Blue's Belated Birth Story

Giddy, delirious, excited: we spent the night before the induction in the tender pillow-talk and hopeful daydreams sickness had excluded us from the previous nine months. We made predictions about weight and hair color, and all the tiny details intersecting in our growing family tree.

At 5:30 am we arrived at labor and delivery and squeaked out “We’re here to have a baby.” It turned out Monday’s in June are a slow day for our local hospital, and “Nurse Chipper” was quite excited to have us as her project. As she eagerly asked me about everything from allergies to any use of recreational drugs, I was made comfy in the latest in hospital wear - gaping, green, gargantuan, and pumped full of IV fluids.

At 7:20 my slightly groggy OB arrived, checked my cervix, and declared me favorable for induction. What a relief that I didn’t have to fake a heart attack to get my way. (Thanks for the tip anyway Mom.)

We began the day at 3 cm, -3 station, and 50% effaced.

With the Pitocin, a curious peace dripped into my body. All my fears of a second terrible labor were washed away in the trust that God was going to get me through this.

With each fifteen minutes the nurse increased the dosage of the Pitocin drip, and asked whether or not I needed an epidural yet. I have no objections to medicine, or easing one’s way through the process. I know there are no medals in Heaven for those who tough it out on their own.

I just felt ... strong. I’d been through 9 months of taking dangerous and uncomfortable meds against my desire, and I just wanted to do this on my own.

With the peak of each contraction I quietly rode the swell of pain, and bravely awaited the next battering wave.

Around 10 am the Pitocin began to crash Little Boy Blue’s heartbeat. I felt more cautious. I worried that my own pain and discomfort were affecting him. They put me on an oxygen mask, and turned me a dozen ways until he responded better. I began to rely on hubby for breathing assistance. He helped me to breathe deeply when I wanted to cringe and hold my breath.

(What a metaphor for our relationship. He is always trusting God, and stretching the limits of our experience when I want to batten down the hatches and wait for life to blow by.)

By lunchtime I was flagging. The pain was coming too often and intensely. M began to read the encouragement from all my friends following our experience on Facebook. I shall always remember Taylor Crane’s shock that we stopped in such momentous happenings to update 136 of our closest friends and family. ;) I laughed and cried that so many people were focused in on our moment. It is an exhilarating feeling to know that one’s life is so intertwined with others, and that they care enough to put aside their own concerns to tune into your life.

At 12:30 the doctor informed us that my water had broken and I’d progressed to 4 cm, -2 station, and still 50% effaced. The clock was ticking with my water broken. I began to think again of laboring with S, and how it took 30 hours to go from 2 cm to 9. The nurse saw tears in my eyes, and assured me that this was a new day and no one was going to let me suffer like that.

For the next two hours I began to draw into myself. I tried to nap through the pain. It was kind of like trying to sleep in once my 3 year old is awake and in the bed peeling my eye-lids open.

2:30 came and my doctor informed us I’d almost reached 6 cm. I was shocked that my body was actually responding to the process. Life sometimes has a way of beating us down to where we can only prepare for the worst, but I was snapping out of it. I finally believed I was going to have a baby soon!

The next hour of contractions were painful, but exciting. I began to focus my mind on what it would be like to push. With Sofie I didn’t recognize the signals my body was sending my brain. I was too exhausted from being in labor too long, and I worried I wouldn’t know what to do again.

My doctor came in and found me at 9 cm. He assured me there was no rush to push once I reached 10 cm. We talked about letting nature take over, trusting my body, and not rushing the process. This was a little difficult for my control freak mind to grasp, but it worked brilliantly.

At 4:30, the nurse asked me to give a practice push. Afterward she had a proud, but frantic smile. “As soon as the doctor gets here, you’ll have your baby in 2 pushes.” She was right.

My doctor clocked out of his office at 4:45, walked across the street, and up the stairs to my room. By 5 he was scrubbed, gloved, and telling me to push gently one time. Andrew’s head was out. My hearing was tuned into all the details modesty forbid my eyes from witnessing. “One more push Dee Dee - nice and slow.”

It was over. They gingerly placed Andrew on my chest, and my mind began to race. I’d done it. I survived this pregnancy, and brought a new soul safely into the world. I felt lighter both physically and emotionally. I could sleep on my stomach again, or eat gorgonzola cheese.

As I stared down at little Blue, I wept. I wept for the lost months I didn’t get to see my friends, play with my daughter, or enjoy at home with my hubby. I wept that my body tried to reject such a beautiful and perfect baby. I wept for myself: surviving 39 weeks of vomiting and motion sickness deserves a moment.

Mostly, I wept for a new beginning. Happy Birthday sweet Blue.

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