Since several people have asked the details of Aleni's entrance to the world, I figured the easiest thing to do would be to post it here.
This is a post about birth and I will try to keep the wording PG... but, you know. You've been warned. ;)
Aleni's due date was January 27th. With this in mind, my aunt (who was to help at the birth) planned a vacation to the beach with her family last week. For some reason, I had this "feeling" that Aleni would get all excited about that and decide to pop out during that time. But, early births don't run in the family, so I told my aunt to get tan for me and not to worry.
My... hmmm... aquatic signal of empending birth appeared Saturday morning as I woke up. This doesn't run in our family either. So, it was kind of an interesting start to the day. It was even more interesting because my baby shower was planned for that night. Here in Mexico, you throw your own parties, so that's what I'd done. I debated whether or not to call it off, but I really didn't want to and I wasn't having any contractions. So, I decided to play it by ear while I made some 80 cupcakes and continued receiving the afore mentioned signal.
The baby shower was a lot of fun, although a little uncomfortable for me because of the... well... you know.
Still no contractions when I went to bed on Saturday. However, during the night and early Sunday morning, I was awoken by very strong contractions--like one every hour. But they never went anywhere.
We decided not to go to church.... or the party we'd been invited to that afternoon. I know, what a bunch of wimps!
I was having off and on contractions during the morning, and then they seemed to just go away by the middle of the day. I found this to be frustrating and a little worrisome, since "they" say it is dangerous to not go into labor within 24 hrs of "being signaled". I had to come to a peace with God about this, and it helped having heard several horror stories of "artificial induction" from several friends. I realized God may just be slowing things down so that the real fun could start after Noah was in bed. (Oh, did I mention Noah was being extra special that day??)
We took Noah to the park around 3 pm and I walked (or, perhaps I slowly, very slowly...waddled...) around the track several times. By this time, the contractions were about 5 minutes apart and super strong.
We got home around 4 and I retreated into my little space. (When Rey asked me if there was something I needed, I said--pointing at Noah--"Keep him away from me!") Things kept intensifying until about 6 when the contractions were about 3 minutes apart and--kinda ouchy. Rey came into the room I had shut myself into and saw how intense I was and said, "Please try to keep it together for another hour..." Noah's bedtime. Didn't want to keep it together. But, you know. What can ya do?
Around 7, I got into the bathtub and was there until Aleni was born. I probably started pushing around 7:30.
(Oh, an interesting side-note. My one demand for the birth was a hawaian pizza from Domino's afterwards. During the day, I'd been hinting to Rey that he should probably get that squared away. Well, being from the laid-back side of the border, he didn't get the order in until 7. Which looks like this:
R--Hey, umm...what toppings do you want?
L (from bathtub and in between breathing)--I already told you. Hawaian.
R--Oh, ok. Yes, ma'am. Hawaian. No chili. Right, Liz?
R--Yes, and the directions to our house....
L--We can just get it tomorrow...
Yes... turns out the delivery guy got a flat tire on the way and we never got our pizza. I mean, that night. They gave us a free one the next day. So, that was cool. Right. Back to the excitement.)
So, yes. I began pushing. Everyone that's had a baby knows what that means. Not fun. Never ending. Unrewarding (until the last seconds!). I think that was the hardest part for me of not having a midwife was feeling like, "Did I start pushing to early? Are my instincts right now?? Or am I just trying to rush things?" So, I was praying for wisdom as I decided to go for it. And, you know how it is. "Do you see anything??" "Umm... nope."
Rey was really great. Just kind of quietly there for whatever demand I threw at him. At one point, I think I was passing out, so he counseled me to just push every other contraction and to concentrate on breathing. He encouraged me and told me I could do it.
Then, I said, "The head!" (meaning, I could feel it). Rey says, "Noooo..." Hah. It was kind of funny. Because, helloooo. It was there. But, you know how heads are. Maybe 3 pushes later, Rey saw what I was talking about. "Oh, yes! The head!" ;) And, about 5 minutes from the time I felt the head--at 8:50 pm--I heard crying.
Never does crying sound so sweet! Am I right??