Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Zariyah Toa Allen

Zariyah Toa Allen
Born at home on 5/8/12
at 6:46pm
7 lbs 1.5 oz 19.5 inches


Zariyah's birth story:
I had been having contractions through the week...  I think the first painful one that I had was on Wednesday May 2nd, but it was just one contraction and done.  I think I had another one a couple days later too...  Then I started having a couple a day and so on.  It was odd to me because with the boys, I had braxton hicks throughout the pregnancy, but I definitely didn't have labor contractions until labor started.  So Sunday May 6th we got up early to meet Nathan's parents at the Bellingham airport.  They were returning from their 4 month stay in American Samoa.  After that we went to breakfast with the family and then to church.  At church, worship began and so did my contractions.  I had about three painful ones during the 30 minute worship set.  I started wondering if my body was ready...  They stopped after that and returned that afternoon while eating at a family BBQ.   Once everyone went home, they got closer together.  Probably consistently 30 minutes apart and then closer... 15 minutes apart and in the evening after putting the boys to bed I was timing them at about 10 minutes apart for a couple hours.  We got excited!  We made sure we had everything ready just in case she came that night...  and as soon as I got in bed, they stopped.  I noticed right away and was upset.  I know that so many woman go through false labor, but I didn't think that false labor contractions acted so similar to "real" ones.  I prayed about it and went to sleep.  I woke up around 4:30 with very painful contractions for about an hour and a half.  Then they stopped and I went back to sleep.  I got up around 8 frustrated with my lack of labor and decided to go for a walk around Lake Padden with Keturah. We got to Padden and immediately, Isaiah did a huge poop in his diaper.  We were strapped for time because Keturah had to be at work soon.  I started changing his diaper only to realize that I was so distracted that I forgot to bring diapers! I decided to just put his pants on him and put a waterproof pad in the stroller and walk anyways.  I needed labor to start and I needed to be outside!  I had already told Zeke that we could play in the play area for a bit so we had to try to fit that in too...  once we got to the play area, Isaiah had wet himself.  I felt sooo bad for him!  It was totally a bad mom moment...  I know.  I let Ezekiel play for about 5 minutes and then explained to him that Isaiah was uncomfortable and we needed to go home. While that was going on we talked the whole 2.6 miles about my frustration, what God was trying to teach me through allowing me to go through this pain and frustration.  I realized that I already knew what he was doing.  I needed to change my perspective and start worshipping him through trials instead of whining about it.  During and after the walk the contractions where strong, but probably only 30 minutes apart.  I had to stop through a few of them or pause conversation to focus at some points.
I went home and they continued to be about 30 minutes apart.  They stopped for a couple hours in the afternoon and then picked up again a little bit when we went to a friend's house for dinner.  We had such a nice time with them and I was trying the whole time to just focus on enjoying that time rather than allowing my frustration with the "false labor" to carry on.  Once we got home, they hit hard again and were much more painful than before.  Nathan put the boys to bed while I laid on the bed trying not to cry as the contractions came and went.
I talked to Nathan a bit that night, but it was frustrating for him too.  How could a guy really understand  the frustration of false contractions when they have no idea how they feel?  He really did a great job trying to be understanding, but it was difficult for both of us to know how to deal with it.  We went to sleep and I had a few contractions.  I don't remember any waking me in the night.  So Tuesday I woke up to contractions around 7am when the boys woke up. Nate was getting ready for work and running a little late.  He was trying to help me get set up for the day knowing that I was exhausted and in pain.  by the time he was ready to leave, I was beside myself.  I was in almost constant pain at this point even between contractions because the muscles were so exhausted from the "false labor" I begged Nathan to stay home from work because I didn't want to be alone with the boys in that state of labor.  I felt irritable and didn't know how I would survive the day without snapping at the boys constantly just for being kids or needing me for something.  I needed him to be home.  Finally he got it and walked out of the room and called his boss to let him know he wouldn't be coming in that day.  Thank God!!! I laid in bed all day!  I continued having painful contractions and Nate would come in to sit with me, rub my back or just listen to me in my frustration.  They were still inconsistent at this point... between 30-18 minutes apart.  But painful.  I was really having a hard time though them.  At around 3pm Nate prayed with me.  He sat on the bed and rubbed my arm while I relaxed against him.  I was focusing so hard on relaxing my body that he thought I was sleeping during his prayer.  My husband's prayers are amazing, but when he doesn't think anyone is listening... They are even more amazing.  I am so thankful to have such an amazing man of God as my husband and friend.  As he was finishing his prayer a song came on pandora by Jesus Culture from the album Come Away called My Soul Longs.  It caught my ear and I started singing it in my head:  Let it rain, let it rain.  after I sang it through, I immediately had my most painful contraction.  Then 18 minutes later had another one after continuing to sing to myself.  I felt at that point like God had given me a war cry.  It was my inspiration to carry on and finish what was started.  I got up and the contractions stopped.  I used the bathroom and came out feeling frustrated that the contractions stopped, but announced to Nate that I thought we needed to just call the midwife, Ann, to let her know what had been going on the past few days.  He agreed so I called and explained that I knew that I wasn't in "active labor", but felt like something was happening.  Since my birth with Isaiah happened so quickly, Ann wanted me to come in to check dilation quickly before she had an appointment at 5.  So I jumped in the shower and then Nate and the boys brought me to her office.  I went in by myself at about 4:35.  She checked my dilation and got a strange look and said that I was dilated to a 5!!!  When I went into labor with Ezekiel, I was dilated to a 2 and with Isaiah it was 0.  I was shocked and so relieved that I was actually making progress and that the baby could actually make her appearance soon!  Ann asked if she could strip my membranes and I agreed.  She said that if that didn't send me into labor, she wanted to discuss breaking my water  because walking around at 5 centimeters dilated in my case meant that I could go into labor and have my baby anywhere... driving, at the grocery store, alone with the boys...  anything so I told her that I would talk to Nate about that and that she could call after her 5pm meeting.  I got in the car and told Nate what happened.  I felt such relief that something was actually happening!  I had my first contraction on alabama st on the way home.  The second one when we parked the car and the third one on our door step.  I had a feeling it was actually happening.  I timed the contractions for about 30 minutes and they were consistently 3 minutes apart lasting 45 seconds to a minute.  Nathan called an and told her that what was happening reminded him of what happened last time (while in labor with Isaiah) and asked her to come.  Then called Abby who was at work so he called Jesse and he came to pick up the boys.  They were soooo excited! as you can see!!

