Friday, September 21, 2012

Meet Claire.

I'm the ideal incubator.

I have generally easy pregnancies, I don't experience morning sickness, and I'm a dang cute pregnant woman, if I do say so myself.  When it comes to the actual delivery, my labors are uneventful and with both boys, I had the babies out in two pushes.  The only area in which my body ranks less-than-satisfactory is labor-readiness.  I make so little progress on my own that elective inductions tend to be my best option (and I was two weeks overdue with Jonah with zero progress, so I'm not exaggerating...for once).

For child #3, my induction was scheduled for August 27th at 8:00 AM.  I was up at 5:30 AM to place my confirmation phone call with Labor & Delivery, and within a matter of hours, the hospital postponed and then reinstated my induction, totally throwing off my meticulously planned morning.  Not good.  As soon as I received the go-ahead from L&D, I quickly called my Dad -- Jonah's ride to school and Sam's caregiver for the morning -- who then got stuck in traffic. Tyler left to take Jonah to school himself and I stayed home to wait for Grandpa with Sam...and watch the clock as my induction appointment time came and went.  We were finally en route to the hospital at 8:30 AM, and the impatient phone calls from the hospital began soon after.  "Your doctor and nurse are standing here waiting for you!  Do you realize you were supposed to be here 30 minutes ago???"  Of course I realize that!  This is why I wanted to schedule my induction for a weekend!  I knew this would happen!!!  Anxiety attaaaaack!

I'm never late.  For anything.  Well, anything except for church and the birth of my children, apparently.  Tyler dropped me off at the front of the Women's Center at 9:00 AM and sped off to look for a parking spot.  I blasted my way through registration (seriously -- why, oh WHY do you have to register 20 thousand times when you're being hospitalized?!) and ran into L&D, sweating like a pig and apologizing profusely for our tardiness.  They rushed us into our room and I threw on my gown.  (SIDE NOTE:  For those that requested I take a photo of my pregnant belly, I'm sorry.  While I don't quite understand why you want to see me 27 pounds overweight, I had planned on snapping a pic prior to putting on my gown.  Unfortunately, the circumstances prevented me from feeling like I had time to do so since I was already an hour late to my own induction.  My bad for procrastinating!)  My doctor had long since returned to her clinic, so the nurse immediately hooked me up and started the pitossin. 

The contractions started off hard and fast.  Within minutes, I was contracting 2 minutes apart, steadily.  I had a personal goal to have this baby born by 3:00 PM so I could be cleaned up and walking by the time the boys came to visit.  Lame, I know, but I do those kinds of things.  My doctor came down and broke my water at about 10:15 AM and predicted we'd be done by lunch.  I typically give birth 45 minutes after my water is broken, so I texted my mom to let her know she should be on her way.  Mom showed up just in time for my epidural, which was done around 11:30 AM.  For the next couple hours, nothing happened other than I began to question the effectiveness of the $1600 epidural I had been given.  My legs were tingly, but I could move and feel them, and I was feeling an increasing amount of pressure on my right side.  My previous epidurals had rendered me completely numb so I let the nurse know I was feeling more than I wanted to.  She assured me that was the mark of a great epidural because it gave me more control over my pushing.  (But I only push twice!  Who needs control over two pushes?!  I want to be numb!)  The pressure quickly evolved into what most people would consider pain.  I say "most people" because I operate on a completely different pain scale.  A "10" for the general public is more like a "5" or "6" for me, which makes situations like these a little tricky.  By 2:30 PM, when a contraction would come on, I'd squint and say, "Ow," which I guess is hard to take seriously.  I called the nurse again (who was probably rolling her eyes at this point).  She gave me an extra "boost" in my IV after rolling me on to my side in hopes that gravity would assist the epidural.

While she was there, she decided to check my progress: "Goodness!  You're at a 10!  I'm going to go call your doctor.  DON'T PUSH!"  I assured her, "I don't even feel the urge to push.  I'm good." (...except for the fact that I'm paying for this swear-word-of-an-epidural that is not working!)  She left and the three of us resumed our conversation.  At the next contraction (now remember, I'm still lying on my side at this point), I literally felt something "bubble" out of me.  I didn't know what it was, but it didn't feel right.

This is where it gets crazy.

"Tyler, something's wrong.  Call the nurse. Now."

Tyler presses the button.  Another contraction.  Thanks to my failed epidural, I feel more movement between my legs.

The nurse finally walks in with a medical student and I explain that something isn't right, so she lifts up my blanket and gasps, "OHMYGOSH!  THERE'S A BABY!"

The baby had literally slipped out.

I look over at my Mom who has the most horrified look on her face I have ever seen.  (Comforting.  Real comforting.)  I then look up at the nurse who -- get this -- turns around and RUNS OUT OF THE ROOM!  And the medical student follows her!  Tyler yells after them, "UM, we have a BABY here!" and as if on cue, the baby starts to cry.  The door closes behind them and we all look at each other, completely unsure of what to do.  We can hear the nurse out in the hall yelling frantically for a doctor - any doctor.  A minute passes...or maybe it was 15 seconds?  The door flies open, 8 people rush in yelling and complete chaos ensues.  I get flipped over onto my back and the nurse nearest to me yells, "I'm going in without gloves!"  She scoops up the baby and begins to suction her mouth while an OB Fellow clamps her cord.  Tyler cuts the cord and they hand me to her for a minute before the other nurses move her over to the bassinet so they can examine her.  The whole time I'm exclaiming, "I didn't push!  I swear I didn't push!!! Not even once!"  I think they believed me...I swear, I didn't.

When my doctor finally came in, there was very little for her to do other than a few icky things.  The baby was 100% fine.  Better than fine, actually.  She had the nicest head out of any of my pushing can do that.  Once the crowd began to dissipate and I thanked an awful lot of nurses, I finally got a chance to really hold her and take it all in.  She was perfect.  Very Eves-looking except for a Crocker-esque nose.  At 6 lbs, 1 oz., 19 1/2 inches long, she was the exact same birth size as my sister Rachel, who happened to be born the exact same way -- in a delivery room, sans medical staff.  There was a tender feeling in the room as we remembered her and thought about the fact that those two spirits were so recently together.

We named her Claire Marie.  Claire, because we could agree on it, and Marie after a few very cherished family and friends who share that middle name.  Claire also shares her birthday with one of my dear cousins, a wonderful aunt, and a childhood best friend.  You just can't come into the world on better terms than that, I think. 

So now I have a daughter, and I no longer have to get the boys a puppy.  Its been 3 1/2 weeks and we are all completely in love with her.  She has strawberry blonde hair and very blue eyes which I still find quite puzzling considering I have one child with eyes the color of "chocolate" and one with eyes the color of "mud."  I suppose it was only fair that Tyler have one blue-eyed child.  But I think she's beautiful...and my heart is full.

And, in case you were wondering, she was born at 2:43 PM.  17 minutes ahead of my goal.  Is that a good kid, or what?