Thursday, May 13, 2010

Elliot's Birth Day

Today is Elliot's birthday.  He was born on May 13th, 2009, at 2:45pm, weighing 8 pounds 8 ounces.  Lots of other moms who keep mom-blogs use their site as a venue to track their growing belly and record their birth story.  Since I didn't start blogging until Elliot was a few months old, I never had the opportunity to write down my version of Elliot's birth.  But I think today, the celebration of that special day, is the right time for me to do it.  So, here goes... Elliot's birth story.

Elliot was conceived on the very first try, something that almost never happens when two Mamas try to have a baby.  We were very lucky!  Using an unknown donor, I was inseminated by my naturopath, who was also our labor doula.  You could say she was there with Elliot from start to finish.

I had what I remember to be a wonderful pregnancy.  I was only really uncomfortable for the last two weeks.  I loved my big round belly.  I had never had such a good body image as when I was pregnant.  It was, by far, the most incredible thing to know that I was growing a person in my belly.  
I was given a due date of May 26th, but I always thought I'd go until sometime in the first week of June.  You can imagine how surprised we were when my water broke at around 11pm on MAY 11th!  Andrea and Annika were both home.  I remember calling out from the bathroom... "Um, hello?  I think my water just broke," and not hearing anything back but silence for what seemed like a looonng time.  Then they both came running into the bathroom with lots of "whats?!?" and "reallys??!?"  I remember Annika saying over and over, "But, does this mean your going to have the baby?!"

We were admitted to the hospital later that night and began what was, in total, a 40 hour birth journey.  I like to think that I've experienced every kind of labor and birth that one can experience (with the exception of the actaul vaginal delivery).  During those 40 hours, I did it all:

-I had an amazing birth team (my beloved Andrea, the amazing Annika, and my naturopath/doula Molly) who helped me through:
-27 hours of contractions
-dilation to a full 10 cm, during which time I,
-had IV antibiotics every 4 hours for group B strep
-continuous heart monitoring
-internal fetal monitoring
-used the ball and the squat bar
-was in the birthing tub
-was in the shower, being massaged with a shower hose
-walked the labyrinth 
-then I finally had an epidural
-then pitocin
-then I pushed for 4 hours
-was catheterized 
-did yoga to try and turn the baby who was sunnyside up
-and, finally, got ready for a c-section
We were very lucky that Elliot never showed any signs of distress for the entire labor.  If he had, we would have obviously decided on a c-section sooner.  But, as is true to his nature, he was just right there with me, being a part of all that was happening, holding on and quietly "observing."  Which left us all of the time we wanted to allow me to labor and for us to make calm decisions about our labor journey.  But then Dr. Tom, our most-wonderful midwife, finally said, "You are exhausted.  And I think the baby is stuck."  We all agreed.

A few hours later, Elliot was born by c-section.  Because he essentially ran a marathon for 40 hours with no food, his blood sugar was super low.  I nursed him in the recovery room shortly after he was born, then he was taken to the special care nursery to be with Andrea and I was transfered to a room to be cared for by Annika.  Coming down off of all of those c-section drugs was terrible and I was so glad that I had someone to take care of me.  And you can imagine how relieved I was that Andrea was by Elliot's side every minute of the first 24 hours.  When I was finally taken to nurse him later that first night, I held him in my arms and cried (then puked all of the jello and apple juice they fed me after the surgery all over the nurse). 
The next day we were all united in one room.  Elliot still needed his blood sugars checked regularly and was given supplemental formula, so we all just hung out in the room for a few days.  I was also really sore and still pumped full of the left over surgery meds plus new pain killers, so I was in no shape to leave.  My ankles swelled up as big as my thighs and I couldn't walk very well and was still bleeding a lot (it actually took me a full five weeks after the surgery to be free of pain and regain some normalcy to my strength and stamina).

The thing we spent most of our time on over those few days after Elliot was born was trying to figure out what his name was.  We went to the hospital with four choices: Jonah, Seamus, Elliot and Edan.  It's obviously the main question everyone asks you in the hospital, so all of the nurses and midwives knew what our four choices were.  Unfortunately, there was some disagreement amongst us which name should be on the top of the list...even after he was born.  Then on that first day, when he was in the special care nursery, I went in to breastfeed and one of the nurses had written the name Jonah on the board in his room!  I got totally freaked out and made them remove it right away.  I hadn't even seen my baby's soft knees or felt the roundness of his belly, let alone figured out what his name was!  Needless to say, it was erased and we spent the next few days trying out each of the four options, scratching all of them, starting a new list, then, on day three, deciding with certainty that this new being's name was Elliot Patrick Geraghty.  Here he is at his naming ceremony.  Peacefully becoming who he is.

And here his is one year later.  
This sweet baby boy.  Never did I believe my life, or all of life, would change so much with your arrival.  But I am so glad it has.  I love the world with you in it, Elliot.  


Sara said...

beautifully written, Malia.

you may not have started blogging when he was born, but this makes me feel like I have known Elliot for a long time.

(and I like the name Elliot the best!)

He looks just like he did as a newborn to me...

amuma Deb said...

It was very special to hold that tiny warrior when he was born. He is such a love.