Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What's in a name? By Trent Becker

People have asked what our daughter's name means.

Ila Vieu sounds like I love you. That was what we were thinking when we thought up the name. After some sleuthing on the internet about this sort of literary debacling we've decided it is simply a phonological similarity: where it sounds like one thing, even though it isn't spelled the same.
In French, "il a vieux" would mean something like "It has old" which isn't the sort of meaning we were wanting to convey at all! And since there isn't an x it isn't even spelled right to be French, so there won't be that confusion anyway! It did get me thinking though, while we were trying to decide on a name, about Isle, which is the same root in Latin that Ila comes from... Ila Vieu = old, island
Ila: Islands are known for their independence and fragility as well as their prominence and steadfastness. These are good characteristics to have as an individual, and a leader. Who doesn't want their child to grow up to be affirmative and strong though, right?

Vieu: Old... what is good about old? Well, we were talking about an island and it being steadfast, so that means it is around for a long time, weathering storms and the relentless waves crashing upon it day in and day out. These were the sorts of things I was thinking about when I was thinking of "Vieu" and its associations with oldness. It also sounds and looks very similar to 'view'. Something to gaze at, a beautiful thing or wonder, a reminder of something perfect. I also had these sorts of things tracing through my mind.
So, what does her name mean? At this point, God only knows. Of course it means I love you as a phonological similarity, and we'd like to preattribute all sorts of admirable traits and characteristics to it as well in hopes of Ila picking them up osmotically, or however, but time will tell if all of these things I've been saying end up defining our little Ila!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ila's Birth Story, by Nicole Becker

It all began around 10pm on Wednesday (28th). We were about to go to sleep when I informed Trent that I was having more painful contractions than the false contractions I had been having for the past few weeks. We timed them for fun, and found that they were pretty sporadic, going from around 10 to 12 to 4 minutes apart, but a bit more painful nonetheless. I was also having some back pain. After an hour of timing them we decided that I could be in early labor but sleep would be the best option.

The next morning we woke up and headed to our scheduled appointment with our midwife. I was still having those same contractions, but now they were coming fairly regularly, every 10-12 minutes, and our midwife said I was probably in early labor and she would not be surprised if I had the baby later that day. This was all around 10 am; I was 80% effaced and 3 cm dilated - which wasn't much different from the week previous.

On the way home my contractions started getting more intense and we decided to time them, just to see how far apart they were. That hour I averaged 6 minutes between contractions. We were planning on heading to the hospital once they were around 4 minutes apart, so we figured we would give it another hour, thinking that if this wasn't early labor yet they would probably bounce around a bit and then fade away for a while. We kept timing the contractions and trying different relaxation techniques we had learned and practiced from our birth class.

By the time noon rolled around my contractions had gone from 6 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart. We hemmed and hawed about going into the hospital because it seemed CRAZY to us that I was having contractions so close together an hour or 2 after seeing the midwife. We stopped timing contractions after that because they were coming so close together. We agreed it was time to go and Trent started grabbing all our stuff and loading the car. This took about an hour, even though everything was pretty much ready to go because every time I had a contraction, I wanted him there, holding my hand or putting pressure on my lower back or SOMETHING!

While he was doing this I had a contraction and a sudden urge to push. I yelled, "Trent, I feel like I need to push!" He came running and told me to get on my hands and knees and put my butt in the air (we learned in our birth class that this can be helpful for stalling second stage labor). After that contraction ended we made our way to the car, which was only about 10 feet outside our front door, but still took about 5 minutes to get into! Once we got to the car Trent drove us quickly and safely to the hospital.

While we were driving, Trent was a little confused about where we were supposed to go: the place where we had appointments, or the hospital. When he asked me, I excitedly exclaimed that he was supposed have that figured out. He quickly interpreted that what I meant was, "Go to the hospital hunnybunny, because the other place was only for our appointments, please." Trent effortlessly maneuvered the car around to Entrance 2 where a friendly security guard was posted. Before Trent was even out of the car the hospital guard had a wheel chair outside my door and was on the radio informing someone, somewhere that they had a 1040 (or some other four digit code) and we were all heading up to the delivery room. I think the 1040 was code for "a woman about to give birth, right here, at the door." Trent asked if we could just leave the car at the entrance for a minute and was told that it was okay (so he left it, running, at the front door of the hospital!).

We pulled up to the counter on the Labor & Delivery floor and were apparently interrupting lunch time. The nurses pittle-farted around for a minute, until my loud yelling with the oncoming contraction got me into a room, and our midwife on the way! She checked me and said I was 9 cm dilated and about to have the baby! We were shocked. It was barely 1:30, and I had just started laboring at 10. Could it really be happening so fast, with my first birth?? I guess so!

