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Knox Alexander.

January 6th, 2012 · No Comments

It’s a boy!  Knox Alexander Ditto was born 1/5/2010, at 4:43 AM, after about 4.5 hours of labor.

I was staying over at my Mom’s hotel, having taken the next two days off to at least spend the last of her visit not working, or trying to work from home. I had told Ari we would make cookies the following day.  We went out for Mexican at That Little Mexican Cafe, an Evanston favorite of mine.

We got home, took a nice bath, and went to bed finally at around 10:00.  At 11:30, I woke up with a sharp contraction.  I went to the bathroom, came back and fell asleep again, only to wake again at 12:15 with another.  This feels different, I thought.  I think this is it.

My mom had woken up to go to the bathroom, and I told her what was going on.  I had another really painful contraction at 12:30, and began timing them with Mom’s help.  About 15 min apart – but I called the MW anyway, to let her know I thought it was labor, and that it was going to move quickly.  Maybe I should call Aaron and have him pick us up, we can go back home, call Venessa, etc, I thought, and explained that plan to my mom.

She told me…well…I realize I’m not in charge here but I think you should just go to the hospital from here. Turned out to be a good idea.  So I IM’d Aaron.  “Hey…I think I’m in labor.  Let me call you.”  I called and explained the plan to go to the hospital – could he please drop Ari off with our downstairs neighbors, and come pick us up?  Yes, he said, with that husband voice that they only use when they’re slightly panicked but determined.  I’ll be right there.  I called Venessa and left her a message.

Debi called back from the page, by which time contractions were 7-8 min apart.  She didn’t think I should go to the hospital – maybe I was dehydrated, or it wasn’t time yet.  But over the course of our conversation, they got to be 5-6 min apart, and too painful to talk through.  I told her I would go ahead and go and she could just meet us there later.  But, she explained, as soon as I go, she has to as well (since they triage their own patients).  Oh.  Well.  Sorry, I really think I should go.  Okay, she says, I’ll meet you there.

By this time it was about 1:30 and Aaron was sitting outside the hotel with the car, waiting to take us to the hospital, which was only 5 min away, luckily. Venessa called back.  Later she would explain that she was having a dream that her phone was ringing, and in her dream she answered the phone.  And then woke up in a panic thinking…I’d better check my phone.  Good thing! I explained to her that we were going straight to the hospital and could she meet us there?  She agreed and we finished gathering things to leave for the hospital.

We met Aaron downstairs and got to the hospital around 2.  As I got out, the doorman saw my condition – very pregnant and stopping to breathe through contractions, and grabbed a wheelchair  to meet me at the door.  He wheeled me to L&D, where a lovely nurse named Josie met me, and told me that yes, a room with a tub was available (yes!).  Debi followed shortly, and told us that her MW student Allison would be joining also.

We got to the room, where they put me on some monitoring and Josie got all my check-in information.  I remember looking at Aaron through contractions and he had this look of such intense love and support…it felt like I could literally draw the strength I needed from him directly.  All my other labor prep plans scrapped – this was my coping strategy.  Venessa arrived and the team was complete!

Debi checked me and found that I was already dialated to 7.  So, she began filling the tub while the monitoring and questions finished, so I could labor there. “Great!” she said.  “You’re already at 7-8, almost. You can hop in the tub, do transition, and then it will be time to push!”

That’s about exactly how it went.  I got into the tub, and the next 4-6 contractions were painful but so much more manageable in the water.  Then transition began, and wow.  Nothing felt manageable.  I began to wail a little, and Allison, the MW student recommended that I keep the tone of my moans low.  This seemed to help, strangely.  Maybe it was just psychosomatic, but it made me feel like I was in control of something, at a time when uncontrollable pain was otherwise taking over my body periodically.

I had several (7-8?) more long, transition contractions.  Fortunately, they weren’t terribly close together, just long.  Debi told me to let her know when I felt the urge to push, and at that point I could get out and go do that on the table.  “Ugh…get out of the water?” I thought.  “I’ll never confess to the urge to push.”

That is, actually, sortof what happened. I began feeling the urge, and even, um, pushing a little, before I told anyone about it. But, then later Debi reassured me that pushing might actually be less painful than contractions, so I finally fessed up to the urge a few contractions later.

I got out, and got onto the table to begin to push.  Oh it did feel good!  It felt wonderful to push!  Right until the baby got to crowning.  That felt…as Christina so aptly put it…like a ring of fire.  But, by that point, all I could think was that it was the only way, the only way to stop the pain was to push through it, to push the baby out, and then I would have the most wonderful reward on the other end.  I held onto that thought with each breath that I had to hold and use to bear down.  Soon, soon, soon, baby.  Soon, soon, soon, my child.

More pushing!  The pain and pressure got worse.  I, um, urinated all over the table.  Then with a huge push…pop!  I broke the bag of waters, and sent it flying.  All over Allison’s new shoes.  “It’s okay,” she said.  “They were too white anyway.”  Then people started telling me – we can see the head!  Do you want to feel the baby’s head?  Yes, yes I did!  It was soft and firm and positively inspirational.

I pushed, and pushed, and oh it hurt so badly.  By this time I was screaming with each push.  They kept having to remind me to hold my breath in and use it bear down, instead of using it to scream. Finally, when I didn’t think the pressure and pain could get any greater, I felt a POP sensation – the head was through!  I wasn’t even contracting, but I started pushing again – I knew it was very soon to be over with a baby to be had!  Finally, my brain took over again and I waited for the benefit of another contraction and push, push, push…baby! Oh my baby!

They put the baby on my chest right away, patting down the blood and fluid with towels.  Wait…is it a boy or a girl?  Nobody knew, they’d put the baby to my chest too quickly.  So, one, two, three lift so Aaron could see…and, “It’s a boy!” he says.  A boy?!  I have a son!  Oh my god.

Knox Alexander, born 4:43 am on January 5th, 2012.  8lbs, 1 oz, 21 inches long. I am a lucky, lucky mother.  It was a great labor, and I am now basking in the wonder of being a mother to both an incredible little girl and a tiny baby boy.









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