Nia is now over a month old and I’m JUST NOW POSTING HER BIRTH STORY! Seriously, it’s taken this long for me to feel even a little bit normal. Anyway…I wrote this five weeks ago and it feels like five minutes ago.
Nia will be one week old tomorrow, and it seems like she has been here with us all along. She is a perfect blend of both Tony and I, and neither one of us could have imagined how much we would love her.
After our whole “experience” last Saturday with the Induction That Never Happened, we changed physicians and scheduled an appointment for an ultrasound the following Monday to determine how large the baby was. The ultrasound showed that she was 9 pounds, 7 ounces. I scheduled an appointment with the new doctor for the following day to discuss our options, and whether we would try for an induction again, or go ahead with a c-section. But before the end of the day on Monday, as I was walking around the house looking for something to keep my mind off of the fact that I was MISERABLE, I started to piss my pants…well, at least that’s what I thought was happening. But those kegal exercises weren’t working, and I couldn’t stop peeing! That’s when it hit me that my water was breaking. I ran to the bathroom and the liquid just kept coming. I quickly cleaned myself up and walked out to where Tony was playing video games and said, “ummm, Tony?”
“Yeah.” (Totally in half-listening-mode)
“I think my water just broke.”
He immediately jumped up off the couch and started pacing around the apartment like he was on a mission, and yet he had no idea what his mission was. I called the doctor’s office and explained to the nurse what had happened. I told her I wasn’t 100% sure it was my bag of water, but she said to go to the hospital anyway…and so we did. But before we even left the parking lot, as I was getting into the car…it started gushing all over again.
By the time we got to the hospital, I felt absolutely disgusting. In the movies and on TV they make it seem like the woman’s water breaks in a gush all over the floor and then the baby’s born and that’s it. Now I realize that there is a whole bunch of crap that happens in between, but the one thing I DIDN’T know, and that the nurses told me once I got there, is that once your water breaks…YOU NEVER STOP LEAKING GROSS SHIT ! I sat for sixteen and a half hours of labor with towels between my legs to catch the leakage. I just was not expecting that.
Anyway, back to the story…
So the nurses informed me that another doctor was on-call (third doctor in one week) that day and that they had paged her because I was, indeed, in labor. Shortly afterwards the doctor called and asked to speak with me. We discussed what I wanted to do because as she looked over my chart, she confirmed that Nia was a large baby and that I had not progressed very much (I was 2cm dilated at this point, but she was still at a minus 3 station). She said that if she had to guess, with this being my first baby and all the factors involved, my risk for a c-section should I choose to deliver vaginally was about 60%. At this point, I thought that I would probably end up with surgery, but if there was a small chance that I could avoid it, I was going to try…but under the circumstances, I didn’t want to labor for days in pain and end up on the operating table anyway…so my plan for a natural childbirth went out the window, and I got the epidural.
The Epidural…let me tell you something about it. After laboring to almost 4cm without it, it really does feel like heaven once you do get it. But for me, heaven didn’t stick around long. I had to be re-dosed three times because it kept wearing off. And even during the moments when it was working, I still had back labor (baby was sunny-side-up) and the pressure of her head was exruciating. Later, after being stuck at 7cm for three hours, we determined that the pressure was due to her not being able to fit through my pelvis, and because my cervix was now swollen instead of being thinned out…a c-section was our new plan of action. Oh, and also? It was change of shift and a new doctor was on call, so DOCTOR NUMBER FOUR would be cutting my baby out!
Seriously…at that point, I wanted to cut her out myself, so Dr. Whatever Your Name Is was just fine with me.
I need to take a moment to tell you about my coach…while I know this man loves me, it is apparent that he is not cut out for labor coaching. He complained that his back hurt when I needed him to put pressure on my back during contractions. He complained that his hands hurt when I needed him to rub my back. He complained that he was tired and needed coffee. And then at 8am on Tuesday when it was time to go to the operating room, he was the grouchiest grouch I had ever met in my life. Now I wasn’t expecting that the universe would revolve around me just because I was giving birth, but I certainly didn’t expect that he would think that the universe should revolve around HIM! So not what I expected. But before they wheeled me into the OR, I told him to get his act together, I knew he was tired, but our daughter was about to be born and he needed to snap out of it!
And then…about ten minutes later, I heard him yell, “oh, Oh, OH!” and then I heard her beautiful cry. Tony was pacing around the operating room saying over and over again, “It’s ok! Daddy’s here!” He was DEFINITELY in a better mood. It seemed like forever before someone finally showed her to me, and even then I couldn’t really see her because they held her about a millimeter in front of my face, and I don’t know about you, but for me…objects need to be a normal distance away from my face in order for my eyes to focus on them. So, I just cried and cried as my daughter cried, and I just kept thinking to myself what a beautiful blurry blob they just pulled out of me!
Someone yelled out that she scored a ten on her APGAR tests (obviously, she’s a genius), and someone else weighed and measured her at NINE POUNDS, FIFTEEN OUNCES. Oh yes, she was a ten pound baby. No wonder she wouldn’t fit.
Eventually, they escorted Tony out, sewed me up, and FINALLY laid that piece of my soul that I had been carrying around for nine months on my chest and let me snuggle with her all the way to the recovery room. THAT was my moment. The moment I had waited for…the moment my life changed, and yet felt like it was just as it had always been. I held my daughter in my arms, and she held my heart in her hands…and I felt God smile on us both.