Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The magic feather project

As you can see I have added a new logo on the top right side of my blog. I am creating a magic feather for Jude Hill's Magic feather project. The magic feather is her personal symbol, so for my submission I thought I would combine her symbol with one of mine, the butterfly.

That is all I will say for the moment. I will post a picture once it is on fabric.

Till then.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sarah has arrived

Wednesday August 3rd I roamed around the house feeling heavy, uncomfortable, and anxious about how this birth was going to be. I waited to feel any type of discomfort that indicated the arrival of Sarah, but the day went on and I was still pregnant. That night, as the mister and I slept in the living room, our mattresses stacked on top of each other, our clothing scattered in different rooms, the moon light falling upon us, I began to feel the familiar tightening at 2:40 am. I began to time them and realized they were around 6 and 5 minutes apart. "Isn't that when you are supposed to go to the hospital?" I asked myself. The idea scared me half to death. Everything would be in German. I would have to use a communal bathroom while in labor, and then share a room with another woman and her baby...It was all too foreign, but my body was ready. 

After three bareable contractions I woke up the mister and told him that I needed his company. I was having contractions. Right after I said that I ran upstairs to use the bathroom, and the contractions were stronger. I called for him to come up and he started a bath. The warm water dulled the pain. I could still breathe through them, no longer talk, but as I stared at the bubbles I thought how fast this all was going. I had imagined myself going through hours and hours of breathing and concentrating. 

With each contraction I asked the mister how apart they were and they were now 4 minutes apart.  It was 3:30 in the morning and I told him I thought we should go to the hospital. "I'll make coffee." he said and headed downstairs. 

Time no longer affected me, what seemed to take forever were only mere minutes. It was 4 am when we were in the car heading towards Kaiserslautern."only 3 contractions and we will be there." the mister told me trying to ease my discomfort. I opened the window and held on to the seatbelt strap. With every contraction my knuckles would turn white and I pull the strap as if I were trying to stop a uncontrollable horse. I breathed in silence and the mister drove through the dark morning hours. 8 contractions later, they were now closer together, we had arrived at the hospital. We still had to go down the stairs of the parking garage and get to the Kreisaal. At first walking was impossible, but afterwards it actually eased the pain a bit. 

Somehow we magically made it to the Kreisaal. I professed I needed the epidural. I could no longer take the pain and the idea of being in this pain for hours was the death of me. She told me they needed to take my blood and it would take an hour to get the epidural, but first she had to check me. I was sure I would be at least 2 or 3 cm dilated. At my previous doctor's appointment I had dilated at all. "well i doubt you will be able to get the epidural. You are 6 cm dilated." What ? I cried. I needed something. I begged. She gave me something That made me sleepy and the contractions were as intense as in the bath. So I could at least breathe. "But you will feel the push." She said in English. I was no longer able to understand nor speak in German. The push..I was going to have a natural birth. Something I wanted, but not in that moment. 

An hour later I was half undressed, didn't care, the IV in my arm, I felt the urge to push. I was at 10 cm. I began to push and a sense of relief and inexplicable pain came over me. I wanted to run away. I heard a primal scream come out of my mouth. My whole body was shaking as they placed me in a better position, kneeling with a rounded back. The pain intensified and I had to push through it. There was no way around it. 4 pushed later I felt relief. Sarah was born at 5:29 am. I had my back to her and slowly, with the help of the doctor and midwife I turned and almost tripped on the umbilical cord. There she was pink and crying. It was over. Finally I could rest. no more pain. 

I began to feel tired and the after-pains were intense. They pushed down on my stomach and it felt as if the were trying to pierce holes through my body. I could hear the mister say "isn't that a lot of blood?" "yes, more than usual." the midwife answered. I do not remember much afterwards. I am told a lost a bit more blood than usual.

After a couple of hours they rolled me into my room. The mister had to leave and I was not quite there. I kept on bleeding and they kept on changing the sheets and talking to me. They would come and inject something into my IV to stop the bleeding, come later and give me more. Until finally I was more aware and conscious. 

I looked around and I was not in a two person room, but instead in a four person room. I was the only one with a baby, I didn't understand why I couldn't move, why i was so weak, and what they were giving me. I was later told my hemoglobin levels were 6.8 when the normal levels is around 12. Whenever I sat up my hearing would go and the room would spin. I remained in bed for three days until finally I could get up on my own.

I felt very lonely in the hospital. The other three woman had their babies in the NICU and the mister was busy trying to get the house ready for when Sarah and I returned. I spent the days just staring at her face...