Friday, May 16, 2008

My Baby Story

So I promise not to make this blog all about my baby. But...

(and you don't have to read it if you don't want to)

People say I had a pretty crappy pregnancy. I'm not so sure but it never hurts to accept a bit of sympathy now and then. I feel lucky really. I was nauseous for a few weeks and exhausted but I never threw up (I hate throwing up more than anything).

I got my energy back just in time for all the holiday stuff (Bust Craftacular, Handmade Arcade, selling a whole bunch of screenprinted yeti tees between Thanksgiving and Christmas, buying and wrapping presents, and decorating the house, that sort of thing).

Then all of a sudden I started to get itchy. The itchy turned to hives -- big, fat, welty hives all over my torso. Since I was pregnant, there was little I could take. They said Benadryl would dry up the amniotic sea. The Zyrtec knocked me out. This lasted for weeks. My midwife said it was PUPPPS. My dermatologist called it something else. Aaron and I somehow figured out it was a soy allergy. So what does a vegetarian eat when she's allergic to soy? Time for the first learning curve.

After getting the rash to go away, I failed the Glucose Tolerance Test and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Since I weighed about 108 lbs. before getting pregnant and was pretty active, this came as a big shock. It's all in the genes, they say. So what does a vegetarian with gestational diabetes and a soy allergy eat? Time for the second learning curve.

So anyway. I got all that under control. I kept my glucose levels low and started walking tons. Everything seemed manageable. Despite the fact that I was retaining water like the Hoover Dam and stuffed like a sausage, pregnancy wasn't all that bad.

We had an ultrasound at 36 weeks and learned the baby was measuring small and the fluid level in the amniotic sea was normal (the two big problems associated with the diabetes are big babies and high fluid levels). But we were still told that if this kid didn't come on her own by our appointment at 39 weeks, they would induce.

That meant some nasty drugs I wasn't comfortable putting in my body. First some pitocin cocktail surely followed by an epidural and then who knows what complications would arise because of all of this. Yuck. I know people do this all the time. I'm not judging those who do. But we're pretty chemical free around here: few medicines, few processed foods, mostly organic and non-GMO when we can afford it.

Luckily, Zadie shares our beliefs and popped herself out at exactly 39 weeks. (I'd also like to thank Claire of Atlas Chiropractic for her adjustments and acupuncture.)

My water broke around 12:45 a.m. and the contractions started some time later. When they were about 5 minutes apart, we headed for the hospital, car seat and suitcase in hand. We got to the hospital and were in our room by around 4:30 a.m. My midwife, Betsy, wasn't due in for another 3 hours so aside from the steady stream of nurses testing me for this and that and asking a million questions (mostly the same ones), Aaron and I were alone in the room. Most of the time I worked through the contractions by holding on to him and sort of hanging there and swaying from side to side. We also spent a lot of time in the shower.

Finally the midwife showed up at 7:30 and checked us out. At 8:30 she said I was at 6 cm. That meant about an hour of work to do until we got to 7 cm then after that it would be really fast. She went and told my mom we had about 4 hours left to go.

Again, Zadie had other plans. We were in the shower around 9 and I felt the need to push. For some reason mom was in the room so she went to get Betsy for us. I started pushing in the shower and decided I did not want to have the baby in the bathroom so we dried off and got checked again. No one seemed to believe us that the baby was ready! Betsy was shocked. She told me to reach down and feel my baby.

The nurses were taking their time getting all the equipment like the cool transparent bassinet and the warmer ready. Betsy told them, "We are having this baby now!" and everything stepped into high gear. No one expected it to happen so fast. At 9:37 it was all over (or, better said, it all began).

Our baby weighed 6 lbs. 13 oz. and is 21 inches long. She is beautiful and I love her and I love my husband who is the best dad ever.

We got the birth we wanted -- quick, with no pain meds and no pitocin. I got to hold her bloody gooey body immediately and Aaron cut the cord after a few minutes. I didn't think it was possible for this to happen. I read too many books and had too many people tell me to expect things might not go smoothly. So I did what I could to counteract that -- with only a few stitches to show for it.

