Picking up from where we left off, I had just received an oxygen mask and was waiting on the doctor to arrive.
It only took about 10 minutes for her to get there, but it felt like an eternity. I was ready to get the show on the road! I think I was also a little bit anxious. I asked the nurses if the baby would come straight to me after she came out or if she'd go over to the crib and get cleaned up first. They said it was completely up to me. I was torn - I really wanted to see her right away but at the same time I was picturing myself covered in blood after holding the baby on my chest. I remember thinking that we had visitors waiting out in the lobby and I didn't want my gown to be gross when they came back. Seriously?!? I never gave a preference; I just decided to wait and see what happened.
The doctor arrived and the nurses quickly helped her get into her surgical gowns. The room lights were lowered and the spotlights came on. Before the doctor arrived, one of the nurses had told me not to let on that I couldn't feel anything at all. Apparently this particular doctor would turn off the epidural, and I didn't want that. It was hard to pretend that I could still feel pressure, because I definitely couldn't feel a thing!
Doc was in charge of my left leg and a nurse was on my right side. My mom stood behind Doc and helped hold my head. We went over the push plan one more time and then waited for a contraction. The nurses and doctor couldn't feel the contractions on my stomach, so they stared at the monitor to see when one was coming. They gave me the word and I drew in a deep breath and made it through 3 sets of ten-count pushes. Another contraction came right away so we repeated the process one more time. They all told me I was doing great.
While we were taking a break, I saw the doctor reach for the scissors. She told me I had a tear and that it would be better for her to make a small cut than to let the tear continue. At the time, I said "Sure! Whatever it takes!" A week and a half later, I really wish we coulda skipped that step! Then, the baby's heartrate dropped way low. The doctor seemed to be moving faster so I could sense that was bad. "The baby's coming out this time," she said. One of the nurses made eye contact with me and said, "Push real hard."
I got the memo! They told me the contraction was coming. I drew in my breath, held it, started to push for one, two...and then, "Stop! Stop pushing! The baby's out!"
I thought they were joking. I couldn't see or hear the baby and I didn't feel anything. But then, a second later, the doctor lifted her up. I watched while she suctioned her nose and mouth and then finally heard that first little cry. She was here! The scissors were passed over to my mom. Doc did not want to cut the umbilical cord so I had told my mom she could. Doc shifted over so she could step up and cut it. (I have pictures of all of this, but...)
Once the cord was cut, the doctor threw her onto a towel on my belly. I say "threw" because I specifically remember her bouncing. Then hands were everywhere using the towel to wipe her off, very much like you would dry off a wet dog after a bath.
Love at first sight. (Sorry, slightly bloody. This is the cleanest pic I have.)
They took her away from me to get her cleaned up. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces...just like her mama. :)
(Warning: following paragraph contains lots of birthing words...feel free to skip it if you don't want to read all the details.)
Doc and my mom moved over to the crib to watch the baby while the doctor worked on stitching me up. I still couldn't feel anything but that didn't make that part any more fun. My placenta didn't come out with the baby, so after getting the stitches, the doctor had to try to pull it out. I think this is not uncommon, but when she pulled it out, it tore. Not all of it came out.
After what seemed like an eternity, I was finally handed my baby again. She was (and is!) the most perfect little baby.
So in love.
We were allowed to have visitors while in the labor and delivery room, and since they'd been waiting awhile, we told them to come on back!
Mimi and Poppy with grandchild number seven.
Jenny and her husband Darrin were the first of our friends to come visit. They brought balloons and a welcome banner with them.
Katie Wynn didn't arrive until 8:51pm, so it was pretty late by this time. We said goodbye to our guests and hoped to move to a permanent room. At our hospital, most new moms stay in the labor and delivery room for just an hour after birth. We were not as lucky. Because of the placenta issue, my body had a hard time getting the bleeding under control. I got a shot of something in my leg and also had to receive another bag of pitocin to get my muscles to continue contracting. My epidural was turned off but stayed in. I didn't realize it at the time but Doc told me later that was in case I had to go in for an emergency surgery. Eek! Things were under control after awhile and we eventually made it to our room right before midnight.
We settled in for our first night with a new baby.
I know the "birth" is officially over, but I'll wrap up this series in Part Four with the rest of hospital stay.