Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

Welcome to the real world… Max Logan Glos

19. November 2010 14:11 by Rick Glos in

“Welcome to the real world”, is what Fishbourne says to Reeves in The Matrix.  For some strange reason I put that movie in and watched it just 2 days before our little guy was born.  When I finished watching it I had the thought, “interesting, so this is like how I will be reborn to be something different after he is born.  Like the A.D and B.C. in the Gregorian calendar.”  Then I watched Heidi give birth to our child in Friday night and thought, “Whoa.  Welcome to the real world little man.  I think this is a little more applicable to what you just went through.”

The birth experience

What do I say about this?  I am extremely proud of what Heidi went through.  Birthing at home, no drugs, just her and her experience.  It has to be one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

Heidi was very in touch with her body and was vocalizing things like, “I think I have to push.” or “I think his head might be coming”, and one comment I wrote down in my Excel log for logging the time between contractions, “fuck, fuck, fuck this hurts”.  Yes I am a true nerd and used Excel to log time between contractions… once the midwives arrived I put the laptop down but looking back, it is rather humorous.

What I like about it was what one midwife said, “you were able to stay out of your head”.  Heidi didn’t have to worry about not pushing because a doctor wasn’t in the room yet, or being transported to a hospital, or being in a strange room, etc.  She could focus on her body and let it happen.

I was also amazed at how the midwifes didn’t interfere.  They never pulled her out of the birth tub to measure her dilation.  Other than listening to the baby’s heartbeat a few times between contractions they simply asked questions, and supported Heidi.

It’s nice to know that there is an option besides going to a hospital which for me is an association to sickness and injury.  Birth is not that.

Memorial moments for me:

  • Reaching down in the water and feeling his hair as his head was just starting to poke out.
  • A few contractions later, looking down in the water and exclaiming, '”Honey, I can see his face!” just as his head started to come out.
  • How peaceful his face looked under the water.
  • The single push it took to get the baby out after his head came out and I was there to ‘catch’ the baby in the water.
  • Seeing Heidi hold the baby immediately after, umbilical cord still attached, on her chest and seen her face all lit up and beautiful.
  • Being able to cut my child’s umbilical cord.
  • The smiles on all the midwives faces during he entire time they were there.

The labor was extremely fast.  About 5-6 hours total.  Apparently the midwives have seen a pattern that with babies located on the right side in the womb, tend to have a fast and intense birth.

Heidi’s water had broken during the night on Thursday.  Not a gush, but a slow leak.  At the time, she was unsure if it was the water or just ‘peeing your pants’ – there is a medical term for this but I can’t think of it as I type.

So Friday around noon, Heidi went to see the midwives and they can run a test (just like a birth test – pee on a stick) and were able to determine that yes, it was amniotic fluid. 

Heidi really wasn’t in labor yet though.  There’s many ways to induce labor, medical-wise you can give Pitocin, but since we weren’t going that route, the suggestion was acupuncture and some naturopath drugs.  While Heidi went to the acupuncture, I rushed to the National College of Naturopathic Medicine here in Portland since they closed at 4:30 PM.

Once back home, we figured we’d eat and get some rest since we figured we would start labor maybe Saturday or have to be induced Sunday or something.  We really weren’t sure what at this point but figured that since the water broke, we’d have the little man before the weekend was over.

I cooked up some spicy Italian which I later found out (spicy foods) can also induce labor.

We laid down around 7PM.  I awoke about 9PM to Heidi doing breathing exercises next to me on the bed and from there is was a mad blur of activity.  Call the doula.  Fill the birth tub.  Log the contractions.  Help Heidi.  Call the midwives.  Take some water out.  Put warmer water back in.  Etc, etc.

It’s sort of a blur right now but I do remember Heidi being in a lot of pain but that it was like night and day once she got into the warm water of the birth tub.

The little guy arrived around 1:30 AM Nov 6th, 2010 and then we survived on adrenaline and excitement until the midwives left around 5 AM.  What took so long?  Well you still have to birth the placenta, get some stitches, paperwork, examinations of baby and mother, etc.

I have pictures I cannot share, including some very cool ones of what is called the ‘Tree of Life’ of the placenta.

