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I Know You Rider

This is where it has to happen, and this is where it has to happen. Full speed ahead.

I Know You Rider is a birth story of this little Grateful Dead bear, this easy rider, midnight rider, rider on the storm. Rider Benjamin.

It’s funny how sometimes, everything touches you, and sometimes, it’s much more muted and muffled, and maybe mutated too. It doesn’t mean you can’t feel; it just means at that given time, you don’t have the tools it would take to feel it all, or even a fraction of it. It’s like how we only use a tiny percentage of our large brains – some of us more than others – and I think we can only handle our feels in palatable slices as well. I know I write about this often, but it’s like the wild, roaring YOU that you have in dreams. Maybe you don’t hold back, can’t hold back, and feel things in the deepest of sorrows and joys – both ends of the spectrums. They’re more alike.

In that you’re feeling and breathing and acting without limits.

childbirth center

It’s funny how, sometimes, everything touches you. Lucy attacked a wasp on the deck, maybe two days ago, or yesterday. I don’t know because every day bleeds into one in the postpartum pandemic haze. There are vivid skies and vivid encounters and very vivid fears and pains and joys, but maybe they haze together into a more muted and muffled, and maybe mutated, haze. And this is ok. So, the wasp. Last night I went outside late to gather Lucy back inside and saw the body of the wasp exactly where she had trapped and tormented it. And I felt sorrow for the wasp, the way I do for much cuter, fuzzier animals, like roadkill. I hate to see them laid out like that, with their lives stopped short. Sometimes I’m better equipped to handle it, and step over it.

Other times I’m wide open, enough to feel the stabbing pains. Literally and metaphorically.

contraction on a monitor

And this seems as good of a time as ever to start a birth story, especially one with the most physical pain I’ve ever experienced, but not for any complications at all. It’s because of the lack of pain meds, and their wonderful ability to dull and mute and muffle and, yes, to mutate the overpowering physical sensations – to turn it into a happier haze. I’m at peace with having one birth with full pain meds, one birth with only two hours of blessed pain-free laboring, and one with no pain meds at all. The full range, if you will, of colors and sensations and being wide open, if only to accept the stabbing pains, as they make their way through. Everything ends.

Even pain.

I Know You Rider is a birth story of this little Grateful Dead bear, this easy rider, midnight rider, rider on the storm. Rider Benjamin.

Let’s go back to the very beginning, shall we? And yes, this video actually goes back to 2009 and then shoots ahead to the future, but that’s ok. You already know the end of this particular story.

Which I guess you could say is also the beginning. A beginning.

Bowman, Party of 5 from cassidy bowman on Vimeo.

I was more mum on here and in general about when the baby was coming. My goal was to get to 39 weeks, which is full-term. I didn’t want to go over 39/40 weeks, but I didn’t want 38 weeks because that’s when Des was born, and there were complications there. At first my midwives told me there was a tiny (very tiny) chance of stillbirth for people going over 39 weeks at my age. So I scheduled weekly ultrasounds (BPP – Biophysical Profiles) at 36, 37, 38, and 39 weeks. All went well (REALLY well) so the midwives said that those ultrasounds were telling them what we didn’t otherwise know about my health and the baby’s health. He got perfect scores every time on heart, stomach, kidneys, amniotic fluid, placenta aging, etc. It was time to make a decision.

nine months pregnant

At my 39th week appointment, I saw a midwife I had never met, but she doesn’t deliver babies, so even though I wouldn’t see her at the birth, I appreciated her help in making a decision. We set an induction date for the morning of October 13th – his due date. Cassidy’s birthday is April 13th, the half birthday of October 13th, and Des’ birthday is June 13th. So every male in my family would potentially have a 13th birthday! I didn’t need to schedule a nighttime induction for cervical ripening because I was already 1-2cm at that point. Although I have to tell you, I did NOT think I’d need that induction. I was 100% convinced I’d go into labor on my own at any minute.

And throughout the week, I didn’t. I’d get labor symptoms, but nothing steady. I tried it all.

I Know You Rider is a birth story of this little Grateful Dead bear, this easy rider, midnight rider, rider on the storm. Rider Benjamin.

So, I mean, not really ALL. I didn’t drink castor oil or use raspberry leaf tea under a full moon or anything. Pretty much anything else, though! We even got Eggplant Parmesan from Joe’s Pizza in town the night before the induction. I was probably in labor that night of the 12th but not enough to warrant a call to the hospital. So we got up before dawn, got dressed, and said hearty goodbyes to the kids and pets when Cassidy’s mom got there to watch the house. I was really disgustingly nervous. I can have superhero moments and moments of feeling weaker. This was entire days and weeks and months of feeling weaker, despite having a super healthy pregnancy and managing two jobs and co-parenting kids at home. I was about to do something intense!

