A Baby Story: Ezra Leor
Every pregnancy is different. Every baby is different. Every birth is different. Or are they?
On September 20th, we had a new person join our family. Our baby boy, Ezra Leor, was born.
Despite everyone’s predictions based on my size and how low the baby was, we were a bit surprised that I made it to my due date… and past it… and had to be induced this time around again. And don’t get me wrong, we were thrilled to have the extra time to get lots of stuff done and move back into our own home after our renovation, but we were also ready to meet this little baby. So when my due date came and went, I asked my O.B. how long he would let me go before inducing this time (because 11 days over just wasn’t going to work this time around) and I was reassured by the fact that I wasn’t going to have to go much past a week late before meeting our babe, whether my body cooperated or needed a bit of a nudge to get things started.
With each appointment that came and went and each a report that nothing much was happening, we began to develop a sense of deja-vu. Each update that I wasn’t dilating, that I was still posterior, that things were not progressing as expected brought up familiar feelings. Except this time I didn’t feel like the baby had turned against me and didn’t want to meet me, and I didn’t feel like my body was failing the baby. I knew that the baby was as low as he could physically go without coming out. I knew that one way or another this baby would come out. I knew that being induced, despite how disappointed I was to go that route last time, was actually kind of great. I liked getting up in the morning knowing “today is the day I meet my baby”, having some breakfast and a shower, and surrendering control of the whole process to the very capable hospital staff.
And that’s exactly how the day began on September 20th. 8 days overdue, ready, giant and uncomfortable, I woke up, called the hospital for instructions, had a shower and breakfast, dropped our son off at my parents’ house, and went on our way to have a baby.
By the time we got to the hospital I was only 2 cm dilated. That report alone made me so proud that my body was at least doing something to get ready! But it wasn’t happening soon enough so onto the drip I went.
Just like with baby #1, we walked in circles around the delivery ward, trying to get things moving. Just like with baby #1, I had my waters broken (although this time, only one time) and just like with baby #1, I was reading a magazine with nothing more than mild cramping by mid-day. We warned our nurse about how Ari’s birth went: waters broken, nothing progressed, waters broken a second time, and then out he came in a big hurry. She took our warnings seriously but it wasn’t looking promising that this would happen as quickly as the first.
Throughout the day, my husband Navin would look at his watch and say things like “in about an hour, her contractions will really ramp up”. “This is a different baby,” I would say, annoyed and amused all at once. They kept cranking up the juice and then, right on cue, there I was rocking back and forth on a birthing ball, coping with the increasing pain and intensity. Around 4:30pm, things got real and Navin sent a text to my family that read, “Regular contractions, getting a bit stronger. They will be checking progress soon.” At 5:45 I was 5 cm dilated but fully effaced, in a lot of pain and discouraged that I wasn’t further along.
I didn’t have an epidural with Ari (not because I didn’t beg for one…there just wasn’t time), but just like last time I declared that if this was what only 5 cm felt like, I couldn’t do it. Navin smirked. Just like last time, I asked the nurse to draw me a bath. Navin smirked and told her I was getting really close (and he may have told her not to bother filling the tub because baby would be here any minute). The only way that I could handle the pain was by counting; counting tiles on the ceiling, counting polka dots on the Kleenex box, counting moons on Navin’s t-shirt, counting numbers on the clock, counting breaths until each contraction was over. I watched the monitor and found peace in seeing those measurements coming down, indicating the end of the contraction (although the reverse was also true as I watched them climb and knew what was about to hit me). I really appreciated the ability to move around, and I was still enjoying sitting on the birthing ball but wasn’t convinced that I could make it back to the bed if I stayed there much longer, so onto the bed I went.
Up until this point I was silently and calmly managing my pain, but I’m pretty sure I then declared that this was a barbaric way to make new humans. “Please turn that machine off. Give me a break. I need a break,” I pleaded. In the most encouraging and motivating way possible, our nurse Caelen replied, “How about we just have a baby?” With those kind words I was reminded that when you feel like you just can’t do it anymore is actually when you’re almost done and she gave me the strength to keep going. I had done this before. I could do it again. And at the end of it all was my going to be my beautiful baby.
“Right on time,” Navin chuckled as he mirrored the day to Ari’s birth day and his 6:19pm time of birth 2 1/2 years prior.
Status check 6:04pm: 8 cm… wait maybe 9. “I need to push!” I yelled. “I’m not ready! He’s coming too soon!”
Thanks to our warnings, the nurse had everything ready, but there was no O.B. in sight, and unlike last time, my room was not full of people yelling at me to push. There were only 2 nurses and they were actually telling me to STOP pushing… like I had any control over what my body was doing. Ready or not, only 3 pushes later, at 6:07pm, the nurse caught our baby and our little 7 lb 9 oz Ezra was born.
I am so happy with how things turned out and couldn’t have asked for it to have gone any better. And now, we all adjust to life as a family of 4 (well 5 including our dog Mitzi) and soak in all those delicious newborn snuggles. We are all getting the chance to feel our hearts expand every day as we make room for all the new love that we have for this wonderful new little person.
Welcome Ezra! We’re so glad to meet you.