My lovely fellow mommy bloggers have each shared their beautiful birth stories (Nathalee, Natali, and Jennifer). Until now I haven't really been ready to share because I didn't feel my birth story was beautiful...not planned or perfectly put together. But I realize it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. This is an opportunity to share how my precious baby girl was brought into this world and the beginning of my family.
The last night, just the two of us
It seems like a distant memory yet the feelings of anticipation and excitement are still with me. The doctor estimated that Tazzy would be late and we'd likely have to induce labor. I really didn't want to do this so the day before Tazzy's due date Josh and I did all of the things people tell you to do to induce labor (i.e. lots of walking, spicy food, sex). The night before I went into labor Josh and I had Indian food and ordered the spiciest dishes on the menu -- so spicy my mouth burned. Then we went to see Inception and we didn't get to bed until 1 a.m. Like every other night we went out I said, "This could be one of the last times it's just the two of us." And like every other night Josh humored me. Little did we know, I was right!
Here we go
I opened my eyes and saw that it was 3:30 a.m. There was some discomfort in my back, similar to cramps before that time of the month. I remember thinking, "I wonder if it's time?" I woke Josh up and told him I what I was feeling. The pain wasn't that bad so we both went back to sleep. I was awakened an hour later and the pain was bit stronger...the start of contractions. Josh woke up and he started timing how far apart the contractions were. It was 4:30 a.m. and we were both exhausted, half asleep, not really sure if this was the real thing or not.
By 5:30 a.m. I noticed some leaking. I knew it was time. My body and mind went into autopilot. I had been waiting for this day since I could remember and it was finally happening. I excitedly instructed Josh to grab our bags and place them by the door. He took a couple steps back and calmly explained that we needed to first call the doctor to determine if we should head to the hospital. I already knew it was time. He got the okay to head in by 6 a.m. so off we went.
We called our parents on our way to the hospital and asked them not to get in the car (or for Josh's parents, on a flight) as we still weren't 100 percent sure if this was the real deal or not.
The waiting game
Around 6:45 a.m. the nurses confirmed that my water broke and I had a small leak but I was only 2 cm dilated. My contractions were strong enough that they didn't send me home, yet the hospital didn't have a delivery room readily available so we waited in an exam room.
The contractions grew stronger and stronger. I walked in circles around the hospital hoping the contractions would ease up but they never did. Josh was really sweet and supportive holding my hand, massaging my lower back, reminding me to breathe (thank goodness for the birthing classes we took!).My contractions got worse but still by 11 a.m. I was only 3 cm dilated. Finally around noon I was moved into a delivery room. Both my Mom and Josh's Mom had arrived by then and his Dad and step-mom were on their way.
A little jump-start
As soon as I was settled into the delivery room the anesthesiologist stuck me with the epidural. I don't care what anyone says, having a needle, well the size of that needle inserted in my body is damn scary! Once I received the epidural it was smooth sailing...for a while. I was also given Pitocin to help speed up the labor. A couple hours later a nurse came in to check on me. She jumped back and called for the doctor. They confirmed my placenta was detaching from my uterus. There was a lot of blood. I saw the look on my husband’s face -- eyes struck with shock and fear -- and knew it wasn't good. I had lost so much blood that the doctor warned that if I lost too much more or if there were any more complications they'd have to do a Caesarean section. I wasn't worried and felt fine, more so because I wasn't in pain and I knew that in a short time I was going to get to meet this little person whose been growing inside me for what seemed like forever.
It was a little after 7 p.m. when the doctor came to check on me. They were going to give me a second dose of Pitocin. They moved me to one side and my baby's heart rate slowed. They quickly moved me to my other side and they couldn't find my baby's heart beat. I saw and felt panic in the room. All I heard "emergency c-section." Within seconds there was a team of people dressed in scrubs whisking me away. My eyes locked with Josh's and I put on a brave face. His eyes told me not to worry, it was going to be okay. I couldn’t help for a split second think about the worst-case scenarios. As I was rolled out of the room my mom and mother-in-law were shoved aside not knowing what was going on. I took a deep breath and kept repeating, "it's all going to be okay."
With Josh at my side I felt safe and the CPMC staff went to work and safely delivered my baby girl. I was so drugged up by that point, it's all kind of foggy but I do remember someone in the room saying, "Wow, she's a big girl." It made me laugh because we all knew she was a good size.
I didn't get to hold her immediately but a nurse brought her over to me so that I could say hi and touch her baby soft skin before Josh accompanied her to be cleaned, weighed and measured.
It was so special for me to watch as she calmed down and stopped crying as I talked to her saying, “hello precious.” It was like she was thinking, “okay, mommy is here, this place can’t be that bad.”
What felt like an eternity later but really was only minutes, Tazzy was brought to me for her first feeding. And boy did she feed!
That night I felt like the luckiest woman on earth! I had just delivered a healthy beautiful baby girl.
Slow recovery laced with joy
My recovery was very slow. I had lost so much blood that my white blood count was at 20 percent so I was hooked to an IV full of iron for the four days I was in the hospital. I felt awfully weak. When I went home, I was only at 23 percent. None of this really mattered to me because I was elated with joy of giving birth! It would no longer be me and Josh but me, Josh and our little girl.
I walked into the hospital a wife, daughter, sister, friend...and walked out a loving mother. With this new title I feel pride and the pressure of responsibility to provide the best life I possibly can for my baby girl.
Josh walked out a proud father knowing that forever more, his little girl would have him wrapped around her little pinky.
This is my birth story and the start of my little family.