Here's a timeline leading up to Sasha's birth. Sasha is the Russian short name for Alexander.
- 8/15/10 - Babulya (Grandmom) takes Sasha's sister, Samantha, to Baltimore for a 3 week vacation.
- 8/17/10 - Jason's predicted due date comes and goes. Helen and Jason take the opportunity to eat out at Craigie on Main.
- 8/20/10 - The hospital due date comes and goes. Helen and Jason enjoy dinner (Emma's) and a movie (The Kids are All Right). Helen and Jason think there is little chance their mortgage refinancing will close the following Wednesday.
- 8/24/10 - Helen has an ob/gyn appointment and the midwife suggests that acupuncture might help with inducing labor. Later, Helen and Jason refinance their mortgage a day early then enjoy a nice dinner at Rendezvous.
- 8/25/10 - Helen has acupuncture therapy. Still no labor...
- 8/26/10 - Helen has another ob/gyn appointment where they do an ultrasound and non-stress test. Still no signs of labor. Helen tries a new labor-inducing strategy---buy expensive, perishable proteins for dinner. Tonight's dinner is perfectly-cooked lobster rolls.
- 8/27/10 2am - Helen discovers a new labor-inducing trick---lobster. She feels her first contraction.
- 6:15am - Jason gets up for work. Helen tells him that she's been having small contractions. Helen doesn't think she'll give birth today. Jason stays home from work.
- 9am - Helen and Jason go on a nice, long walk on the Wellesley trail.
- 10:30am - Helen and Jason go shopping for lunch and dinner.
- noon - Helen's contractions grow stronger and more regular. Jason starts to act as a breathing coach. Helen and Jason have a scrumptious lunch of hot dogs with local corn and cucumber salad.
- 2pm - Helen finds that kneading pasta dough helps with getting through contractions.
- 3pm - Helen's contractions are only 5-6 minutes apart and are becoming pretty painful. Jason asks Helen to call the midwifes to decide when to come to the hospital. Helen and Jason finish packing for the hospital.
- 3:30pm - Helen's contractions get noticeably stronger. Jason doesn't want Helen to have to struggle through contractions while stuck in rush-hour traffic so Jason makes the executive decision to go to the hospital.
- 4pm - Helen and Jason park the car at the hospital thinking they'll check in at the hospital, then go for a nice walk. Helen has trouble walking because the between-contraction pain is increasing.
- 4:30pm - Sharon checks Helen and says that she's 5cm dilated and that going for a walk is out-of-the-question. A nurse needs two tries to get Helen hooked up to an IV and starts pumping in the Penicillin. Helen screams bloody murder. Jason nearly pukes.
- 5pm - Helen and Jason arrive at the delivery room. Contractions are fast, regular and very strong. Helen stands while Jason holds her and instructs her on breathing. Nurses start to get the room set up.
- 5:30pm - Jason makes a run to the car to get all the stuff.
- 6pm - Helen takes a long bath. Jason pours warm water over her belly. Helen says the warm water definitely eases the contractions.
- 6:45pm - Helen gets out of the bath and tells Sharon that she'd like to get an epidural. Sharon doesn't think there's enough time for an epidural. She says that when the mother asks for an epidural is usually when there's not much time before birth.
- 7:15pm - Helen gets set up on the delivery bed and starts trying to push. Sharon says Helen is 9cm dilated and feels a bulging bag of liquid. Shortly thereafter, Helen's water breaks. Jason and a nurse hold up Helen's legs to help open the birth canal.
- 7:30pm - Helen screams the loudest scream she's ever screamed. Sharon instructs her to hold her lips together to put the energy into pushing rather than screaming. Sharon says she can see a sliver of Sasha's head. He has dark hair.
- 7:40pm - Helen seems to be making good progress. Even Jason can see the top of Sasha's head. Liquids keep pouring out of Helen.
- 7:45pm - Sasha starts to crown. Sharon rubs around the vagina and tries to slow Helen down a bit to try to prevent tearing. A few minutes later, Sasha's head pops out.
- 7:51pm - Sasha's body comes out and he is born. Sharon plops Sasha on Mommy's tummy. Helen can't believe delivery happened so quickly.
- 7:55pm - Sasha is weighed-in at 6 pounds, 12 ounces, or 3.065 kilograms, and is measured to be 19 3/4 inches long.
Thank you so much to Jason for being the best birthing coach! The only thing I have to add to the birthing story is that right around when my water broke, Madeleine Peyroux's "Dance me to the end of love" came on. Of course, it was Jason's wonderful idea to bring music. The lyrics I heard right before I pushed Sasha out were:
Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
I still get all teary when I remember that moment. That's what it felt like -- a dance of life.