The Perfect Baby

Posted in Monthly at 8:49 pm by Pasha

By Pasha Holiday

Eager and Excited. Exhausted and Curious. Proud and Powerful. Relieved and In love.

My emotions on the day Decker Stills Krise was born were all over the board. I was overwhelmed, uncomfortable and just so unbelievably ready to meet the little person that had grown inside of me for 10 and a half months. The 24 hours that it took for him to reach the world beyond my belly was the experience of a lifetime, giving birth to my first born was beyond wonderment.

When I woke up with contractions at 1 a.m. I knew it was finally time for the little one to make its journey to the outside world. I waited the proper hour before waking my husband, who had been patient for the 15 days in which I was overdue. We worked a couple of the contractions together, three minutes apart, lasting about 30 seconds each. At around 2:30 or three in the morning we woke my mother; a midwife and uber-experienced birth coach, to let her know that it was finally showtime. She had been waiting for the baby for three weeks, too. Our anticipation was her anticipation!

My momma and Matthew kicked it into high-gear, getting our guest bedroom ready for our home-birth. They pumped air into our Eco Birth Pool in a Box and spread shower curtains over the mattress, in between two sets of soft, worn sheets. Soon, the room where I usually dressed and used as my woman-cave, was transformed into a warm and inviting birth-space. My husband and I laid in the bed and took a short nap, the only kind that contractions permit.

By 8 a.m. we were up again, letting everyone know via text message that the baby was finally on its way! We called our midwife, Hillary, thinking that the baby would come by early afternoon. Hillary told us to relax, that we had many hours to go before we were in “hard labor.” She said, “Pasha sounds too chipper for you to be close!” It sounded bogus to me, the contractions were definitely already intense. However, that old experience being the marker of truth was correct, we were no where near the little one’s birth.

I breathed through contractions for the next 10 hours. The entire time I just wanted to be in water, to get into the birth tub, to start the serious birth labor! I leaned on my mother, thankful for each moment she was there, for every cramp she walked through with me. She made me peanut butter and jelly and a glass of milk for lunch. She held my hair when I got sick. She was a great birth partner and perfect mother. Matthew took an afternoon nap and then stayed jacked up on coffee. He tried to fill the tub using an old hose and then waited for Home Depot to open to purchase a new, sterile hose when that idea was rejected. He was the nervous Daddy-in-waiting!

The midwives, Hillary and Tera, got to my house around 5 p.m. They shared midwife “war stories” with my mother for a couple of hours and by eight that night the contractions were one on top of the other. I begged to fill the tub and get into it. Finally I got the green light. Exhilarated and excited, I stripped off my remaining clothes and hopped in to the kiddie-pool-look-alike tub.

For the next three hours I labored in hypnotic peace. Hokey and granola-sounding, I know. But once I had soothing music in my ears, warm water surrounding me and I relaxed and started to concentrate, I felt the best I had all day. It was the calm before the storm, for sure.

I asked when I could start pushing and soon after the midwives (all three of them) began to prep for the birth. Later, I found out my sister, Sunshine, had advised waiting to push until I absolutely could not not push. Hindsight being 20/20, I think I started to push a little early. For about 30 minutes I pushed, visualizing the baby in the birth canal, being as zen as possible. Hillary soon recognized that the work was not bringing the baby as far as it should, she checked me and determined there was a lip left on my cervix. They asked if I could walk the stairs, ensuring that would eliminate the lip and allow the baby to move down. With all the pep of a woman who has been in labor for 20-plus hours, I jumped up and out and forged the staircase. It worked and the baby was clear for landing!

During the following two hours I pushed my body to limits I never thought possible. I worked in so many varied positions that I might have well gotten my acrobat certification after that. As I breathed as best as I could, mostly producing huffs and puffs, I prayed, “Jesus, please give me the strength’” And I knew then why women in hospitals have epidurals and c-sections. Those two hours were the hardest, most demanding strain that I have ever put on my body. When the crew finally told me they could see the baby’s head, I was stricken with relief.

Slowly, I brought Decker Stills into the world at 12:53 on January 15, 2011. The final 10 minutes were not rushed or hurried, instead, they were calm and progressive. Maybe it was because of the water, or the perineum massage preparation in the weeks before his birth, but I experienced no “Ring of Fire” and the actual passing of the baby from my body was a little more than uncomfortable. I reached down after his shoulders had slowly passed from my body and pulled him from my body and out of the water and onto my chest. I nestled his body to mine, my hand cradling him under his legs and said, “Of course, he is a man!”

I spoke to my little man right away, telling him how much mommy loves him and how happy I was to have him in my arms. He let out his first cries about 20 seconds after he was on dry land. It was the most satisfying cry I have ever heard. Decker came out of the tub before I did, although I was anxious to get dried off and cleaned up. There is a certain amount of gore in the tub! Daddy held Decker, skin-to-skin on his chest just minutes after he was born.

Only about 15 minutes after giving birth, I laid in my own bed, in my own home, and nursed my new son. I was so tired. I was so elated. I was so happy that he was finally in my arms. He was the most perfect baby I had ever laid eyes upon. Decker and I relaxed for the next couple of hours while Nana cooked breakfast and the midwives and Daddy cleaned up the delivery space.

Daddy, Decker and Mommy slept together well into the morning, rising only occasionally to nurse. We gazed at Decker and marveled at the new baby that we made together.



Posted in Monthly at 8:05 am by Pasha