Thursday, May 24, 2012

Birth Story of Jamison Drake Crocker

Not everyone likes to hear how a baby made his way into the world. If you are one of those who just wants to know that baby has arrived and everyone is doing great, then read no further than this paragraph. Jamison Drake Crocker was born at 10:45 on Friday morning, May 18th. He is a big, healthy boy weighing 9lbs and 2oz and is 21.5 inches long. Mama and baby are doing great, sisters are in love and papa is proud.

If you are still reading, consider yourself warned. Birth can be messy, and while I have every intention of keeping this non-stomach churning, not all stomachs are made of the same stuff.

On Thursday night, Matt had to be in the city for a press event. Around 10:00 I texted and asked him for an ETA and he said he would be home around midnight. I took my very round self and went to bed.

I slept fitfully, big and uncomfortable and being woken up by contractions every so often kept me from falling into a deep sleep. At 3:00 am I got up only to find Matt wasn't home. I was irked, uncomfortable and all around grumpy. I placed a very annoyed call to find my errant husband and took a hot shower hoping to get more comfortable. Matt was soon home and feel dead asleep, I still couldn't get comfortable and got up to wander the dark house, not wanting to time the contractions but having enough that I figured this might be the day.

Around 6:00 I woke Matt up and had him use the contraction timer app to see how far apart things were. After about an hour of contractions lasting one minute every 3 to 4 minutes, Matt woke his parents to tell them they were on "kid duty" and that they would most likely have a grandson by dinner time.

By 7:45 Matt called the midwives. They asked how I was handling everything, if my water had broken and if I could still talk between contractions. We were doing fine so they said to check back if anything changed or in a half an hour. Matt called them back in 15 minutes and they were at the house by 8:30.

I have to admit, I don't remember much about them showing up and getting there things layed out. Everything was pretty intense and it took all I had to manage each contraction, which were coming about every 30 seconds and lasting up to 2 minutes. I was sitting in the rocking chair, Matt held both hands, the room was dark and the midwives didn't intrude. Every so often they would reach over and check the baby's heart beat to make sure he was handling everything ok. Since my water hadn't broken, he was doing great.

About this time I was reconsidering this whole home birth idea. Drugs. I wanted drugs. And a nap. And I decided this baby could stay in forever for all I care. I felt like he was trying to crawl out my tail bone, to witch my midwife helpfully pointed out that it was because I was sitting on his head. After suggesting many times, and me ignoring them, that I needed to get up, I finally caved and agreed to go to the bathroom for a shower.

I made it 4 steps. My water broke and baby quickly descended. I remember thinking "he's coming!!" and after a couple of pushes while sitting on a birth stool and about 10 minutes he was born into my hands at 10:45. He immediately started screaming his little pink head off. The midwife pointed out that he wasn't given all that much notice before he came rocketing in to the world, his head wasn't cone shaped and his nose wasn't squished. He was perfect and chubby and mad as hell.

The placenta took its sweet time delivering and the midwives gave me a shot of pitocin to speed things along, along with some herbs. I still ended up loosing a fair amount of blood. I needed a couple of stitches due to his speedy entry into the world and large head, but other than that we both came through the birth perfectly.

 Me meeting Jamison, seconds after he was born. He screams like a Crocker baby :)
 Big sisters are in charge of counting fingers and toes. They are all there!!
 Getting to meet everyone! 2 out of 3 big sisters were very impressed. Annabelle just liked his froggy towel.
 Eliana getting to know her baby bro. Then Addilyn took her turn

Home birth is such a beautiful thing. I was never alone during labor, a midwife, doula or Matt was always with me. And let me just say what a rock star Matt was, I couldn't have done this without him. Baby Jamison never left my sight, there was no rush to measure, weigh and wash him. The midwives took there time making sure we were all ok before they left. I was left with herbs and teas for recovery, they checked back that night and the following days and we felt so cared for. I am grateful for my friends in Tapan, New York, since a birth at my house is considered illegal by the great state of New Jersey. I am so blessed that my in-laws got to be here and meet the baby seconds after he entered the world. What a great experience.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grace and oatmeal

Mornings are my least operational period of the day, I am pretty much grumpy and worthless until at least 9. My children don't seem to get this and rise, with bright and shiny faces, closer to the 7 am side of things. This is generally not a problem, as my husband faces the day with a bright and shiny face too and get the girls up and gives them breakfast.

Breakfast. My kids eat a ton at breakfast, a good lunch, a decent snack in the afternoon and almost nothing for dinner. If cereal is served, as requested, my children are hungry again within the hour. This means, right as mama is rolling out of bed bleary eyes and grumpy, the children are clamoring for more food as the coffee is being made. Most mornings cereal is nixed in favor of something that will last longer in the belly.

The other evening, as I prepared for bed, I was hit with a wild hair. Not the fuzzy hopping kind, but the brilliance idea via pinterest kind. I decided I would make overnight oatmeal with my crock pot and steal cut oats. It sounded delish and the kids are big oatmeal fans so into the pot went the oats and apple juice and cinnamon to cook all night providing a healthy and filling breakfast for my offspring.

Epic fail. Matt and I loved the oatmeal, the kids were totally unimpressed leaving me with a crock pot full of apple cinnamon oats. As a strong proponate of "waste not want not" I decided to make the oatmeal into pancakes to serve for dinner, which I have a recipe for but of course did not follow. Epic fail #2. Not only did the pancakes stick like oatmeal superglue to the pan, they were also uneatable mushy in the middle. So I decided to make the oatmeal-turned-pancake-batter into muffins. 15 minutes at 350 later, epic fail #3. The concave muffins were a nice brown on the outside and filled with a nasty layer of oatmeal slime in the middle. I gave one to the dog, she walked around with it in her mouth crying until I threw it in the trash and gave her a chew stick as an apology.

Breakfast that was supposed to be remade into dinner was a bomb. I had 3 hungry children and nary a muffin or pancake to feed them. They ate bananas. When Matt came home he ate left overs, but not before the comment of "the only thing you haven't done is deep fry it". While I am sure he meant this as an off the cuff comment, I felt inspired with the chance to save the oatmeal. I dropped a dollop of oatmeal/pancake/muffin batter into the fryer. It sizzled and fell apart, leaving vomitus looking glopps of friend oatmeal goo floating in my oil. Epic fail #4.

Now I was determined. I had added enough additional ingredients that I am not sure if the resulting batter could even be called "oatmeal" any more. I stirred and doctored it, not to be beaten. I thickened the batter and dropped it into the hot oil, the result was not bad. Sort of an apple fritter meats doughnut. I tossed them in powdered sugar and fed them to my children this morning for breakfast. Long story short I turned a perfectly healthy batch of oatmeal into a nicely friend and sugared batch of snacks for my kids.

Why couldn't I just let it go? Toss the oatmeal in the trash, call it a lesson learned and move on? In one word, pride. I felt the need to be successful above all common sense. I take pride in my ability to provide for my children a healthy meal and to save our family money, both in and of themselves good things. But I forgot the grace. The allowing myself to fail knowing it doesn't change my identity. While not a perfectionist, I do find myself struggling to view myself as someone who is still neck deep in the journey. I want to have it figured out, have the right solutions and be the fixer, all based on who I have in my head that I need to be to be lovable.

I am so glad God doesn't see me as I see me. He sees me as broken when I so desperately want to be whole, He knows my failings that I try to hide from public view, He understands my confusion when I try to face the world with answers. Most of all, He treats me with grace the kind of someone who is still on the path, a journeyer.He loves me where I am. Nasty oatmeal/pancakes/muffins included.