doesn't convince you to have a dozen or so children, I don't know what will.
really wouldn't be all that bad if I could come home and chill a while. Unfortunately, being the homeschooling mother of thirteen, doesn't led itself all that well to chillin'.
That's how old my baby turns today. We had a simple party yesterday, with just my parents (Chuck's parents were celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada). Enoch and I baked Tucker a cake, my parents gave him a Curious George stuffed animal and two Curious George books (his current obsession). Chuck and I gave him a toy garbage truck (pure joy!) and Adalia sewed him a little bag to carry his things in (you can see it in the lower right corner). He was up at 4:30 this morning asking if it was time to get up and saying he wanted his "fresents".
I couldn't go back to sleep, so here I am, blogging. Indulge me for a moment while I reminisce.
Tucker was an unplanned hospital birth. The last few nights before he was born I was up in the night with several hours of contractions. Each time I would think, perhaps this is it...and each time they petered out by morning. The night I finally gave birth, Chuck and I had some small errand to run in town, and we loaded up the kids. I remember being at the grocery store at 7:30 PM wondering how long this pregnancy would drag out...and then holding Tucker in my arms by 3 AM!
Chuck and I headed home, put the kids to bed, and watched a movie (on our laptop, for those of you wondering how we watch a movie with no TV). I began having steady contractions, but had been having them all week. I headed off to bed as soon as the movie was over, thinking I better get some rest, cause this just might be the real thing. About fifteen minutes later, our midwife called to let us know she was on her way to a home over an hour away, to deliver a baby. Our midwife made it clear from the beginning it was our job to have a back up plan, in case she was away when I went into labor. Chuck and I, who love to do everything last minute, didn't bother. By midnight it was clear I was in labor. We could either have the baby at home (with Chuck as midwife) or head to the hospital. We called my mom to come stay with the kids and headed off to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital about 1:30 AM. Chuck and I had a serious discussion on the drive there about what was most important to us. We weren't sure if we would face hostility at the hospital (because we planned a homebirth) or not. We decided to cause as few waves as possible, have the baby and return home at the earliest possible moment. While we choose not to have our midwives give our babies vitamin K shots, eye drops and PKU tests, we would not object at the hospital. The goal? Have our baby and come home.
They immediately hooked me up to a fetal monitor (just for a half an hour they said- but they never removed it). The nurse on duty was nice enough, but determined to break my water. Every time she entered the room she "offered" to break it, assuring me it would move things along (I had a four hour labor!) She became more and more irritated every time we said no. I explained my water doesn't break until I am pushing my baby out, but she was determined to "help".
I love how God works out the details in our lives. It turned out the doctor on duty that night was a woman (a very important fact to me). She was kind, if hurried. The hospital was incredibly busy that night, and they were more than happy to leave us on our own (since we were the only parents having our eighth child that night!) After an hour of monitoring, I was fully dilated and ready to push. At his point the doctor told the nurse to get ready, because my water hadn't broken. The nurse, still irritated and me and Chuck mumbled something about being busy and took her time doing something across the room. Of course my water broke as I was pushing. I can remember the doctor scooting back on her stool to avoid the splash, and the nurse now grumbling loudly about how everyone was "slipping" in the mess and this could have been avoided had we let her break my water.
Out came Tucker. They laid him on my belly, and cut his cord immediately. I said to Chuck, "Wow, this our first baby who's cord you haven't cut" to which the doctor responded, "Oh, he can cut it in a minute". When they took Tucker across the room to poke, prod and wrap him, they offered Chuck the chance to "cut" his already cut cord. "No thanks" was his answer.
They brought Tucker back to me, checked me out, and headed off to tend other patients. We were happy to be alone, but ( I suppose because they were so busy) they never changed the sheets on the bed where I gave birth. They simply piled new pads and sheets on top. The nurse came in every fifteen minutes (I know, because I was right across from the clock) to take my vitals. Each time the door would open with a clank and slam shut, waking Tucker who would begin to fuss. It would take me a good ten minutes to calm him, then in the nurse would come again. Finally after an hour or so, I took a shower and got dressed while Chuck held Tucker. I then said next to Chuck on the couch (since the bed was dirty). When the nurse walked in and saw me dressed and on the couch, you would have thought I was dressed for an expedition to Everest they were so shocked...which struck me as odd. Why in the world would I shower and put a gown back on?
After three hours, they transfered us to a different room on a different floor (my friends tell me this is unusual, it must have been because Labor and Delivery was so busy that night). Now, since it "wouldn't be safe" for me to walk to my new room, or for me or Chuck to hold Tucker, they of course put me in a wheelchair and Tucker in an isolette. Chuck pushed me, while the nurse lead the way with Tucker. As we rounded a corner, she bumped the isolette into the wall! Can you imagine? Chuck and I both had to fight the urge to shove the nurse out of the way and take Tucker ourselves. Tucker screamed the rest of the way (in the elevator, down the halls) until we finally arrived at our new room and could pick him up.
And there we sat and waited and waited. We could not leave the hospital with Tucker until our family doctor checked on him and released him. Unfortunately, it was our doctor's day off, so he had to be called in (as opposed to doing his normal "rounds"). He arrived about noon. He was so kind. Unlike the doctors and nurses in the hospital, he acted as if Tucker was our baby, asking permission to undress him, check him out, etc. Less than ten minutes later, we were released and on our way home (after we were informed Tucker was "too young" for the hearing screening, and we would have to bring him back later...this struck as so funny...of course he was too young, he was less than a day old!)
My midwife told me later, she called our doctor to thank him for coming and checking out Tucker. He said to her, "I got called in saying on of my patients had a failed homebirth and transferred to the hospital. Well, when I walked into that room, I took one look at the three of them and thought, 'nothing's wrong here'..." And of course, nothing was.
But on my hospital records it states that we "transfered" to the hospital due to a "failed homebirth". So next time you see those statistics on transfers and failures, keep in mind, Tucker's birth is one of those.
As I'm typing this, I realize it sounds much more negative than I meant it too. I have no regrets about Tucker's birth. He and I are healthy. I am thankful for having a clean, safe hospital to give birth in when necessary. It's just after seven home and birth center births, it's impossible not to compare the experiences. I believe Tucker's hospital birth was as good as it gets in that setting. No one was hostile toward us, or upset that we planned a homebirth. Everyone was kind and respectful. It was simply the contrast of being at home (where the midwife is the guest) and being at the hospital where I was the "patient" and doctors and nurses were clearly "in charge".
Anyway, happy birthday Tucker Benaiah!
I meant to post about homeschooling all last week, and somehow life got in the way. More stitches, skipping school for the aquarium, a million and one other things. But we survived and managed to complete three days of school. This week will prove to even busier, I'm sure. Want to see my schedule?