April 13, 2010

I do not remember THAT from 8th grade health

One of my most scarring middle school memories is from 8th grade health. We had a male teacher who wasn't necessarily as sensitive about certain topics as an awkward 12/13 year old girl might hope. One of the requirements of the class was to watch "The Miracle of Birth." And as if watching it period, wasn't terrifying enough at that age, Mr. HealthTeacherMan wanted to show us the actual birth a second time to make sure we understood. So he hit rewind. He failed to turn the tape off first. We had to watch the birth in reverse. I still have nightmares about that poor baby being sucked back in.

Fast forward 20 years and I'm on the verge of becoming a mom myself. Thankfully I would not actually be birthin' no baby. To make things more fun, Pie was two weeks late. Husband and I were going out of our minds waiting for "the call." So January 12th rolls around and I'm not feeling so great. I'm fighting a migraine and am generally crabby from the stress and lack of sleep. I decided that I would go back to sleep for a bit and then go into work late morning. As I'm drifting back to sleep I hear a phone buzz. I assume it's someone from work trying to get a hold of Husband (we work together). It was not. It was Birthmother saying she was in labor and had been admitted to the hospital (after two false alarms in the previous weeks).

Needless to say we flipped out and proceeded to run around like crazy people. We managed to calm down and get to the hospital about 10:00 am. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Pie's birthmom was only fingertip dilated for most of the morning. Eventually they gave her some drugs to help things along. They didn't help much. At some point Husband and I went to get lunch as a distraction/time waster.

We loaded that tray with just about everything the hospital cafeteria offered. We were so lost. And then proceed to eat basically none of it. We just had no appetite. We were so nervous and so excited and basically scared sh*tless.

We finally gave up on lunch and headed back to the room. On our way out of the cafeteria (which we would become far too familiar with over the next few days) I saw this sign and it made me laugh so hard I cried. I realize that it was likely the stress and exhaustion, but damn I thought it was funny....

Multi-purpose spoons. What the hell else are they being used for? Why do we need to be told they are multi-purpose? We're in a hospital...should I be afraid? Should I bring a few to help scoop out the baby in case she's stuck? So many unanswered questions.

Eventually 6:00 pm rolls around and they check Birthmother again. She's an optimistic 3 cm. They are being generous. The nurse tells her they'll be back to check again at 9:00 pm and if she hasn't made significant progress by then they'll have to seriously consider a c-section. At some point during the day Pie had pooped and they were concerned about the meconium aspiration. They planned on having a respiratory specialist in the room to make sure all was ok at the birth. We're all preparing ourselves for a c-section and feeling a little relieved that it would be done one way or the other shortly.

At 9:00 pm the nurse came back to check and was shocked. Birthmother was fully dilated and ready to push. All of a sudden there was a whirlwind of people and stuff going on. Birthmother doesn't have family here and Birthfather is not good with the whole pain/blood/guts situation so I had said I would happily be in the room if she wanted a friendly face with her. She hadn't decided. At the last minute she said I could stay.

My life changed in 15 minutes. 12 pushes. 3 sets of 4. That's all it took for my life to turn into something I had only dreamt of. Watching Pie be born was the most miraculous, humbling, amazing, beautiful thing I've ever seen. I had three cameras in my hands ready to take pictures and didn't take a single one. I was so overwhelmed. When she came out Birthmother and I just looked at each other like...holy crap that just happened. Then we noticed something wasn't quite right.

In addition to the meconium aspiration, Pie's cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times. 3 TIMES! Which had gone unnoticed because Birthmother's prenatal care only included one ultrasound at the halfway point. That's a whole different story. Pie was blue and unresponsive. Her 1 minute APGAR was a 2 out of 10. I have never been so terrified. Thankfully the respiratory specialist was already there because of the meconium. He was incredible, a rock star, a life saver...literally. After he worked his magic, her 10 minute APAGR was a 9 out of 10. And she passed every other test with flying colors from that point on.

They handed her to Birthmother first and then she handed her to me. I felt like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. My heart grew three sizes that day. I can still feel her weight, her warmth from that first moment. I still get tears in my eyes thinking about it. The nurses needed to work on her a bit more. Including cleaning up her cord, which I got to cut. Tougher than I expected. So while they did some cleaning and maintenance. I tore off down the hall to tell Husband that our daughter had been born. Our perfect, tiny, baby girl.


Her Momma said...


sara said...

Thanks Her Momma! That was a good day :)

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