Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shasta's Birth

This birth took place at Sierra Vista Hospital around 1996.

At 7 a.m. I woke to the startling feeling that I had wet the bed. My water had broken! Before I got out of bed I had to wake Joe and have him make sure the water absorbent mat that had been next to the bed for the past several weeks was still there. It was and sure enough when I stood up, more water spilled out. At last there was no question about when. I called my folks and told them to start driving and to call us from Atascadero to make sure we had not gone to the hospital already. Next we (Joe and I) called Jennifer. The contractions were still pretty far apart so I decided to go for a walk down our hill and to the dead end on the next block. On the walk, the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. Walking had always increased the frequency and strength of my contractions. Back at home I ate some breakfast and then we called Barbara Clutter, my O.B. The contractions had slowed to every 10 or 15 minutes when I was not walking. Barbara knew I wanted to spend early labor at home so she told me she would inform the hospital that we would be in at some point today, but let me know that if nothing was happening by 5 p.m. they might have to induce my labor.

After talking with Barbara, I called Jennifer. I was nervous about the possibility of having drugs to induce my labor. Jennifer suggested to me that an acupuncture treatment might be a gentler way to induce the labor. I called my friend Diane, an acupuncturist, and made an appointment for 3 p.m. This was a very weird point because I wanted to make sure my labor progressed but I wanted to have energy to take it all the way, and I wanted to hold out till my folks arrived. So, to bed I went. The contractions continued to build as I laid there. At last we got the call from my folks. They were in Atascadero. We told them we're still holding out, come on to Los Osos. In the meantime Carrie had arrived and was getting the video camera ready. Around noon my folks arrived and within an hour it was clear I wasn't going to make it to 3 p.m. for the acupuncture appointment. My labor was progressing all on it's own. Somewhere around here I had asked Joe to call Jennifer cause I couldn't deal with talking on the phone. Mid-contraction I saw Joe putting the phone in my face. He wanted Jennifer to hear what I sounded like during a contraction but I thought he wanted me to talk. Eee gads and I think we got my reaction on video. This was the turning point. Jennifer heard my reaction and told Joe, "I think you had better get her to the hospital unless you want to have that baby at home".

Jennifer met us at the hospital. Throughout the whole time at the hospital the baby's heart tones were strong and clear so they pretty much let me do what I wanted. (Like I really wanted to do a whole lot while I was having a baby!) So for the next several hours we (the whole team) walked the halls, then Joe sat with me in the shower for over an hour. At about sundown when I was really starting to loose it and I was begging for drugs, Jennifer helped me hold onto a tiny piece of reality by making me look into her eyes. That was the longest 2 hours of my life! The doctor even said I could have the drugs but she had to check the woman in the next room. By the grace of God the lady next door was pushing and 2 hours later when the doctor returned I was ready to push out our beautiful baby. The pushing took about 1 and a 1/2 hours. Mom and Joe held Jennifer's mirror for me to see his little head emerge. Mom took pictures, Carrie shot the video, Dad watched the monitor(heart tones), Dr. Clutter(my O.B.) cheered me on and Joe caught the baby at about 9:29. It was so incredible! Our little boy was so alert, he smiled when Joe and I kissed him, grabbed Joe's beard and within the first 1/2 hour of his life in the outside world he was nursing. Joe and I spent the night in the hospital, and the next afternoon Mom and Dad (Joan and Don) came back to help us get home with our new little baby boy. Of course Mom had decorated our house inside and out with blue ribbons, flowers and balloons.

Well that's basically the story of Shasta's birth. Thank you to all who have given us clothes, toys, baby gadgets, diaper service and most of all your loving prayers.

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