• Norah’s Birth Story

    Date: 2013.09.24 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Life, Mark, Me, Norah, OMG YAY!, Weirdness | Tags:

    Norah’s birth story actually began almost a week ago. Last Tuesday evening I was feeling bad and achy all over. There was pain and pressure in my lower abdomen, and I wasn’t sure if it was being caused by baby, or by contractions. My memory of contractions, after all, are of ones induced by Pitocin – aka contractions on steroids. These were uncomfortable, but not unbearable. I started texting and then talking on the phone to my friendly baby birthing expert Cassie. Together we decided that yes, these were indeed contractions. I waited and timed them over the course of about three hours before deciding to go to the hospital and get checked out. As these things often go, shortly after I got to the hospital, the contractions slowly tapered out until they came to a grinding halt. My cervix wasn’t progressing and it ended up being a late night for everyone involved with no baby to show for it.

    My body stayed pretty calm on Wednesday and most of Thursday. Then Thursday evening things started feeling weird again. My extremely happy mood that had lasted all day and into a cleaning spree that evening, suddenly tanked. It felt like baby had balled herself up into the bottom of my pelvis and was trying to roll herself out. A storm was rolling in that night and the moon was full. Sarah was restless too. Normally a great night sleeper, she came into our room three times that night and, for the first time ever, ended up sleeping in the bed with us cuddled up next to me.

    Friday morning, I had my regularly scheduled OB appointment. I went in and told my OB of all that had gone on that week. I told her I was “cramping” a lot. She asked me if I was sure I wasn’t having contractions. I wasn’t. She wanted to get me hooked up to a monitor and see what was going on. Before she did that though, she checked my cervix. Afterwards she looked at me and said, “We are going to have a baby today.” Sure enough, I was dilating and contracting and baby was on her way.

    Because I had to have a c-section, I left her office and went straight down to labor and delivery to get prepped while Mark went home and packed a few bags. They started the IV and did all they needed to to prep me for surgery. I waited about another hour, enough time for family to show up, then was wheeled back to the OR.

    It’s weird. I had been fretting and nervous about this c-section for 9 months, but when it came time to do it all my nerves and fear were gone. Even moving myself onto the OR table, I was ok. I attribute my unexplained calm to getting my nerves out during my test run on Tuesday night, the anointing I had at church prior to the surgery, the awesome people working at the hospital and a lot of prayer.

    To have a c-section you have to have something called a spinal block – they essentially insert a needle into your back and block off all feeling from the boobs on down. Apparently since I’m tall, I had to have a big dose. It is such a strange feeling. First my legs got super warm, then tingly and then they were nothing but dead weight. They lowered me down, raised the sheet, and then I started feeling like I couldn’t breathe and was going to puke. I let the anesthesiologist know, and then I suddenly had oxygen, anti-nausea meds in my IV and a fan on my face. Just like that I was back up and going again.

    It was a surreal experience being in the OR awake. All the doctors were talking about music and their kids. Mark walked in all suited up and ready to go and they told him that they had already started – which was news to me! I had no idea! The only thing I could feel at all was the occasional tugging up near my ribs. No pain or pressure at all.

    Turns out we were so unprepared to have this baby that both the cameras we brought had dead batteries and both our phones had been left back in the room. Our anesthesiologist, who was amazing, was razzing us about being a computer guy and a photographer and not having a functioning camera for the delivery of our own child. And then she obligingly took some photos for us with her phone.

    Norah came roaring into the world at 12:38 p.m., and I do mean roaring. That girl has got a set of pipes on her that had everyone in the room laughing. She was all wrapped up in the umbilical cord – from her neck on down to her waist. She also had a firm grip on the cord and refused to let go, much to the humor of the OB’s working on me. Her screams immediately sent me into a wave of tears and continued unbounded as they brought my girl around the curtain to meet me. She was big and healthy and beautiful.

    She weighed in at a robust 7lbs, 13 oz and was 19 inches long – nice and big for a baby born nine days before her due date!

    The doctors stitched me up and took me back to the recovery room where they finished cleaning up baby and brought her to me. One of the first things I noticed was how different she seems to look from her sister. They have common features, like their lips, but overall they look so different. The general consensus is that she looks like me, but babies change quickly and often in their first couple of months.

    We stayed in the hospital two nights, and it proved to be a much better experience overall than my first stay when I delivered Sarah. The nurses were great, the hospital wasn’t overcrowded and it was a weekend – which meant  our family members could come visit without the stress of work. Sarah got sick over the weekend, so she didn’t get to meet Sister up close until we brought her home – but that’s another story for another day. For now I’m enjoying my super laid back baby girl, Baby Norah.

    Welcome to the world my girl, we love you.