Abigail is my first born child, and she will be five years old very soon. I am no longer the parent of an infant, or a toddler, or a preschooler, but now I am a parent of a child. A real child!
And, in case you are wondering, this is a short version of how Abie came to be with us:
Abie was due on November 8th, and on November 9th, at 6 a.m., I awoke from painful dreams in which I was in labor, to the real world in which I was in labor. It felt as if I were having heavy period cramps. We called the hospital and they told us to come on in. I wanted to shower and vacuum before we left, but my husband said otherwise. He let me take a shower (bless him), but I am afraid to say that our new baby was to come home to an unvacuumed carpet. (Why I didn't do this sooner, I have no idea.)
Once at the hospital, my OB discovered I was 3 1/2 cm dilated, and though labor had started on its own, he suggested giving me Pitocin, in order to speed things up. He held out his fingers and counted three reasons for this:
1. I was already overdue, thus one step closer to a c-section (because now being 8 a.m. on the 9th, I was officially 9 hours "overdue").
2. He had been my doctor the whole pregnancy, and he was on call for another 12 hours. Thus, if I wanted him to deliver my baby, I had 12 hours to give birth.
3. He did not want the baby to get any bigger, because "who knows? I could have a 10-pounder in there".
So, not expecting much (except I wanted to avoid an epidural if possible), and only witnessing 2 births before my own experience (my niece and nephew), I decided that since my OB was a doctor, he must know my own body better than I did , thus able to make better decisions than me. I let him try to break my water with his fingers and it didn't work, so then around 10 a.m., the nurse started me on a heavy dose of Pitocin.
The next few hours are still a blur! I remember the pain got strong almost right away. I stood up to go to the toilet, and my water broke and spilled all over the floor. I went to the bed, and couldn't get out again, even to go on the birthing ball. I could barley move. I accepted IV pain management (Nubain) and it helped control the pain for about 20 minutes. During this time I felt almost "high" and dizzy.
I then felt as though I needed to push. I felt as if I was losing control. I felt as if I could not keep my thoughts straight. I asked for the epidural, and was told I was at 9 cm dilated, so it was too late. I was crying out in voices I didn't even know I had.
All of the sudden a bunch of nurses rushed into the room, started flipping me over from my right side to my left side, and kept telling me, "Don't push! Don't push!" The doctor finally entered the room. The nurses flipped me on my back, pulled my legs into the stirrups, shined bright lights onto my whole body, and told me to "Push!".
The doctor quickly held up a pair of scissors and mentioned that he was going to make a "small cut" (episiotomy). All of the sudden, the pain stopped. My OB was holding a tiny, bald, upside down baby in the crook of his left arm.
"Here's your baby," he said. He then proceeded to cut the cord and hand my baby off to a nurse who took it to the other side of the room.
Abigail was born at 2:33 p.m., after 4 1/2 hours of intense labor, and 10 minutes of pushing. She weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces.
My baby was being cleaned and bundled and poked and prodded, and I was being stitched up. She was about 30 minutes old when I was finally able to hold her and stare at her. I was so proud of her!
At the time, I was very pleased with my birth experience. I did not realize at the time, that I was able and capable to make choices about my own situation. After all, just because I have an OB, it doesn't mean they know me better than I know myself. If I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know now, I would choose for things to go a bit different. Perhaps I would choose less intervention, or perhaps I would just try to be better prepared.
But either way, I have my Abie, and I am so thankful for her everyday.