And so, 12 days after the birth of my sweet Della Marie, I decide I’d better write her birth story lest I forget the details in days and weeks ahead. I haven’t blogged in awhile and may or may not be hopped up on painkillers but here goes :)
Sweet Della Marie,
You, dear child, were a week over due. I’d been to my 39, 40 and 41 week appointments with no sign of impending labor and plenty reminders from my doctor that at 41 weeks and 1 day they would be strongly advising an induction (which was scheduled for Monday, December 16th). On Saturday December 14th, I woke up and waited to feel you wiggle before I got out of bed – something I’d come to enjoy doing every morning. You usually rewarded me with a kick or roll within a few minutes. Perhaps it was your way of saying “Lady, go pee, there is no room in here!”. Who knows.
This morning, though, I didn’t feel you move. In fact, it took a whole hour and a glass of ice cold juice to get you wiggling even a little. All day I was nervous, and didn’t feel you move much at all. With you being 6 days overdue, and feeling like you were NOT being your normal self, I called the doctor for advice. She suggested I come in for a NST to check on you.
That evening, after being settled into a triage room and hooked to the fetal monitors, you made a liar out of me by performing flips and kicks like an acrobat for the doctors and nurses. I was so relieved to know you were OK that I forgave you for making me worry all day :) It was also discovered that I was 3cm and 50% effaced! The phenomenal nurses assigned to us suggested that I go home and rest – as a VBA2C Mama, I would have a better chance of avoiding a c-section if I was able to wait until Monday with my regular doctor. The doctor on call that evening and Sunday was apparently very conservative and not likely to let a VBA2C Mama labor long, if at all. So home we went, planning to attend Mass the next day and rest – praying that the induction would go well on Monday.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I awoke to what I instantly knew was labor pains. Mild, slightly crampy and inconsistent. But by 6am they were more regular, and I knew I’d be having a baby that day. On Sunday. The only day of the week my doctor was NOT on call. The day that the nurses said would mean being under the care of a very conservative, non-VBA2C friendly doctor.
We called my sister to come get your brother and sister. We called your grandparents to let them know. We texted our doulas to give them a heads up. And then I labored. From 8am -11am it was pretty much the same. I alternated between the shower, laying in the bed on my side, and sitting on the birth ball with my arms and head resting on the bed. Your Dad stopped in occasionally to see if I was drinking enough. Around 11:30am, I could tell that things were changing – 10 minutes before I was thinking about grilled cheese for lunch, and then suddenly I was NOT hungry. And your Dad needed to get the rice sock heated up RIGHT NOW and help with the pain, and “couldn’t he call the doula to get here soon”?
By noon, the contractions were coming pretty frequently and pretty powerfully, although I was just the tiniest bit afraid – “What if I was still just in early labor?”. It was tough, and I couldn’t imagine in getting tougher. Suddenly there were two really intense contractions back to back, and my water broke!
I looked at your Dad and said “We need to go NOW”. He patiently suggested that we wait 5 minutes for our doula to arrive; and five minutes after her arrival, we were off to the hospital – speeding down I-264 towards Norfolk while the contractions got worse. I may or may not have yelled “THERE ARE PEOPLE PASSING US AND THEY ARE NOT HAVING A BABY” at your Dad, to which he calmly replied “I am just trying to keep you safe” and I saw that we were already going alarmingly fast…
We chose the emergency room entrance to the hospital, knowing that there would be a wheel chair available. I barely remember the few minutes we spent at the front desk of the ER, but I am sure the dozens of people in the waiting area have a hilarious story of a woman in labor interrupting the entire ER. A nurse quickly wheeled me up to the fourth floor, and I was SO happy to see many of the faces we’d met yesterday for the NST in the delivery room. A doctor rushed in and checked me to find that I was at 9.5cm, almost complete! I’d rocked an entire labor at home, by myself. An accomplishment I did NOT think was possible.
However, my joy was short lived after being told that you were still high (-2) and OP (sunny side up) I felt no pelvic pressure and I had no desire to push (which is why I had assumed I was still in early labor). An ultrasound quickly confirmed that you were 9+lbs, too. And Mr. Conservative Doctor was already talking c-section. And the contractions were incessant, never giving me a minute to breath before the next one hit.
I knew I needed to make a decision, and I wouldn’t do it out of a desperation just to get labor over with. It took two tries to get the epidural to work, but when it did I knew it was the best decision I could have made for this labor. I was able to talk to your Dad, my Mom, our doula, and the doctor about options. I decided to wait, against his advice, to see if you’d move down or flip over. For three or four hours we waited and prayed. The doctor, who ended up being incredibly nice, still lived up to his ultra-serious reputation and came in every hour to check for progress. Unfortunately, there was none. You were still high and malpositioned.
At some point, I just knew. I knew it was time to meet you, and that I wasn’t going to regret a third c-section.
You were born at 5:40pm on December 15th, 2013, and I couldn’t have been more surprised that you were a girl! After 9 months of believing you were a boy (we were waiting to find out, but my “maternal instinct” said ‘boy’ – HA). I was also surprised to find out you weighed a whopping 9lbs, 3oz, despite my insistence that this pregnancy felt “smaller” than the last two.
The best part was that I got to hold (and nurse!) you in the recovery room – something I missed out on for your brother and sister. I didn’t care when you pooped all over me, and you didn’t seem to mind when I rested a bucket on your head as I threw up from all the anesthesia. We made quite the pair, you and I. The next three days in the hospital weren’t fun (I’d lost alot of blood and you were being checked for jaundice), but we managed to establish breastfeeding, spending pretty much all our time together snuggled up in bed together despite the nurses tsk-tsking.
You arrived home and got to meet your doting sister and excited brother. You’ve spent the last week and a half being loved and snuggled, gaining weight like a champ and being a pretty good newborn overall.
Sweet Della, I couldn’t imagine life with you before you were born, and now I cannont imagine life without you. I love you baby girl and thank Jesus for giving me the chance to be your Mama.
Happy Birth Day, baby!