And yet, I felt weak, but off we went. So we had a quiet, beautiful drive to the hospital, and giggled at a lawn Halloween decoration of a full skeleton looking into an antique baby carriage.

We quietly parked the car and walked in, and got fresh masks and COVID screenings.

hospital elevators

When I told the employee I was there for a 7:30am labor induction, she said, “COOL!” And so we were goofing off and being ourselves. Then we walked alone to the elevator, up to the birthing center, and hit the intercom to be buzzed in. It was all so quiet and normal. The nurse came out and took my temperature (the old-fashioned oral way) and we were led to the labor and delivery room. Then I got dressed in the hospital gown and hooked up to monitors, and the midwife on duty came in. Yay! It was Rachel, who was the one I saw most during my pregnancy. There was one I hadn’t even met at all during these strange COVID times. So Rachel checked me (4cm) and Rachel and my nurse, Merri, fretted over my heartrate and blood pressure being a bit high.

Although, please find me someone who DOESN’T get nervous at a labor induction at 7:30am, during COVID times and before a COVID test, AND, after a previous traumatic birth experience.

I Know You Rider is a birth story of this little Grateful Dead bear, this easy rider, midnight rider, rider on the storm. Rider Benjamin.

And then it was COVID testing time. Merri put on full PPE for this and seemed hesitant, which I later found out is because she hates giving COVID tests. That’s because they suck! People sometimes startle or freak out or grab her. I was still as anything, and it wasn’t that bad! It made my eyes water but that’s because it stings, and not because I was crying. Once the test was over, my heartrate and blood pressure went down, and once the test result was negative, I think we all calmed down. I was given the lowest dose of Pitocin and we started cruising. I was definitely having contractions that we could watch, and the baby was tolerating them beautifully.

I was also given IV fluids, which maybe had to do with Pitocin? I know not but it worked!

Nothing hurt too much, and the morning was quiet.

to be continued

To be continued.. until next Friday at the LATEST, but maybe before then. That post will have the labor/delivery conclusion and adorable photos galore. Until then, enjoy everything, and always!

“I Know You Rider” was song #3 on our birthing playlist.

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16 Comments

  1. Aw, you brought me back (minus the COVID test) as I was induced for both my girls. The first child the induction took what seemed like forever – I was in the hospital from 6:30 am and didn’t deliver until after 10:30 at night. My 2nd, I was checked in at 10:30 am and delivered by a little after 3:30 pm. But love birth storied and look forward to hearing the next part next week now. <3

    1. I was induced with Des! It was so stressful because it wasn’t planned. The whole thing was “only” 7-8 hours or so which seems so fast to me. I think I react well to Pitocin, whatever that means.
      You had a fast second birth!!

  2. Keep this story going !! Love it!!! Will you use as many segments as your love story saga? Doesn’t matter. Your words are magic.

  3. Awww I loved reading part one of your delivery story. And I absolutely love your birth announcement! So. Cute ❤️ I haven’t taken the Covid test but sounds awful. I’m so glad that you had a midwife with you but holy hell… no meds?!? Girl, you are some kind of super hero. Whether you felt like one or not 🥰 sending lots of love to your adorable family! Also I miss Mila at that wee size!!

    1. It’s really not that bad – I promise! I’m referring to the COVID test.. giving birth with no drugs really is that bad – haha. Well, for me.

  4. Oh my goodness Tamara, you went thorough so much before even having Rider. I can only imagine how crazy it must be to be in the hospital during this COVID time – you are so strong and Rider is beauitufl!

    1. You know it was different for sure, but we have a really quiet hospital! I think with all three of my births, there was maybe one other woman giving birth at the same time. So we even got to choose our own postpartum recovery room!

  5. Wow Tamara, what a story along with all the beautiful pics! I want to read the rest already!! Your strong will so deeply rooted, and your determination come shining through here, and l know we will see more examples as we read on!

  6. That video is awesome! Welcome to the party of 5 world. We are going to be there soon once Sam leaves. Not being a party of 6 is going to be weird! Your baby and family are the cutest 🙂

  7. So exciting!!!! I can relate to all of this. How fun is Cassidy’s Iron Man video! That was fun. Hey, you guys got a blessing from 2020 after all. A ginormous blessing–and you’re so tiny! lol Congratulations!!

  8. You are a braveheart, Tamara. These photos are amazing and wow, isn’t Rider perfection? I can’t imagine the scare of Covid right before giving birth. A whole new layer of unknowns added onto an already intense experience. Can’t wait to read part 2!! Congratulations to you all.

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