Thursday, September 27, 2012

Birth Story: Clara Tillie

About 2 weeks before the baby was due, I developed a terrible pain in my tailbone.  It felt like I'd been ice skating and crashed squarely on my bum.  I felt severely bruised.  Sitting at my desk, while driving, or at the dinner table were horrible.  I tried to do those things as little as possible, preferring to be on my feet working or lying down.  About a week into this, I had a check up with my doctor's sub (he was hiking with his wife in Europe).  I wish I had a picture of her eyes while she examined me: "Well no wonder your tailbone hurts.  She is WAY down here."  Though I was only dilated to 1 cm, I knew we were getting close.  At my next appointment, six days later, my doctor told Taylor and me that I was now at 4 cm and 80% effaced.  I wasn't surprised.  Mind you, I don't do much typical contracting before labor, but I can feel my body making preparation.  Taylor and I were expecting this type of news and knew what we wanted to do.  We made plans with Dr. B. to come back first thing the next morning to be induced.

{Some people are four-square against induction, I know.  But it's been a good choice for me.  When you go as fast I do, it starts to feel pretty scary when you're halfway dilated, and mostly effaced, not to mention this time I knew her head was locked and loaded!  Once my water breaks, it's game over, and I kept replaying images of myself having a baby on my bathroom floor, or in the car.  (I literally made Taylor google "how to deliver a baby in a car" just in case.)  So, in any case, that's why I opted for induction.}

After my parents treated us to Mexican at Mucho Gusto, we took the kids home and got to work--making arrangements for the children the next day, packing their bags, tucking them in to bed, tidying up toys, finishing the dishes, even dusting and vacuuming the house.  After one last snack of cold cereal and a little So You Think You Can Dance, we went to bed.  As many times as I'd done it, and as quickly as it usually goes, I couldn't believe that when I woke up I had to push a baby out of my body.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

5:30  I peeled my achy body out of bed, grateful that I wouldn't feel like an 85 year old much longer.  After a shower, I pulled on my maternity jeans one last time and smiled at the fact that I'd just gotten my hair done on Tuesday.  (A good blow out lasts for days :)

6:00  Our friend, Jake arrived to help Blaine get up and off to school (Rog had gone to Aunt Melissa's the night before).  I pulled a sleepy Carter out of his crib and we drove him to Nana's house.

6:30  We checked in at the Family Birthing Center (room #8--same one as with Carter!) and the doctor gave me cytotec, which is supposed to prep your cervix and start labor.  It didn't do much for me, and as we hung out there for the next two hours Taylor kept complaining, "This is so boring!  We usually have a baby by now!"

9:15  Since it was planned to break my water at 9:30, we had my brother come in and give me the epidural before hand.  (With Carter, Dr. B. broke my water before, and I was screaming for someone to go find my brother.  This time I'd made it clear how things were to go down ;)  As usual, Brian came in with remarks about covering myself up as much as possible (heaven forbid he see his sister's bum crack), and I told him to give me just strong enough of an epidural to take the edge off the contractions.  Not being able to feel at all is horrible; you can't possibly push out a baby when you're completely numb (I know from experience!).  The only terrible part about an epidural is that sometimes it gives me the shakes.  That was the case this time.  My arms and shoulders shook horribly, as did my jaw--making my teeth chatter.  I had Taylor hold my arms and shoulders tight, and focused all my energy on breathing deeply to control my jaw.

9:37  With the epidural in effect, Dr. B. came in and broke my water.  My contractions immediately picked up and the pressure in my pelvis was incredibly intense.  It was not long before I made the nurse check me.  7 cm.  Around this point she gave me an oxygen mask because of the variables on the baby's reactions to the contractions.  I'd had this with Roger, too, I remembered.  It proved annoying this time, especially with my shaking.  I lay there on my side, holding my mask to my face, trying to force my body not to shake.  Taylor reached over to the baby warmer and picked up a tiny diaper and held it up to show me.  And then the tiny white knit hat.  In a split second the entire pregnancy flashed through my mind--the moment I knew another baby was coming quickly after Carter, the sickness, the soreness, the emotional toll that all took on me and my family.  I had been pregnant this entire calendar year, and it was, by far, the most difficult pregnancy.  As Taylor smiled and put the hat back down, a warm tear streamed down my face.  She was coming now, and it all felt worth it--just as I'd trusted it would.  The next little while went by in a painful blur.  The contractions brought such an intense pain that I moaned and moaned into my oxygen mask.  After a while, as I felt that low, intense pressure increase, I declared: "She is coming fast!"  They readied the baby warmer and called Dr. B.  He declared me ready to push.  I didn't have to push for long.  The head came (I remember the doctor commented on how dark the hair was) and then during another push, the doctor said something like, "Oh, come on, little baby," like obviously part of her was a little stuck (Taylor told me later it was her shoulders.  The doctor had to pull on those a little bit.)  But holy toledo, once those shoulders came, she came flying out and I was screaming my head off.  It was so intense!

10:27  As I was yelling in pain, Taylor exclaimed, "Anne, look!"  And there she was--big and pink and screaming her head off just like her mom.  The sobbing commenced as I looked around at the doctor and nurses and Taylor and asked, "Is it really a girl?!"  Dr. B. brought her right up to my chest and the baby nurse cleaned her with a towel from behind me as I held my little girl and cried.

I had a daughter.

Thanks, everyone, for your warmth and well wishes.  More story and pictures to come.



Kate said...

wow! giving birth sounds intense.... way to go momma! and now you have 4 beautiful kids, one a girl! what a lucky one you are. she's beautiful and perfect. i wish i was there to help with the weeks and months to follow... good luck! so happy for you!

Nettie Martin said...

Anne! You have a girl! So exciting! I love the name. I also loved the part about Brian. If you were a Martin he'd say it's no big deal. We are apparently notorious amongst the in-laws for pants that don't fit and sag a little too much (if you know what I mean). Congrats again!

Joan said...

Your darling story brought tears to my eyes! Every birth is an amazing blessing! Love you all.

annie moffat karcher said...

Oh Anne, I too am a little teary eyed. She is a beautiful girl and so lucky to have three older brothers to protect and love her!

Joan said...

Totally cried when I saw the pic of you and Clara and read, "I had a daughter."
So, so, so happy for you Anne.

jayne wells said...

Amazing and fantastic. I am so so happy for you! What beauties you both are. Her name is perfect! Love you much!