That Lila is a good listener.
We really wanted her to be born on Father’s Day – and low and behold, she listened.
Here’s a brief synopsis.
Sunday 6/21 (The day after The Lionel’s Birthday/Father’s Day) – Contractions. Dilation. Checked into hospital around 11 am. Moving along perfectly. Contractions didn’t hurt in the beginning.
Craig was amazing.
Craig was amazing*.
(*We were both really interested in what kind of going-through-labor woman I’d be. Would I scream? Would I swear? Would I want him to touch me? Would I want him in the hallway? As it turns out, he just knew what I needed. And oddly – I just needed him near me. I just needed to feel his hand, his arm, his pant leg, his shirt, something… Just knowing he was there helped.
I tell you what. He’s a good one.)
So we’re at the point where the Dr. could absolutely feel.her.head.
It was approximately 10:30 p.m., I was dilated to six, still no epidural.
I had made it clear that I was now, “READY FOR THE EPIDURAL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.”
(I kept putting it off. Why? I have no idea.)
Any inhibitions I had regarding showing my body, moaning, crying or dealing were completely erased at this point. Luckily, only Craig and the Dr. and the non-English speaking (!!!) nurses were the ones who got to witness this.
During all of this I put into practice my “child preparation class breathing” and promptly hyperventilated. And lost my up-close/near vision. That was terrifying. I kept thinking, “OMG. I’m not going to be able to see my baby.”
There comes a time in labor, or at least my labor – that one’s body starts shaking uncontrollably because one’s body has never, I repeat never, encountered that much pain before.
That was really somethin’.
My Dr. was there for an HOUR with me before I gave birth. (Again, go Mexico.)
So, I get wheeled into the operating room in preparation to deliver my child. Who is stuck somewhere in my vagina.
Who I can feel is stuck in my vagina. Think bowling ball in a straw. That’s what it felt like. (Sorry male readers.)
(Holy wow. It hurt.)
We get in there, I’m moaning. Eyes closed. Begging the English-speaking anesthesiologist to, “Please, please, please hurry up. Please? Please can you hurry? Please. Hurry. HURRY UP.”
(Such a lovely man.)
Craig, meanwhile, is putting on scrubs. Has his camera in his hand and is ready.to.go.
We’re just minutes away, right?
Then – maybe what, three minutes later I felt better. All because of the epidural.
My abdominal-area – particular my “area” was pain-free! In fact, better yet – I couldn’t even FEEL from my middle abdomen to my knees. (Or so.)
It was heaven. Bliss.
Craig was there.
The Dr. was there.
I was dilating like a crazy woman.
Well, then my heartbeat dropped.
Consequently, Lila’s heartbeat dropped.
The optimal heartbeat for a little one during labor is between 120 and 140 bpm. Throughout my labor and contractions pre-epidural, Lila was a strong 117 – 120. Which was good enough!
When our heartbeats dropped, she dipped to about 86, 87, 89, 84 bpm.
I remember hearing my Dr. say, “Ok. If she doesn’t rebound within 3 minutes – we need to get her out.”
I go silent.
Not even two minutes later, she dipped to 78 bpm.
I closed my eyes. And shook.
I remember repeating, “Please just get her out. Please. Please. Please.”
Not even two minutes later, the Dr. said, “I know this is not your birth plan, but we are going to get her out now.”
So, a curtain went up between myself and my lower-half. I waited for what seemed like an eternity (but was less than 5 minutes) listening to C. and my Dr. calmly tell me exactly what was happening… (Craig watched it all.)
Less than 5 minutes later – at approximately 11:55 p.m. on Father’s Day – Lila Ross was born.
And sucking on her hand.
And not covered in any of that icky vernix stuff.
Dear friends. I was terrified. I was scared. I remember just praying, “Please, Lord… please… please… please… protect her.”
And He did.
I will tell you what – there is nothing…I repeat nothing better than hearing your baby cry as she enters this world.
And that is how I came to have an emergency c-section, as opposed to the “vaginal, WITH DRUGS, birth” that we had preferred and was duly noted in our “birth plan.”
I had not expected to have a c-section. In fact, I had skipped over the c-section facts in all of the books. However, at that moment – when we were all watching the monitor – it didn’t matter. Birth plan be damned – get that baby out.
(Note: Yes, you can feel them tugging out the baby. It’s crazy.)
Post c-section, I was briefly introduced to my cupcake.
Then, I promptly fell asleep on the OR table as Lila was whisked away by the pediatrician (named, Lupita. Awesome.) and Craig. She was cleaned and weighed and tested. She did perfectly on her APGAR test and did indeed have a cone head.
Again, after about 45 minutes I was placed back in my room. My husband went across the hall to the baby-toaster-ovens and came back in holding our daughter. As if he had been meant to hold this particular being since forever. As if for years and years and years he was just supposed to be Lila’s Daddy. He was so calm. So confident. And so in control.
It was the moment I had been waiting to see.
She is beautiful.
Then we fell asleep.
The three of us stayed in the hospital all day Monday (Fergie’s birthday) and until about 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
We took pictures of her before we left. This one is meant to show scale. 🙂 (However I hope she loves technology as much as I do.)
I’ll be honest, I was pretty loopy after the epidural – it didn’t sit well with me. The residual effects were a bit tough. My body felt like it had just played in 2 Super Bowls, sans pads or protective gear.
In Mexico – you don’t get a choice, the baby rooms in with with you. (Which we preferred.) My only job was to nurse her – Craig handled everything else. The burping, the swaddling, the cuddling, the diaper-changing. He was amazing. (And continues to be.)
The experience of having my baby in a Mexican hospital was fantastic. The Dr.’s were great. The nurses were different. There were some cultural differences that were annoying – and definitely some language barriers – but we made it through with flying colors.
She weighed just 6 lbs, 8 oz. (1 oz. less than I weighed at birth) and was 20.5 inches long. She looks nothing like me – but instead is a spitting image of her Daddy. (The Dr. was right.) She might have my nose – but everything else seems to be all Craig. Which he loves.
I am happy. I am so happy.
Clearly, Lila’s ready, too.
P.S. Thank you for all of your kind words and comments this past week. I’ve loved reading them. Your support means so much…
And Trophy Life – your guesstimate on Lila’s birthdate was the closest. 🙂
“Born June 21, 2009
Weight: 7 lbs, 8 oz., 19.5 inches long”
Just let me know where you’d like that donation to go. 🙂 Email me, sista.