Monday, January 11, 2010

Melia - the story of her name

Melia, pronounced "Muh-Lee-Uh," has several different meanings for us.

First, and most importantly, we chose this name because it's the Hawaiian form of "Mary." I have always wanted to name my daughter (should I be so blessed to have a daughter) after my grandmother. However, I didn't want to use the traditional Mary, Maria, or Marie. When I was pregnant with Dean I began looking into variants of "Mary" and Malia was a name I fell in love with immediately.

Melia also happens to be the name of our hotel in Spain; and I really wanted to choose a name with some kind of Spanish meaning.

Melia is a Hawaiian name for the plumeria or frangipani flower - and I love the idea of a girl's name also being a flower name. How beautiful! It's like a visual symbol of her name. And isn't it a beautiful flower? I love it!

Melia...Melia...Melia...I think the name itself is lovely, but I what I love most is how many beautiful meanings it represents for us.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Melia Joy's Birth Story

Melia Joy Kardos arrived on December 27, 2009 (12 days late) at 1:29pm! It was a long pregnancy and when labor day was actually here, I was relieved and excited. I had been having contractions daily, though inconsistantly, since December 4th...and every night I'd go to bed thinking - wishing - that THIS would be the night. As I grew increasingly more uncomfortable in my pregnant body, I also grew more eager and excited to hold my little girl. The night before she was born we took a long family walk where I lunged and charged ahead, trying to bring on labor. With each contraction I would squat and rock my body in hopes of bringing her lower. Around 9:30pm on the 26th my contractions came a bit stronger and they lasted throughout the night. Somewhere around midnight I began timing them; and they were about 7 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each. Chris & I decided we should try to rest; and I layed down again. I awoke around 2am feeling more intensity and felt eager to prepare for a trip to Pawtucket Memorial! Chris & I organized the house a bit: assembled the garbage and recycling (Christmas had just exploded in our living room!), washed dishes, finished two loads of laundry...then we re-assessed. Maybe we should try to rest until things were a bit further along. So, back to bed for a bit. Finally, three hours later, I thought we should call the midwife. We spoke to Michelle Palmer at 6:30 and told her we'd head up to the hospital in an hour or so. We called my mom; sent text messages to our doulas, Shelley Harvey & Merav Minkin; and took showers. My mom came around 7am and took Drew & Dean out to breakfast around 7:30. Chris and I decided to take a nice walk around the neighborhood to keep things moving. When I was in labor with Drew and Dean we had walked for hours in Bonnet Shores...they were beautiful summer days. Well, on THIS walk, it began to rain...downpour, in fact...and so we came home. We decided to head to the hospital - contractions were 3-5 minutes apart.

I was greeted by Shelley & Merav and after a quick check-in, we all went up to the maternity floor. I was monitored a bit, encouraged to eat & drink some juice, and allowed to walk around. I was 4 cm dialated upon arrival and after some lunging & squatting on the stairs, I quickly progressed to 6 cm. The rest moved along fast. I was monitored, given an IV for my antibiotics & fluids, and spent an hour squatting and working with my contractions to help my baby girl decend.

We had been given labor room #4 - the big birthing room - and while I never used the shower (although I was quite heated and could've used one!), it was a great room nonetheless! Shelley & Merav had lit the flameless candles and turned off the smelled like lavendar and vanilla...they had juice and ice for me...a cool, damp cloth for my forehead...peaceful music playing. It was so calm and peaceful. I spent a good amount of time squatting at the edge of the bed - there was a rail which was perfect for support. My "team" was fabulous in keeping me cool, helping me focus on breathing well and keeping the sounds deep to release the pelvis, helping my body let go of tension, and assuring me I was doing well!

After some time I moved onto the bed and maintained an upright position for birthing. It felt, to me, like a long time, but the "record" said I only pushed for 15 minutes. Ha! At 1:29pm, Melia Joy was born...and was a perfect, healthy 9 pound 8 ounce baby girl!

It is such a gift to have been able to experience this beautiful, natural birth...and I am so blessed to have a healthy little girl to add to my family. I feel like I waited my whole life for this ~ my family is complete and I am so in love.

Michelle Palmer (see right photo) was absolutely amazing. In our dimly lit room she used only a small mirror to assist in the delivery process. She encouraged me to trust my body...and I was able to do so because I had such great trust in HER. I could never ask for a better midwife. I wish she attended the births of all my children.

Merav & Shelley were so awesome. They were instrumental in setting the stage, keeping the environment calm and helping me stay comfortable. Their support allowed my labor to progress naturally and their assurance kept me strong. I am so grateful that BOTH of them helped create this beautiful experience and were able to attend Melia's birth.

Chris was an important element of my "birthing team" as well! He was calm & gentle and supported my dreams of a natural birth. He listened to countless talks of what facilitates a natural birth, how a partner can be supportive, and what I dreamed of. He listened on my "blue" pregnancy days; he worked hard to give me down time so I could rest - especially when my back was in so much pain; he has been an incredible partner and father :)

Melia has been an amazing baby! She is adored by her two older brothers. When she cries, which is so seldom, Drew will start singing to her...anything from "Twinkle, Twinkle" to "Girl, Put Your Records On". Both Drew and Dean love to show Melia their lovies - often laying their "friends" across her body. Dean ask for her every time he wakes up or comes in the house, "Where's the baby?" He always wants the baby to wake up and insists she come downstairs with us. He'll bring books to the couch while I'm nursing and we'll read together. Melia is a strong nurser, a great sleeper, and loves to cuddle. She's easy to sleep with because she doesn't make much noise! Our first doctor appt. is tomorrow - and I can't wait to see how much she weighs.

I was scared to birth such a big baby...but I trusted my body and it went smoothly! I am grateful for her size as she eats and sleeps well. She seems so peaceful too...perhaps it's a reflection of her lovely birth. What a beautiful way to be greeted by the world!