Posted on September 19, 2010
9 weeks. My little muffin is 9 weeks old as of today. 9 weeks I have been putting off writing my blog post. I have this awful habit of procrastinating things that I want to be done “just right.” If you write me a particularly touching letter and I don’t have adequate time to type back a *meaningful* and well thought out reply, it gets put on my “special” list of things to do. It’s perfectionism turned into procrastination. One of my biggest weaknesses. So, I’ve had this idea about writing such a detailed and special post about my birth experience, wanting to capture all the feelings and events perfectly … wanting to have this to look back at in years to come. And now I’ve let nine weeks pass and the details aren’t as fresh in my mind as they were. And if I’m being completely honest, I just had to go back and edit this and change the “seven weeks” to “eight weeks” and then again to “nine weeks” since I let another 2 weeks slip by! However, I have had a most beautiful and crazy couple months with my little family and this little love muffin we call Eliza June (7 day old video here).
Let’s just start where I left off, shall we? So, as you can guess, I was indeed in true labor that Sunday. I wanted to stay away from the hospital as long as humanly possible, so I labored most of the day at home with my little family. Addie held my hand through contractions and I bounced on my exercise ball to help get through them. I have to tell you the ball was repeatedly missing when the next contraction came due to Adeline’s believing it was a toy for her to play with … leaving me crumpled on the ground instead, lol. We had breakfast and lunch together as a family, then took some photos and went on a little walk together (even though I had to stop every few feet and breathe through a contraction). It was a lovely, calm experience.
I called my doctor’s office to let them know I was in labor and was very disappointed to find that she was out of town and the on call doctor would be there instead. I got a horrible gut feeling when the receptionist let me know he was busy with a C section but told me to come right down (even though I told her I was doing fine with laboring at home). I ignored his advice and stuck around home until about 3pm. When we finally arrived at the hospital I was hurting pretty bad with the fast and strong contractions. They checked me and found I was already dilated to 8cm. Yay! I would not have been a happy camper had I not progressed very far, which would have meant more time in the hospital. The nurses were very kind and I was able to stay out of bed and bounce on an exercise ball. Adeline was having fun with all the excitement, even though she was starting to get a little nervous with mommy’s moaning and momentarily “checking out” during contractions. She even gave me her new baby doll to comfort me and was constantly stroking my cheek ever so gently with her tiny hands. Having Adeline with me through the entire birth was so wonderful. She helped me stay grounded. I was amazingly able to come back down to earth and focus on her, which was so great when the pain got out of control.
Then my worst nightmare walked in. The on call doctor. Everything I feared about a hospital birth was embodied by this old fart. The first remark was, “Why are you wearing an evening gown and why don’t you have an epidural going yet?” I was wearing a stretchy jersey dress from Gap because it’s infinitely more comfortable than the cardboard like hospital gowns, not to mention that it’s infinitely more attractive. Did I care that the $30 dress might get “ruined” – no. I explained this as he shook his head at me and my stupidity. Then I explained that I wanted a natural child birth (in between moaning through contractions) … again, he acted like I was a complete idiot for feeling this way. Then when he heard I was dilated to 8cm he chastised me for waiting until the last minute … again, in the very condescending tone. I looked over at Scott with a desperate look in my eyes – my expression pleading with him to help me. Mr. Charming then told me he was going to break my water (apparently, they were all astonished at how “bulging” my water bag was). I again disagreed with him and said I wanted it to break on it’s own naturally. He very snidely replied, “Well, then you must just want to be in as much pain as possible for the longest time possible.” Oh my … please help me. I was ready to pack up my stuff and go deliver the baby in the car!
Thankfully he left after that, telling the nurses to page him when I was ready to go. They were a lot more understanding and kind. I got back on my bouncy ball and the contractions were getting stronger and faster. They also discovered that the baby’s heart rate was dropping with each contraction. At one point they said that Addie might have to leave the room for a minute. This is the only time she lost it and started bawling. I was NOT going to let them make my baby leave – it would have traumatized her. It was then that the doctor came rushing back in and demanded I lay back down in bed. Everything was a bit panicky for a few minutes, everyone rushing around and the pain of the contractions sending me into an otherworldly state … I swear I lost track of whether it was night or day. And then I went through a phase I swore I would never go through when I started yelling, “NO, NO, NO … I can’t do it … I can’t do it …” Ummm, well, guess what – it was a little late for that, and in fact, I could indeed do it. I asked to sit up a bit so that I could help catch the baby, and Scott scrubbed up so he could catch baby as well. When the contractions made me feel like my insides were being ripped out of me I lost track of whose hand I was holding and squeezed little Adeline’s hand a tad too hard … okay, WAY too hard … but the little angel just stood by my side and said encouraging words, acting much older and wiser than her little four years.
