Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grayson Mikah Mortensen

Our sweet little Grayson was born on Wednesday, September 15th at 5:31 p.m. He weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and was 20 inches long. He is the spitting image of his big brother. So far, he is a pretty calm and good natured baby. I am relishing this tiny stage so much because I know now that it goes by SO fast. Sawyer is almost two years old. With Sawyer, I was always so anxious for the next stage that I didn't always take it all in. Right now, I just want time to stand still for awhile.

The big brother is adjusting pretty well so far. He really likes the baby and gives lots of kisses. The only problem so far is that Sawyer has laid claim to all of the blankets in the house. If they were here before the baby, they are Sawyer's blankets. We have to be careful if we put the baby on one if these precious blankets, otherwise, Sawyer will try to steal it from under him. Sawyer is not too fond of me right now; I am the traitor. He has grandmas and grandpas to keep him company until he finds the love again:)

The birth experience was pretty amazing and totally crazy at the same time. My contractions started at about 4:30 a.m. I could not sleep but I just tried to relax and get as much rest as I could. I woke up Nate at about 6:30 and told him I was pretty sure that I was in labor. I started keeping track and my contractions were about 6 minutes apart. We called the families so they could get on their way, and we just went on with our morning. I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible, because I felt that it would help me to go natural if I could labor at home through the majority. I just packed, and cleaned and prepared that last few things, just pausing to breath through the contractions. Nate kept telling me to sit down and relax, but staying busy helped to distract me and forget about the contractions. We were trying to make it to 11 at home, because my little brother Nick had an exam until then and we needed a babysitter. I hadn't arranged for a babysitter to watch Sawyer because this was a few weeks early. I am sure any of my friends would have done it at the last minute, but it was just easier to keep Sawyer home if we could. It started getting a little unnerving, because at 10 my contractions were consistently 3 minutes apart. They hadn't gotten any closer through that hour, so Nick got there at 11:10 and we rushed to the hospital. Of course, I still had a long ways to go...but it felt better to be safe than sorry.

I got to the hospital and at noon I was dilated to a 5 and nearly 100% effaced. Things sort of progressed slowly for awhile. By 3:00 I was dilated to a 6, and by 4:00 I was dilated to a 7. The pain was definitely getting pretty intense by this time, but I was managing it well and felt totally in control.

They had been asking to break my water for several hours, and I finally decided to let them after 4:00. I should have known what I was in for. The nurse said that she thought it would go pretty fast because I was totally effaced and once the water broke then his head would drop and make me dilate quick. Bam...it was on! Once the water broke, the contractions kicked into overdrive. The next hour and fifteen minutes are a blur. The silent, calm, hypnobirthing techniques went out the door; I went primal. I remember trying to rip out Nate's hair, clawing, grasping, screaming....pain I cannot comprehend. Nate later told me that he didn't know that person and did not ever want to see her again. Towards the end, I knew it had to be coming soon. They kept telling me that I was 9.5 and had to dilate a little more. My nurse was this sweet lady that sounded exactly like Mrs. Doubtfire and she would say "alright deary...you need to stop pushing...just breath"...and I would yell back "I CAN'T STOP." They finally decided to look between the legs and there was a collective gasp in the room. Nate told me I had made it and I was almost there, and those were welcome words. My doctor was not there yet and the nurses were frantically trying to put on gloves and call in the on call doctor. I had been pushing whether they liked it or not, and after they finally gave me the go ahead to give it everything, it took one push for the head, and one more push for the body. The doctor made it in just in time for the body.
After the insanity they handed me the baby, and it was the most amazing, empowering, emotional experience that I think I have ever had. This is something that I really wanted to do for myself, and for the baby. For me, it was a rite of passage, and a true test of will and strength. I can't yet say with any certainty that I would sign up for that again; I need a little time and distance. I can say that I am really grateful to have made it through, and for the amazing little life that has blessed our lives.