Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our Birth Story: ISA MARIA McLEOD

Miracles happen ever day, and Friday was one of the many miracles along our pregnant journey.  Silvia was 13 days late.  We wanted to have a home birth and Friday the 23rd was the last day we had before we were to be induced at the hospital.

It was the first day of Autumn, the Equinox.  I went to work on a sunny Friday morning at 8:00.  At 11:00 I called home to find out that Silvia had started having contractions at 9:00.  I was just going into meet a new patient and I told her that I would call her right after. 
3 hours old
40 minutes later.  “How are you doing Sil?”
“You need to come home right now.  Its happening.”  I walked in the reception room and told them the great news.  I canceled the rest of my day and rushed home. 
22 hours old
Silvia was dilating quickly.  By noon she was at 5cm and by 5:55pm she was at a 10cm and ready to push.  That’s when things slowed down, and Silvia had to really dig deep.  The baby was head down, but was what is referred to as “sunny-side up,” “face-up” or  occiput posterior (OP). The back of our baby’s skull was in the back of Silvia’s pelvis.
Its estimated that 5 to 12%  of babies are face up at delivery and this percentage is higher in first time mothers. It’s common for the baby’s position to change during labor.  Unfortunately, for Silvia this did not happen.  If the baby is face down the pushing part of labor will take about 2 hours.  With the baby sunny-side up it took Silvia 4 hours of blood sweat and tears.  After seeing her power through that, I have no doubt that she can over come any challenge, any obstacle, A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G in life!  Silvia the Brazilian Warrior Queen  gave birth to a 7lb 9oz., 21 inch long beautiful baby Equinox Princess named Isa Maria McLeod. 
As the head came out, I placed my hands under Isa’s head and with Kate our midwife I was able to “catch” Isa.  Together we lifted her up and placed her on Silvia stomach and chest.  Everything was happening so quickly now, like someone hit the fast-forward button, but for Silvia and baby Isa time stood still as their eyes locked on each other.  The baby was calm and relaxed and knew she was safe with her momma. As they lay there we rushed around them cleaning Silvia and Isa. After an hour of Siliva holding the baby and having her breast feed for the first time, I was able to hold my baby girl Isa. As we went skin to skin all I remember is feeling gratitude and a deep raw joy that started in the pit of my stomach, that burned through my chest, and flowed out my eyes. 
1 hour old
I am a proud Papa Bear.

What does ISA mean?

We named her Isa Maria McLeod.  Its pronounced like Lisa but without the "L." Isa has multiple means.  In the Philippines Isa means number one, which is fitting for our number one child.

In German Isa means "Strong-Willed One." This has been evident through out the pregnancy and will serve her well through out her life.  To be strong and determined.

In Chamorou (Mariana Islands in the South Pacific) Isa means "Rainbow".  She was differently our rainbow after the labor storm.

In Arabic Isa means "Jesus." and in Hebrew Isa means "laughter; salvation of God; the Lord helps me."  Like Jesus she will be a light to the world and be "the lords help" by helping be the answers to peoples' prayers.  I know she was an answer to ours.

Maria is Silvia's mother's name. Its origin is Latin and means "Star of the Sea"  This will be fitting when she be comes a famous surfer of the sea. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Whale of a Good Time with Silvia's Family

Here is a little video of us on our Sunday strolling down West Cliff Drive whale watching and what have you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rookie Mistake

Silvia's family flew in from Brazil on September 6th in hopes that they could be part of the birth process.  The baby's due date was September 10th, and now its the 20th almost the 21st and still no baby.  I feel bad because they are were hoping to spend most of their time with the baby.  Instead they fly out the following week on the 28th.  If the baby was born tomorrow that would only give them 7 days with the baby.  We thought it would be nice to have them here for the birth.  It never crossed our minds that she would be 10+ days late.  Next time we'll have them fly out two weeks after the due date.  Rookie Mistake.
In the mean time we have been relaxing by the pool and taking them on walks around Santa Cruz. On Sunday we walked along West Cliff Drive to Natural Bridges' tide pools. We saw a bunch of whales spouting water and then flipping their tales up in the air as they dove down.
   We saw a couple pods of dolphins circling around schools of fish while pelican divebombed all around them from above.  And of course we saw the usual suspects: seals and sea otters joining the fun.
 We took them to the redwoods and strolled along the giants.
Fortunately Santa Cruz is a beautiful place
to be when waiting.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

41 weeks and no Baby Yet.

