Elsie Jane is here, and I want to tell you all about it. But seeing how I'm a sleep-deprived first-time parent typing with one hand, it's going to take me all day to tell my stories. I will update the title of this post with the last time it was updated as I get around to it today...
But first a celebration that this blog is finally about the Beaver family.
Hooray! (Confetti drops from the ceiling! Party hats perfectly pointed! Strangers play kazoos!)
And now to try to sleep. :)
8:43 p.m. Wishful Thinking
It turns out that I'm not the Wonder Woman I thought I was. Haha. This is the first time I've had to sit down, and that's only because my mom is holding Elsie. I've been sleeping on and off all day. Eli was back at work this morning but took a half day and spent the afternoon with us. He took his girls back to the hospital today to have Elsie's jaundice checked. I also had an impromptu meeting with the lactation counselor. Turns out everything is going splendidly. I told her I guess my milk is coming in because Elsie is spitting up (in very small quantities, mostly when she hiccups) more white stuff than yellow. I spoke too soon. We came home and I took a long nap (2 hours) and during the nap I got really cold and needed to cover up. When I woke up, my milk production machines were achy and hard. Baby woke up and you would have thought I had turned on a faucet! So weird. Enough about that. Here's the quick recap of Elsie's coming into the world:
On Wednesday morning, 5/6/09, I woke up at 4:45 a.m. already en route to the bathroom. My water had broken. Surprise! I had absolutely no labor signs and was a little confused because I wasn't actually experiencing labor. I did know, however, that the whole laboring at home thing was now not an option. We called Labor and Delivery at the hospital, and after reassuring the nurse that no, I had not peed on myself, and that yes, it was my water, we were told to come it. I didn't want to leave because I had a whole list of things that needed to be accomplished before we brought a baby home. Oh, well.
We got to the hospital, after Eli finally told me to chill about the state of the apartment, and were admitted around 6:30. It was my goal to give birth without pain medication, and I labored for many hours with little to no progress from my 1.5 cm that I came in with, and even bargained with the doctor for more time before we even talked Pitocin. I really did not want to augment labor because I knew in my heart where it would lead. And I was right. I got to 7 cm on the Pitocin and stopped. For hours. The contractions got more and more intense and painful but went nowhere. No. Where. Poor Eli didn't know what to do for me. So, we made the decision to take some Demerol and then an epidural -- at 11:30 p.m. I was exhausted. My husband was exhausted. But I wasn't going to give in. I still wanted to get that baby out in a non-surgical way. So, they let us sleep for a couple of hours.
When the nurse came in I was fully dilated and we decided it was time to start pushing. I could feel the contractions, but not the pushing sensation, so I had a really hard time. The baby descended but stopped right at my tailbone about 1 hour into our efforts. The doctor came in after 2 hours of pushing, and the approximate 24-hour mark since my water broke (5:15 a.m.), and told me that he wanted to see progress, but that it wasn't coming. My tailbone was in the way and that it looked like the baby's head was huge--two things that are difficult to work with. We agreed that I would give it two more hours until I had to make a decision about a C-section. I had to bargain for this, too, since the baby was not in distress, and I really, really, really, wanted to avoid surgery. So, I asked them to dial down the epidural so I could feel something and tried for two more hours with a different nurse (shift change) who was more open to my suggestions for more upright pushing positions. Unfortunately, two hours later baby had not moved, even with my being able to direct my efforts. It was time to get the baby out before infection set in. And that's how my c-section came to be, with Dr. Litsey presiding.
The doctors in the operating room also had difficulty getting her big head out of the small incision, prompting the question, "What did you feed this baby?" And the reluctant answer, "Chocolate chip cookies?" Eli and I both cried when we heard her crying. They lifted her over the curtain and she was all white with vernix. I had told Eli before that when they took the baby (no matter how she was born), he need to go with her, so he followed the cheesy baby over to the nurse's nook where they took measurements and wrapped her up tight to come show me.
Eli told me later that it just melted his heart that he was the first thing she saw when she opened her eyes. ::sigh:: I love him.
I went to recovery for an hour and druggily chatted with the nurse (the one open to my suggestions) about her faith and about the work God has done in our lives. Then they wheeled me to a room where Eli sat waiting for me. He choked up a little bit as he told me how proud of me he was. About an hour after that, I got to hold Elsie for the first time, and we started pondering her name. I was glad I got to meet her first. :) Then the lactation nurses came in and wanted me to focus, through the pain meds, on breastfeeding for the first time. That was the biggest mental challenge in the whole ordeal--luckily Elsie knew what to do and that made it easier for me. After that narcotic wore off, I insisted on only having ibuprofin. Evidently, after a C-section, that makes you some kind of rock star because all the nurses came in and knew how [unspoken: unnecessarily] long my labor was and how I was refusing narcotics. They kept telling me how impressed they were. I was still having mixed emotions about how things went down.
Dr. Litsey told me before I left the OR that I had gone "above and beyond the call of duty" and that I shouldn't let anyone tell me any differently. I had mixed emotions about that, even at the time. But the lesson here is that even though I wanted to have a "natural" childbirth (which for me meant med-free), it was just that--what I wanted. The Lord took care of that and made it so that it couldn't have happened the way I wanted anyway--it was physically impossible. That was when I knew I had to give up my stubborn will and let Him direct the arrival of His child. I thought I had been preparing for that, but turns out that I'm human and kept holding on to my sinful desire to control everything. Yes, I cried about it still (I just never learn, do I?), but I'm at peace with the way things happened. The biggest help was one of the lactation nurses who came in to check on me on Saturday while Eli was home cleaning the house for me as an early Mother's Day present. She let me cry on her shoulder and told me that yes, some people gloss over a woman's emotions and say, essentially, "Suck it up. You have a healthy baby. What more could you want?" But that it's important to acknowledge our true emotions because they are REAL. It's hard to know what that's like until you're wearing the shoes of disappointment. It was nice to have someone acknowledge that, especially since I had previously been of the "suck it up" camp when other people were in my situation.
Anyway, that's all I have time for now. Time to feed the baby. Again. :)
Funny ("strange" or "ha-ha") Stories:
I don't know if I wrote about this before, but it turns out that the other doctor (Dr. Golden) in the OR was the same OB who (jokingly) told me to suck my gut in as he tried to get by me to his seat at the NIT quarter finals, Auburn vs. Baylor. I told him I knew who he was and he distinctly remembered us--something about rooting for the wrong team and shouting that annoying cheer (B-B-B-A-Y, L-L-L-O-R, B-A-Y, L-O-R, BAYLOR BEARS FIGHT!). So funny.
I got my driver license renewed on Tuesday afternoon because I knew somewhere deep down that I wouldn't have the time to get it done before it expired at the end of the month. Turns out that it was the last day that I would have free to do so without lugging an infant around [externally]!