What is it about a newborn that makes time move in absurd directions? One minute it's way too fast, and the next it's like you're all in the middle of slow-mo replay. But here we are, almost 4 months later and maybe I'm ready to talk about the day my Ruthie was born.
Simply? It was pretty magical and seven different kinds of speedy. The details have lost their sharp edges, but somehow that privileged feeling of having a new baby in my arms hasn't faded at all. I worried after I got pregnant, I worried about how this would all shake out. Paul is deep into school, taking time off from that or work just wasn't an option. He needed to push through and get it done so I knew I'd be doing a lot of the heavy lifting at home on my own. I prayed with the pleading heart of a desperate soul that this baby would be what I needed, that I could do this without losing my mental health or descending into the Hunger Games of motherhood and survival of the fittest. And then I made up my mind that I could, and so far I have.
All of my babies have been inductions. One by necessity, high blood pressure, the other two by choice. I guess I lack the patience or maybe even the ability to actually go into labor by myself. I walk around dilated to a 4 or 5 weeks ahead of my due date. Each time praying that this will be the one time I'll do it by myself. The hospital I deliver at is a good 45 minutes away (thanks insurance), I have a history of speedy births (Triple was 3 hours start to finish), and I so did not want to do this in the front seat of a car on the side of the freeway, or on my bathroom floor at home. Nope. Plus, Paul had work and school requirements which made that day a particularly appealing one to have a baby. So, I did.
Early the morning of August 26th, I woke up, got my hairs did. Took care of the last minute stuff. My mom showed up, my boys woke up, we snapped a picture on our front steps:
And then we were off. Only a half an hour late. The skies were overcast again, just like the last morning I'd made this same drive three years earlier, the day that Triple was born. We checked into our room. Took one more photo to document the grandiosity that was my super hot bod. Exhibit A below:I changed into my hospital gown, got hooked up and an i.v. placed. My doctor came and we laughed a little, I really love my doctor. The giant crochet hook came out and boom, my water was broken and I was again grossed out. Game time, 9:00 am. Walking back out the door Dr. Watts looked at the clock and said "12:30 is my guess, see you in a bit!" I was pretty convinced I wouldn't need pitocin after my last childbirth experience and those contractions sure did start rolling in low and slow. The thing about being dilated that far and then having your water broken is that you're pretty much in the middle of the active stage of labor with no build up and that can be super not fun. It's like getting on a roller coaster in the middle of a loop. I am so good at analogies! That first hour seemed like it took for.ever to pass, especially when those contractions starting picking up in intensity. Finally at around 10:30 I was over it and told Paul to go hunt my nurse down so she could call for the nice epidural doctor. Of course that took another 20 minutes and then the tiniest Asian lady anesthesiologist came into the room and took her sweet time getting that blessed pipeline of numbness placed.
Let's just all admit that hard contractions and trying to hold still don't really jam so well. I must have been gripping Paul's hand something fierce because I looked up and his face was white and he had crazy eyes. He looked over at the nurse and said, "I think I need to sit down" and then he was gone, down like a tranquilized water buffalo. The nurse somehow kept him from hitting his head on the monitoring station. I told her to get out of the way because comatose water buffalo were heavy and I didn't want her to get hurt. She laid him out somehow and she and tiny anesthesiologist were hovering around him when he came to about 30 seconds later. I just laughed, because really, who passes out during that part? He couldn't even see the needle! Thanks Paul and your low blood sugar/hangry problem. Maybe you should have eaten before we walked out the door. A few crackers and some juice and he was right as rain. Everyone left the room, Paul went to get some breakfast, and I was alone. Except for that stabbing pain on the left side of my body because that epidural was most definitely not working. Paul came back fresh full of pancakes and I was gripping the rail of the bed in extreme pain with flashbacks of Triple's freight train birth. I just kept thinking, I don't want to do this again, not this way! I want to push and be happy and not feel like dying instead! Things get a little dramatic when you're in the middle of labor, am I right? I'm right.
Paul chases down my nurse who comes in and clicks my epidural button again and says she'll be back in 10 to see if we need to get the anesthesiologist. 10 awful minutes later she comes back, no change, still dying. She looks at me and decides that maybe I'm just progressing really fast and decides to check for confirmation of that. Guess what, I'm complete. Let's have a baby. Dr. Watts comes back, the big mirror on the ceiling came out, hello lady bits-nice to see you again!
Two big pushes and this time I watched eyes wide open as my sweet Baby Ruth made his way on out into this world and onto my chest.
That moment, when your child takes his first breath, that moment is so full of sacred I can't even describe. And it was. And it's why I love having babies. The feeling in that room is palpable, I love it so much.
Welcome my handsome boy, all 9 lbs 4.2 oz and 20 inches of you. We're so happy you're here. You've been an absolute joy and a bright light in our home. You maybe even softened my intense dislike for the the newborn stage because I've actually found myself relishing this time with you like no other. You're perfect. I love you. Thanks for choosing me.
|August 26th, 2013, born at 11:27 am|
*p.s., beat Triple's birth by a full half hour. 2.5 hours start to finish. I'm awesome.