Archive for the ‘waiting for baby’ Category

joyous news, such love

November 8, 2011

Today my son and daughter-in-law put aside their fears of miscarriage. Baby is 10+ weeks and developing perfectly normally. Such joy, such love, such a tiny little one, who has no idea how much she is already loved and cherished.

I feel it is a girl. For all mine & all my grandkids so far, I’ve always been right, even before ultrasound days, & with my daughter who never wants to know until the birth. Usually I never guess this early, but this one has ALWAYS been girl. If it changes, then it changes. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, it doesn’t matter. But this one is STRONG GIRL. That’s just how I feel.

hi Mommy hi Daddy


my kids are raised

June 11, 2010

June 11th, spent most of the day with Leah, Naylah and Zakiah at a Life and Science museum in Durham. It was amaszingly hands on for kids with tons of stuff to do and learn. For example, a wind park with large toy sailboats you could “drive” — operate remotely– from the side of the pond; giant “seeds” that went 20 feet into the air on a conveyor belt and then swirled down for kids to catch them; a dinosaur walk in the woods with replicas of dinosaurs around every corner; a huge “sand box” play area; a place to take sticks and beat loudly on drums, xylophones and tympany drums; and many other things. Naylah spent most of the time in the snugli and sometimes in the stroller. Leah could stop to nurse her whenever needed. We were all tired by the time we left. After watching many parents with small children, it suddenly occurred to me how HAPPY I am that my kids are raised!! Praise God, all that they are going through I made it through. I’ve done my parenting bit. All the exhausted nights, children’s classes, saying prayers and brushing teeth at bedtime, all done. We made lots of mistakes along the way, some of them pretty terrible. But our kids are all amazingly doing okay.

I have 2 more days here. Then I take Zakiah back to our house for this next week, returning on the weekend with my husband again. I feel sad that my 24/7 time here is about up. But everyone will go on with their lives and get used to these new stages we are in. And as grandparents, we are closer this time than when Zakiah was born. Naylah will know us and miss us when we go home, more than Zakiah did before he was 2.


June 6, 2010

Took Zakiah to the Mall this morning. Zakiah wakes up asking you to play baseball with him. He is awake and 1st thing, ready to go. He would not stop to eat breakfast but would bounce outside and start playing, if he were allowed to. It is hard to explain to him that Grandma’s aren’t quite the same. We awake, take a while to sit up in bed, slowly get out of bed, take an hour to drink coffee, have a little breakfast and get awake and ready for our day! I will miss Zakiah’s energy, even though I look forward to more time of my own in the future. The transition will be really hard now, since I will have been here nearly a month by the time I go home. Sad to think about right now. Zakiah is so used to waking up with Grandma in a bed next to him. “Dwama, wet’s pway.”  (Grandma, let’s play.)

So we spent 4 hours at the Mall, where he played in a kid’s play area (2 different times), we bought a few girly outfits for Naylah, ate in a food court, and then another 40 mins. in an outdoor area where water fountains sprayed intermittently while kids ran around and through them. By the time we got home, he was exhausted and slept for 2 hours +.

attending a birth

June 5, 2010

I feel a poem coming on about the total strength of a woman giving birth. If you ever have the opportunity to witness a birth, JUST DO IT. There is something sacred and all-encompassing amazing about witnessing such a totally awesome event. At this one, I sat back and watched, observing, as I was there for Zakiah, the big brother. We were being very quiet in the last few minutes before, which is when we came in.

Watching my own daughter giving birth to a granddaughter is something indescribable. Daddy Jean did an excellent job as well. As the baby descended down the birth canal, they were the most extreme, intense, but controlled moments imaginable. The two midwives coached, supported, spoke encouraging words, and told her when to stop pushing and allow her own body to stretch. They said, “There is no rush.” Indeed, what an amazing thing to say at that time, but it was true. The mother in those last moments can become confused and need wise coaching. She forgets, and needs to be told to take a deep breath, to breathe. She needs to hear she is doing beautifully, that they can see her baby’s head descending. It is the most amazing time. I remain firmly convinced that, given the encouragement, any mother can do a natural childbirth, and it is less likely to lead to complications. All this intervention stuff adds to the complexity of things going on, and leads to more problems! These problems can come from the mother not feeling a dang thing and not knowing even when she is having a contraction, not knowing when to push, when to relax. Problems also come from baby receiving unnecessary drugs. I fully support the mother, as she needs to do what she is comfortable with, but if doctors could remember that they are usually only catching the  baby, and it is a natural process that happens on its own, things would be much better for mother AND baby. I also am convinced that women understand women, and there is a wisdom in midwives helping a mother through birth. However, a woman wants her partner with her also, the person she loves the most, the one she made the baby with. They should share that event. His presence is invaluable as well.