And now that it's all said and done I have to say that if it had happened any other way I'd be just as fine with it. All you really need is a healthy baby.


Hobocamp Crafts said...

wow what a story! i'm glad it all worked out- she's a beauty. i can only hope in november my delivery is just as easy!

Bek said...

Congrats on Zadie's arrival! She is beautiful!

While you had plenty of bumps in the road of your pregnancy you handled them with grace! I had a complicated pregnancy (I'm type 1 diabetic with other assorted fun issues) but I cannot imagine being thrown a food allergy and the itching on top of it! Sounds like your glucose was in great control! Good work Mama! (consistently high glucose is what can make the babies of sugar mamas bigger, good control usually means a regular sized baby...but there are other factors)

Glad you had a healthy and happy delivery!

Juliet said...

WoW! That is amazing for your first! I am glad everything turned out so great!

You should start a baby blog!

Lumpkin said...

isn't pregnancy such a mystery? i'm glad to hear you had such an ideal birth experience after what sounds like a pretty tough pregnancy. Zadie is a lovely name by the way

LemonCadet said...

Thanks for the comments.

I hope I didn't make labor sound easy! That was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. My husband says I kept saying to him, "I don't think I can do this. I don't think I can do this." But somehow I did.

It really hurt. I have forgotten a lot of it already. You kind of have to get into this zone and completely relax. The more tense you are, the more it's going to hurt. You have to turn off the pain side of your brain.

I think what was worse (because I can actually remember it) was when she did the stitches. I saw her stick me with some long needle to numb it but that didn't work at all.

Good luck!

Rach said...

Congrats on Zadie's birth - what an amazing time this is. Giving birth to Minnie was one of the hardest things I have ever done and obviously the most amazing. I never understood why getting married is the happiest day of a persons life when compared with bringing a brand new person into the world.

I had pain relief and it was still very painful. Plus a load of stitches to sew my arse back together... Now Minnie is 2 years and 4 months...And my arse is fine...

pomly said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I love reading birth stories. Every one is unique and amazing. Congrats again!

Anonymous said...

No one can be more proud of you than Dad and me. There's nothing like sharing the birth of a grandchild and though I have 3 others by my son, your daughter giving birth is the most amazing experience. It brought back all the wonderful memories of my first pregnancy and birth of you. God bless you and all you love always.

Love, Mommy

iSew said...

Aww, what a lovely story. And I'm really glad to hear things went as you had hoped. It's a great story and I'm sure Zadie will love to hear it when she's grown up a bit.

AMR said...

Dude, I'm so happy for you guys!!! How rad!!!

And thanks for an honest baby birth story. I'm always dying to hear what it's like during pregnancy and birth apart from the "it's so wonderful; you glow" stuff.

Heart you three!!!

AMR said...

And your mom's comments made me cry!!!

I'm not preggars. I checked.

catbishop said...

Yay. I also did natural childbirth and the most amazing thing was after i felt like if i could do this i could do anything. It's very empowering.

Beautiful baby, congrats to you both. Well all 3 of you.


LemonCadet said...

I never expected to get any comments to this post -- especially from my mom.

Thank you. It was important to me that I get this story down.

I'm still in such shock that I did this and now there is this beautiful baby sleeping/stirring in the next room.

Crystal said...

Congratulations! That is a beautiful birth story. She is a really cute baby.

bioluminescence said...


I had the GD too! I also wanted to tell you that I had a pretty hard & long *mostly* natural bith. I feel like going through that really helps me empathize with my baby when she's really fussy and uncomfortable.

Enjoy your little baby!

Alex (Sandi's friend)

Anda said...

I had a drug-free birth, too---and I was totally looking forward to riding a painless epidural wave, personally. Sidonie decided, however, to barrel into the world like a little bullet and there was no time for any of that stuff. It was all I could do to make it through the emergency room and up to Labor & Delivery. I practically had her in the car.

I am already stalking your photos and blog! And Zadie is *such* a cute name.