Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Birth Story of Ella Grace - Part IV
I spent the next hour angry. I was angry with my body for not doing what I thought it should have been doing. I was angry with my baby for not presenting the way I thought she should be. I was angry with my midwife for not being able to “fix” the issue. I was angry with God for allowing me to go through this pain. I was angry for having gotten this far in my birth plan, only to end up at the one place I absolutely did not want to give birth.
Mr. Lukie and Karen helped me to get dressed, in between contractions that were lasting 60-90 seconds, coming just 1 to 2 minutes apart. Contractions I was still not allowed to push through. While I breathed through the millionth contraction, Mr. Lukie loaded the Prius up with our hospital bags, the car seat, a pillow, and a blanket. He hopped in the drivers seat, Karen hopped in the passenger seat, and I laid down in the back seat. Carol got in her car and followed us to the hospital.
The hospital was 25 minutes away. I still had my eyes closed and hadn’t opened them since I had dilated to 7 centimeters at 6pm. But I knew the route to the hospital, so with each stop and turn, I was mentally mapping where we were. Karen was holding my hand and counting the contractions down for me as I breathed through them.
We pulled into the hospital parking lot & Mr. Lukie ran to get a wheelchair for me. I always thought it was silly, on TV shows and movies, when they showed a woman in labor being wheeled up to L&D. I now know why a wheelchair is necessary during active labor!
We arrived on the L&D floor at 5:30am. Where we were told there were NO rooms and NO beds available, that I would be stuck in the wheelchair, in the hallway, until a room or a bed was freed up. I begged for pain medication right there, curled in the fetal position in the wheelchair.
At 5:45am, we were told a room had just become available and they would get me in there and check me immediately. As I was being wheeled into the room, Karen was giving the hospital nurses and hospital midwife my history and why we had chosen to transport to the hospital. My head was still wrapped around that pain medicine—I knew I was too far into it to receive an epidural, but I just needed some relief, something to help me relax a little and get this baby out.
A nurse checked me around 6:30am and informed me that I was fully dilated at 10 centimeters, the cervical lip had disappeared, and the swelling was no longer there—it was time to have a baby!
(I don’t remember saying this, but Mr. Lukie informed me later that at this point, I said, rather loudly, “Then why the $%&* are we here?!” How embarrassing, considering I do NOT use curse words!)
Hearing those words from the nurse, I completely forgot about wanting pain medication and as soon as my next contraction came, I pushed. And it felt SO good to finally push again.
After 2 more hours of pushing, Karen informed me that with my next few pushes, I would be pushing the baby’s head out. It was just the 4 of us in the room at this point—Karen, Carol, Mr. Lukie and me. It was shift change, so we had been left alone for quite some time. With the next push, I gave it my all, and Karen told me to reach down and feel my baby’s head. So I did. It was the most amazing thing; to feel her tiny, slimy head so close to entering the world. At this point, Karen told Mr. Lukie that if he wanted to deliver his baby, he should switch places with her.
At 8:42am, on September 21, 2011, Mr. Lukie ‘caught’ our baby, and placed her on my chest. Eyes closed still, I started asking over and over what it was—boy or girl? With a mixture of laughter and tears, Mr. Lukie told me to open my eyes and look for myself—and as soon as I did, he announced, “It’s a GIRL!”
The 4 of us laughed and cried, staring at this new little miracle in awe and amazement. She was here…she was finally here! We finally knew she was a she! She didn’t cry right away, instead, she just sort of lay there in my arms, blinking her eyes and looking around. She recognized my voice and her Daddy’s voice immediately, turning towards us when one of us spoke. After a few minutes, she let out the tiniest cry—it sounded like a kitten mewing.
I lost it, then. I had been waiting just over 9 months—37 weeks, to be exact—to see my baby, hold my baby, hear my baby cry…and I had done exactly that.