15 March 2012

The Birth Story (the short version)

This is the short version of our baby adventure.  If you're interested in the long version, check back later today or tomorrow, when I'll have edited the five page Word document I just wrote into something more manageable and more generally interesting.

So here's the version I dedicate to Mike P and Josh C, whose attention spans would never, ever make it through what I plan to post tomorrow, although all the mamas and grandmamas out there who have been following every FB status update will appreciate the rich detail of tomorrow's version.

What I didn't want:
  • C-section, because why have major surgery if it can be avoided?
  • Induction, because it so often leads to escalating pain and medical intervention
  • Pain meds, not trying to be a hero, but I wanted to be fully alert when our son entered the world
What I did want:
  • A healthy baby, period
  • God's timing for the baby to come, no matter how excrutiating the wait (and it was!)
  • Peace in the journey, without feeling pressured to make decisions for myself or the baby that we weren't at peace about
We traveled up to Kijabe Hospital (about an hour from Nairobi) on 11th February, with a due date of 14th February on the calendar.  That day came and went with no baby, then starting on the 17th I had mild contractions for about 14 hours, so we went to the hospital, only to have the contractions stop and we went back to the guest house where we were staying.  A few more times I had those mild contractions, but they never went anywhere.  By the 24th we were under pressure from a European OB/GYN at the hospital to induce, because the baby was "post-term" and "potentially at risk of complications."  Additionally, Fred had to leave for a conference in Rwanda the next day, so there was a possibility that if we induced, he could be there for the birth, or we could induce and it could take ages still, and he might have to leave in the middle of labor.  We decided to just keep waiting for God's timing and plan.  On the 2nd of March my American midwife friend brought some herbal supplements meant to naturally encourage labor, but they didn't work.  (Probably because, subconsciously, I was refusing to have the baby without Fred there.)  Fred arrived back on the date we had agreed to go to the hospital for medical induction.  I was three weeks "overdue" and that same doctor was pretty upset with me, although I think the African midwives weren't too fussed over it.  As we waited for them to administer the induction drugs, labor started naturally, and 13 hours later, we had a baby!  It was pretty close to everything we'd hoped for: natural timing, natural delivery, no drugs, as much peace as can be expected given the pain, and a beautiful, healthy baby boy!
Samuel Wesley Otieno, five days old
(If you want sarcastic comments and funny anecdotes from the experience, you'll have to invest in the mega post coming later.)

1 comment:

Anneb said...

He has beautiful bright eyes....!!! YEah for baby Sam!!!! And yeah for Fred and Leisha!!!! I am so excited!!!