Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I woke up Saturday morning in a markedly foul mood. I was miserable. I was fat. I was a bit depressed. I wanted Brandon home. I wanted to yell at everybody. I felt like I was coming down with something. And I swear my face had doubled in size in the last 24 hours. I was in no mood to be awake. Within a half hour of rolling out of bed I was back in bed. Most of the day was spent like that; sleeping, grumbling, and complaining.
Brandon called me on his way to work for our usual chat. He could tell I was beyond miserable and urged me to get of the house, to do something to cheer myself up. I was starving, it was just me and my step-dad at home, so I coaxed him into going and getting some sushi. The meal was delicious and uneventful. Always good company, Dan and I chatted and enjoyed the food.
On the way home, around 7:00 pm, Dan needed to stop at the grocery store so I dropped him off and decided to go rent a couple of movies. I waddled my way over to Blockbuster and just as I walked in the door I felt a slightly odd, wet feeling. The manager behind the counter asked me if I was alright since I was very clearly, very pregnant and I had just stopped dead in my tracks with my mouth wide open.
"Um, can I use your bathroom?" I squeaked.
Sensing my urgency, she practically ran to the bathroom, nearly barreling over a few customers in the process.
Sure enough, my water broke. Do not panic, I am fine. I am fine. I am. Fine. B is still in Wyoming. I am fine. Holy fire. I had not been feeling any consistent or painful contractions that day, so I was stunned, to say the least. I ran- as fast as a 39 weeks pregnant lady can- out to my car, fumbling for my phone, and the manager yelling, "Good luck!" as I hurled myself through the doors to pick up Dan.
I called Brandon. "Honey, I think my water just broke." He responded with several strains of, "Really?" and "Serious?" After reassuring him that I was "really serious," he headed out to make the 6 hour drive here.
I was shockingly calm as Dan and I went to the hospital, which was slammed with lots of other mommies giving birth and going into labor at the same time I was. They set me up in a temporary room until I could be checked to make sure my water, had in fact, broken and for a room to be cleared out. There was a major shortage of help that night, as all the nurses and doctors had their hands full with other frantic mommies and babies, and it was a full hour and a half before a resident, very much resembling Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, came in to check me. I was still only dilated to a 1, my contractions were 3 minutes apart, this baby girl was definitely coming.
I finally met my doctor, Dr. Hardin, just before they took me into another room. There was a lot of meconium in my water and the doctor was concerned about Olivia aspirating the meconium during delivery and suggested they use a pump to clean out the amniotic fluid before I actually delivered. He then asked how quickly I wanted to proceed, advising me not to use pitocin if I didn't absolutely need it. I told him I needed to last at least until Brandon could get there which would be around 1 am. Dr. Hardin chuckled and reassured me that it was very doubtful that I would have this baby before daylight hours. He checked me again, barely dilated to a 2, and told me to relax.
Minutes later I was moved to another room, the contractions were becoming slightly more intense every few minutes. They were beginning to take my breathe away and I had to quit talking and focus on breathing through them. I started shaking and feeling the need to vomit with every contraction. Am I just being a wuss? They can't be this bad already. I am only at a 2! I told myself just to suck it up as long as possible, but not even 5 minutes later I asked for the epidural.
The doctor came in to hook me up to the pump to help clean my amniotic fluid. To spare the gory details, the process was nearly unbearable. After it was over, the doctor told me I had gone from 2 to a 7 in less than an hour and it was no wonder I was in such agony. I didn't even have the epidural yet. I silently "Hurrah!"ed to myself that wasn't just a wuss loser who couldn't handle the pain...it was really that bad. (I made it to a 7 for crying out loud, even though I had no idea I was that far along!) Dr. Hardin apologized that his 17 years experience of delivering babies didn't help him better predict that my labor would go as fast as it was.
Nearly 2 hours had passed since I had requested the epidural. I was starting to panic. The contractions were only a minute and a half apart. I barely had time to recover from one before the next one would begin. I wasn't sure how much I could take. I said a silent prayer, begging for the anesthesiologist to "be here" in 1 minute. It felt like such a childish prayer, and in essence I suppose it was, but not even 10 seconds later, the nurse walked in and announced the anesthesiologist was wheeling his cart down the hallway. If I didn't have a testimony of the power of prayer before that, I certainly did now.
Forty-five minutes later, the epidural was over and was kicking in and, as Dan put it, I was there to testify that there was better living through chemistry. Epidurals are amazing. Science is awesome.
Shortly after 1 am Brandon made it. I have never been so happy to see someone in all my life. I couldn't stop kissing him. I was SO glad he made it. An hour after he got there, I was fully dilated and ready to push.
After 40 minutes of pushing, a few socially inappropriate jokes (but some how very appropriate for the situation) by Dr. Hardin and Olivia Jane DeCoria was here! Barely over 8 pounds, much to my relief, and nowhere near the almost 10 pounds my OBGYN had predicted.
She was struggling to breathe at first, which we later learned was because she has laryngomalacia. Her larynx is underdeveloped and makes breathing difficult when she is worked up, excited, mad, sad, just about anything that involves crying. Her condition also makes her squeak, nearly all the time, even in her sleep. But somehow this has only made her more endearing to us. She will eventually grow out of this as she gets older and her larynx toughens up, but for now, every little noise or lack there of has me checking to make sure she is breathing ok.
There are no words to describe the rush of emotions felt when they lay your baby on your chest. It is something so many mothers have tried to do with much difficulty and now I understand.
As I looked down at her and then up at my sweet husband, I felt so complete. This was so right. I knew her so completely and thoroughly, I recognized her being, her light, her sweet spirit. There is an added element of tenderness in my life that wasn't there before, that I didn't even know was missing, and that I know now I could never live without.
The love of this little family is overwhelming. I had no idea how deeply I would feel after having her. I love more fiercely than I could have ever imagined, this little family of mine. I am so consumed by emotion for my husband and sweet baby that it often brings me to tears, as I have yet to learn to navigate the intensity of how I feel.
I could not have picked a more perfect man to be my husband and the father of my children. He is completely wonderful and amazing as I watch him step into the shoes of a father. There are no words adequate enough to express my love for him. I am so grateful to be walking this journey with him, learning, growing, and progressing as a family, loving our daughter more and more every single day. We love her more than we ever imagined was possible. And even in the midst of all the chaos and turmoil in this world, somehow, everything is as it should be.
Posted by Julie at 10:17 PM