You’re supposed to get a long nap in before afterwards because the baby and mother is supposed to be tired.  Well we got about 2.5 hours and thus began the first couple weeks.

What’s his name already?

We had a few picked out but none of them came to mind right away.  Since the midwives would be returning for home visits at Day 1, Day 3, Day 7, and Day 14, we had time to figure it out.

I was already in love with Max.  Heidi came up with the cool name of Logan.  And so there you have it.  Max Logan Glos.

it is tradition in our family to name the first boy after the father and in fact, I am named that way.  But I found that have to right “, Jr” at the end of my name all the item rather cumbersome.  Also, when someone would say, “hey Rick” when my father was around, which Rick do you mean?

And yes, it’s just Max.  Not Maximillian or Maxwell or Maximus (yes I did entertain that but the wife put the kabosh on it).  After all, since I’m just Rick (not Richard) why not just Max.

Our little man has arrived

6. November 2010 10:45 by Rick Glos in

Just a quick note.  Our little man arrived this morning at 1:30 AM.  All 10 fingers and 10 toes.  Heidi was amazing - I'm so proud of her and what she did in that birthing tub.  Sorry to gush a little.

If I remember correctly, he was 8lb 7oz and 20 inches?  or maybe 26... my brain is a little foggy there.

Couple pics of the midwives , doula, Heidi in tub in our bedroom, plus a handful of the little man.

Here’s the midwives with Heidi in the birth tub.

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Our doula, Brooke.

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Little man in my arms.

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Little man in his crib

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Choices for just having a baby

31. July 2010 12:26 by Rick Glos in

We, mostly Heidi, decided early on to use a midwife for birth instead of an doctor.  Partly because right before Heidi became pregnant, her insurance changed and she needed to switch doctors, and partly because we had caught a story here and there about using a midwife for birth instead of a traditional doctor.

The term first conjured images of medieval times to my mind.  Then I read up and became less ignorant about the subject.  My understanding is basically you approach birth with the thought that the body will take care of itself whereas with a doctor, you approach it more from the idea that birth needs constant maintenance and intervention.

Using a midwife has been very pleasant so far.  A team of midwifes work out of the hosptial, OHSU (wikipedia).  We don’t see the same one each time, but they are very pleasant and during the visit I’m constantly surprised at how genuinely interested they seem to be in the experience of being pregnant.  Asking Heidi tons of questions and spending quite a bit of time during the appointment with you in contrast to a doctor’s visit where they rush in and rush out.

That’s been my experience so far anyway.

To this point, I’ve imagined in my mind the actual birth.  Heidi would be on the hospital bed, feet in the stirrups, doctor hovering over screaming push.  When I came to think on it, I mentioned to Heidi that this seems silly, didn’t cavewomen like squat or something and let gravity help?

Then we watched this movie, the Business of Being Born, just this last week based on the recommendation of some friends. (Netflix)

The Business of Being Born 

 

And I got to see babies being born this time for real and not in a movie.

Here’s some interesting things I saw:

  • So it looks like midwives prefer you to give birth standing/squatting, sometimes in water.
  • There’s a cocktail of hormones that get released at birth bonding the mother and infant – a biological process.
  • Doctor-based intervention usually starts with shot to induce labor (PIT – something), then a shot to numb the pain (the spinal one), which relaxes the woman so they give more of the first shot to re-induce labor, then back to the  shot to numb the pain and back and forth and on and on into a vicious cycle…  which leads to…
  • 1 in 3 babies, in the U.S. today are caesarian section births.
  • Physician convenience is a leading cause of caesarian section – a large number of babies are born at 4PM (“it’s getting late time to go home”) and 10PM (“it’s getting late, I need to go to bed”).
  • Hooking up to an intravenous, IV, allows easier administration of the shots mentioned above.  In a typical hospital pregnancy you are hooked up first thing thereby making it less of an obstacle when later proposed.

It’s worth a watch even from a historical perspective just to see how births in the US have evolved over the past 100 years.

Update (2010.08.18): Just heard from the midwife today at Heidi's appointment that The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published an article back on 2010.07.21 that states:

The cesarean delivery rate in the US increased dramatically over the past four decades, from 5% in 1970 to over 31% in 2007. 

So from 1 in 20 to 1 in 3 over 40 years.  Link to the article.