Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leif's First Shower!

Just like with Sister Sephira, Leif first experience with a hot, cozy shower was much more calmly received than his first couple sponge baths. Lucky for us he lost his umbilical cord stump within 3 days so we didn't need to draw out the traumatic sponge bath experience.

Leif getting pysched for his first sponge bath!

Sephira observing...

Just not too happy about it.

Boo hoo.

Leif's first shower with Dada, 1 week old.

Leif showering with Mama, 2 weeks old.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A son is born this day!

We have finally welcomed baby boy, and brother, Leif Kohl Ericson Siverts into the family!!! He was born today, December 15th @ 8:47am, weighing in at 8 lbs 1.4 oz and measuring 20-1/4 inches with a 13-3/4 inch head. Leif was greeted into the world by Mama Effie, Dada Dirk, Sister Sephira, and Effie's parents Nana (Lee) and Papa (Cliff).

Our Labor Story
Unlike labor with Sephira, my waters broke at home (at 1:40am)! Not knowing for certain if that was what had actually occurred I waited to wake Dirk. When climbing back into bed a few minutes later, however, my waters continued to leak and Dirk woke to make sure I was alright. We continued to debate the issue, hemming and hawing, but when the water kept coming we decided YEP, it's really happened. Since our Dr. had strongly commented that she didn't want our waters to break at home, and that we had already been 4cm dilated at our 39+ week check-up two days prior, we decided it best to call her for advice. Should we rush to the hospital now or wait for contractions to start? By 2:30am we made the call, and fortunately for us, Dr. Stenshoel was already on call at the hospital - catching up on some sleep of course. She advised us to come to the hospital by 8am if nothing else happened, or immediately if contractions started, because we all knew that this labor would progress much quicker since I was already dilated.

Dirk and I both looked at each other and agreed that there was no way this was not going to happen today, so we decided to start getting ourselves ready to leave for the hospital. We changed the sheets on the bed (expecting my sister, Skye, to be driving over the pass this day), changed the cat litter, dressed in my labor friendly clothes, tidied up the kitchen, packed food snacks for us and Sephira and water bottles for the car. Hospital and diaper bags and car seats were all ready to go!

Contractions started promptly at 3:40am, however sporadically strong, hard, mild and inconsistent on timing. Some 5 minutes apart, some 2, some 10. Around 3:45am we called Effie's Mom and Dad to prepare them for the pending trip to the hospital - though timing couldn't have been "trickier" as Effie's Mom, Lee, was scheduled to be present at a legal disposition at 10:30am. How quickly would labor go? I had told Leif that if he was going to come early today, he'd need to come fast... otherwise wait until the afternoon. LOL.

At 4am we woke Sephira, who happily bundled into her Dada's arms with blanket and "snug" in tow and gladly got into the new minivan with us for the drive to the hospital. Around 4:30am we were being escorted into the elevator for the Mother and Baby Delivery Unit at Riverbend hospital. In triage they verified forms, name tags and basic health stats but decided to take my word on the water breaking (with a quick visual confirmation) and dilation based on my recent visit with Dr. Stenshoel. I was given a comfortable wheelchair escort to our delivery suite and Dirk was given a cart for hauling our armada of bags and pillows.

Nana and Papa were waiting for us in our suite when we arrived, and Sephira eagerly joined them on the settee for snacks while we settled in and got hooked up to the monitors.

None of our other support team was able to be with us as our Doula, Sarah Smith, was ill, and Auntie Skye was not able to drive over the pass with bad weather conditions. For other friends, we knew it was just too early in the morning to yet make the call, and they later appreciated us for that!

The atmosphere of the delivery room was calm and the nurses attentive. When I was first checked by Dr. Stenshoel I was already 6cm dilated. Sephira relaxed with Papa and Nana between snacking and checking on me and stealing sips of water from my nifty hospital water bottle. As contractions continued in sporadically building strength Dirk remained a constant support, always holding my hand, rubbing my back, coaching me and affirming my accomplishments! At one point during labor he was doing all these things and twirling Sephira with his free hand while she danced to Nana singing a song. Precious and priceless, as I was later told by my Dr., and was able to re-witness on video footage captured by Papa.

Exactly 5 hours after contractions started, pushing started at 8:40am! Leif crowned quickly, and because I wasn't exhausted from a 20 hour labor like I'd been with Sephira, I was able to push harder, longer and more consistently. After a mere 7 minutes of determined pushing - with a few surprising screams and squeals - he was born! An amazing experience and an instant joy to behold!

Sephira was so supportive and loving during delivery, encouraging me with "Good job, Mama" and "Newy coming out now!". The minute he was born she proclaimed "yeah! Newy all done now! Newy came out Mama's bottom!!! I love you, Newy!!!" Repeating the "I love you" part over and over again! Within seconds she was by our side examining Leif right along side us and marveling over how he has toes and fingers just like her! Both Dirk and I truly believe that this experience of witnessing his birth, and the love that filled that room, will make an unbreakable bond between them.

But if you didn't capture it in the context of what I just wrote, I'll write it here to clarify. This was a completely natural labor. No drugs. A small dose of Pitocin was administered to me after Leif was born to help deliver the placenta, but that's it! Truly by the grace of God, and the love of my family. I love my family. Those four words seem so insignificant to how I truly feel about them - but that is the sum of it. I LOVE THEM. And I am blessed by them.

Just 26 hours old!

Leif's first "photo shoot" - just 26 hours old!

A proud Dada!

A happy Sister!

High Five, Newy!