The Baby's room is already all we need now is a Baby
Sil is 41 weeks and doing great.  She gets a little out of breath coming up the stairs and has the sense like she has to pee every 5 seconds.  We have been going to our Acupuncturist to get the ball rolling.  I have been doing the same pressure points every night.  We have been taking long walks, driving over every pot hole in the road and yadda yadda yadda.  We want this to happen naturally, but if nothing happens by Saturday our Midwife is going to have us go to the hospital to get induced.
I'm predicting Wednesday evening and Sil is predicting Tuesday Evening?

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Yesterday, Silvia and I went to Wilder State Park and took the classic Prego Pictures.  We figured that  we had better do it soon since she is 39 weeks now and could go into labour at any time.  I know this post is a long one but its a good one.

At  36 weeks our little girl was what is called Frank Breech where the baby is in the pike position with the bum bum down.  At this point in time you want the baby to be head down.  With the baby breech you become a candidate for a C-Section.  Silvia was sad because she really wanted to try and have a natural vaginal birth. As the baby gets bigger is more unlikely that the baby would be able to turn on it's own.  Our midwife (Kate who is amazing) transfered us back to our O.B. to do a external cephalic version where they manually turn the baby.

 We went in a birthing center at 6:30am where they monitored the baby's heart rate and placed Silvia on an I.V. to try to increase the fluid in the placenta.  At 8:00am our O.B. and two midwives placed their hands on her tummy and proceed to try and turn the baby. I held Silvia's hand as she focused on her breath trying to relax as much as possible.

They tried one way and then the other way, but the baby was not budging.  After 15 or 20 minutes they stopped and said that it wasn't going to happen.  Silvia having been so positive and visualizing the baby turning down was heart broken.  She was trying to hold back her tears, but as she ask Dr. Dorherty if she could try one more time later on the tears started to flow.  Seeing how badly she want this Dr. Dorherty agreed to try it at noon.  Silvia was left to rest and have more fluids pumped in through an I.V.
At noon everyone came back.  Silvia slipped away to the bathroom where she offer a little prayer asking for a little miracle that the baby could go head down.  As she came back in the room, one of the Midwifes, Morgan sat down and had a little heart to heart with Silvia.   She let her know that as hard as they were pushing the first time the chances were unlikely that the version wouldn't work.  She said, "Maybe there is a reason the baby is breech that is how the baby needs to be." Silvia nodded her head.

As everyone gathered around the table Silvia looked at everyone and said, "I know you guys can do this. I'll be fine so do what you need to do."  With that six hands were placed on her tummy and they began one way and then another.  Its seemed like it wasn't going to work again.  Silvia was holding my hand taking deep relaxing breaths with her eyes closed praying and visualizing the baby turning.  Then about 5 minutes into it hope was sparked as the baby went further than it had before.  They quickly checked the heart rate and the baby was doing fine.  They went a little more and then a little more.  With each step checking to make sure the baby was okay.

Then the baby flipped and went head down.  "I thinks its head down!" someone shouted.  "Yeah it's head down," someone shouted back.  They grabbed the ultrasound and checked and sure enough the baby was head down.  The room erupted with cheers and the next thing I know everyone is giving double high fives across the table like we just scored the winning touchdown in the super-bowl.  Silvia started crying again, but this time is was tears of joy. We got our miracle!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Baby Shower

Here are some of my baby shower pictures from last Month. I want to thank Marina, my sister-in-law for putting it all together. It was decorated so cutely with pink flowers, pink water bottles and pink picture frames everywhere.
Thank you everyone who came, and thank you for all the wonderful baby gifts.
I'm heading into my 39th week. My due date is next Saturday on September 10th. Justin and I are getting very excited to meet our little munchkin.