Friday, February 8, 2008
The Happiest Day In my Life...
Yup just settling in here at home and trying to keep track of the days, totally in the throws of early parenthood. Thank you to everyone who called and emailed, texted, myspaced, and stopped by. We appreciate all the love and support.
So as it will be written in history books to come, Micah Wahkan Sirois was born on Wednesday February 6th, 2008 at 11:53 AM. He weighed 7 lbs. 4 ounces and was 19.5 inches in length. He was born at the Pomona Valley Medical Center Hospital in Pomona, California, just minutes from where we live.
Micah is a Hebrew name meaning "like God"
Wahkan is a Native American Sioux name meaning "sacred"
Sirois is French: perhaps from sire + roi ‘king’, a form of address, comparable to an ironic ‘your majesty’
To tell the story correctly, I probably don't have to start it 9 months ago, so I will start it at the point in October when we decided to invite a Doula, named Pati into our birthing journey. A Doula is a person who is a non-medical assistant who provides physical, emotional and informed choice support in prenatal care, during childbirth and during the postpartum period. http://www.dona.org/ When I first heard of a Doula I had no idea about what they were about and I was concerned that she would take away my part in the birth, but I was truly mistaken and upon our first meeting, I was blown away by the amount of knowledge she laid out in front of us and the choices we had about the options for giving birth. She completely turned all my preconceptions about giving birth upside down and gave me a new perspective on how hospitals take away a woman's control over their birth. Thank you for opening my eyes to this wonderful journey Pati!!
Soon enough Jenn and I were on our way to finding out what kind of birth Jenn wanted to have. With all the information given to us by our Doula, we started considering the options about having a natural birth. We discussed so many topics from epidurals to episiotomies, to cesarean births, inductions, even the treatments given to the baby after he is birthed. The idea of the birth plan is to have an idea about the course of action you would prefer. We knew that all of these choices we made and plans could easily change once she was admitted and checked out by the professionals at the hospital, but a plan never hurts.
One day in December if I can remember correctly Jenn came home from work and told me about a coworker who had just given birth using a interesting method called Hypnobirthing. Now we had spoken about Lamaze and the Bradley method of breathing and birthing but we had never heard of hypnobirthing before. Jenn was so interested after the story her coworker spoke of she really wanted to find out more about it. We got the number for the hypnotherepist with thirty years experience in a birthing setting, named AnnaLynn Zinn de Vine http://www.centerforthesacredfeminine.org . When we met with AnnaLynn, I had no idea what this method was all about and I was a bit skeptical, but after minutes of hearing her speak of the approach that a hypnobirthing mother takes, I knew that Jenn had found the method that would help her bring our son into the world. Everything she said just made all the sense in the world. the basic idea, from what I came to understand about hypnobirthing, is that a woman's body knows how to give birth. If your body and mind are relaxed, you can have an easier birth with "pressure" instead of "pain" by manner of hypnosis and positive affirmations. It teaches you that if you can eliminate the fear of giving birth, you'll have less pain and a more gentle birth. AnnaLynn also taught us so much about how hospitals take away a woman's control over their birth by the use of pitocin and epidurals. She taught us how to relax the body and put the mind elsewhere so the body can do what it knows how to do. We started her class shortly after the new year and it carried us all the way to the end of Jenn's pregnancy. We practiced 2-3 times a day to get Jenn to slip easily into relaxation and hypnosis. Each session we practiced thirty- fourty minutes- a time that we plan to keep every evening for family time as we all grow together with our child. We took all the information and decided on more issues and rewrote our birthplan. Thank you for your wonderful magical teachings and knowledge AnnaLynn!!
On the last day of the Hypnobirthing class, Jenn and I went to her last Obstetrician appointment right before class. At her prior weekly visit to the Obstetrician, Jenn was already 2cm dilated and we thought we would have the baby within a day or two. She had leaked some fluid and expressed some concern to the doctor who didn't know if her water had broken or leaked and was concerned about B- Strep infection. She recommended that Jenn return later that night for an induction. Jenn was very upset because she was strongly against being induced unless it was of medical urgency. So we decided that we would attend the last hypnobirthing class where we would ask Anna Lynn and Pati for there advice.
We went to the last hypnobithing class and it was Pati's first experience with this method. We watched videos of hypnobirths and performed hypnosis on Jenn. She was instantly a believer. We discussed the dilemma and we all agreed that we would do to the delivery ward at the hospital and be checked to see if her membranes were ruptured. The nurses could not find any trace of amniotic fluid and called the doctor to report their findings. The doctor still insisted that Jenn remain at the hospital and be induced. The doctor spoke of the risk that the baby could have cerebral palsy due to a rupture of the membranes. Incredibly tired at 12 midnight and not wanting to go through hard labor exhausted, Jenn was not convinced and decided to go against the doctor's recommendations, which was an incredibly hard decision for her, she decided to go home. The next day was filled with emotion and uncertainty about making the right decision for her baby. Friends came by and phone calls from family and friends uplifted her spirits and gave support or her decision. Jenn was determined not to let the fears overcome her. Fears that her doctor created about b-strep infection, risk of cerebral palsy, and Jenn's own fears of pitocin, inductions, c-sections, epidurals would take backseat and she would wait until her baby was ready to come out when he was ready. She wouldn't let anything take away her empowerment that she worked so hard to attain for the birth of her son.
That night at 1:30 AM, Wednesday morning, Jenn's water broke and I awoke. We called Pati and we arrived at the hospital around 2:30. Jenn started laboring and feeling her surges (contractions) between 4-5 am. She was amazing to watch while laboring. Every time she had a surge, the only way to know that she was having one was by looking at the numbers that dictated the strength. I watched as the numbers went from 10 to 45, than 20 to 70, then 30 to 90, then 45 to 150 increasing with every hour of surges (contractions). With all of them up until hard labor, she looked as if she is sleeping. During her hard labor she started low moaning and heavier deeper breathing. I was there coaching her to not tense up at all and her hands were completely relaxed even minutes before she pushed the baby out. Jenn notes that she went into deep relaxation between her surges and during them, she breathed them down her body out through her feet. We had soft mellow music playing in the background and the sent of Jenn's choice permeating the room. "this place smells like a spa, this is so great." the doctor said complimenting Jenn on the atmosphere of her delivery room. The first thought I had of Jenn when she was laboring was that she was a warrior, capable of anything, and that, "Man, I love this woman so much!!"
Micah was delivered gently with no induction, no anesthesia, no c-section, no pitocin, just a whole lot of love and patience.
We want to thank everyone again for there support and love and everyone helping us out, sending gifts, and to you, for reading the story of our journey that lead us to our son Micah.
Best wishes and love,
Doug & Jenn & Micah Wahkan