Before I get into The Big Story, there is something I must say.
Vanity of vanities, surely nesting is vanity...
There, I'm glad to get that off my chest.
I guess we should "...begin at the beginning, the very best place to start..." (from the Sound of Music, in case you're a guy)
Sunday morning finally arrived after a sleepless Saturday night. I tossed and turned all night, alternating between fear I would oversleep the alarm and panic that the night would never actually end. A Johnny Horton song was stuck in my head, "You Fought All The Way, Johnny Reb" That actually seemed very appropriate. It's been a battle. A ten year fight to grow my family, and here I was, quite possibly my very last night to be pregnant. I could only think "Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight" Psalm 144:1 He brought me through everything up to this very point, and I knew He would get me through everything else.
At 4:15 the radio kicked on, I knew I had to up by 4:30 so we could leave by 5 to get to the hospital at 5:30. I promptly fell asleep in relief that the night was over and awoke at 4:56. Yikes!!! We managed to scramble and arrived at our destination only 6 minutes late. Yep, that's pretty much how it is, wherever I go...
When the nurses hooked up the contraction monitor belt thingy, it showed I was having 2 minute long contractions already. This has been going on for a number of weeks, if not months, so I wasn't too excited. But, it was nice to see confirmation on paper of what I had been feeling all along. The pitocin drip was started and my contractions seemed to stop. Hey, isn't that opposite of how it's supposed to work?! The nurses gradually increased the pitocin, but I still wasn't
"feeling it" at all. The monitor wouldn't stay put on my pointy belly, either so when I did have a contraction it didn't even show up. When the good Dr Silver arrived at 11, I had hardly dilated at all. I was still pretty much 3 cm and holding. At my last prenatal visit, on Friday, he had started to say he was going to eat a good breakfast on D-Day so that he would be ready for whatever this delivery was going to require. Like, the worst case scenario, I suppose. But he caught himself and said "No, I'm not going to say that. This is going to be easy for you and I won't even need to think, one push and you'll be done." I informed him I would be much obliged if he ate breakfast and was ready to think, come the day. So, as soon as he entered the room, I was inquiring after his breakfast. He only had two cups of coffee. Great, a jittery surgeon... He predicted I would be ready to deliver at 2:12. The nurses had a good laugh.
With the membranes ruptured, I expected things to start moving quickly. But, they really didn't. I kept puttering along. Nowhere near ready for the epidural yet, I chatted with Mom and Rob, Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Steve and Aunt Brenda. All at once. Uncle Steve told a good joke about camping. Grandpa sang a few bars of The Battle of New Orleans. It was pretty fun. Eventually, the contractions did start to build in intensity. They ought to, after the pitocin was bumped up to a 20! (The maximum is 40) Finally, I was ready for the epidural. Receiving the epidural was fairly easy. By this time I was having pretty severe pain in my back and hips. But still only about 3 or 4 cm dilated. I was ready to get a little numb. They laid me back so that the magic potions could spread around evenly. They did, all right. Right up to my diaphragm. By this time my brothers, James and Daniel with lovely ladies Kelsey and Samantha had arrived and were visiting with us. I interrupted the lively conversation, "Uh, Rob, can you tell the nurse I'm having trouble breathing?" He ran out of the room. It was really fairly simple to correct, just sit up a bit and all the medicine drains back down towards the nether regions, where it belongs. It is just such an odd feeling to not be able to feel your own breaths. The anesthesiologist explained that my diaphragm was never in danger of being paralyzed, it just felt that way. That was comforting.
What was not comfortable was my left hip and back region. Just like in Dee's birth, that side never got numb. And the pain was a really intense, burning sort of grinding sensation. Not something I could relax or breathe through. Since one side was completely immobile, that left me awkwardly sprawled, gritting my teeth and saying "Ow! Ouch! Doggone!" in a most un-Bradley-esque manner.
I distinctly remember glancing at the clock around 1:30 and thinking the doctor was wrong, no way she would be born by 2:12. My contractions were regular by now, but not very long. Instead of a nice, 2 minute plateau, the monitor showed short, spiky bumps, which I figured were not doing very much.
The nurse came in to check my progress. Surprise! I was a 10, all set and ready to go! The clock read 2:10. Dr Silver whisked in at 2:18. I told him he was 6 minutes late. 2:21, BABY! She is my second 1-push baby. And, she made it through with collar bone intact. Yay!!! She was so warm and gorgeous and goopy. And thick, brown, furry hair! I love it. But with all my love at first sight, I still kept one eye on Dr Silver. The placenta was delivered and....
Nothing! Nothing happened at all! There was no bleeding, no drama. Just one or two stitches and Dr Silver was on his way home. When the nurses sat me up to remove the epidural, I surveyed the instrument table. There were a few needles and a bowl. A couple of cloths. But no blood. Nothing to spark flashbacks.
No reason to panic.
Just cause for praise.
And I'm still praising Him.
Anastasia Ruth is a 7lb 15 oz gift wrapped present from God. Her name means Resurrection. She is my resurrection lily.
Don't change that channel, the story of our second deliverance will be forthcoming...