while they were waiting for Uncle Jesse to pick them up, they started getting concerned for me as my labor was getting more intense.  Between contractions I was explaining to Zeke how the bones in my body had to move to make room for his sister to come out.  Below I was telling him how her head would pop through and then her shoulders...  He thought it was hysterical. I on the other hand was having a hard time thinking about what was to come!


Jesse and our midwife Ann got here at about the same time.  I continued laboring and as it got more intense, focus got more intense too.  This is my mid-contraction focus face.

I was laboring in my room on my knees with arms up on the bed for a while, but once the boys were gone and things quieted down, my body needed to have something lower to lean on.  I moved to the living room so I could lean on the couch.  Ann and her assistant were sitting in the corner talking quietly and Nate sat on the couch talking with me while I went through it.  He was encouraging me, telling me how good I was doing and giving me kisses and rubbed my hands.  He is such an amazing birth partner.  I could not believe how amazing he was.  Every labor and delivery he has been amazing, but it still makes me love him more and more every time.  He is such a blessing.

Suddenly things started changing... first of all... I'm sure all of you want to know this...  I totally started to notice that I had some intense body odor.  In between contractions I actually said "I stink!!"  I needed to use some deodorant stat! Which was odd because I usually don't stink.  I haven't used any deodorant in maybe 3.5 years?  sick.  Anyways, I was getting closer and closer and then my water broke and I made a comment about how I felt what I thought was her face moving back and forth and then she entered the birth canal!  Transition started and I felt every bit of her body moving through.  Man!  I think that was the most painful of my three labors.  Once I started pushing I think I may have pushed for 10 minutes...  It could have been 5.  I know that part always seems like an eternity.  When she reached the "ring of fire" I heard/felt a pop and thought that I had torn big time! Her head was out and then her shoulders... They hurt worse or the same as her head! I found out later that she had her little fist right up next to her chin as she was coming through the birth canal. Silly girl. Once her body was out I felt almost immediate relief.  I felt my body going back to some sort of normal and almost forgot that she was still attached to me and we had the placenta to deliver too.  I rested for a brief second and they passed her up to me.  I sat back on my knees expecting excrusiating pain from my tear, but I felt no pain.  It was odd....  Then they asked me to spin around and lean on the couch so we could deliver the placenta and as I tried to sit, I couldn't sit straight.  It wasn't until the next morning at the chiropractors office that I discovered that I may have broken my tail bone during delivery, which would explain the pop and I didn't tear which I am incredibly thankful for.
When they put her in my arms I was so taken back by how beautiful she was.  She had a full head of dark brown hair and beautiful little eyes, ears, lips, nose and cheeks! I instantly fell in love with our little baby girl!  So in all, once the midwife got to our house we had her about 45 minutes later.  It was fast, but also felt like an eternity!

This was as soon as I turned around.  She was still attached!  The placenta took it's merry time to deliver. :)

Zariyah is a great nurser and is growing and changing so fast.  It really is amazing how fast things change.  She went down to 6lbs 14oz the first few days but at two weeks was back up to 7lbs 5.5oz.  She is growing and changing and super strong!  Her eyes are stunning! They are three distinct shades of blue like a rainbow.  Light in the center then a ring of medium blue and then a dark ring around the edge.  I can't wait to see what color they settle into. 

Nathan's first time holding his daughter
Look at that hair!
The boys got to see her the next morning.  This was their first time meeting their sweet baby sister.

Isaiah was so eager to hold her.  He kept saying "me? me? hold, baby?" So cute and of course lots and lots of kisses! He is such a great big brother!
Zeke was a little more unsure of her.  He loved her from a distance but has since warmed up quite well.  He is a great big brother!


We are so thankful to God for blessing us with the most perfect children.  We love them in every way and we consider ourselves blessed beyond belief. 
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