Ok I ALWAYS do disclaimers: I hesitated about blogging about Ruby's delivery, just because it's long and boring to most people, buuuut I love reading other people's birth stories and what if EVERYONE avoided it in case it's awkward? That would be lame. So I'm pretending that everyone else is just as interested as I am in this sort of thing--plus, this is basically my journal, so I'm going for it.
Here is what I wrote in the hospital in the middle of the night on Thursday. I could NOT sleep and was all emotional and crazy-feeling, hopefully this is coherent. It's definitely disjointed but oh well (remember the lack of sleep and crazy emotional circumstances):
Ruby Kay was born at 9:15 pm on Tuesday, her due date. Earlier that day, I was despairing that she would EVER be born. I was dreading my doctor appt. that afternoon because I knew he would say I hadn't progressed at all and would have to wait another week. Except he didn't say that--instead, he told me to go straight to Labor and Delivery because he was worried about her heart rate. (Thank heavens I had made Kyle leave work early to come to the appointment with me, even though I normally don't and there was no real reason to.)
Once we got to the hospital, things happened really really fast, way too fast to fully handle emotionally. I was checked in, changed into a gown, and hooked up to a monitor to see how Velocity's heart rate was doing. It wasn't good. It would stay steady, and high enough, for a little while--and then dip way way down. Kyle and I watched the monitor together, feeling encouraged, until her heart rate would start to drop and then we were just panicky and scared. It looked like we would have to induce labor that night to get her out of there. I was okay with the labor inducing part, I just wished the reasons for it were different. They started me on Pitocin and my contractions started coming really really fast and painful. I got an epidural because I knew I had a long, sucky labor ahead of me, so why wait? We called Mom, who got a plane ticket for the next flight to Utah, and we knew she would get there in time because we had many hours to wait until Velocity arrived.
Unfortunately, it soon became clear that the quick contractions were way too fast for Velocity's heart to handle. As each contraction came, her heart rate was dipping lower and lower. Nurses came in and switched me from side to side, hoping to relieve pressure that was on my uterus. It worked usually, along with the oxygen mask I had to wear. One time, her heart rate went way too low and wouldn't come back up with these easy remedies. A bunch of people raced in and I was told to get on my hands and knees, which was difficult/almost impossible because of the epidural and millions of wires/cords/tubes that I was connected to. (Also, it was awkward because I ended up doing it mostly naked. Awesome. That's when I stopped feeling uncomfortable with exposure because it just wasn't worth experiencing mental trauma along with all the physical shiz.) That actually did work eventually, but the gravity of the situation was finally clear. My doctor (who I love) got there and explained to us what was going on and what our options were. There was really only one option. Basically, Velocity was in danger every time I had a contraction. Even with so many contractions, I was only 4 cm dilated--and I had been admitted to the hospital at a 3! There was no way I was going to be able to progress all the way to 10 cm. It was either try to progress for a little while longer and then do an emergency C-section, with Velocity at risk the entire time, or get in there right then and do an emergency C-section when she was still in a relatively good place. I can't even tell you how Kyle and I felt right then. We were completely unprepared for it. If I had followed my natural instincts as a worrier and worried the last 9 months that something like this would happen, I would have been better prepared. As it was, somehow I had forsaken my own nature and felt completely calm and carefree for my entire pregnancy. I just never thought something bad/hard/unexpected would happen to us. I had been really sick and uncomfortable during my pregnancy, way worse than many of my friends, so I figured that was basically all I had to fear from this experience. I never thought something actually scary could happen to us. Suddenly, Kyle and I were scared. We were scared for our baby. BUT as I was lying on the table with my body completely numb and my arms stretched out and Kyle in his white surgery outfit and both of us completely freaking out trying not to think about what was happening on the other side of the curtain, we talked about it wasn't just "lucky" that my ob had checked Velocity's heart rate during that brief low period in between completely normal heart rates, which would seem nearly impossible when you consider that in a week her heart rate is only listened to for about 10 seconds and I easily could have scheduled my appt. for a different day or even a different hour and he wouldn't have caught it. We were definitely being looked out for. Velocity was going to be born and she was going to be fine because Heavenly Father was making sure of it. We felt a lot better after that and then could just focus on how freaked out we were that I was having major abdominal surgery so unexpectedly, not to mention the fact that we were going to be parents in a matter of moments. I'm really grateful that we realized all this before surgery started, otherwise I'm sure I would have been much more terrified.
It turns out that the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around Velocity's neck, and once around her body. It was also in the birth canal ahead of her, so with each contraction it was tightening around her. Really really dangerous. The thought of this really scares me until I remember that she is out and safe and healthy. Oh, and she's not Velocity anymore! The second she left the womb she became Ruby. It hasn't even been hard to call her that, like I thought it might be.
After she was born, Kyle went with her to the nursery and I was taken back to my room for about an hour to recover a bit. I barely got a glimpse of her! I was so excited to be taken downstairs to our new room where we would live for 3 days. As soon as they brought her in, I again barely got to look at her before they started me breastfeeding her--apparently she was anxious to start as soon as she began breathing! I didn't mind though, because I could examine her face to my heart's content in that position. The truth: she is beautiful. I knew I'd think so no matter what, but I also knew I'd have a realistic knowledge of her cuteness. And that realistic knowledge is telling me that I have one adorable baby.
My mom was mid-flight when Ruby was born, unfortunately. She was certainly surprised to get off the plane and find out that her granddaughter was already born AND that it had been such a scary situation! She has been extremely helpful with caring for Ruby as I start this recovery business--which is, so far, awful. And mostly she takes care of me, which I really appreciate.
I have been a zombie since she was born (due to medication/pain/exhaustion), but today felt very different. A bit more alive and human. Best of all, I feel like I have a relationship with Ruby now. I'm also pretty sure that while I loved her before, today my obsession with her began.
A lot of emotions that I've been ignoring caught up to me today, probably because I wasn't too exhausted to deal with them. Disappointment/fear because of the way her delivery went. Excitement that I had a baby. Crazy love for the baby I held. Worry about being a mom. Grossed-outness about what happens to your body when you have a baby. Appreciation for the help and love I've been receiving. Gratitude that Kyle was the man with me through all of this.
And that's when they finally brought Ruby back from her bilirubin testing and I got to feed her again so I stopped blogging.
It's now Saturday night and we're home! I love being home with Ruby even though the hospital was convenient in some ways (like the never-ending supply of drugs and that great hospital bed). I really am obsessed with her, hopefully not in a way that is annoying to everyone around me. It's true what people say: the love kicks in quickly and is INTENSE. Things are going really well--at least they are while Mom is here, hopefully they will continue to run smoothly when all our helpers are gone. I'm not going to be weird about this, but just so you know, breastfeeding is awesome. I feel like it's a really good reward for all the crappiness of pregnancy and delivery and I'm grateful that it hasn't been difficult for the two of us to get the hang of it. Ruby is awake for a lot of the day, is definitely a cuddler, and is most of the time really chill. She doesn't need to be constantly held and is fine just hanging out. She only cries when she's in pain or frantic for some food. I know that it's only been 4 days and all of this could change still, but for now she's basically perfect and Kyle and I feel really really lucky.