Monday, June 1, 2009

The big day

I should have known that after a difficult pregnancy, the actual birthing process wouldnt have been any different. Emma refused to come out. She never dropped and my cervix never even dialted. Since I had high levels of fluids and gestational hypertension, which was really just white coat syndrome, my doc didnt want me to go past my due date of Sept 24. So Weds night, Sept 24 I would check into Mt. Sinai to be induced and by the 25th I would be holding my baby. The morning of sept 23rd started with me leaking and thinking that my water had just broken. I didnt have contractions, which I learned is the number one sign that you really are in labor, but still went to Mt. Sinai only to be told to go home. I was not in labor and that was not amniotic fluid. They couldnt tell me what it was, just that it was not amniotic fluid. So Ant, my mom and me went to have brunch and find ways to make the day fly by.

As in death row, you are allowed one last meal before you check into the hospital. Before being sentenced to the lovely cuisine of hospital food, I chose to have Pad Thai. During my pregnancy the only food I could stomach was Thai food. I think I had pad Thai every other day along with daily Thai iced teas. Yum Yum...I think I know why emma is a tad hyper. Well, Weds night rolls around and we check into the hospital. I was a little upset that I would be missing Project Runway but quickly remembered that they show back to back episodes. The nurse came in to explain the procedure. At midnight they would give me the first, of what could have been many, suppository to get my cervix soft and dilated. Once that happened they would give me some pitocin to induce labor and that by this time tomorrow I would have my baby. Simple enough. The nurse even jokingly told me to turn off PR as I should try and rest since tonight would be my last night of sleep. At this point I am hooked up to a baby heart monitor that also records other vital stats. Like Cinderella awaiting the stroke of midnight, I lay back and let the beeping and flickering lights of the machine lull me to sleep. However I have become focused on one particular number on this machine. I know the numbers should stay in the range of 150-200. Anything lower than 150 is cause for concern. 150, 130, 120. Two nurses come in and in a calm manner tell to me lie on my right side and try not to move. They explain how sometimes the monitors shift or the baby moves out of range. 90, 130, 150, 180. I think to myself, 'I was just laying the wrong way'...but within 5 minutes, like a scene from a movie, the lights are on and the room is filled with more nurses than the two that were just here. There is a doctor and my anesthesiologist is back. The numbers are low, 130, 120, 90, 80. They are not going up. After being prodded with what felt like an entire forearm, they inform me they have just called my doc and that there is no time to induce. "Do you understand?" I think i must have looked perplexed but I knew quite well what was going on. I recognized this scene from so many movies before where the doc tells the husband "I can do this procedure in my sleep, I can have the baby out in less than 8 minutes. All will be fine". So Hollywood told me all would be well and honestly I wasn't afraid. I actually secretly wanted a c-section and really wanted my doc to tell me that I HAD to have one. There was little time to prep, they were practically dressing me for surgery on the wheel chair. I went in at 1 am and by 1:15 she was out.

I did feel pain. A lot of pressure, the only way to describe it is as if someone is squeezing your organs. It took longer to sew me up than to take her out and I remember wanting to just pass out or throw up but that I needed to hear her cry. I wanted to see her but could only make out a fleeting image of a pink, wrinkly, pigletlike creature being whisked away to be cleaned. I felt assured as the nurses joked that I had a "big baby". Once they brought Emma to me, she was crying and I could only focus on a red birthmark over her right eye. I hoped it was just from all the trauma of birth and that in a few days it would fade away. Emma Adela was 8 lbs 13 oz. and 21. 4 inches long. For some people I guess motherhood comes naturally but for me it took a while. I can honestly say I didn't have an immediate connection with her. Once they handed her to me I remember thinking to myself, "hey kid, I guess we are stuck with each other". Growing up I never wanted children, however I did always love animals. I brake for squirrels and will get out of my car to help a turtle cross the road. I will give a home to yet another cat and try to rescue baby possums that have lost their mom. To be handed this little human being who needed me more than anything or anyone ever did was both daunting and numbing. You can't just leave food and water out for this person or take a holiday from them. I knew I had to push forward for this person and embrace this new phase in my life. As they handed her to me I quietly mourned that part of my life that I would never be able to return to. With the passing of each day I cannot imagine a life without her. I cry each day at her advancements and feel a sense of comfort to know that she is because I am. So that is bascially the beginning of my life with Emma... but I feel I do need to one day discuss her stay in the NICU.

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