Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Introducing: Selah Rae

Oh, how many times I've gazed longingly at the computer in hope of getting my blog back up to speed... all in vain as I'm consistently pulled away, either by the sound of baby cries or even worse: the absence of noise from my two year old. As of this moment, it is quiet in the house. Eileigh is in bed and down for the night, her singing and talking completed for this day. Selah is sleeping (however momentarily is yet to be seen) and Mike is saving lives on shift until tomorrow.

Have you ever experienced a time in life when every day seems the length of eternity but somehow time still manages to fly and before you know it a week or a month has gone by? That is where I've been living for the last month or so. I can't believe it's already been 6 weeks since Selah came into our lives. The quick stats: Selah Rae (the Rae after my Dad's middle name) was born January 13th at 4:07 am and weighed 7lbs, 4oz and measured 21 inches in length. She was born via breech waterbirth and came out bottom first! During pregnancy she was positioned with her head up, knees bent and both her feet and bottom down so it was a toss up whether her feet or bottom would arrive first; we're so thankful it "ended" up being her hiney!! We had so many people praying for us and I know this was just one of the many, many ways God answered prayers.

It had been an intense process to make the decision to labor and deliver instead of opting for a C-section. We researched a lot, discussed even more, and prayed a ton. My emotions went through the wringer- so much of it based in fear. Fear that something would go wrong and I would lose the baby (something that could have been prevented had I had a C-section) and feeling like I had to make the choice between my wellbeing or the baby's. I found solace in the Psalms as God comforted me in my desperation through His Living Word. I realized that no matter the decision we made, God was Sovereign, completely in control of every event and circumstance and He would choose the outcome- whatever that may be. I also came to the realization that no study or statistic could tell us what our outcome would be- we simply had to make the choice and allow God to carry us through to the finish line. Mike and I were introduced to Jennifer, a midwife and- most importantly- someone with extensive breech birth experience. After intensely discussing our questions, fears and concerns with her, Mike and I both came to the empowering conclusion: I would birth naturally. I felt an overwhelming peace knowing that the decision had been made and Mike and I were in complete agreement.

My water broke on a Tuesday at 8:00am after a restless and mostly sleepless night. I thrilled at the knowledge that The Beginning has begun... and cringed at the thought that The End was coming. After excitedly notifying family, I settled in to wait for contractions to begin. And waited. And waited. The day went by. Mike and I cleaned the house like crazy. I finished packing and Mike completely loaded the truck, carseat and all. Dinner time arrived; I made dinner and invited my parents over to share. Evening came. I ate a can of pineapple, having read there may be a prostaglandin-like response to it. By 10:00pm I headed downstairs for a bedtime snack of Cornflakes, honey and milk. I munched on a few bites and suddenly felt a big shift or pop or something! I immediately had strong, wrap-around back pressure for the next five minutes and knew labor had begun. We headed to bed at 11:00 but by 11:45 I called Patricia (our other midwife) and told her my contractions were about 2 minutes long and getting closer and closer together. When she checked me at around 1:00am I was dilated to 5cm and she could feel Selah was presenting butt first- a welcome announcement! I labored for awhile and clambered into the tub when it became more intensely painful. I remember thinking it was a strange thing to have such an intense contraction to work through and then once the contraction was over I was able to converse and felt rather like a normal person. I certainly didn't feel that way laboring with Eileigh- probably due to being induced with Pitocin. Laboring with Eileigh felt like I never got a break. Definitely a vote for natural labor! :) By the time I was ready to push Mike was sitting on the edge of the tub behind me and alternating between supporting me and putting REALLY firm counter-pressure on my back. I could feel her moving slowly down the birth canal and after what seemed like an eternity (but was about 10 minutes of pushing according to Patricia's watch) her bottom emerged first and then her legs followed (kind-of falling out the side) and she was born to her tummy. The next pushes and out were the arms and shoulders to the nape of the neck. At that point it felt extremely hard to push her head out since I didn't really feel the urge to push like I did before. Jennifer reached down and said Selah was born to the nose and encouraged me to PUSH! I pushed harder than I ever have or thought I could and finally she was out and in my arms. I kissed, greeted and talked to her as the midwives assessed her and gave her a little blow-by oxygen. By 1 minute her APGAR was 8 and she was peacefully laying against me. I rested in the birthing tub in blissful exhaustion, so happy and thankful to finally be embracing our new little miracle.

Fresh out of the water

Jennifer, one of our two incredible midwives

Sleeping with Daddy

First outfit

Eileigh and Selah meeting for the first time- Eileigh was thrilled, to say the least

A few hours old

Eight days old


The cat has adjusted quickly...


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story Jenae! I treasure my labor story with Labdon and am so excited for thus next labor. Hopefully it is as beautiful. Congrats!!!

KT Barnes said...

This is awesome Nae. You are incredible!

Sarah said...

Hi Jenae, you don't know me, I'm a friend of Carrie's, but I just wanted to say that Selah is beautiful and I loved reading your birth story. I have had Andaluz on my radar for a few years now and it was nice to hear of someone I "know" birthing there and having a good experience. Hope you don't mind if I start stalking your blog, Carrie can vouch for me :P

Brian said...

How I love reading your birth story. God is so good, so faithful. Every work He does in our lives is beautiful. Selah's birth is yet another example. I am SO thrilled for you, Mike and Eileigh!