I was so anxious for Cecelia to be born. I was due May 2, but I “knew” I would go early. Ok, ok, I WANTED to go early. Without going into the nitty-gritty details, this pregnancy was pretty hard on my body. I have read Jenny McCarthy’s book on pregnancy and it wasn’t THAT bad, but it was worse (and grosser) than when I was pregnant with the boys. In fact, I have new-found compassion and empathy for my friends who have had 5 & 6 children. (Yes, I have friends who have that many children…) So even though I was smaller than I’ve been with my other two children, even though I looked pretty good, I wasn’t feeling so hot.
The weekend of April 28 & 29 we were pretty busy. We had our niece’s birthday parties. Yup, “ies”; one on Saturday and another on Sunday. Her parents aren’t extravagant or anything, it just worked that way for various reasons. While it was good to be busy and get my mind off childbirth (and the complete lack of contractions or any other sign that labor was soon to occur), it was rough going out. People said a host of things but mostly it sounded like, “You STILL haven’t had that baby?”. No…obviously I have not. Sigh.
So I attempted to have a happy heart (I was crabby) and out we went. I also attempted to smile when people asked the aforementioned question or mentioned how huge I was (which, c’mon people, I really wasn’t huge).
Sunday, I opted to stay home from church. I just wasn’t feeling well. It was crazy hot outside already and all I had were maternity jeans! Not a single pair of shorts or warm-weather shirts! I knew we would be busy that afternoon for the 2nd party. In the car as we were driving around that day, I felt like Cecelia was way down in my pelvis. It hurt to sit! Even the normal bumps in the car were making me uncomfortable We partied, then headed home, put the kiddos to bed and cuddled up on the couch to veg. I was really tired and just worn out. We found a fun movie I’d never seen on tv, “Wolverine”. You know, the story about the guy from X-men about just him? It was so cool! But we couldn’t finish it. I was too tired.
Secretly, around 9 pm (just before we found the movie) I noticed I had been having contractions for a while. They started pretty much when I sat down after we put the kids to bed. I got REALLY excited because it had literally been a whole week since I had felt/noticed any kind of contractions. Jeremy was super jumpy with this pregnancy. He was so excited to see Cecelia that he could hardly stand it! However, every time I felt anything and said something about it, the man got all jumpy. And let’s face it, pregnancy hormones plus jumpy husband equals irritable wife. So I didn’t tell him I was having contractions. 😀 (Additionally, the man kept constantly asking me if I was having any contractions. Which only added to my annoyance again, with the aforementioned question I continually heard.)
We turned the movie off half way through (which KILLED ME!) and Jeremy promised to rent it for me. Now I think, uh…how and where? It’s not like Blockbuster is in business anymore. But I digress…unless you are reading this, live in St. Louis and want to loan me the movie because you own it.
We went to bed around 11 and I did nonchalantly mention to Jeremy that I was having light contractions. They were still inconsistent (though they were also organizing) and around 20 minutes apart. So nothing worth doing much about. I told him they’d probably go away and we crawled into bed. It had been raining that evening and was still going strong. It was a lovely sound. I laid in bed drifting in and out of sleep as my contractions got stronger. I felt SO MUCH peace! I think it was just relief washing over me. I laid in bed listening to the storms until around 3:00 am. I was awakened by a really loud clap of thunder and lightening. It struck the ground not far from our house and echoed across the city. Chase came flying into our room scared to death. Jeremy sat straight up in bed and actually had to take a couple of deep breaths! Apparently that sounded a lot like an IED (poor man!).
We sent Chase back to bed and in order to cheer Jeremy up a bit, I told him I was still having contractions, they hadn’t stopped but had gotten stronger and quite closer together. He timed them for me. 7 minutes apart and still a little inconsistent. Sometimes 7 minutes, sometimes 5, back and forth. I could still talk through them and smile. I was so happy! THIS WAS IT!
We laid in bed for a bit longer. We didn’t want to rush off to the hospital too early (I didn’t want to labor forever in the hospital) and yet, driving while you are in transition really, really, really sucks. Really.
We decided to call our friend, Kara, to come over and spend the rest of the night/morning with the boys. I think she might have been as excited as us! Then we called our Doula, Debbie and then, we waited. We decided to go ahead and at least wake Cooper up to let him know what was happening. He had been asking me every day when his sister would be here. Jeremy climbed up to the top of their bunk beds and sweetly woke Cooper up, explaining to him that we were going to the hospital and that Ms. Kara would be here soon. (We had explained to both boys what would happen when Cece came so that they wouldn’t be scared.) Cooper squealed, clapped his hands, and then promptly snuggled back into his pillow and went to sleep with a giant smile on his face. It was so precious!
