Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Naomi Xochitl Koberstein
April 19 at 3:07am
Weighing in at 8lb. 7oz and 22 inches

"Naomi" is pleasant in Hebrew. "Xochitl" is flower in Aztec. (For help pronouncing that, in the Americanized form or the Original Aztec/Nahuatl, click away)

That's the essential information... I'll now go into a more detailed account of her arrival... feel free to be excused at this point if you are one of those squeemish men out there... really, though, it's not at all a bad birth story.

So, I started tracking labor pains about 9pm on Sunday. Jon and I and the kids had gone for a lovely walk around the block followed by a drive down by the bay and some rock-throwing. We had just put Larry and Dawna down for the night and poor Larry had a low fever. I found it getting increasingly hard to ignore the contractions that were coming about every 10 minutes or so. We started timing them and by 11:15, they were about 5 minutes apart and 30+ seconds long. I couldn't really stand while they were happening because they hurt so bad... and that's when we decided we better go to the hospital. We got to the hospital around 11:45... and the first little while in the hospital was the worst! It felt like they took FOREVER to check me in and get me on the initial monitors to see IF I was in labor. I had little doubt in my mind that I was, but that didn't get admissions or the nurses to move any faster... I was getting a little frustrated with each passing contraction... each growing stronger... I was dilated to a 5 at this point.

For some reason, these contractions felt so much more powerful and painful than what I remembered in previous labors. I don't know if it was just because is was the middle of the night and I was already tired or if I actually had back labor this time, but something was definitely different and much more acutely painful. So, as soon as they actually got me to a labor and delivery room, I asked to talk to the anesthesiologist. I was still terrified of an epidural, but I was really at the end of my endurance. The anesthesiologist was amazing! She talked me through every step of what she was doing and I felt mostly comforted the whole time. It was all done around 2:15am, and they checked dilation again: 8.

Let me tell you, an epidural is a really weird sensation. It felt like labor was going backwards, but the monitor insisted the contractions were getting stronger. Even the super intense transition contractions felt just like Braxton Hicks. I knew my legs could still move, but it was like I couldn't remember how to coordinate the muscles. It kind of made me laugh.

So this went on for a few minutes and my water broke at 2:35am. So they checked me again, and the L&D nurse just said, "Ok, when you feel like you want to push, let me know and I'll get the midwife." Around 3:00 I felt like I wanted to push, so they adjusted the bed, brought in the midwife, I pushed three times, and Naomi was born. 3:07am. I could still feel every bit of it, but I almost couldn't believe it! It was the easiest pushing ever! I've heard that about subsequent births, but didn't experience it with Larry. Naomi made up for Larry's hard labor :)
So here we are, around 3:30 in the morning and we're all smiling and happy. She is such a beauty! And the best part... she has black hair! (at least for now... I'm well aware it may all fall out and come in blond, but let it be known that I finally produced a dark-haired child!)

Such an interesting experience it is to compare "natural" childbirth to the epidural experience. I've come up with the following observations:

Advantages of the epidural:
  • Once it's in and placed, there's very little pain.
  • MUCH easier to stay relaxed, cheerful, and smiling through the whole experience--even at 3am.
  • In my case, I think it helped my muscles relax and dilate faster, but that's just a MAYBE.
  • Did I mention it made the actual birth almost pain-free??? SO WEIRD!
Disadvantages of the epidural:
  • It is a little disconcerting and freaky to know you're just letting someone stick something in your spine. It does hurt a bit going in. It looks like a guitar string.
  • After labor and delivery, there was a spot in my back that felt pretty bruised. The back pain still isn't quite all the way gone, and I feel it with the postpartum contractions that happen while nursing. It's nothing unmanageable, but uncomfortable.
  • The thing I missed most with the epidural was the unmistakable emotional/hormonal high you get with a "natural" delivery. I almost felt cheated of the excitement of seeing her for the first time--just because it almost didn't feel real to me.
Was it worth it? Will I get an epidural next time? I don't know...

Anyway, that was kind of just a side-bar... Naomi is so beautiful and already (just like Dawna) is very good-natured. Even the nurses at the hospital commented on her good temperament. since we both were doing so well, we decided to go home from the hospital on Monday night, almost exactly 18 hours after arriving at the hospital. My mom brought Dawna over to visit, but Larry couldn't come because he still had a fever.
Jon's girls!

Then Becca and Aiden came by to visit also... we joke about these two being betrothed :)
My sweet baby girl--so peaceful in the little bassinet! She's perfect She's a beauty...and she's mine!



At April 22, 2010 12:46 AM , Blogger sunnysnows said...

What a pretty girl! I'm amazed how short labor was, even though it probably didn't feel short. I am also amazed that she was 22 inches long. Maybe she will be tall like her daddy? Aiden was only 21 inches long at his one-month check-up.

At April 22, 2010 9:32 AM , Blogger jcsev said...

Yay! She is so cute. Can't wait to meet her and hold her! Donna looks happy to have a sister.

At April 22, 2010 3:32 PM , Blogger Andrew Bosley said...

Congrats Danielle! I canNOT believe you're a mother of three. HOLY COW!!! She's beautiful!!

At April 22, 2010 9:22 PM , Blogger jackie herself said...

congrats!!!! she is beautiful, just like her momma. =)

At April 23, 2010 8:53 PM , Blogger Aimee said...

Congratulations, Deeb! She is so cute. Can't wait to get a chance to meet her. Gabriella says Dawna is super lucky to have a sister :-)

At April 25, 2010 8:23 AM , Blogger Sarah S said...

Naomi is such a beautiful baby! And I'm impressed with the fast labor too. Both of my labors have been LONGGGG and back labor the whole time. Yuck.

I photographed a birth late on Thursday night/early Friday morning and I kept thinking about you with your very recent delivery. It was neat to witness a birth - such a different experience than being the one delivering the baby.

I agree that the epidural is a little scary - but ohhhhh it feels so much better once you get it. When I was in labor with Charlie, I had been laboring since 3 p.m. and asked for an epidural around 10 p.m. I had tried to wait as long as possible (which was miserable) since I was going for a VBAC - and then they told me it would be an HOUR because the anesthesiologist was in an emergency c-section. I thought I was going to die having to wait an entire hour longer. But it was so worth it to get that darn thing :)

I hope you're able to rest and recover, despite having a hungry little newborn. And I hope Larry is feeling better too!

At April 25, 2010 9:36 PM , Blogger Katie said...

She is so cute!! Guess I need to look into plane tickets! =)

At April 25, 2010 9:55 PM , Blogger Melissa said...

Congrats! It was so funny to read your epidural comments. I really related to alot of the natural vs epidural. I had an epidural with Brooke and for some reason it felt a little eerie almost. But pleasant at the same time. I think one of the big reasons I went for an epidural this time was because I had been up all night and was so tired. I'm not sure which way I'll go next time.

At April 26, 2010 1:57 PM , Blogger Caleb and Elizabeth said...

Congratulations! She is a beautiful baby girl. I like short labor:0) Have a fast recovery.

At April 27, 2010 6:07 PM , Blogger Cox Family said...

Awww she's sooo cute.. When I come up for bobbies wedding I'm sooo going to come visit u.. Congrats you did a great job.. She's adorable.. Love ya sis

At April 27, 2010 7:08 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

Congrats! What a beautiful family.

At May 04, 2010 8:36 PM , Blogger Laura said...

Congrats! I love the epidural comments. I had one with Grace and figured that was the way to go. But maybe I'm missing out on something.


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