Friday, February 04, 2005

Just Call Me Grammy

The phone call came at 5:45 am that labor had started and could I come? Up I jumped, threw on the clothes I had prepared the night before, swallowed my supplements, also prepared the night before, and grabbed my backpack and purse and headed out the door. I got there within 30 minutes of the call and was soon followed by the midwife.

It is interesting to watch a woman labor when she is left alone to do what her body instinctively tells her to do. Trista's baby was in a persistent posterior position, which isn't the optimal position for coming out. However, she arched her back and swung her hips and rocked on the birth ball and laid on her side and eventually he swung round to the anterior position.

When the bag of waters broke, there was a slight bit of meconium staining in it, so baby had to be suctioned on the perineum and then again several times after the birth. The baby's little lungs were working hard from the meconium he had breathed in, and we could tell from the rapid respirations, the nasal flaring, and the way the chest heaved that something needed to happen quick, or this baby would end up in the special care nursery at the hospital like his eldest sister did. The midwife, who has had experience with some of my techniques and their efficacy, handed the baby to me and told me to get busy. I balanced some points under his arms which act like a major circuit breaker for the body, did a balance on his central nervous system, and made a few gentle adjustments on his spine, and within a short period of time his respirations came down from 80 - 100 respirations a minute to the normal range of 30 - 60. It was so cool to be able to do something like this instead of just standing there wringing my hands.

This birth was quite a bit different from the last birth I had attended with my daughter. My first grandchild was born under less than optimal conditions from my perspective and there was a lot of tension in the room for me personally, though I didn't do anything that would cause my girl to feel it. Since then a great many things have been resolved and reconciled and my sole intent was to be available when needed, and to stay in the background and let my daughter and her husband bond together and with this new baby. Adam did a wonderful job in comforting and encouraging Trista and for a long time I thought maybe I wouldn't be needed. When things got tough though, Trista called for me and I hung around doing the mothering of the mother that is so often missing in most births these days.

After 9 hours of labor, a beautiful baby boy was pushed out, crying as he came. His name is Rogan Addison W., and he weighs 8 lbs. 4 0z. and was 20 7/8 inches long.

I was right about the hormone effects. I found myself zoning out between contractions with Trista, and my abdominal muscles hurt after it was over, as though I had been pushing along with her. My own womb dweller spent a lot of the time leaping and cavorting during the day, no doubt stimulated by all that was taking place.

I'm still tired, but it was a great experience and I am looking forward to the birth of my own bambino in a few months.

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