Friday, April 13, 2012

And Baby Makes Three....Zachary Harrison!

Please meet our beautiful new baby boy, Zachary Harrison, 30 minutes old!
 I read our last post from Sunday, April 8th and I thought it was cool that our beautiful boy was born just over 24 hours from that post.  Zev and I are in love with him.  We think he is so beautiful, as I am sure all new parents do.  As I type this, I am watching him on the video monitor.  He is cute even when he sleeps.  We can't stop looking at him!  Life is very good for our family.  We are tired and learning new things about being parents every day but taking it one step at a time and counting our many blessings.
Zachary was born on Monday April 9, 2012 at 9.26pm.  His birth weight was 8.5lb or 3780 grams and he measured 20.5 inches or 52 centimetres.
His birth was a lovely experience.  I honestly never thought I would be describing my baby's birth as "lovely" but honestly, we give glory to God that this entire pregnancy, delivery and birth has been so blessed.  I started feeling mild to moderate cramps about 8.30pm on Sunday evening.  We timed them to determine if they were contractions or not (I now realize that they were!) and they were roughly 45 minutes apart. Nonetheless, I slept well that night!  Monday morning I woke up and said to Zev that I was still having menstrual like cramps, maybe contractions but that since this was my first baby, I didn't know if it was early labor pains or what not.  Zev said that he was taking the day off work.  I said that maybe a walk to our local park and lake would be nice and that if the cramps were indeed contractions, the walk might help things along.  So we had our breakfast smoothies and then headed out on our walk.  During the walk (which is just down the road from our house!), the cramps increased to about every 15 minutes and we had to stop a few times for me to catch my breath.  By the time we got home, I decided to bring my big excercise ball downstairs for relief when seated.  The cramps increased in sharpness and were taking my breath away.  We called the hospital to let them know that I could be coming in that day.  They said that when the cramps reached 2 to 3 minutes apart fo 2 hours to come in.  I must have been in some pain because I remember saying on the phone "well my doctor said to come in when the contractions were 5 minutes apart for 1 hour!"  They were thankfully ok with that and said that I could come in when I wanted to but warned that I would likely be sent home if I wasn't dilated or effaced (remember during my appt on Thursday, April 5th, I wasn't dilated or effaced and my doctor said that I would be scheduled for an induction on April 15th!)  Anyhoo, by about 10.30am the cramps increased in length and severity to the point where I was moaning and Zev was coming in to check on me.  At 12.40pm, I was sitting on the couch downstairs when Zev came in to help me during one of my contractions when all of a sudden my water broke!  This was a very long (maybe 2 to 3 minute long) contraction but I immediately knew what happened (and was thankfully wearing protection!).  Zev called the hospital and they said to come in, so we did.  We put some last minute (stuff that ended up not being used!) in our bags and off we went.  We were having a baby on this day!  The car ride was ok, I breathed through my contractions but I was not smiling at this point!  The contractions hurt.  I  remember thinking "I hope the hospital staff doesn't think I am going to be a mean patient because I am not smiling."  Crazy thing to think, I know.  We were admitted into room 8 at about 2pm and that's when all the fun began.  The whole experience is a bit of a blur because it happened relatively quickly.  By 9.26pm that evening, our little Zachary was born!  Basically, my contractions continued to increase in severity and length and when I was first examined, I think even the nurse midwife was surprised that I had dilated to 4cm and was 90% effaced AND that my water had broken!  I was certainly surprised.  I remember being presented with a bunch of forms to sign during my labor, which puzzled me because I had taken the time to pre-register/ pre-admit or however they call it and my legal mind kept thinking "don't they know how much pain I am in and that I have no idea what I am signing!??"  I remember asking for the "epidural person" I guess because the word "anesthesiologist" was too much to say at that point! I was given the epidural at 6cm dilation and Zev was allowed to stay in the room while it was administered.  Zev has been my rock during this whole birthing/ getting used to being a new mummy experience.  He is a true champ.  Not only did he comfort and soothe me during labor and whisper the right words of encouragement to me and kept me calm, but he listened to all the advice given, from breastfeeding to bodily care for the baby and I and has helped me so much. He is an awesome swaddler and it melts my heart to watch him play and interact with Zachary.  I don't know how this is possible, but I love him so much more now than ever before.  So after the epidural (which was a relief!) my wonderful doctor, Dr. Reed, came in for a visit. He said that I would likely have the baby but that evening! Zev and I were so excited to meet our little man. The nurses kept coming in to check on me and give me fluids and see how I was progressing. Since I had not progressed far in a few hours, I was given the option of having pitocin to help labor move along. The funny thing about my experience with the epidural and pitocin is that I could still feel and move my legs and body the entire time.  I did not experience the "totally numb" feeling that many women report.  I could still feel the pressure of the contractions, which I actually found good because it helped me to bear down and push when the time came. I think that helped me to push out Zachary in 50 minutes!  Another thing I remember is thinking how funny it was that I was saying all the way during my pregnancy how much I didn't want many people in the delivery room "watching" me when the time came, and looking around and seeing over 10 people in the room.  Zachary had meconium in uterus so the NICU infant care people were called to examine him and make sure that he was ok after birth. So yes- to all those people who told me that modesty goes out the door when you deliver a baby...that is so true! I am still modest now but at the point of delivery, I just wanted the best for my baby; I didn't care who was in the room. The hours after his delivery were so precious. I cried when he was born. Zev was over with the NICU nurses talking to Zachary and my heart melted when I saw our son turn towards his father's voice. He recognized all the times that Zev has talked to him in utero!! When they brought Zachary over to me was another amazing experience. His little eyes just stared up and I was amazed that I had given birth to this beautiful boy. I am tearing up right now. Oh my goodness. Ok let me go on! Birthing a baby IS the most amazing experience in the world. I remember looking at Zev and looking at Zachary and my heart swelling at how much alike they look. Zachary looks just like his daddy and a birth picture of Zev proves it. I like to think that Zachary has my brown curly hair (I straighten it!) :-)) Zachary is also a very good feeder. He has very strong jaws so breastfeeding was a challenge the first few days and honestly, it still is. Zachary is feeding every 2 hours and has a healthy appetite. A few times, usually during the 1am or 3am feedings, when my body is achy and pained and I am tired, I have actually considered the formula option, but then I place Zachary on my chest and watch his body completely relax after a good feed and his face smile (I am serious, he is smiling!) and I know that breastfeeding IS the best option. I feel like I have rambled on now. So much to say, but I know that those of you who like details will appreciate the little details. We arrived home yesterday afternoon and have been settling into a routine at home.  Thanks for everyone's sweet well wishes, visits, emails, phone calls and prayers. I know you will understand if I respond to you a later than normal....Here are some pictures to document our story! Can't wait for Zachary to read his birth story one day.
"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27 


gena garcia said...

Oh Sweet Mama Fi, thanks so much for sharing your story of Zachary's birth. As we talked about in the past, your pregnancy, labor and the delivery of your beautiful son Zachary is an experience you will cherish forever. Can you ever imagine not having him in your life now that he has arrived? God has blessed you and Zev with this wonderful life. We love and miss you and can't wait to meet Zachary. XoXoXo Gena and Hans

Laura and Ryan said...

Congratulations Fi and Zev! He is adorable and you did so good mama! Hope you are feeling well and resting when you can... xoxo