Sunday, March 7, 2010

15 Years Ago Tonight

Fifteen years ago tonight, we took David to my parents' house for a sleepover, because I was in labor - our new baby was on the way! We were all excited.

Fifteen years ago tonight, Gregg and I were arguing on the way to the ferry dock, as I tried to persuade him to call ahead and ask them to hold the boat for us. I was worried that we would miss the ferry, and have to wait for the next one, with me in heavy labor.

Gregg said, "You will not have this baby that fast. Look how long it took last time! I am not calling." I said, "It usually goes a lot faster the second time! You are NOT supposed to argue with a woman in labor!," but he did. He did not call ahead; he drove us safely to the dock. We got on the boat, and made it across the Sound, and to the hospital, in plenty of time. It still irritates me that he wouldn't budge (and that he was right).

Fifteen years ago tonight, we checked in to Northwest Hospital, got settled into a nice room, and asked for the anesthesiologist. The nurse said, "Would you like to try sitting in the hot tub first?" but Gregg and I looked at each other and said, "No thank you." I had done that the first time, when I was in labor with David. It took 36 hours to deliver David, and I spent 18 of those hours without pain relief. I was NEVER going to go through that again. He ended up being delivered by Ceasarian section, after all else failed. As he was delivered, we learned why it had taken so long: he had the umbilical cord wrapped three times around his neck. In the old days, he wouldn't have survived. We were so grateful that we weren't living in the old days!

Fifteen years ago, obstetrics favored VBAC (non-surgical birth after Ceasarian). We were planning to follow that practice. I wanted an epidural, as soon as possible, not a hot tub.

We were lucky:  the same anesthesiologist was on duty that night as had been when David was born. I liked her, and had great confidence in her. She got me hooked up quickly and easily, and I started to relax and enjoy myself. The only glitch occurred as she was getting ready, when we heard a lady down the hall yelling in pain...clearly, in greater need of anesthetic than I was. I felt a little bit guilty, but I knew that in childbirth pain-relief issues, if you snooze, you lose. You MUST ask for what you want, when you want it, or the window of opportunity could pass you by. I had heard many such stories, of ladies "toughing it out" until they couldn't take another moment of labor pain. When they finally asked for anesthetic, they were told, "Sorry, honey, but you're at 10 centimeters. We can't get you that anesthetic now; it's time to PUSH!"

That, my friends, was NOT going to be me. This was my second baby, and I had learned a few things the first time around.

Fifteen years ago, after I got the epidural, my labor slowed down and nearly stopped. I got a fever, had warm blankets wrapped around me, and stayed up all night as they tried to get labor going again. Finally, around mid-day (that's tomorrow), the midwife told me I could start to push. Katie's head became visible, and then her shoulders, and then, according to Gregg, she practically flew into the world. It was a calm, pain-free and happy delivery. Kathryn Emilie had arrived! We were thrilled to have a daughter.
Fifteen years ago tomorrow, Gregg and I held Katie for the first time, and he said to me, "We make beautiful babies." I'll always remember that; it was so sweet. He loves our children so much.

Fifteen years ago, our beautiful, only daughter was born. I thank God for sending her to us.


Kay said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this. What a special day. You do make beautiful babies! : )

ChiTown Girl said...

This was such a beautiful account of that magical day. Thank you for sharing this.

Karyn said...

I went outside and thought of you today. It's the most beautiful day in NYC and I couldn't help but to think, maybe Katie's an East Coast girl at heart. Ha. You, Gregg and David are my thoughts and prayers today, Karen. xx

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a wonderful walk down memory lane with you...well, not memory lane, memory hospital?
I agree, you do make beautiful babies together.