We didn’t wake Chase up because, well, we didn’t want him to be upset about us leaving frankly. Kara arrived around 4 am, we hugged and squealed and off we went! I kept telling Jeremy the whole way there that I felt so dumb. He ran a red light at one point and I rolled my eyes at him saying “really?”. His response? “This is one of the only times you can legitimately run a red light”. I’ll give him that one. The drive did hurt a bit and it made me anxious to get there. I mean, I felt every single bump, divet, and undulation in every stretch of pavement. We texted everyone that we were on our way to the hospital and posted on facebook “babytime” as our status. EEECCK!
By the time we arrived at the hospital, my contractions were getting stronger and even closer together. In just 30 minutes we were down to 4 minutes apart. We checked in and Jeremy had to answer a few of the questions at the reception desk while I collected myself for the contractions. I was still super excited! But, I was also curious as to whether or not I was dilated. What if I wasn’t? Or worse, what if I was like a 1 or a 2 and not at all effaced? YIKES! I didn’t want to spend the morning in triage. My nerves set in for maybe the first time that day.
We went to triage where they checked everything out. 4 centimeters and 100 % effaced! WAHOO! The nurse, Ashley, was nice (and a big fan of Notre Dame..she noticed Jeremy’s pink ND hat immediately) but she sucked at taking my blood. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I hate the sight of blood. It seriously makes me pass out. I can’t help it. I don’t WANT to be that way. I’ve tried to suck it up. But I generally have to breathe deeply and try to think about rainbows and butterflies so that I don’t pass out. Ashley got blood EVERYWHERE on my bed and all over the floor. It seriously looked like someone had been murdered. And you know, this is the deep red stuff. Not just the little prick-your-finger blood. Ok..I gotta stop talking about it…
They moved me and my entourage to a labor suite. My doula, Debbie had arrived with coffee in hand. (Hey, we woke her up REALLY early.)I thought to myself at one point, hmmm…I didn’t get my daily coffee…do I want some? I thought better of it though. Water it is! I couldn’t eat anything. I just wasn’t hungry and truly food sounded gross. Most of the time we were talking and joking that morning. I was starting to have to breathe through my contractions, but nothing too bad. The nurses wanted me on the fetal monitor and told me it is hospital policy for me to be on it at ALL times because my first baby was delivered via c-section. I cheerily reminded them that I had already done a successful VBAC three years ago. But nope, hospital policy. I asked if that meant I couldn’t get off of it if I wanted to? They said I could take it off, but that they would have to note in my chart that I declined to comply with their policy. Note away nurses! I nicely promised them that I would get back on it, but that I was going to take it off frequently for walks and bathroom breaks. I felt like it wasn’t so well received by the nurses. I could tell that made them nervous. My BF (who is an L&D nurse) told me it was more about the annoyance of the paperwork they would have to fill out on me than anything else. Oh well.
We bounced on the birthing ball.
Pretty soon, things were starting to get rough. I was so darn hot. And my back was absolutely killing me. Everyone decided I was having really bad back labor and in addition to that, the nurses were not happy with the fetal monitor stats. She wasn’t doing what they wanted. It was time for me to flip over! Hands and knees up on the bed with my booty in the air. Sigh. It actually felt much better. She did move too. Then, my contractions really started to cook. I think it was around 7 or 8 am when I couldn’t talk anymore. I was still so darn hot! We finally figured out the heat was on in my birthing suite! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! It was 100 degrees outside and the heat was on?
I labored on and on and it got to be so hard. I am telling you, it’s a lie that you don’t remember how much it hurts to have children naturally. I mean, I am super glad I do it by myself. It feels amazing when it is all over with. I do believe in natural endorphins and letting your body do what it was made to do. But MAN! It’s hard work. Jeremy, Debbie and my sister were all fanning me through my contractions. I was so grateful for Debbie’s coaching through those tough times. The best advice she gave me was to soften/relax my mouth and my face. It is amazing how much stress we carry there. Whenever I was able to concentrate enough to relax, it really did help me work through those contractions. The craziest ones were those nasty double peakers. Oh my lanta! You wouldn’t think 30 seconds of rest between contractions is a lot, but that time is just enough to gather up your strength for the next one. When those bad boys double peak, it’s just cruel!
Anyway, Debbie wanted me to try to go potty one more time. My water still hadn’t broken and it was really frustrating me. The pressure I was feeling was enormous! (I mean physical pressure.) I told Debbie I didn’t think I could get up and go. It just took too much strength and everything I had in me was going towards those contractions. But everyone said I needed to try. So up I went. Jeremy helped me to the bathroom. I managed to get a little something out but I just couldn’t get my pants back on. No matter though. I came back into the room and made it to the edge of the bed where I crumbled with a SUPER strong contraction. I let out a yell and BAM! Everyone heard the snap and my water broke with a big gush! I won’t mention what else happened. Ahem. But I will say that Jeremy held me through all that and it may sound weird, but it was so romantic! His big, strong arms holding me up as disgusting things happened to me.
