Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ezra's Birth Story

April 23, 2014

I woke up to my water breaking around 4:30 a.m. and as soon as I was sure... which only took about a minute, (there was a LOT,) I woke up Ben, who excitedly got up and took a shower. I wasn't having many contractions yet, and was surprised to have things happen in this order. With Elias, I went into labor and my water didn't break until just a little while before the pushing stage. Because of that, we had decided before to go to the hospital when my water broke, but, now I wasn't so sure. I got dressed while Ben was getting ready and called our friend to let her know (thank God for friends you can trust with your kids when you go into labor.) We decided to go ahead and take the kids and then go to the hospital and get through all of the paperwork.

The timing was perfect, Ben's alarm was set to get up and go to work just a few minutes after my water broke, if it had broken any later, he'd have probably been gone and had to drive back. It was a good day for him to be off, and happened where he was able to be with me three days and get the weekend in the middle of that as well. It was good timing for the kids to go to someone's house at the beginning of the day where they could go back to bed and everyone start on a sort of normal schedule. Our friend's car was in the shop at this time also, so not being in an emergency to get the kids there before going to the hospital was a blessing.

At the hospital there were so many ways I could see answered prayers. There were a million little ways every decision could have gone a completely different way and I could have been forced into something like induction, Cesarian, shots or other medications, and it didn't happen. I was able to refuse everything and sign waivers, not really what you want to deal with in labor, but much better than having no choice. The more nervous midwife who was having trouble letting me walk around and labor in peace went off shift and was replaced with a much more relaxed one. The doctors left me alone to labor for the most part except for a few instances and I was able to do it within the hospital's 6-12 hour policy for after water breaks. (Elias' labor was much longer than 6 hours, Ezra's was almost 6 exactly.)

Ezra was born at 10:45 a.m. and was 7 lbs, 12 oz and 19 inches long.

We practiced nursing all evening and he did really well… and apparently had at least 3 diaper’s full of green goo to show for it. I didn’t have the intense shaking like after Elias, just a little bit. The next day the pediatrician said Ezra was OK to go. The doctor released me as well, so 24 hours after delivering him, we were leaving. (The nurses acted surprised by that, but I’m not sure why.) I just know I felt like I was escaping jail as I left and the relief of not having anything else to refuse was intense. Recovery has been much easier than with either of my other births, and I'm so thankful for that.

So, now I have had a medicated, vaginal hospital birth with Talia, a natural homebirth with Elias and an unmedicated, vaginal hospital birth with Ezra. If given the choice, I would choose a homebirth again without hesitation. I’m thankful that this one went as well as it did and I'm so thankful for many answered prayers.   

Ezra is healthily beautiful and tiny (after being with Elias) and full of grins and cute noises.We're so happy to welcome him to our family!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pregnancy and the Mirage of Control

There are several ways this third pregnancy has been different from my first two. The biggest difference has been the constant contractions from early on, that have gradually intensified the further along I've gotten. Many of the other differences are mental things compounded by our location.

The hardest part of this pregnancy,  in addition to being away from friends and family and especially my midwife, is how the nature of pregnancy has so much of it out of my control: I can’t be sure I will go into labor when Ben is home, I can’t be sure that I can give birth without complications, my preferred method of birth (out of a hospital) is illegal here... Nothing that I feel responsible for is really within my control- which are reasons that were true with the first two, but being surrounded by a network of people I trusted made that easier. This time I can’t even take care of my own kids well when I go into labor, and this was the part that made me feel the most desperate.  I’m thankful that God has provided someone I feel I can trust  with my kids (which, trust is also hard to do) long enough to have this new one. With that major concern out of the way, there are only a dozen others to constantly give back to the one with ultimate control. I’m having to learn a lot about letting go and realizing that my "control" is really a mirage to begin with and that God really does order our steps if we let Him, even when everything feels so wrong and I would do it all a completely different way if I possibly could. I can’t have this baby at home, though (unless he just comes really fast, but still going for a completely natural birth, supposedly made easier in the British model approach to maternity care in this hospital...) I can’t change my location and I’m not in charge of the timing of the birth of this baby ultimately.

I've been pregnant the whole time we've been in Ruwais, since we first moved in here in October, so after the major hot months coming up (right after the baby is due,) I'm looking forward to getting back into running and other physical things. As with Elias, I haven't even reached my pre-pregnancy weight that I had with Talia though I'm in my 39th week now, and that's something that reminds me that though there may be many things I can't control, the things that I can, do make a difference.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Making Popsicles

As the temperature has started creeping up again, we've been enjoying making popsicles.

They're pretty simple: We started with two ripe bananas.
Added a cup of plain yogurt.
And some blueberries that we found for a decent price at the mall, YAY!
Poured it into some (sorta small) silicone molds and froze it.

Elias was apparently paying close attention because when those were gone he tried to make his own before I found him in the kitchen with the hot cocoa mix (left from introducing "winter" traditions)  trying to make chocolate popsicles:
We did make chocolate ones, with the same ingredients plus the addition of two tablespoons of this drinking chocolate mixture. It's probably better this way than as hot chocolate in this weather, after all.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Playing with Colors

Things for kids to do here include driving to the beach, going to the park, going to the Lady's Club which has an inside swing set and toys, going to the mall, going to a friend's house, mostly things that involve a car or walking a ways. We usually walk everywhere with no problem, but the further into the third trimester that I get, the more contractions this causes, so after homeschooling, at-home activities have included a lot of reading, making cards and letters to mail family, spraying the gardens, building with blocks, puzzles and a lot of art. Talia and Elias especially like playing with colors. So far we've been....

Finger painting:
Drawing: (Here, a girl running away from an apple tree because they apples were falling on her head.)
Making Papi and "I love you" card that's supposed to be a fox made out of hearts:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gardening in the Desert: Tomatoes

Living in a place with a small patch of dirt instead of an apartment means we have enough room to grow something, especially in the "winter," which is really the best growing season for many things, like tomatoes.
The kids like helping water the plants with their spray bottles (and it keeps them occupied for a long time and can be a cooler activity in hot weather because it usually doesn't stay aimed at the plants...)
The tomato plants have gotten really big!
Here is our first tomato: