“Rodney helped bring the slippery new human being out of her body and into our world shortly before midnight”May 31, 2013 5:42 pm Comments Off on “Rodney helped bring the slippery new human being out of her body and into our world shortly before midnight”
Diana’s water broke early Wed AM. It was 6 days past the ‘corrected’ due date but exactly on the original and 13 is an auspicious number in our family. We decided that Rod would go to work, ready to leave when called, and that Diana’d stay home with her parents. Diana sent an “I want you” text to Rod only two hours later. Rod responded with, “Oh my gosh! We are about to have a baby!” His colleague cheered, “Go dude! Go! I’ll take care of things.” And Rod raced frantically out. Follow up text from Diana a few minutes later: No need to rush. Just want to share the overall experience with you. Rod realized, “Ah yes, our Bradley class, I was clearly in Early stage 1- excitement.” He remembered Mary Esther telling us to stay calm and conserve energy. He thought, “Thank God Diana was calm and focused to help me breathe.”
Midwife Marcy came by late morning for the first dose of IV antibiotics for Group B Strep. And contractions steadily picked up throughout the day coupled by some nausea that required the use of a city street trashcan during one of the morning walks and a bucket nearby for most of the day inside. Full team assembled by evening included Marcy, her assistant, our doula Jill, a cousin, Diana’s parents, and our photographer friend. It was quite the group. Our midwife was a bit skeptical that all those people could be helpful and mildly concerned that they’d be actually distracting from task at hand. Even Diana in what was becoming an increasingly psychedelic trance-like state was thinking, “Why did we train so many birth team assistants?” But we rarely take the logistically simple approach to major life events and so it was.
It turned out that Diana was nearly oblivious to the number of people, more cognizant of overall energy, becoming progressively very inwardly focused as we’d learned to expect. Later stage labor consisted of trying out different positions from supported squat or modified child pose on a mattress to bathroom variations to living room slow dance with Rod (see pic attached). Diana’s reflection of the experience is “Rod was my pillar, my shadow, the grand conductor or choreographer of the symphony of people present – doling out tasks, gatekeeping, and matching my vocalizations during contractions.” A hot shower with a one-handed shampoo while Diana clung to Rod with the other hand refreshed her a bit for the coming work. There were calming sounds from kitchen bustling to feed the group, to Jill or Diana’s dad alternately playing the guitar and singing softly, and quiet conversations. The hours passed so quickly.
By 9 pm, all could detect a difference in the type of sound Diana was making during contractions – signaling to everybody but her – that she was starting to push. As requested, Marcy gave Rod a rapid tutorial in how to deliver a baby and, after couple more hours of work on Diana’s part with her repeatedly telling everyone how much she loved them, Rod helped bring the slippery new human being out of her body and into our world shortly before midnight. We’ve spent the last, almost, three weeks marveling at what an amazing creature he is and what an incredible transformation of our bodies pregnancy, labor, and this subsequent time has been. We’re continuously in awe. In a sense, the psychedelic trip continues with surreal wakeful nights, an initial week-long sequestration in our apartment per strict orders from midwife, a healing body, and new frontiers of emotion. Looking forward to meeting you all again as new parents.
Diana and Rod