Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quincy's Birth Story

      Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I told Fox and pretty much everyone that this baby would be born on January 21, 2012 and that my labor would be 3 hours. My last labor was 21 hours, so I spent time visualizing a much shorter birth and a cool birthdate (1-21-12 sounded good to me!). I use hypnosis for all of my births (and teach it, too, through Hypnobabies), and it has always been really effective for me. So, when my doctor told me on January 20th that I had not dilated at all, baby was still high and that it would be a while yet, I was a little surprised! He told me to get some walking in, so that afternoon, I walked around the mall for about an hour. I also finished crocheting a baby blanket and cleaned out the car, which were the two things I told myself had to be done before baby came.

    That night, I started having really high pressure waves (what we call contractions in Hypnobabies) but nothing painful, so I didn't worry much about it. When they started getting longer and closer together, I knew they were the real thing but was unsure of whether or not to go to the hospital yet, since Cosette's birth took so long even after regular pressure waves. After saying a prayer, we knew right away it was time to head to the hospital. Fox drove to pick up our friend Tamara, who would watch the kids, and we headed out to the hospital (a 45 minute drive) at 12:45 a.m. The drive was good--I stayed in hypnosis the whole time.

Quincy at 1 day old. He has a hematoma from being born so quickly, so no cute beanies for a while!
     As soon as we got to the hospital, we got down to business! My pressure waves were coming every 3 minutes. I got into the hospital bed and noticed that there was a big screen with the words "Birth System 2000" or something on it. The screen had relaxing music playing, with images of bottle-nosed dolphins gliding through waves. It was so relaxing that I really didn't need to use hypnosis to stay relaxed. Also, there were about 2 nurses and 2 midwives in the room, instead of my regular doctor. They directed all their questions to Fox, so no one bothered me, which was awesome. We were very blessed in that we didn't have much communication barrier at all, even though we were quite unsure of medical terms in Japanese. They were also very cooperative when we asked to not be hooked up to the IV. I really loved being surrounded by these women who, whenever I would have a pressure wave, would just quietly soothe, "Hai hai hai hai hai" (which basically means "yes yes yes" but here meant "yes, we know what you are going through!")

5 days old
    After about an hour, I told Fox to take me to the bathroom, since having a full bladder can slow down labor. He took me, but as soon as I sat on the toilet, I realized that I was going through transition and the pressure waves were coming right on top of each other. After a bit, I stood up and had Fox do the belly lift on me with my next pressure wave. As soon as he did that, my water broke with a huge pop; I felt baby come down, and I was ready to push! This is why Hypnobabies teaches to not do the belly lift unless you are in place to give birth! I made it to the bed, told them we needed to push, and pushed Quincy out in 3 pushes! The Birth System 2000 was hooked up to my contraction monitor and started playing some breathing noises. I also put on my "Pushing Baby Out" CD but pushed Quincy out before it had been playing for 5 minutes. As soon as he was out, the big screen immediately had a big "Congratulations" come across the screen. I got a kick out of that!

  The only snag we came across was when the on-call doctor came in to see if I needed repairs and started tugging on the cord to get my placenta out. He got a bit upset when Fox told him to stop tugging and asked him to wait to cut the cord, which they do immediately here but which we know is not good! The doctor was so mad that he left the room! The midwife came and caught the placenta and then cut the cord. They gave me a piece of it in a wooden box, which is a Japanese custom. I bled a bit, so they gave me an IV, which I have never had before and can honestly say was the most uncomfortable part of the whole birth experience! I think it was a good thing, though, since this is the first birth after which I haven't fainted! They also do not bathe the baby for the first 24 hours, since they don't want to lower baby's body temperature, which I thought was cool.

1 week old!

So--just as I had visualized--Quincy was born on 1-21-12 at 3:20 am, after only 3 hours of labor. Fox has requested that I visualize any future babies to be born during working hours, so he gets out of work :) I had an amazing and really positive birth experience in Japan, thanks to a great doctor and awesome nurses. It is truly a blessing that things worked out so wonderfully!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

He Who Has Now Been Named

The Baby is Here:
Born: January 21, 2012 at 3:20 a.m.
3878 grams, 51.5 centimeters (oh hey there, metric system!)
In U.S. terms, 8 1/2 lbs. and 20 1/4 inches

Quincy Parker Makoto Ellis

Quincy: French, meaning the Fifth, as he is the fifth member of our little family.
Also, Fox was reading Dracula while I was pregnant. Quincey Morris is a character in it-- the only American in a foreign country.
Parker: Fox's paternal grandmother's maiden name
Makoto: Japanese, meaning strong and peace-loving.
We have loved Quincy Parker as a name for a long time, but it just didn't seem right for this boy at first. Finally, as we were filling out the hospital paperwork, we knew it was because he needed a special Japanese name in there, so Fox chose his favorite and used a very old kanji for it.

Everyone is having a ton of fun getting their kisses and cuddles on with this cutie.

Who does he look like?  He blended in really well in the nursery
with all that black hair!

Yes, that is Cash forcing Quincy's fingers into a peace sign. Oy.

We are all doing great!  I had a great birth experience, and the hospital was amazing!
Birth story to follow...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Catching Up!

Okay--I am finally dragging myself away from the kotatsu (where there is no internet reception) to blog about this past month!
  Starting with Cosette's birthday in November, we have a family birthday/holiday or anniversary every few weeks until Cash's birthday at the end of February. The new baby fits right in there with his birthday (hopefully) being in a few weeks. So, winter is a crazy season for us!

First, Cosette's birthday! Cosette's likes and dislikes change from day-to-day, so I didn't plan a cake for her, since she insisted on doughnuts. After she got her doughnuts, she wondered where her cake was, so I got her one slice of cake. Now I know that she always wants a big cake. Maybe in the shape of a doughnut?

And her presents this year were a stuffed snake from the zoo and a Little Pony from her grandparents:

Fox's birthday is in mid-December. He had a migraine for his birthday and had gotten his presents a few weeks earlier during a black Friday sale, so he had a very sad birthday...but there was cake!

The next week, there was a school Christmas party. Here is Cosette as Santa--she was the only one to keep her beard on!

A visit from Santa-san!

Showing the spoils that Santa brought her--socks, fax paper-?, snacks, and some origami paper.

Fox and I celebrated our 9th anniversary on New Year's Eve. We got a babysitter and went to see Mission Impossible 4.  Good times! And then on New Year's, Cash got a haircut. The kids have learned that in Japan, it's not a true picture unless there is the peace sign being shown.

Next up: The littlest guy's birthday! Here I am at 37 weeks and obviously exhausted. No more winter birthdays, I say! On the plus side, my extra body weight is keeping me really warm :)
Thank you to everyone who has sent cards, presents, and boxes with goodies and baby things to us recently. It means more to us than you know. This time of year is the hardest time to be away from family. We miss you and love you all!