When this chance comes up for you, do not hesitate— just GO, you will not regret it for one moment.

1 day old

June 4, 2010

Baby has arrived!!

June 3, 2010

Baby arrived at 6:49am this morning. Will write more later– 6 lbs., 5 oz., 19 inches, no complications, beautiful birth.

Grandma was holding Zakiah and came in just before birth, sitting some distance away. Zakiah started tearing up so Grandma walked out with him to reassure him, and the next contractions brought the baby! We came right back in. We were all excited she was a little girl.

Naylah Chemutai Justina Ruto

I forget what Naylah means…

Chemutai: Kenyan middle name for ” born in early hours of the morning”. All girl middle names start with Che.

Justina for Jean’s mother

Contractions woke Leah up around 1am, they woke me up at 3am, we left shortly before 4am, arrived at birthing center around 4:45, baby was born 2 hours later. Zakiah woke up at 4 and was up until just now, when he is going down for a nap, 1pm. Zakiah got his big brother present, a baseball and bat.


June 2nd update

June 2, 2010

Leah and Jean left for the Birthing Center appt. She’s having light contractions and has been all through the night. We will see what the midwives say about dilation. Leah is hoping, we all are hoping, but we have to be resigned to the will of a higher power than ourselves. Whether you see that as nature or God, it is definitely somewhat beyond our own control. This baby will be born and these last 2 weeks will soon become a distant memory of waiting.

I will pick up Zakiah at 12:30 & either bring him home for a nap, or go toward where they are, depending on what is happening by that time. At this point, I am resigned to whatever, I just feel for Leah, who has been feeling these contractions on and off for days now. It is hard to wait for a baby.

2:00 update: We do not yet know if Leah is coming back home, or if things may intensify. Still waiting.

7pm update: They came back home. Still light contractions, everything set and 4cm. If the baby’s head gets any lower, it will be coming out. There is no way this can go on much longer. She’s still feeling light contractions, what a pain….

Zakiah: “Dwama, did you ever hear of a game, you put water in bawoons and then you fwow dem, and water fwashes out?”

Zakiah had 3 hours of down time today and never fell asleep. His momma quit taking naps at age 3.

10pm update: We’re going to bed, light contractions still going on here. Leah will be so glad when she doesn’t have to worry about them anymore! It’s been so long since I came here, 10 days now.

our 4 births

June 2, 2010

While waiting, I remember our 4 different births. Two were in a hospital with a doctor, two were home births, meaning, at home. Our first was a typical first, we didn’t know what we were doing. As soon as contractions were regular, we rushed to the hospital, excited, only to wait there for 15 hours, hooked up to a heart monitor almost the entire time. Our doctor had one very important PLUS: He did the Leboyer birth, really believed in it. Lights were turned down, it was a little after 5pm, sounds were kept to a minimum, we spoke in quiet voices, no spotlight was placed on the baby when it was being born, and directly after birth, Jasmine was placed into a small baby bath right at my bedside. She opened her eyes and was very calm. Al held her in the bath while I watched. I nursed her once or twice, and was then banned from nursing her, as she had “possible ABO incompatibility jaundice” which we later found out never even developed. They just stopped the nursing just in case it might develop. I had O+ blood and Jasmine had A+. No big deal. I pumped and poured the colostrum and milk down the sink. On the 5th day, we all went home. Jasmine was now used to hospital bottles and had to start nursing all over again. She would cry until she got a bottle and then go to sleep. So I got rid of all bottles in the house. I realized my only chance to be a nursing mom was to get rid of them. We did fine.

