Monday, October 4, 2010

Risa's Birth

So this is two months late, but here's my journal entry for the whole experience...

Our baby is here (as everyone already knows at this point)! She is beautiful! I take back everything I said about never wanting girls… although I still have some fears that she’s going to be the high-maintenance death of me. But she’s so cute, I’ll get over it! J

But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty—Risa’s birth story:

Chad and I woke up dark and early at 4 a.m., and we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. A nurse came in and got me all hooked up, took my vitals, etc. You have to be hooked up to the monitors for at least twenty minutes before they can start the pitocin, so Chad and I spent the time watching the absolutely stellar lightning storm going on outside—so fabulous!! What better weather for a birthday, right?! We were LOVING it—thunder that sounded like cannon fire, and enormous raindrops pummeling the sidewalks outside. Awesome!

So the nurse came in and started the pitocin and went off-shift. Chad and I played a game of Farkel, and we chatted with our new nurse, Kirstin (soon to be my new best friend). My contractions were getting stronger, but they weren’t painful at all yet. So we turned on Brian Regan and were cracking ourselves—and our nurse—up for the next forty minutes. By the end of his routine my contractions were definitely more intense, but still easily bearable. I can’t remember what I was dilated to, but I think it was just about halfway. That’s when Dr. Harward came in and broke my water. What a strange feeling—suddenly there is a kiddie pool’s worth of water between your legs, soaking through layers of towels below you! Weird! And holy smokes! That certainly kicked things up a notch! It was amazing how that immediately affected the strength of my contractions. It was literally the very next contraction, and I was slammed by the intensity of it! And then I knew I was in trouble as far as all my Hypnobabies practice went. My contractions were suddenly coming so fast and hard that I had no time in between to get into the zone at all—serious bummer! So next time, I definitely need to get into the hypnosis before anyone does anything to my water sac. I was pretty sad about that part. I tried it for a while, but it was a no go—I barely had recovery time between the contractions, so there was no way I had the time I needed to talk myself under. So we ditched that, and I just leaned against Chad for a while.

Well, time sure flies when you’re in intensely severe pain, doesn’t it?! It had been about an hour since the doctor broke my water, and each contraction was unbelievably strong! I was at the point where my body literally could not keep still. I was shifting positions between each contraction—from climbing onto Chad to kneeling to laying down to standing to squatting to back on Chad’s shoulders (almost)—just to make it through each one. And I couldn’t really think past the next contraction. This is where Kirstin became my lifesaver!! We found out that she was a Hypnobabies mom herself, and she knew the scripts almost word for word. So although I couldn’t get deeply into the CD scripts, she could talk me through the contractions as they came. She led me through each one, rubbing my back and leaning on pressure points to ease the pain a little. And so the three of us worked through each one as it came and went.

And still they got nearly unbearable! I tried to talk to Chad: “Honey, I think…” “I think….” Every time, that’s as far as I could get… I found out later that Chad knew exactly what I was thinking, but wouldn’t put it into words for me (naughty!!). I wanted drugs! That’s what I wanted! I finally got the sentence out in a whisper. Kirstin told me that I was probably right in transition—that’s usually when women doing it naturally break down and ask for drugs—and if so, then I only had a few more contractions to go before it was time to push. So she checked me, and she was right: I was just about ready to go. So we bore through 10 more minutes of pain, and the doctor came in to deliver the baby.

Wow! It’s amazing all the things you feel when you have no drugs numbing things for you! Like a giant head moving through a tiny canal. (Sorry, that may be a TMI, but honestly!) And suddenly I understood what every woman means about not being able to hold back the urge to push. Once the doctor had me start pushing, there was no way I was stopping until that head was no longer blocking passageways. Oh man, what a crazy feeling! I was exhausted, and now I had to push… and push HARD! It’s ridiculous how you just want to stop and rest and yet that’s exactly what you don’t want to do (has anyone heard that birth is an emotional experience??). Thankfully, I didn’t have to push for very long: about 10 minutes, and the girl was out. Finally, relief!

Risa came out a smurf—no exaggeration! Her face was completely blue! Now, here I am on one side of the room being stitched up, and I see her on the other side of the room, totally blue in the face. My first thoughts were panicky ones—Oh boy, she isn’t breathing! Then I hear from the nurses, “Wow, she is really bruised!” Apparently, she moved so quickly through the canal, and her head was so big, that she bruised all the way out. Incredibly, she was pretty much pink by the end of that day; I couldn’t believe how fast the bruising went away. They cleaned her up a bit, checked her vitals, and brought her over to me.

Little Risa Julie Brooks is here! And she is beautiful! 9 lbs., 6 oz. (gee whiz! She even beat her brother!) She was born with a bunch of dark, dark hair (which I am hoping sticks around). And she nurses like a champion! Hooray!! We love the little beast already!