Monday, November 5, 2012

The Day She Was Born

It provides no small amount of amusement when people see me after having Delilah and ask "How was it? Was Darron there?" like because he missed one of my births it's kind of fifty-fifty him showing up for any others. For those who can't stand the suspense...he was. Darron made it.

I spent the first three months of my pregnancy feeling fine. Very little nausea, which I attribute to all of the baths I'd been taking with epsom salts before I got pregnant. No, I do not plan on explaining that theory. I found out I couldn't handle exercise (sad!) or yoga (actually sad) but that it felt really good to lay on the couch. Good news because I would spend the next three months there. And then when the couch stopped being bed for the final two. Remember when I said that I enjoy pregnancy? I'm sorry about that. I now amend that statement: "I enjoy pregnancy in my twenties". I don't know what happened in those five dormant years. But it is obvious that time off for a uterus does not "refresh" and "rejuvenate".

Did you know that at the beginning of my pregnancy I swore to myself-- swore to myself-- that I would not complain? I chose this. I was thrilled for this. So many other women would give anything to be in my shoes. I was not going to be a wimp. I did fine for most of it, but towards the end I just dreaded people asking how I was...I knew I couldn't bite my tongue fast enough to stop the dreadful whining from pouring forth. Ohhh how obnoxious I was!

I know a lot of people want to have their baby early and are induced or use natural induction methods to try to get things going sooner. I'm not neurotic about many things, but this is one of them. I worry about the what-ifs. What if I bring her out too soon? What if she really needed that extra week or day to finish cooking just so? What if she ends up with asthma or bowel troubles or knock-knees? All my life I would have to wonder if it was because I wasn't patient enough and took her out too early. Weird? Maybe. Maybe not. (Side story: During my pregnancy with Tommy, I would have dreams that I'd take him out through my belly button and secretly play with him for a little bit then put him back in.) Case in point: one of my daughters, who was born two weeks early, has a lazy eye and less than perfect vision in the other. She also struggles with allergies. Coincidence? I will never know. Fortunately I went into labor spontaneously with her so I don't have guilt. Still I do wonder... So I hesitate to really try to induce labor before my due date. But ohmygoodness did I want to be done with this one. I tried to enjoy and appreciate and savor it being my last one, I really did, but I wanted to be able to function, too. And my kids needed a mom again, not just a big grouchy couch slug moaning orders from her bed. Someone who would get up and hunt them down when they took to hiding in the basement. They knew I wouldn't go down those stairs, little twerps.

But the day before baby's due date dawned and my mom had already been in town for a week and she was bored and I was antsy and my kids had started school and if ever there was a time to have a baby it was now. So I woke up and began telling myself that tonight was the night. I was going to have a baby the next day. I did some nice visualization, packed my bag, and started an internet search. That evening I began to experiment with my findings and was able to get contractions started. I'd been having them in the evenings for about a month so it wasn't that big of a deal until later that night when they evened themselves out and became nice and regular. I stayed in bed until I had to get up and get in the tub for comfort at about midnight. I was in for maybe an hour, just breathing and finding my groove, when they came to be just a few minutes apart so I woke up Darron and called my midwife to meet us at the hospital. My birth plan, if you could call it that, was to get there late enough in my labor that I wouldn't have time for an epidural. Epidurals are icky and really not my favorite but labor is hard, you know, and I doubted my ability to stay strong if given the choice. Birth plan was a success. I was admitted at 2:45am at 8 1/2-9 cm so there really wasn't time to get an anesthesiologist. Hooray for the passive road to success!

My midwife was so sweet. She was very young and not super experienced, but had a very calm manner. She just quietly let me do my thing-- squeezing Darron's hand and breathing. She asked me if I wanted any counter pressure and I said no so we continued as we were. Later, she asked if I wanted to have her break my water. I thought about it for awhile, because in the past that has brought on my contractions hard and fast almost instantly, and though everything had been so easy up to that point, I wasn't sure I was brave enough. But I wanted to have a baby, not to labor indefinitely, so I told her to go for it. She did, and nothing changed. Now comes the part where I learned just how serious a people pleaser I am. I was starting to feel anxious for my midwife. I'd made her get out of bed in the middle of the night and here she was sitting on a stool with nothing to do but watch me labor. Keep in mind we had only been here for about 45 minutes at this point. But I didn't want her to feel useless so when she gently asked me again if I'd like her to give me some counter pressure on my feet I said yes. Stupid. Almost immediately my contractions went from manageable to intense. And then from intense to unmanageable. My mind screamed for me to have her take her hands off but I didn't want to hurt her feelings or make her think she wasn't doing a good job. So I didn't. I was perfectly aware of being a MORON, but I just could not make myself do it. We quickly moved to transition and I started screaming. I know for a fact I scared the bejeebers out of Darron. He had never seen me give birth without an epidural, remember. My midwife and nurses helped me yell the right way and shortly began helping me push. It's so funny to me that I forget how to push each time I have a baby. When I finally remember "push like poop" out they come. That's gross. Was that gross? Pushed for a few minutes and out she came, big head, beefy shoulders, wild dark hair. Perfection.

Absolute stunning perfection.

Do I really need to tell you how sweet she is? How perfect? How worth every second of discomfort times infinity billion? She is the best baby, the most beautiful, the most angelic. They always are. No, she doesn't sleep through the night and really isn't anywhere near it. No, I'm not getting sleep. No, I haven't lost the baby weight. No, I really don't care. Well maybe just a leetle, but not too much. I bought my first Spanx, to be completely truthful. But it's more to reign in the smooshy around my middle that refuses to accept that it's function is now obsolete.

And now...lots and lots of pictures.

Welcome home, Delilah Renee
It's kinda nice to be the center of someone's universe again.