The next moment was the greatest moment of the birth experience so far … my water BURST like a fire hose all over the doctor. He was so soaked that he had to quickly change clothes! LOVE it! I looked down and little Eliza’s head was coming out already, but the cord was wrapped around her neck. That is what was causing her heart rate to drop with each contraction. I panicked for about 30 seconds while the doctor unwrapped it (and to my disappointment, cut it off … I had wanted to wait until it stopped pulsing to have the cord cut). But all I cared about at the moment was that my precious baby was okay. Scott caught her and helped place her on my chest. This little person who has been growing and kicking inside of my tummy for nine months was finally here in my arms. We nursed and I held her skin to skin (which I still continue to do with her daily … the little girl has spent most of her life naked so far). Scott and Addie were right beside me the whole time … our family was complete. Well, maybe not all the way complete … don’t tell Scott but I totally want another baby now – but that’s another story. LOL!
The whole time in the delivery room took only an hour and 15 minutes. The pushing took less than five minutes. All in all, it was a wonderfully short time in the hospital. We had the option to leave as soon as possible, but that would have had us leaving at 11pm at night. With Adeline having already gone through the most dramatic experience of her life, and with her jumping around saying she wanted to stay the night, we decided instead to leave first thing in the morning. I was feeling wonderfully, up on my feet within minutes after giving birth (who cares that I didn’t think about the fact that I would be bleeding and ended up pouring a bucket of blood all over the floor when I stood suddenly). When bedtime rolled around though, Adeline had changed her tune. She was beginning to feel neglected with mommy holding baby the whole time and nursing her constantly. She climbed on my bed and asked if she could nurse too. I handed Eliza to daddy and my Adeline climbed in my lap (it’s amazing how GIANT she felt all of a sudden!). She nursed to sleep every night for her entire life save but two times she accidentally fell asleep before nursing. She nursed through my entire pregnancy, and half way through when my milk dried up she continued to nurse at bedtime, even though she had stopped actually actively sucking … it was mostly just a ritual that was comforting to her. We had talked about how my milk would come back when baby arrived and she was terribly excited at the fact that she might actually be able to drink mama’s milk again. I always wanted a child led weaning for her, and let her choose when she was ready to be done nursing. So, she climbed in my lap and began to “nurse” … except she had forgotten how! I couldn’t believe it, but she didn’t have a clue what she was supposed to be doing to get milk (and, granted it was only colostrum at that point, but she didn’t have the needed nursing action to even get that). She instantly started sobbing and crying, “Why can baby get milk and I can’t??” It broke my heart. Then she wanted to be in my lap … it was so difficult holding baby and Adeline all night in that tiny bed (we put the railings up so she was safe and I stayed awake all night while my girls slept). I would be nursing Eliza with one arm and have the other arm wrapped around Addie, letting her know that she was still my baby and mommy was going to love and snuggle her just the same as always.
That little incident was just the beginning of what would be (and continues to be) a really difficult struggle for both Adeline and me trying to deal with the changes. She has taken the arrival of her sister (who she LOVES dearly) much harder than I ever imagined. Well, I guess it’s not the actual arrival of Eliza she is having a hard time with, since she has never shown anything but adoration and lover towards her, but the change that would take place between us and not having mommy all to herself 24 hours a day. My poor girl, it breaks my heart. I went through the first six weeks crying almost daily over Addie’s little broken heart and unable to do anything to make her feel comforted and safe again. Words are just words … and in the end I couldn’t ignore a crying baby who needs mommy to nurse her or hold her when Addie needs me to play, etc. I felt like I was being ripped in two … trying to give myself to both children, and neither of them getting ENOUGH of me – a failure all the way around.
But all of that will have to wait for my next post. I’m exhausted and in the middle of my first POTS flare up since before giving birth, sadly. I did enjoy a few weeks of glorious “normalcy” with regards to my POTS and how my body felt … and am sadly now crashing again. I’m still hoping that it’s short lived and I can go back to that incredible “feeling nearly normal” feeling, but time will tell. It’s hour by hour with POTS.
I asked Adeline what parts of the birth she remembers most … her answers:
“You sprayed the doctor when your water broke.”
“You held my hand a little too tight.”
“I changed my bear’s nappy and helped you guys change Eliza’s nappy.”
“I got a sticker that said “It’s a Girl.”
I’ll post my birth photos now, with just a few of the MANY photos of Miss Eliza June now. I’ll post more later, for sure … I just don’t want to bombard you with too many right off the bat! LOL! I actually couldn’t bear to have her out of my arms at all the first week or two, so any photos from that time period are just snapshots with Addie’s little point and shoot. After all this time dreaming up the newborn photos I’d get of my little one I ended up missing that newborn window for perfect newborn shots … and I’m totally okay with that because holding her and just basking in our love for her was much more precious than some photos.
Fabulous birth photos by my good friend, Robin Long. The only other person there with me besides Addie and Scott (and eventually, Eliza). Thanks, Robin!
And some of my sweet girl, Eliza June …
And the BIG girl now with those giant cheeks, several chins and no neck. Mama’s milk has been good to her!
Leave a Comment