After that, there was no stopping Cecelia. I think she must have come down with the waters. I immediately began pushing. I didn’t mean to, I just couldn’t stop. And frankly, it felt SO GOOD to push! That’s when the chaos set in. My doctor still hadn’t arrived (she had come up earlier and then said she’d be back) and the nurses were yelling at me “DON’T PUSH! STOP PUSHING! I CAN’T BE THE ONE TO DELIVER THIS BABY!!”, but um, I couldn’t. My body was literally just doing it. The nurse told me again to stop pushing and then told me to pant like a dog. Clearly I was out of my wits because I looked at her very strangely and stuck my tongue out like a dog and said with a question, “like this?”. Um, everyone laughed. I laugh now. But I wasn’t thinking clearly. Remember, baby coming out, no pain meds. Your brain does funny things….
They attempted to clean me up, (again, ahem) and then tried to get me on the bed. Luckily, those beds can go pretty low to the ground… Cecelia was out in less than 5 minutes. The doctor did make it in time to catch her by the way. She had already crowned and literally, the doctor sat down on this super low stool and just caught her!
All that stuff I just mentioned happened in about 30 seconds. In fact, I think it was almost exactly 5 minutes after my water broke that Cecelia was born! And oh! What relief! I was so tired and thirsty and so happy when I saw her. They wrapped a blanket around her as soon as she came out and plopped her right on my chest. I laid back and just breathed while I gushed. Sorry, but true. It was so funny, I remember feeling a tug from inside of me when they put her on my chest. I realized that she was still attached to the placenta and they hadn’t cut the cord yet! I am pretty sure Jeremy cut the cord, but I can’t remember. Isn’t that funny? I was so wrapped up in looking at her that it was all I could think of or pay attention to. She cried at first and then got peaceful as she listened to my voice. When I looked at her for the first time, I’m pretty sure I said, “Well hi Cooper!” because she looks just like her brother. I tore just a tiny scooch thanks to those 3 pushes to get Cece out. Yup, 3. We rocked it little baby girl!
Jeremy was so excited that he actually took a picture of her as they were cleaning her off and put it on FB. Boy! Was he in trouble for that one! My sister still teases him for posting that before anyone actually got to see her in person. He was just REALLY excited. And facebook was how he showed it. I think you’re cute honey!
Everything else that happened is a blur after that. I know people came in, I know we all laughed a lot, I know I ate something (I think I had pot roast with mashed potatoes and broccoli) and I especially know that my sister brought me a GIANT chocolate shake from Chick-Fil-A AND an iced tea. Boy, I love that girl.
In short, it was pure bliss. I was so tired but my body would not let me sleep. I was too excited. I always feel like superwoman after birth. I will say that it’s true what they say about your uterus hurting more when it contracts after child birth as you have more children. OUCH! But Cecelia was perfect in every way and that’s all that mattered.
Oh yeah, her stats are 7 lbs 5 oz, 21.5 inches long and born at 11:53 am on April 30th. She had beautiful blue eyes then and three months later she still has them, only they are even brighter and more beautiful! A blue-eyed baby girl! Her hair is dark brown and she has the CUTEST lips and little nose!
I didn’t get any sleep that first day. We had a lot of visitors right as I was settling down. But that’s ok. I’ve grown to appreciate the celebration of it all. The boys were crazy thrilled to see their sister. Our friend Kara brought them up with her family and all enjoyed her greatly. They fought over who’s turn it was to hold her almost immediately. Ah….family life. Jeremy left that night and took the boys with him. In fact, by 9 or 9:30 pm, all my visitors had left. I was ready to sleep at last. But guess who decided to wake up and eat all.night.long?
Hi ya Cece. So instead I took pictures of her and I.
She did finally go to sleep and let me take a nap. But she wouldn’t sleep in her bassinet. No, no. She would only sleep ON me. Which was fine. I was ready for her cuddles. I propped pillows all around me, set my moving bed up and we dozed in and out all night and all morning in and out of feedings.
Sigh. It was such a blessing. I love, love, love, love her.
My nurses were awesome and didn’t drive me too crazy. They still had to do their job and take stats for both of us i.e. wake me up just as I had fallen asleep. So sleep wasn’t the greatest. In fact, by Tuesday, I was ready to go home from the hospital. I was so tired and I hate having to ask for food and water. I was very happy to go home. We waited until a ridiculous hour though. The docs in my office were all out of town and only one guy was available for the final discharge visit. We had been waiting on him since Noon that day. Finally, my nurse said “this is ridiculous that they are making you wait like this. I’ll be back.” I don’t know what she said, but that doc was there very quickly after her talk with him/the office! I do so love the nurses at MOBAP.
We got home and it wasn’t quite what a new mom loves. The boys were all over me and her. But Jeremy shoo’d them off to bed and was the best care taker a wife could ask for. I finally slept.
(Well, the Beginning would be more appropriate, but you know what I mean.)