Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Birth Story

The entire moment happened so quickly that I still cannot grasp that it currently is in the past -- by almost six weeks.  The miracle feels like yesterday. 

Our summer joke for 2010 was a reminder of the big event of 2009 on the first day of school for Victoria.  Daughter #2 unintentionally chose that day and hour -- moments before our departure to school -- to fall and cut her forehead open; requiring immediate sutures and consequently, a yellow tardy slip.  UGH.  What a memory!  Therefore, all summer we joked that the first day of school 2010 would arrive and so would BABY GIRL #3 !! 

And SHE did !!

Like an omen.  Or an "abracadabra" moment.  Or an illusion.  Or ESP.  Or telepathy.  Or witchcraft.  Or God. 

On Wednesday morning, August 11, a mommy friend from gymnastics inquired about my upcoming due date.  Although, I had only gained eleven, yup -- 11, pounds my pending due date still looked like it was two or three months away.  Like in October.  But no, I have had enough of this hot Texas heat.  I feel done.  Anyway, I sarcastically replied, "Tomorrow!  August 12th is my official due date but what baby appears on their chosen date?"  I had absolutely NO SIGNS of delivering by tomorrow.  No contractions.  No pains.  Nothing.  In fact, I had an appointment and ultrasound scheduled for August 13.  The doctor was going to pick an induction date. 


At 6:00pm, I took the girls for an evening swim to cool off since the temperatures were hovering in the low 100's for days.  Evenings were a crisp 95 degrees.  We swam.  We played.  We splashed.  I was growing irritated and tired.  I wanted to go inside to cool off in the 80 degree air-conditioning. 

At 7:45pm, we finally retreated to the air-conditioning.  The girls were getting ready for bedtime.  My husband had just arrived home from work.  Without his wedding band.  Another story, his side, for another time.  Fortunately, I was fatigued. 

At 8:00pm, I started to question my 6 bathroom trips (in the past 15 minutes) ... surely I did not ingest that much pool water.  I haven't had a glass of water since 6:00.  What is going on??  

At 8:05pm, I hunt my mother down as I am gushing water.  My two prior pregnancies resulted in scheduled inductions.  I had never gone into natural labor before.  My water has only been broken by my doctor while lying in the delivery room.  I ask my mother what she thinks is going on.  She thinks my water is broke.  But where is the plug?  Where is the other stuff?  Where is the bloody show?  Where are the contractions?  I don't bloody know (or care) because I didn't have any warning sign at all !!

Of course, I am NOT ready... I have been procrastinating!  I had all of my hospital supplies in a general gathering area.  But nothing was organized or packed. 

So what do I do?

At 8:15pm, I advise my bandless husband to pack a bag for himself because I think my water has busted.  By now, I am quite sure because I am in the bathroom every 30 seconds.  The girls are crying in panic ... Victoria because her first day of school is in the morning.  That is one thing I do have ready!!  And Petra is crying because her big sister is crying. 

I jump in the shower to rinse off the chlorine, SPF 50 and Cutter OFF.  I even blow dry my hair and throw in some hot rollers.  Because, damn it, these hospital photos are going to be "CUTE".  The photos with baby #2 are hideous because I was vomitting until she graced us with her presence!  So, in reality, I do not have photos of delivery #2. 

After showering, I prepare my "hospital favors".  My mother keeps humming (or it is possibly a hissing sound) under her breath that I should probably get to the hospital.  I did not have any contractions yet and I reminded her that I have 23 more hours to deliver a baby due to the broken amniotic sac.  But my goal was to be at the hospital by 10:00pm.

By 9:30pm, I am finally getting around to "packing" my bags.  The ones that should have been packed last month.  And the contractions start.  Ooooh, seems like they are coming quite frequently, not the 20 minutes or 15 minutes apart -- more like every 10 minutes.  A hard one.  A soft one.  A hard one.  A soft one. 

At 9:48pm, we depart.  The hospital is only a 6 minute drive at night.  We finally get to drive the hospital route that we mapped out eight years ago (for baby #1).  The front doors are still open but they will lock at 10:00pm and then we would have to arrive at the Emergency Room Entrance and walk to the other side of the hospital.  And who wants to do that?  Besides, I have to stop every three and a half minutes because the contractions are coming fast and hard. 

At 10:10pm, we arrive on the second floor in the labor/delivery area.  We are shown to a room and I am told to get into bed.  It feels much better standing and walking then lying in bed with back pain and contractions.  A nurse arrives at 10:30pm to check my progress.  I am hooked up to monitors and my blood pressure is climbing.  Contractions still every 3 minutes... and dilation is 6. 

At 11:00pm, dilation is 7. 

At 11:30pm, dilation is 8, the doctor has been called but he won't arrive for another 30 minutes.  (Something about delivering another baby via c-section).  So the nurse brings me Demerol.  The pain meds flow into the IV.  Ahhh.  Don't know how or why... but I fall asleep.  Into a deep sleep.  Like a weird dream state of sleep -- the kind of weird dreams you have when you eat too much before bed.  So, I believe this dream was the result of too much Demerol before bed.  I was in a foreign market with winding alleys and ... I have had this dream before.  I just cannot figure out where I am.  Or IF I have been there before.  I know it so well...

Anyway, sleep.

At 12:30am, the nurse tries to wake me.  My eyes are glued tightly shut.

At 1:00am, the nurse returns and I still cannot manage to open my eyes.

At 1:10am, the nurse is still hovering over my head demanding that I wake up.  God, I make a bad drunk (or is it a cheap drunk?).  I was slurring my words.  That demerol is some strong shit.  I haven't been that drunk since July 9th, 1988.  (Another story for another time-- it's the day I stopped drinking.  Seriously.)

Nurse:  "You need to PUSH"! 
Me:  "Push what?" 
Nurse:  "It's time to PUSH".
Me:  "I didn't push your call button, I am sleeping here."
Nurse:  "The doctor is here."
Me:  "Husband, are you awake?  Can you bring the camera?  They want me to push -- something about  having a baby now."
Nurse:  "Let's go!"
Me:  "I'm really tired -- can you just pull her out?"
Nurse:  "Push, I said."
Me:  "No, really, can you just use some forceps or something?"
Nurse:  "NOW"
Me:  One push.
Nurse:  "Another one."
Me:  "Is she out?"
Nurse:  "NOW"
Me:  Second push.
Me:  "Does she have hair?"
Nurse:  "Another one."
Me:  "Just pull her the rest of the way. I want to go back to bed."
Nurse:  "NOW"
Me:  Third push.
Me:  "Are we done?"
Nurse:  makes this guffallowing sound.  {yes, I made that word up... but that is what it sounded like to me}
Me:  "I'd like to go back to bed now".


Alexandra Pearl
12 August 2010
1:27 am
7 pounds, 7 ounces
20 inches

PS        Pearl (or Perle) is a French Family name ... my grandmother.  And my other grandmother and special great aunt share a name that has the meaning "Pearl".  
PPS      My blood pressure remains a medical issue... pregnancy-induced hypertension.
PPPS    Baby is healthy
PPPPS  Husband was home for the birth of baby girl #3.  However, he did leave four days later and worked out of state for the following two work weeks. 

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