Thursday, April 03, 2008
If you read the post "Bathtub of Horrors," you will recall that Saturday night we had company and then a gross experience where Isaiah pooped in the tub followed by Michael puking in the tub. Ah, what classy lives we lead. Anyway, Michael cleaned all the bodily refuse out of the tub and got it sweet and sparkling for me, and then he began to fill it while I ran upstairs to blog about the hilarious night. I was still having contractions, as I had been having all day, but I was convinced that they were only practice ones and that a warm bath would make them stop as usual. Unfortunately, after filling up the tub for Isaiah's bath, then draining it and using hot water to clean the tub for several minutes, we were out of hot water. So I sank down into a rather cool bath, and Michael again came to the rescue by boiling water on the stove to try to warm up the temperature. By that point, it was a rather hopeless cause, and since my contractions were getting stronger instead of weaker, we decided we should just try to go to bed and get some rest in case it really was the night.
We tried to sleep for a while and then timed contractions when it was obvious I couldn't sleep through them, and at 1:30 in the morning we decided to call our doula, Katie, and Michael's brother, James to watch Isaiah. We arrived at the emergency room at 2:30 and I was wheeled up to the maternity ward. The contractions were so mild and manageable compared to the pitocin-induced ones I had experienced with Isaiah, I wasn't even entirely convinced I was really in labor. I was really worried they were going to laugh at me for being so silly and send me home, but instead they saw I was dilated to 4 cm and admitted me right away. I desperately wanted a warm bath, so as soon as possible, I got into the tub and stayed there for about an hour before I decided to get out because my contractions were slowing down. I was so tired after a sleepless night, but I wasn't able to sleep because my contractions were coming every few minutes, so after several hours of walking, resting, rocking, and showering to try and get things going, I finally decided I needed an epidural to help me get some sleep.
The anesthesiologist came in for my epidural, and started loudly cracking one-liners and talking obnoxiously mostly to himself. When he put the tube in, I felt a powerful jolt of pain run down my spine through my hips and began to hear a ringing sensation in my ears as the room darkened and my head spun. I told him that I heard ringing in my ears, and he asked me if that was normal for me (as if I walked around all the time with ringing in my ears,) and then he wanted to know why I hadn't told him sooner. If I hadn't been woozy and semi-paralyzed I may have kicked him. I was pretty sure my doula was moments away from doing it herself. My blood pressure had dropped to 60/45 and I needed a shot of epinephrine to get it back up, which worked immediately. Luckily Michael, who has quite an aversion to needles, had stepped out of the room so we were both still conscious through the rest of the labor.
Once the epidural kicked in and I was reasonably certain Katie wasn't going to hunt downn the anesthesiologist and throttle him, I was able to sleep for a while, but my contractions slowed once again and I stalled at 7cm for about four hours until we decided I needed some pitocin. Within two hours I was ready to push, and I never had to push hard because she was already within an inch of being out into the world. I pushed gently for 25 minutes, and Michael was able to receive her instead of the doctor. He immediately put her onto my stomach, and she cried, and we cried, and we welcomed our precious daughter into the world! Michael said watching Melora come out and being the very first one to touch and hold her was one of the most powerful experiences of his life. The instant I saw her, my fatigue vanished and I fell desperately in love with my little girl.
"Melora, oh my little Melora," I remember saying to her, "I love you so much my baby girl."
I don't think I will ever be able to describe the moment I met my children for the first time. An entire lifetime of love came rushing into me, filling me up and overflowing so I could pour it onto them. Pain is forgotten, and the other people in the room are non-existent; only me, my husband, and my precious baby are there.
We have been enjoying every moment with her, and Isaiah is particularly sweet to watch. He has begun "speaking" on her behalf, using a squeaky high voice to tell us what she wants. He will come over to sleeping Melora with a toy and squeak "I want frog!" before placing the toy frog on her chest. He also squeakily informs us "I need a new diaper," or "I'm cold, need blanket," when he feels it's appropriate. He wants to hold her all the time and loves to rest his head next to hers and give her kisses. He often gets a cute, dopey grin when she's around and giggles for no reason, and it's so sweet to see that he's falling in love with her just as we are.
Watching Isaiah take care of Melora in his own way has added a whole new dimension to my love for him. It reminds me of when I watched Michael become a dad for the first time (and again with Melora) and realizing that his love for his child was the most beautiful thing I never knew about him. Isaiah is an amazing brother, and I am so blessed with both of my healthy, happy children. Thank you, God, for my Isaiah and Melora. I know I have done nothing to deserve the privilege of being a part of their lives, and I am awestruck at the beauty of your spirit I see through them every day.