Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bronxing at the Zoo

My Mother and Father-in-Law were in town  recently to meet the newest little tidbit and to enjoy the city. Pete took a couple of days off work and we decided to make good use of the family membership to all the zoos in New York City I bought by visiting the Bronx Zoo. 

Several of my friends advised me not to go; my baby was only about two weeks old and they said I should take advantage of having family in town so I could rest. But I didn't want to rest. I was antsy and ready to get out of the house, so I rebelled and went to the zoo anyway. Took Georgia with me too. 

I'm so glad I did.

The weather was perfect; I couldn't have asked for a lovelier day of sunshine and more breathtaking leaves.  And I took some stunning portraits of my family. Wouldn't have missed it for the world. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Autumn in New York

Yes, it is a song. But it's also reality here, and it couldn't be more beautiful. I'll show you.

And this face. My girls make autumn in New York even more magical.


Georgia on my Mind

Happy One Month to the gorgiest Georgia. She's a wee angel and I think I shall keep her for a very long time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting for Baby Adventures Part II

I took the crew to the Central Park Zoo; it seemed much more entertaining than letting everyone sit around waiting for me to go in to labor. Here's Amelia showing her Mimi the seals. They're her favorite attraction at the zoo, and can't you see why? Much more interesting than the more exotic animals that just sleep all day.

Mimi's always a good sport about climbing into tight spots with her grandgirlies.

It was a pretty effective form of entertaining distraction. We wore the girls out (which they did for us in return) and scratched off another day on the waiting-for-baby countdown. (Which honestly seems so silly now that she's here.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adventures with Visitors, Part I

I've been so busy, and taken so many photos, over the past month with having so many visitors staying with us that writing about all our ventures and adventures would not only be tedious for me, it would be completely uninteresting to anyone who read about them. So instead of favoring my faithful, loyal blog followers with all the details, I've decided to highlight a few favorite moments, as captured on film.

Today's feature is from way back on October 20th, the day my Mom arrived in the city. Auntie Sharon and Cousin Lulu were also with us and we all went for a walk in the nearby Conservatory Garden in Central Park. Check out some of these images:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birth Story

The Birth Story of Georgia Daisy Tidwell;
A true and accurate account of maybe not the world's fastest birth, but certainly one of the top ten.

Georgia was a bit more than fashionably late. My Mom flew in to New York City on the 20th of October 2011, the day before the baby’s due date, and planned to spend ten days that she pictured would be filled with snuggling grandbabies and looking after our apartment while I recovered from childbirth. My sister Sharon and her little girl Caroline had already been with us for a week just in case the baby came early.

A gesture that proved to be a kind but most unnecessary precaution.

For days we (Mom, Sharon, Caroline, Amelia and I) played at playgrounds and walked all over the city trying to get something (Georgia) moving and at least mom had two grandbabies to snuggle in the meantime. But people were getting antsy and Mom was beginning to worry that she’d have to leave before baby girl made her entrance. Finally Sharon decided that if the baby didn’t come by Thursday the 27th she’d go home to Boston and her much neglected husband.

Georgia clearly took the threat seriously, because at 4:00 in the morning of the 27th I woke up with a heavy contraction. I hefted myself to my other side intending to go back to sleep, when another contraction came, and this one was accompanied by a trickle of fluid. I sat up and small gush of water let me know that this was the real deal.

I shook Pete’s shoulder and said, “I think my water just broke,” and asked him to hand me my phone so I could call the Brooklyn Birthing Center—the birthing facility located an hour away where I planned to have my natural, hypno birth—and speak to a midwife.

The midwife told me to take a shower and then to come right in because even though she expected that it would be several hours before the baby was born, I had tested positive for group strep B and needed about four hours worth of penicillin treatment while in labor.

Pete called a car service and I took a shower, meanwhile the contractions (or “birth waves” as my Hypnobabies home study course calls them) were beginning to come about five minutes apart and were picking up in intensity.

The car arrived at 5:00 A.M. and Pete and I crawled in the back. My “easy, comfortable birth waves” were coming every three minutes now and back labor was setting in.

If our driver, Rashid, suspected that I was in labor he didn’t acknowledge it (I can’t imagine he didn’t noticed the huge pregnant woman heading out in middle of the night, in the rain, with an overnight bag, a boppy pillow and an empty infant car seat and put a few clues together). But he was completely undisturbed by the miracle nature unfolding in his backseat; he blasted his Bollywood pop music anyway and I’d swear he went out of his way to hit every bump in the road between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Luckily there was minimal traffic at five in the morning and the drive only took us the hour we were planning on—but it was a long hour for me. I had my earphones in listening to hypnosis suggestions, which helped block out the irritating, whiny Indian music most of the time, and helped me keep under control, if not as blissfully comfortable as the CDs promised.

Pete and I arrived at the Brooklyn Birthing Center just before 6:00 A.M. and met one of the midwives there. (As luck would have it, she was the one midwife in the practice whom I had never met, but I was beyond caring at this point.) She took me into an exam room and was chatting away, asking me questions that I was primarily ignoring and getting my IV hooked up. Then as she had me lay back so she could check my dilation, she cut her chatter short and asked, “are you pushing?!”

I wasn’t trying to, but yes, I was in fact pushing. She checked me and said, “the baby’s head is right there, if we don’t get you into a birthing room now, you’re going to have this baby right here.”

The midwife had me waddle down the hall to the birthing room while she called her birthing assistant on the phone and yelled, “I’ve got a woman crowning right now, get here!”

I was pretty much doubled over at this point; my body had completely taken over and was pushing at will. I lay down on the bed on my side and Pete was on the bed next to me holding my leg. (Bless him for being a brave and supportive soul; this was all a bit more nature than he had bargained for, but he was an incredibly good sport—even when he got blood and guts on his pants.)

Within fifteen minutes of walking in the front door of the birthing center, and five minutes of lying down, my body spontaneously pushed out a baby with very little conscious direction on my part. (It 6:25 A.M. to be exact) I didn’t even have time to get undressed and put on one of those silly gowns they make you wear. My special “Birthing Time” hypnosis CD that I had been saving for this moment went un-listened to.

Just after she was born, the midwife laid the wriggling baby on my chest and I heard her cry for the first time. This was the moment when I knew that all the trouble and expense we had gone to in order to have a natural, unmedicated, out-of-hospital birth was worth it. The stress of finding a midwife who would accept me so late in my pregnancy, the three hour trips to the birthing center for five minute appointments, the daily hypnosis exercises, and the extra money we had to pay for choosing an out-of-network care facility all culminated in a perfect, beautiful birth of a perfect, beautiful girl.

Which brings me to the verdict:
does hypno birthing actually work?

I guess that depends on what your goal is. I can’t say my labor (the birthing waves) was completely painless—the level of discomfort was pretty high—but it wasn’t necessarily my goal to have a painless birth.

My goals going into this whole hypno birthing business were to stay calm and completely in control throughout labor and delivery, to have a more aware and emotionally present birth experience than I had with my first birth, and to ease the transition into life postpartum. Check, check and check. So, yes, hypno birthing worked for me. It helped me achieve the birth that I wanted and I feel great postpartum.

I realize there may be other factors that contributed to achieving those results, but I strongly believe in the power of positive thinking, and in a nutshell, all hypno birthing is is training your mind to think positively about the birth experience. So I’m glad I did it, and yes, I’d do it again.

Isn't she gorgeous? She came so fast that she wasn't even cone headed. A dandy little bundle for a Mama to cuddle.