The Day You Were Born I was forty-one weeks and one day pregnant, lying in an uncomfortable hospital bed, wearing a hideous pink gown, and counting the minutes until my next contraction. Apparently, you were very comfortable in my tummy because there was no sign of you making your appearance any time soon. I was having plenty of contractions but was not dilating; our doctor was looking for a count of at least 60 on the room monitor, but I was only in the mid-20s. Before long she ordered that Pitocin be administered to induce productive labor.
It seemed to work– after only twenty minutes, my contractions went from the twenties to the eighties and continued to increase after that. A few more long hours passed. The doctor returned to our room to check on my progress. Surprisingly, after the initial dosage of Pitocin, I had only slightly progressed during the intervening hours. The doctor told me I should have advanced toward your delivery much more than I had and determined that my inability to relax my body was the reason why the process had again been slowed.
I was so excited to meet you that I couldn’t help but cry, thinking that you would never show up. A wonderful nurse then came in the room and sat down to talk with us. She assured me that every woman, and every pregnancy, are different. She promised me that I would not leave the hospital without you in my arms. She introduced herself as Nurse Pam, and called herself “The Pitocin Queen. ” She told your Daddy and me all about her days as an Army nurse. We became instant friends. In order to get things moving along a little more quickly, she encouraged me to undergo an epidural to help me relax.
Your Daddy was very supportive, holding my hand and reassuring me. Accepting pain medication, he said, did not mean that I was a failure; it just meant that plans had changed. After forty hours of labor, I was willing to try anything to get you to come into the world. After another long hour passed, the anesthesiologist came into our room. Your Nana happened to be downstairs getting coffee, and your Daddy and Aunt Lindsay couldn’t stomach a procedure involving a large needle, so the anesthesiologist ordered everyone but your Mimi to leave.
The epidural took only about ten minutes, and between the anxiety and pain from the contractions, I didn’t even feel the needle. I was ordered to lie down and relax so that the medicine could fully take effect and was urged to let the nurses or doctor know if I wasn’t completely numb within a few minutes. About forty-five minutes passed, but I was still able to feel my left leg and move it around. Nurse Pam called the anesthesiologist back in for round two, and that time it finally worked.
It was so odd to be lying in bed watching television while your Nana, Aunt Lindsay, Daddy and Mimi giggled about how I couldn’t feel the contractions. We would take turns looking at the monitor and exclaiming, “Did you feel that one? It was huge! ” I had completely relaxed at this point and wasn’t nearly as anxious about the passing time. I was even able to joke with your Daddy, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if they came back in here and I still haven’t progressed? Looks like we are moving in! ” He was happy that I was feeling better, but now he was getting more anxious and ready to meet you.
When the doctor came back in to check my progress, we were all happy and relieved to hear that I had progressed to the point where delivery was imminent. The excitement intensified with everyone talking about who you might look like and whose personality you would take after. It was only about one last hour later when I grabbed your Daddy and said, “Get the doctor– the epidural isn’t working anymore. I feel a lot of pressure. ” The doctor returned and checked my progress, and said that the epidural was still working, but that the time for your delivery had finally arrived!
The doctor dressed in her gown and gloves and said, “Go ahead and push when you’re ready! ” I grabbed your Daddy’s hand and pushed hard, took a deep breath, and pushed again. The doctor yelled, “She has black hair! One more push! ” I closed my eyes, pushed so hard, and after a big exhale, I heard you scream. That moment the doctor laid you on my chest was indescribable. My heart was pounding and tears were pouring down my face. I couldn’t believe that after waiting forty-one weeks to meet you, you were finally here! Nurse Pam gently took you to bathe, weigh and measure you.
Your Daddy and I looked at each other and just smiled. We were both so happy you were finally here with us. Pam called out, “She’s nine pounds one ounce, and nineteen and a half inches long. She’s a big girl. ” She wrapped you up in a blanket and placed you in your Daddy’s arms. His eyes welled up with tears and he immediately fell in love with you. Everyone in the room was staring at your Daddy holding you and your Nana was lots of taking pictures. You had a full head of jet-black hair, dark eyes, ten precious figures and toes and flawless soft skin. You were the most perfect thing we had ever seen.