is very much wanting to be involved and help out and be here every day. which is nice, and they’re being cool about it, bringing us food and wipes and doing our laundry, but I need to sleep. and I can’t sleep with them here. I’m nervous about asking for a break, or a day off. I’m exhausted. I’m scared that if I don’t start getting more sleep, I’m going to end up with postpartum depression. today by the time they left I was snappy and bitchy. I yelled at Israel, and bitched at Ethan, and by the time I finally managed to get outside to have a cigarette, I was shaking, physically and emotionally exhausted.
we’re still at Danielle’s house, since Pamela decided I’m still in need of a postpartum doula. I lost alot of blood during the birth, and I’m fairly anemic. and I have to really struggle to stay in bed as much as I can, and not… do stuff. Danielle and her husband though have been mind-blowingly awesome. we owe them so much. I don’t know what I’d be doing without her, and without this space. …birth has this weird dichotomy of both being very empowering and making you incredibly vulnerable. my dream would be to give birth in a cave, and then spend the next month hiding there with my child and my mate. …with an awesome woman-friend who comes to bring us food and conversation and support.
thanks to them, that is very almost what I have. …except people keep crashing the sanctity of my cave. …don’t get me wrong, they call first, and I say, “oh yeah, that’s fine, come on over”, because when they call I feel like I’m fine and I can deal with it, and I don’t want to come between them and their newest relative, but then by the time they leave I’m so burned out… I need physical sleep, and emotional rest.
…speaking of which, I’m going to sleep while I can, while Sydni’s sleeping. hopefully tomorrow, I’ll be able to just. shoot people down when they call. …dealing with inlaws is difficult. but I really need a day where I can just hole up, or I’m going to end up a wreck. I don’t want to offend anyone, but if I collapse emotionally right now, it’s going to be really hard on everyone else as well.