Thursday, October 23, 2008

Noble Ranen Vonderahe

I have been pregnant for long enough. I can hardly walk, my extremities are swollen and numb, everything hurts, and my belly seems in a constant state of contraction. So October 17th, Friday morning around 4am, I gladly welcomed the backache that is true labor; I was ready to get this show on the road!
We woke up Aunt Renee and the kids and scurried around quietly gathering jackets and shoes and piled into the car. We checked into the hospital around 5:30am and had to wait while they found a room because they were so busy with new babies (I'm telling you, it's that full moon theory!). As they wheeled me around I had back-to-back contractions and even felt what I'll call the UTP ("urge to push")...not the best position for having contractions. I politely explained to the nurses that this was the 5th baby, and it would be happening fast ("so get that damn tub filled up!" I added in my mind), thinking of friends whose 5th babies were born into their daddy's hands after nurses and midwives didn't take them seriously.
They only had a chance to take one heartbeat monitor before I got into the tub. Things were looking good! This is my favorite way to labor: standing with my head in David's chest, drawing strength from his body. He is a rock, an amazing birthing partner. The nurses, midwives and doula said we really work well as a team which is awesome to hear...but I guess we've had a little practice at this thing, right?
I was glad to have our doula, Amanda there. It was strangely comforting knowing there was someone who had no medical agenda, who was only present to listen to and help communicate and meet my needs. I don't know why I didn't quite understand this before. I always assumed having David was enough, but as you can see, he is busy having his body squeezed and bitten, and he is permitted only a few words before I am hissing at him to STOP TALKING. Even though there wasn't time for her to contribute much in action, just having her present felt very supportive.
I am very proud of Korah and Taylor, my birth photo-journalists. They have a special nack for capturing the details of the moments, and their physical perspective makes for an interesting-- and often more modest-- composition. Plus, it gives them something to do, a purpose, and they are less inclined to worry and feel helpless when mommy is going through something difficult. The younger two are apt to follow the crowd: if it's alright with Korah and Taylor, it must be alright! Still, it was excellent to have their favorite Aunt Renee to snuggle and to wait with.

Micah probably could've just gone back to sleep.

Morgen just takes it all in. She's a learner! She's seen and heard mommy go through all sorts of emotions before, and she knows she's waiting for a baby!

When my water broke, there was a small amount of Meconium, and they told me I was going to have to get out of the tub to have the baby and they were going to have to call Peds, etc, so after the next contraction, could I just wait? Ah-ha-ha! Waiting again... very funny! Telling a force of nature to wait. Sure. Noble heard this and decided to just be born.
It was amazing--he just came squeezing right out! I mean, it was intensely hard work, but it was so incredibly fast! It was funny hearing the nurses getting ready for me to hop (yeah, right) onto a bed, and then switch to "nope, we're gonna have a baby!"
That's right we're gonna have a baby!
I love that the baby was instantly in my arms. No one elses. My very own prize for doing all that work! Right away I looked to see if it was a boy or a girl. Then as the names we had chosen got lost in my head I looked at him and said, "who are you?!" It was like I had not taken the time to consider that a real human was causing this pregnancy, was the purpose of this labor, and when suddenly there was this human in my arms it felt like "where did you come from? Do I know you?"
I was eager to share him with David, who was suddenly (to me) the only other person in the room...

8 pounds, 2 ounces...20 inches long
Born at 6:28am, October 17th, 2008
Only 2 1/2 hours of labor!

Korah is thrilled to have a baby brother, and to be the first to hold him!
For days she's been saying "I want you to have that baby to-day, mommy!"

Look at that proud papa and his gaggle of children :)

Micah has been eager to meet the baby for a long time. He's very curious to check him out.

The kids had heard a lot about the placenta, now they get to have a tour of it! We love life's lessons. And their expressions are priceless!

Korah, knowing a good photo op when she sees it, gets a good picture of the placenta's "tree". It's a bit much to post here on the family-friendly blog, but it's a great photo.

Noble came out wailing!! The boy does NOT like to be suddenly cold.

Ahhh...that heat lamp feels good.
Now give me back to my mommy.


Karen Elaine said...

how beautiful! thanks for sharing all this, i've been wondering how it all went. so stoked for you guys, glad he is here and you are healthy and happy.

katetreick said...

Such a fabulous account of the whole adventure. Thanks for sharing it! Your family is absolutely beautiful. I hope our little ones are able to play together some day...Jack and Noble were exactly the same size at birth! :) I think they'd have fun!

Michelle said...

That is an awesome birth story! You are amazing!

Amber and Jeff McCleary said...

so happy for you and your beautiful happy family!

renae said...

What an amazing and beautiful process. I am so happy for you and your family!