Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Amazing Wife

I know it’s passé for a new father to wax poetic about his wife immediately after the birth of their first child, but after watching my wife in action, I simply cannot deny the fact that she’s the strongest and most amazing person I’ve ever known.

Things turned out well, but we had a mighty struggle bringing Peter Ambrose out. There were times I was frightened out my mind, and I simply wanted to relieve my wife’s suffering no matter the cost (looking back, she was never in any mortal danger, but that’s a rationale understanding).

Soon after Bethany began hard labor, Peter Ambrose turned posterior. And then he refused to move for several hours. Bethany went from 4 cm (100% effacement) to 7 in just 3 hours, but stayed at 9 for about six hours.

The midwives tried turning him in many different ways, but he was stubborn. In the end, he made a dramatic 270-degree turn, and Bethany was able to push him out in about 6 pushes. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. After 12 hours of constant contractions, Bethany still had the strength to push him out.

She did take oxygen, and towards the end she had an IV, but hers was still an otherwise unassisted and natural birth.

But let me say this about our birthing class: double-pelvic squeezes and counter pressure saved us. We tried lots of positions and techniques, but those were the only two things that brought consistent relief and having Bethany be able to call out for them by name (and have me understand immediately what she needed) were just worth gold to us. Though I feel sheepish even admitting this considering how much trauma Bethany and Peter Ambrose endured that day, my wrists, arms and shoulders were sore the next morning. I can't count how many we did, but I know we'd have to measure them in hundreds.

Peter Ambrose is doing well, healthy in every way. He ate a lot right after the birth, but was slow to eat much for the next few days. He was extremely alert and bright-eyed from the moment he was born (the video below was shot roughly 45 minutes after delivery).

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Bethany didn't tear much at all and required no sutures. She's been a bit shaky on her feet, but the pain and bleeding were greatly diminished after 24 hours and she appears to be on the mend. We're getting more sleep than expected, but still not enough.

Peter Ambrose is a very quiet baby. Compared to our neighbors in the birthing center, he just didn’t cry very much at all. And when he does cry, he's easily comforted with a pat or sometimes just by hearing our voices.

We'll come home Sunday afternoon, and after that we'll see how the adjustment goes. But right now, we couldn't he happier with how things turned out.

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