Friday, March 16, 2012

how you arrived

Disclaimer: mention of blood and other body fluids in this post. Not for the squeamish.

Your due date was March 8, 2011 (the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day). I stopped work a week before that so I could "prepare"....and, in the possible chance that you wanted to come early. Which you didn't. You were hunkered down and ready to stay put. Daddy and I were so eager to meet you. Daddy kept promising to buy you a pony if only you would come. We had attended birthing classes, breastfeeding classes, decorated the nursery, been showered three times (with a lot of stuff we could only imagine what it might be for), and we were ready to meet you.

At 38 weeks I could only wear daddy's t-shirts and had forgotten how to smile naturally, apparently. We were ready for you to come, but it would be three more weeks of growing before you decided to come. No telling how big I was then. Yikes!

On March 8, I went in for my weekly doctor appointment and was informed that my body hadn't even started preparing for your delivery. We would wait some more. Instead of going to a friend's house for a party, I laid on the couch in a mess of a pity-party and cried.

One week later, we went in for another appointment and a non-stress test. The doctor said it was time for you to arrive, but we were going to need to help a bit. So, we called your future grandparents, aunts and uncles, and eagerly checked in to the hospital. The doctor gave me some medicine to get me ready for the induction the next day which was supposed to get me ready for your grand entrance after that. Your daddy slept scrunched in the window seat/bed, and I eventually dozed off giddy and anxious about what the next day would hold.

About 3:00 AM on Wednesday, March 16, 2011, I woke up because I had to pee. And, I suspected I was having contractions. The first part was pretty standard for the last part of the pregnancy (you sure did like squishing my bladder!), but the last part was a whole new experience. I woke up your daddy and said I thought I was having a contraction. He got up to check the fancy machine next to me and then help me to the restroom. I stood. My water broke - Hollywood style. We were told initially that few women have the dramatic gut-busting, water-gushing experiences that Hollywood portrays to indicate a woman going into labor. Just so happens, I was one of them. Daddy called the nurses to let them know. Nurse came in. Something else seemed to be gushing. I got lightheaded. I remember daddy asking if I was okay, but all I could do was think that I had to power through - maybe it was a contraction and if I just focused it would pass and then I could answer. It was a long time. Then, someone, either daddy or the nurse, noticed I was bleeding. A lot.

Suddenly, the nurse was laying me back, a team of other nurses entered the room, and the doctor was being wakened to perform an emergency c-section. While everyone was calm on the outside, there was an underlying hint that something could be very wrong. Your poor daddy was left standing next to a puddle of blood as they quickly wheeled me out of the room and towards the operating table. The doctor later said he followed the blood trail from my room to the OR. I remember them trying to delicately lift your 6'0" tall, very pregnant mother from one bed to the operating table. I remember them trying to put an oxygen mask on my face that didn't fit. The nurse thought I was being belligerent about not wanting to wear it - the truth was, I couldn't breathe because the stupid thing was cutting off the air flow through my shnoz. Once that was figured out we were better. I remember them giving me a catheter, and my brain, apparently still thinking there was a chance this could be natural, thought "Oh, I didn't want a catheter, I wanted to be able to walk around a bit in labor." The doctor came in, said everything was going to be fine, he'd done many of these before, he'd check it out, and you would be here soon. Then I went under.

Your daddy changed your first poopy diaper. I didn't get to meet you until many hours later. This made me sad.

It would take many months for me to realize that I missed that we didn't get to have a cute family picture in the hospital with the three of us immediately post-birth - our new family. I missed that I didn't get to hold you right away and when I did you were connected to tubes and gadgets, and I was hooked up to stuff, too, and nurses were trying to shove you on my boob to breastfeed. I cried when I first saw you; I couldn't believe you were finally here. And you were beautiful!

We've had lots of fun since then. We've changed many poopy diapers - both daddy and I. We've marveled - absolutely marveled - at your progression from sitting to crawling to walking. We're always trying to find ways to make you laugh a little bit more - and you are constantly making us laugh. We love to take you outside on walks where you can call out to the cats of the neighborhood hoping one day, perhaps, you might have one of your own. Despite your rambunctious nature, you love to sit and read your books. You sleep with your tush in the air - just like daddy used to. You seem annoyed when people, strangers, don't pay attention to you in the stores - you literally stare them down. You give wonderfully sloppy kisses.

We are so blessed to have you in our family. We are so glad you finally arrived. We can't wait to see what the next year brings! Happy Birthday Little E!

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