My baby is a year old! I can barely even believe it! Was it really a whole year ago that we met Nina Gabriel for the first time? A lot of you have already read this, but in light of the labor/delivery conversation today, here’s what I wrote the day after Nina was born… (I love you, little girl!)
Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. I couldn’t have written a more perfect birth script for Miss Nina Gabriel. Jesus, You are awesome. “Help me, Jesus. Help me, Jesus. Help me, Jesus. I just kept saying that…
I am so in love with Nina. It hurts my heart to love her so much…
I don’t even know where to begin. There’s just so much joy and happiness to share. I’ll see what I can remember…
I timed contractions off and on from 8 am. I told Gabe that morning that this was the day Nina would be born, but I wasn’t 100% convinced. 97% maybe.
My contractions never got super close together or consistent. But they were definitely the real and crampy kind, and the fact that I was wiping blood helped. At 2:45 pm, I called Mom and asked her to get ready and that I’d call her back at 3:15 to tell her if she needed to come or not. My next three contractions were17 minutes apart, so I told her I’d call her again at 4:00. That time I told her to go ahead and come. I still wasn’t positive though that I was ready to go to the hospital.
The five of us held hands and prayed and took off on our long trip to the hospital. I knew I was in labor but felt a little uneasy. Was I far enough along?
I checked in at the registration desk, and a nurse (Jen) came for me in a wheelchair. I felt very silly. I wasn’t even having contractions. I felt like an impostor or something.
It all felt a little surreal. And odd. But also normal and right. Strange.
I left Mom and Livi and Ava in the waiting room and went in the exam room with Gabe. Stripped down to my socks, put on a nice gown. “I hope I’m at least four centimeters,” I told Gabe. “I need to be at least four.”
The nurse came in to check me. “You’re four to five,” she said. “We’ll call it five. You won’t be going anywhere.”
Sidebar: I’m having flashbacks right now-my uterus is contracting, and I feel like I’m in labor again. It’s almost worse. Very, very weird.
Did I mention that I love Nina so much my heart is aching?
Back to my story…so Gabe tells Mom and the girls that I’m staying. I get hooked up to monitors for awhile, then get unhooked, drape them around my neck, wrap up in a sheet (my gown shows my entire backside) and walk to my suite.
I sit up in bed for awhile and try to keep Nina’s heart rate monitor in place. It keeps beeping, because she’s moving all around, and it won’t stay on her heart.
The nurse asks if I want to walk around for awhile. I ask if I can go out and see my daughters. I get another gown and put it on backwards.
Janelle has arrived. I hug and kiss Livi and Ava, talk, laugh, head back in. This was probably close to 6:00 or so. Rock wants to come. Janelle wants to know if I’ll have the baby before 11:00. Uh, yes. Most definitely, I say.
Get back to room, hooked up to monitors. Kelley Dyer, the midwife, comes to check me. Seven centimeters. She breaks my water, but there’s no gush. Nina’s head is low, low and blocking the canal.
Kelley tells me I will be pleasantly surprised at the alertness of my baby without an epidural. She says I don’t even need an IV-that will cut down on costs. If I need pain medication, I can get a shot of Nubane in the arm.
Just like with Ava’s birth-day, Gabe and I are having a wonderful time in the delivery room together. Laughing, talking, sharing. My contractions became more intense, closer together. But totally bearable. I would just close my eyes, sit up straight, push my hands down into the mattress at my sides, pull my feet up toward my body, and kind of rock with my feet turned in toward each other. (Gabe just supplied me with this information. 🙂 I didn’t make a sound. Just breathed calmly. And then it would be over.
Gabe tried to call Courtney for a few minutes and finally got through at 7:05 pm. Brad answered and said Courtney was at the movies. Gabe told him I was 7 cm. dilated.
So, I’m not exactly sure what time all hell broke loose, but that is exactly what happened. I had a contracton. Stop. Breathe. Just like normal. Well, all of a sudden, WHAM! I start to whimper, then cry. My body feels like it’s exploding from every side. I don’t know what to do…
Back to Happy Labor Goes Insane… I just really don’t think I can find the words to describe the next 10 minutes of my life. The most action-packed 10 minutes I will ever know. (Hopefully.)
“She’s coming out!” I said. The nurse asked me to lie back so she could check me, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t not move. I needed desperately to find a way to move toward the pain-or move away from it-but I couldn’t. It was everywhere. The nurse ended up checking me while I was sitting up. “Complete,” she said. Yeah, no kidding. Complete hell.
Everybody came rushing in at once. Dr. Meyer, Kelley, nurses, med students, secretaries-I don’t really know who all was there. I couldn’t really look. I was in sooo much pain. Whimpering like a puppy. Saying, “God, help me. God, help me.” Then “Help me, Jesus. Help me, Jesus. Help me, Jesus.”
Dr. Meyer took off the end of the table, scooched me back, and I put my feet in the stirrups. I remember the overwhelming sensation of having to poop. “I feel like I have to poop,” I said, brilliantly. I wanted to curl up in a ball and die, not spread open my legs and invite the pain. I had one of Gabe’s hands at my side and one above my head (the left). He let go at one point to scratch his nose. “I need your hand!”
Dr. Meyer told me, “It’s going to feel like your bottom is splitting apart, but it’s not.” Thanks for the reassurance. (Gabe just told me the dr. said this. I had forgotten already.)
He said I needed to push through the pain and get it over with. Some women get scared and stop pushing. Don’t do that.
Thanks. Got it. This sounds like fun.
After the first push (OUCH!), he said he could see her head. “She has lots of brown hair.” It hurt sooo bad. I didn’t expect to feel the pain everywhere-even in the very front of me, above where I pee. At one point, I asked Dr. Meyer, “Could you please take your hand off me?”
“That’s not my hand,” he said. “That’s pressure from the baby’s head.”
Oh. Gabe looks down. Dr. isn’t lying. Gabe thinks this is a little funny. I actually do, too, in a twisted sort of way.
The biggest, worst, awfullest part was getting her head out obviously. HUGE relief when it popped out, but her shoulder was tough, too. Once that popped out, she just slid out-and yea! I looked down, helped bring her up on me. Pain forgotten. Just like they say will happen. Unbelievable. I didn’t tear a bit. No episiotomy. No stitches. No epidural. No IV. Wow.
She cried right away. They suctioned her out. My fluid was clear. No meconium. “She’s a girl!” Whew. Lots of vernix coating. Long fingernails. Looked like Ava when she came out. No conehead. Some light brown hair.
Daddy cut the cord while I snapped a picture.
Goopy placenta came out. Slurp. Slurp. Gross. Thanked Dr. Meyer. He said I could definitely go home in 24 hours. Even before, as long as the baby was doing okay. Lots of compliments for my controlled delivery. “God answered your prayers.”
“He always does.”
“You could probably go home in four or five hours,” he said. “You could probably even go work in the fields.”
After I first had her, I knew there was no way I could ever go through that kind of pain again. Ever. Not for any amount of money. Good thing we’re done having kids. If anyone asked, “So, do you recommend natural childbirth?” I’d say, “Heck, no! Don’t do it! Don’t do it!”
Now, two days later, I’m thinking, “That wasn’t so bad. I could do it again if I had to.” Just shoot me.
Anyway, I am absolutely enamored by this tiny little creature. She is the most enchanting thing I have ever known.
Thank you, Jesus.