They secured external heart monitors onto my pregnant belly to get heart tones for the baby and before 20 minutes of that had even passed, they told us they didn't like how low her heart beat was dropping after my contractions and that they were so close together her heartbeat was not going back up to the desired level. So they put some oxygen on me and told me I really needed to start breathing more/better during my contractions. My awesome husband/labor coach really helped me with this, but the midwife still didn't like the heart tones she was getting so she informed us that we may need to do a c-section delivery.

I'll pause here in the story to tell you that Trent and I were very hopeful about having a natural birth. We did NOT like hearing that they were suggesting a c-section, especially since we had just arrived and labor had barely begun!

Around 2pm they announced they were going to get the doctor and prepare the O.R. for a c-section because of the heart tones being low. I asked our midwife if there was something else we could do first. We agreed that breaking my water would be a good step, even though we were hoping that would happen naturally as well. Then, I started having my next contraction and my water broke on it's own, ALL over Trent! What a splash of relief that was, and then the PAIN came back immediately! Then they told Trent to go get scrubs on and started wheeling me to the O.R.

All of a sudden, there were 6 masked faces surrounding me, and someone put a big gas mask on my face. I had NO idea what was going on and started yelling (while having serious contractions) "Where's my husband, WHERE'S MY HUSBAND?!?!" Then I heard his voice, and he appeared, masked and in scrubs. "I'm right here, Nicole, it's okay."

At this point, they put an internal monitor on the baby and told me that if I had a contraction, to grab my leg and push. Then I had a contraction, and ALL the nurses, midwife and doctor turned their attention to the monitor, to see the baby's heart beat. I tried to grab my own leg (not really working for me as they had me flat on my back) and push while Trent was supporting me and holding my other hand, but didn't have the support I needed from the O.R. staff, as all of their eyes were on the fetal heart monitor. After the contraction, the whole room went crazy (well, MORE crazy) because Ila's heart beat had dropped into the 60s (yikes!). They told Trent he had to leave and started escorting him out, and I heard someone say, "Sir, you have to leave because we need to put her under." I started shaking my head back and forth, and kicking a little, then Trent said in a stern, controlled voice, "Wait, everyone, just stop a minute and wait. She has NO idea what is going on and this is all going way to fast. She hasn't even had a chance to really push. Let's all take a moment and let things settle down a bit and then move forward together."

Miraculously they all listened and agreed to allow perhaps one more push, but they really wanted to get that baby out! Well, when I pushed everyone helped a lot more, holding legs and offering good breathing / pushing advice and the doctor followed my contraction with this surprising update: "Oh, wow, she's crowning!"

This seemed to really do the trick of getting everyone on the same page. They began telling me I could do it with one more push, and that the baby was right there, and how important it was for me to push with all I had. It was so awesome to have everyone on the same page and rooting for us!

"It's coming now," I said, feeling another contraction coming and some nurses helped me pull my legs up and I gave another good push and out the baby's head came, followed shortly thereafter by her quivering little body! It seemed like everyone cheered, but maybe that was just me cheering internally! The baby's heart beat was just fine and dandy right after the initial shock of delivery, and she was one healthy baby. Trent went with her to the back of the room and said that she pooped 4 times while the nurses were trying to get her responsive, cleaned up and ready for being weighed and measured! They went through a large stack of towels before eventually deciding to just put a diaper on her!

Before too long, she was in our arms and we were sent back to the labor room to relax and pick a name for our bundle of joy. When we started getting settled in, we noticed that the car keys were sitting on a chair, and after a little bit of asking around we found out that the security guard had radioed up and said he'd pull our car away from the entrance and have the keys sent up to our room! That was great, because we certainly weren't thinking about the car at that point! Picking a name for her took about as long as the labor and delivery. Trent joked around about how it was the hardest thing he has ever had to do! We chose Ila Vieu for a few reasons, but mostly to remind her of God's love for her and ours too!

We spent 2 days with her in the hospital and are now home and adjusting. She is so sweet. We have had a wonderful time reminiscing and remembering a few different things that occurred leading up to, and throughout the delivery. One of the most amazing things had just happened the previous week.

We were walking out to our car at Albertson's when a lady approached us and asked if she could pray for us and the delivery of our little one. We happily accepted her invitation and she prayed for us, our little baby on the way, and for the delivery and medical professionals. We thanked her and left, talking about how nice it is to be part of a random act of kindness and spiritual obedience, but we were slightly confused. She prayed that God would be with the surgeons in Ila's delivery and that the birth would happen according to God's plan. All along we've felt that God's plan was to deliver naturally, so we didn't understand why we would need surgeons to have a natural birth.

Looking back at it now, we are totally amazed at how specific and accurate her prayer was for the delivery of Ila. It's an awesome reminder to us that God is in control of the situations and times in our lives even when they seem so chaotic to us.

We feel so blessed and loved by God already, and the experience of having a child has only increased those feelings. We are filled with joy and the reminder of God's love and grace by our little Ila Vieu.