January 8, 2009
When the doctor said I was almost ready to push, I stared at David with glistening eyes and a quiver in my voice. I quietly said, “do you remember when we first met…how long ago that seemed?” He nodded with a slight smile on his face. “do you remember when we first talked about having kids…?” My tears finished my sentence.
Thoughts of our original intentions, our bonded love and our emotional journey together filled my soul. We were about to bring a child into this world…soon Christian would be born.
Late Sunday night, on January 4, I began feeling regular contractions around 7 minutes apart. That night I also started bleeding, which was a clear sign that labor was coming. The next day, I went to my doctor’s appt. and while I was 2cm dilated, she said I wasn’t ready to be admitted to the hospital. On Tuesday at 4am, the contractions became stronger, closer together and extremely painful. That morning I checked into the hospital, only to be discharged to progress my labor further at home. That evening is one of the most unforgettable nights of my life. I was contracting anywhere between 3-7 minutes apart. It felt like a pulsating, painful rush throughout my entire body. The pain would not ‘let up’ and my whole system was exhausted from 2 days of continuous contractions. We checked in again on Wednesday and this time, I was admitted because the baby’s heart rate was dropping dramatically every time I contracted.
They administered a small dose of pitocin to help my progression and with that came even harder contractions. After utilizing every technique to relax the pain, I finally received an epidural at around 4pm. While I wanted a natural birth, I didn’t anticipate the duration of pain I’d be in. I had not been drinking water, eating or sleeping since Sunday. After the shot, I felt so much better…unbelievably better. Around 10am I had dilated to 8cm and by midnight I was ready to push.
I pushed for 2.5 hours. It was tough for two reasons. Firstly, my water had not broken yet and my doctor didn’t want to intervene (break the water). Secondly, the baby’s heart rate kept dropping during each contraction so I had to push every third contraction to allow the baby (and me) to rest in-between. There were two big risks: Firstly, he could have merconium (bowel movement) in the water bag and may be swallowing it (which he did have merconium but he didn’t swallow). Secondly, the cord could be around his neck which caused his heart rate to drop during contractions.
After two hours, the baby started crowning. I pushed slowly to ensure I wouldn’t tear and at 2:28am, baby Christian arrived into this world. They immediately placed him on my chest while David cut the umbilical cord. I was stunned, exhausted but mostly delirious at that point. My father, mother and sisters were present for the birth and were all very excited.
After everyone left, David and I shared quality alone time as he held the baby on his bare chest and I lay amazed at the miracle we created. At around 4am, when I was getting ready to be transferred to another room, I started feeling an intense pressure in my lower region. In a 5-minute time frame the pressure became so painful I began crying and moaning. They found out that while I had only tore a tiny bit, the abrasion/bruising inside of me had grown into a large hematoma (eventually the size of a football) and they had to perform an emergency surgery to control and drain my internal bleeding. Luckily, they knew I was a high-risk patient due to my history with my blood clotting disorder, the Vons Willebrans disease, and was watching me closely during and after labor. The last thing I remember was crying and begging to be put under anesthesia.
I woke up the next morning staring at David, swollen from a blood transfusion and saddened because Christian was in a nursery without his mother. The first couple days I was so medicated it was hard for me to hold or nurse him. In fact, my body had been so traumatized it took longer for my body to prepare for nursing. After a few days of observation, we were able to go home – and the journey with Christian really began.
It was admittedly tough the first couple days. There were days I woke up absolutely sore in every crevice of my body. I was still fatigued from labor and in immense amount of pain from the surgery. I felt depressed and prayed often because I couldn’t nurse him properly and my hormones were all over the place. However, as each day progressed, it got better and better.
Now, every time I look at him, a warm, tingly sensation envelops my body. The smell of his fragile skin, the sound of his gentle breath and the look in his miraculous eyes sends my body’s vibrations into a heavenly world…I LOVE being a mommy. It was a painful birth experience but it was all worth the end result. I’d do it all again and more in a heartbeat.
I feel so blessed right now – at this very moment. Nothing can explain the renewed life that has been implanted in me…the world looks different. David looks different.
I am different.