Saturday, February 2, 2008
I had called the nurses at the delivery ward at IACH in Ft. Riley 3 times, and each time the refused to let me come in, telling me I wasn't even close yet. We've been timing contractions since about 9 pm Friday evening, and I did my best to deal with the contractions just allowing my body and nature take over. Around 2 am I asked Richard to call in again, because I was sick of them telling me to sit down and relax. I had the suspicion that they would not let me come in as long as I was able to call them by myself, and, what a surprise, when Richard called in, they asked him to take me to the hospital. We packed the final things for our bag, grabbed the rent check which we still needed to take to the office and headed out for the hospital. Richard had to stop twice during the 25-minute drive for me to move around during a contraction. When we finally arrived I walked up to the delivery ward (you will never see me being wheeled around in a wheel chair!!), where they put me on the scales, took my blood pressure and whisked me in one of the exam rooms while Richard finished the paperwork. The midwife on duty came in and checked me for dilation; luckily, I was at 5cm at this point and admitted. When she asked me to get up to be taken to the delivery suite, I saw all the blood on her gloves and on my legs; I was shocked, but the midwife assured me that everything was fine. Richard and I settled in our room that we entered as a two-some and would leave as a family of three. I tried to read, bounced on the birthing ball, and just tried to get my mind off the painful contractions. I was planning a natural birth, so I did not request an epidural at this point. The night nurse stopped by a couple of times, rubbed my back and smuggled in some orange juice. I was not allowed anything but ice chips but started to shake from low blood sugar levels since I had not eaten since dinner, and then only a little bit of mixed vegetables.
The midwife and my OB also came to check; around 7 am the midwife decided to break my water to speed up progress. I also got my second IV since the first one had clogged. When another hour and a half later I had only progressed to 7 cm, the OB ordered me to be hooked up to pitocin to speed up the delivery. Then he popped the "P"-word, I responded with my "E"-word and asked for an epidural. About 30 minutes later the anesthesiologist arrived and administered the tube in my spine. The meds started to flow in my back and my veins, and the pain was gone. I was at the end of my strength and fell asleep. I remember the nurses coming in every once in a while to adjusted the baby monitor that was strapped around my belly. At some point, a new nurse showed up and checked me for progress. I was still more or less asleep when she finally became nervous and called for the OB to come immediately because I had unconsciously started to birth my baby; her head was almost out of my uterus. A leisurely 20 minutes later the OB appeared, exclaiming an "oh gosh, the head is REALLY on the way out!!" and prepared everything for the birth. I asked the nurses to switch off the epidural since I wanted to feel the birth but I was told that it was too late for that. They had pumped me so full of medication that I didn't feel a single contraction or the urge to push.
The nurse coached me when to push and when to stop based on the labor monitor, and only 2 pushes in I heard a loud and protesting cry. It took me 2 more pushes to bring our baby into this world. They told me it was a girl.. "We have a daughter", I told Richard, who had been holding my hand all this time. A daughter we had.. and she was so angry. She had all the right to be; my stubbornness had caused an extended prodromal labor and unnecessary stress on her. We tried to nurse, but she would not stop crying. At some point they took her away from me to bathe her and administered the usual Vitamin K-shot and eye ointment.
They put her under the infra-red warmer. She finally calmed down, and I felt so helpless. There she was, my little baby, our daughter, my love.. This little, skinny baby, who carried a piece of my heart inside her. From this point on, all I wanted was to do better, to give her everything she deserved and more. To show her the love I felt for her.
Five years have passed since this day, and still I cry as I write these words. I regret the way she entered this world, but there is nothing I can do to change it. She is now a wonderful, little girl, whose smile brightens the world. She's sassy, independent, and clever... oh dear, does she amaze us sometimes. I am still working on my promise I gave her 5 years ago. When I cuddled her to sleep tonight, holding her in my arms and feeling her peaceful breathing, I know that I have made up for our struggles back then. I love you, Lily, my life!!
|Welcome, my Love!|