Leah’s was very different. We went to the same doctor but got his partner, who was totally an interventionist. Even so, in those days, epidurals were unheard of, and CERTAINLY NOT routine. We had learned from the first time, so took hours getting to the hospital. Once there we discovered we were very near birth, and were only in the hospital for less than 2 hours before she was born. With all that, the doctor still managed to do his routine intervention, which was totally unnecessary: an internal fetal heart monitor. What this is, is a tiny screw which the doctor literally takes up the birth canal and screws into the top of the baby’s scalp. She kicked me when it was inserted — I know she felt it! This is then attached to a machine on the outside. There is absolutely no reason for it to be routine. It was just one of those technology-driven interventions doctors love. He also kept threatening to tie down my hands if I happened to reach to touch my baby as it was being born (a natural thing mothers tend to do). He was all about sterile technique. That’s fine for surgery, but not as necessary in a hospital birthing room. We stayed one night and went home. Leah’s birth picture looks like a bruised face baby, I think because she came out so fast!

Jamal was our 1st home birth. Birth is natural and without unnecessary intervention, usually goes quite well without complications. Midwife Carolyn Regnier attended. I think a dosen or so people were there. About 1am Al and I took a walk around the block to speed things up. I started puking on the street. 🙂  We had baby doll presents for our girls for when the baby was born, and people to attend to them. They were in the room when their brother was born. I think I was such a calm mother in labor that this worked.

Levin was our last, also a home birth. Midwife Pat Schwaiger attended. Also there were Molly Witt and Shirley Morris who cooked for everyone there and helped w/ the kids. Molly was moved to write a poem about the event, called “Peaceful Thomas”. I think maybe my sister was there too, I don’t remember. And Lorene Hunt. By the time I was finally ready for the actual birth, the contractions were so strong, I could not move off the living room couch, so they spread everything out underneath me, and that is where Levin was  born. His cord was actually wrapped around his neck 3X and the midwives had to unwrap it carefully, before the final moments. They are extremely skilled and know what they are doing. We were 3 blocks from a hospital in case of emergency. This midwife called me “the woman who births alone”, but actually, I knew my husband’s presence and wanted him there the whole time.

And those were our four births.

June 1st baby update

June 1, 2010

June 1st, Tuesday morning. Zakiah just went to school. Raining here, which for now, is cooling things off. Sun did not come into my window this morning. Had a nice visit w/ my husband yesterday, now he and Levin went back home. Leah had light contractions yesterday, which slowed to a stop again last evening. You have to just greet each day as a fine day and let nature take its own course.

9pm: I bought Leah & Jean a used baby swing that actually matches another baby furniture thing they had, thru Craig’s list today. It was a good buy & will give them something to lay the  baby in downstairs. Their baby bed is upstairs.

Playing hide and seek with Zakiah goes like this:

“Grandma, COUNT 1 to 10!”

“Okay, 1-2- etc.” 

If we’re outside, I see Zakiah running from behind one tree to another. If we’re inside, it’s “Grandma, I’m on the couch!” then raising his head to see me, & hysterical laughter.

Leah & Jean have an appt. at the Birthing Center tomorrow, for which they were told to bring “all their stuff” and they might try castor oil. Not sure what they think that will do that quickly, but anyway, they will go and I will pick up Zakiah from school and bring him home for a nap, depending on what’s happening or not happening ……Below is Zakiah with magnolia tree bloom.

May 31st baby update

May 31, 2010

Here it is May 31st! We only have today to make my prediction come true, that this was going to be a May baby. All I have to say is, from all appearances, BOY WAS I WRONG!

Who would’ve thought, with contractions and  being 3-4cm a week and a half ago, here we would still be. Nature and babies have a mind of their own.

My husband and son are coming to see us today. We have rarely been separated in our 38 yrs. of marriage. This stint here will be one of the longest, I think, because after baby comes I will still be here awhile. That was the whole point.

// 8pm update: Al & Levin came, took a walk around Shelly Lake, got caught in a downpour, grilled chicken & veggies, put Zakiah to bed, everyone in this house is now asleep except for me! And Leah has been having light contractions all afternoon. . . –? Not sure if they are still going.