Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Day That Elyse was Born

In October of 2007, at roughly 4:00 AM I found out that Mike and I were expecting another baby. Aaron was just a few months shy of his third birthday and we had wanted to make him a big brother for quite some time. To say that I was elated would be putting it mildly.

I had known that Aaron was a boy from the minute that I found out that I was pregnant, and this time around was no different; this was a girl, no question. I was completely confident in that conclusion until Aaron started telling everyone that I was carrying a boy. He was so sure that I actually started thinking that maybe he was right. So when we went in for the twenty-week ultrasound, I had decided that I was going to be the mother of two boys and may God help me. But when the technician started moving the wand over my belly, looking around for what would have made this a little boy, she found nothing, and announced that I was in fact carrying a little baby girl. I was so shocked, and happy, and excited that I saw everything in hues of pink for the rest of the day.
The months that followed went smoothly, except for the fact that I had some contractions off and on at least a few times a week. When people asked how far along I was, they always seemed surprised that I wasn’t closer to my due date, and everyone was always commenting that I would never make it to June 9th which was when my c-section was scheduled. I had even spent the night in the hospital one weekend around thirty-five weeks with contractions that didn’t want to stop.

By the end I was completely miserable. I was huge, I never slept, and I was chasing a three and a half year old all day long. I almost always ended up sleeping on the couch at night because it was the only place that was remotely comfortable for my whale-like frame. Then one early Sunday morning at 3:45 AM, I was nearly thrown off of the couch with an unbelievable contraction. I sat straight up and thought, “Well that one was different.” It was as strong as the contractions that are seared into my brain on the day that I was induced with Aaron, but this was all natural.

I sat in the dark in shock for a few seconds and when nothing seemed to happen, I tried to lie back down. As soon as I did, I was slammed with another one and every time after that if I tried to lie down, I was bombarded again. I turned on the lights and started watching the clock. I knew that if it was false labor moving around could sometimes get things to calm down, so I started pacing, but things just kept getting more regular and more painful. I did this until just after 5:00 AM with both cats starring at me like I was insane and very rude for disturbing their peaceful slumber. I decided that I better just hop in the shower and get ready since I was almost positive that we would be meeting our baby girl soon.

Mike heard the shower running and came in to see if I had lost my mind. Every time that I tried to fill him in on the details of the last hour an a half, I was hit with another contraction which told him everything that he needed to know. At 6:15AM we called my mom to come watch Aaron while we went to the hospital. It was a gorgeous morning. The sun was shining so bright and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Just two days before, we had lost my grandmother and I believe without a doubt that she was watching over us and requested that this be a spectacular day for her new great-granddaughter to come into this world.

I can see us walking down the side walk into the hospital like I am still living the moment; I was wearing a red maternity top and grey pants. There was something noticeably different about that day. Something amazing was going to happen; I could feel it.

We got situated in a room and when the nurse examined me, she said that I was three centimeters dilated. Now remember, this was supposed to be a scheduled c-section a week from now. I wasn’t supposed to be in labor and I definitely wasn’t supposed to be huffing and puffing through mind numbing contractions. Not even born yet and this girl was trouble.

No one seemed quite sure what to do. I was just a day shy of thirty-eight weeks, my doctor wasn’t on call, and I wasn’t supposed to be in labor. They decided that they would just watch me to see what the contractions did and if things progressed any farther. I was finally given some pain meds and I tried to rest.

Around lunch time, Mike went back home to check in on Aaron, and it was just about then that the medication started to wear off. I wasn’t dilating any more, but the contractions were not letting up either. I was crying through the pain, completely alone, when the nurse came in and asked if I wanted to go ahead with the c-section. She needed to know what I wanted to do because the on-call doctor was on the phone and she said that she would come back in to do the surgery if I wanted to go through with it. I was panicked. What was I supposed to say? I couldn’t decide this on my own, and Mike had just stepped out. Plus, everyone from the nurse, to the doctor, to the janitor reminded me that there was a chance that the baby’s lungs weren’t ready yet which would mean that she could have complications when she was born. This wasn’t even my doctor, and I wanted the advice of the woman who had seen me through the last nine months. I told the nurse no and then sobbed after she left. Not long after that, though, she came back in with a beautiful vile of pain meds and a cold cloth for my head; I asked her to be my new BFF. A few minutes later, I was feeling some relief and started to drift off to sleep.

Mike got back about an hour later and we started to discuss what we should do. We didn’t want to go through with the c-section if the baby wasn’t ready, but every fiber in my body told me that she was going to be fine. We still just weren’t sure. A few hours later, when the meds were wearing off again, the on-call doctor showed up in my room to see if we had changed our minds. She explained that it was completely up to us and that if we wanted to wait for my regular doctor, she would be in first thing in the morning. However, there was one little catch. It was just before 6:00 PM and the nurse would only be able to give me one more shot of pain medication for the rest of the night. Once that wore off, I was on my own until my doctor came in the next morning. For a baby that was supposed to be a scheduled c-section, I had labored for fourteen hours with only mild pain relief and I was exhausted. So we gave her the go ahead to get things set up and we prepared ourselves to become parents for the second time.

Our nurse explained that there was a surgery ahead of us that would take a while and that it was probably going to be close to 11:00 PM before we saw the OR. So Mike decided to run down to the cafeteria to grab some dinner. Less than twenty minutes later, the doctor and two nurses showed up to get me prepped and said that we would be getting started in twenty minutes. Um, excuse me? WHAT?!?! You said 11:00 PM; it’s only 6:30 PM. My husband is MIA and I am freaking out! Luckily, my friend Wendy had stopped by earlier that evening and she ran out on the mission to find Mike and bring him back.

Not long after that, Mike was back and I was being wheeled into the OR. They placed the epidural, got Mike all comfy and cozy in the daddy seat, and got things started. I had developed a lot of scar tissue after Aaron's c-section, and it took the doctor a long time to get through it to the baby. All I wanted was to see my baby girl. I wanted to know that she was healthy, and that we hadn’t made a mistake by going through with the c-section.

Then, at 7:10 PM, just like three and a half years before, the room was filled with the amazing sound of my daughter’s first cries which were so strong that there was no question that she was ready to be born.. Elyse Rose was here and she was unbelievably gorgeous; 8 lbs, 5 oz, and 20 inches long.

Seeing her for the first time, I couldn’t believe that we were blessed again with another perfect, healthy baby. She had a full head of jet black hair with tiny little curls, and she looked like a perfect little bundle wrapped up in her daddy’s arms.

It seems impossible that that has been two years ago already. I am really not sure where the time went. In two short years she has gone from a tiny little bundle of baby, to a beautiful, brilliant, energetic little girl. My heart melts every time I look into her big, blue eyes, and when she calls me mommy, my heart feels like it could burst.
Happy second birthday baby girl! I hope that you have a wonderful day and that you always know what an incredible gift you are to our little family. We love you!


Tina said...

I enjoyed reading about the journey of motherhood. I too had similar experiences with mine. I had three c-sections.