Ah, my sweet Cecilia. She is so fun. And crazy. And talkative. And now....she's TWO. Happy birthday, Ceci!
On Friday morning, 3/26/10, I was 39 weeks 4 days pregnant and had my 39 week OB appointment. It was the first time I had an internal exam for this pregnancy and when she found that I was 3 cm and baby was very low, she asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes. Now, I’ve never had my membranes stripped before, but I had already enjoyed two weeks of prodromal labor with this little bundle and was ready to try anything “natural” to get labor moving in the right direction. So I snatched my one-way ticket on the membrane train with nary a second thought. There was no discomfort or pain whatsoever with the exam or the stripping so I was a little disappointed when I left, mumbling a little “that’s all it is?” under my breath. In retrospect, all I have to say is: HAH!
Flash forward a couple of hours, and I’m having a lot of cramping. Just menstrual style cramping, but still…seems promising. I decide to call my stand-by just to make sure she is still standing by to come and stay with my kids if we feel like it’s time to go to the hospital. “But don’t, like, get ready to come now or anything. She’s probably waiting until April 2nd to come anyway…”. HAH!
Now it’s 3:00 pm, time to get my bigger kids from school. Still cramping, but nothing else. I am so done with false symptoms and getting my hopes up that I don’t even think about it anymore, load up the 2 year old, and go pick up the bigger ones.
4:30 p.m. still nothing more than cramping. What the....????? This never ending prodromal stuff can bite me.
5:35 p.m. still….wait. Hold on a minute. Contraction. Contraction with back pain. Could it be?
6:00 p.m. Have only had 2 more of those “contractions” and hubby, who is supposed to be home, isn’t.
6:35 p.m. Hubby calls. Stuck in traffic. I decide not to say anything. He’s tired of the false alarms too, ya know.
6:45 p.m. Contractions every 15 minutes, but not increasing or getting closer together. Wah. I start losing hope. HAH!
Hubby gets home. Dinner, kids to bed, lots of water, lots of exercise ball, posting on Baby Center, hoping, praying, waiting. Contractions still 10-15 minutes apart. Lame.
Then all of a sudden….10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10 minutes, 7 minutes, 6 minutes, 5 minutes, 4 minutes….
Wow, this is for real! I call my standby. It’s 12:22 a.m. when she arrives. 4 minutes. 4 minutes. 4 minutes. We decide I’d better go if we want to avoid another near-car delivery like my last one.
Hospital. Can’t find wheelchair. Check-in is taking too long. 4 minutes. 4 minutes.
I feel like we’re getting close to the end. Panicking a little. Breathe. They find a wheelchair and wheel me to L&D. Waiting. It’s almost 2 a.m. and finally I get checked. Only 4 cm?!?!? What?!?! How can I be feeling like this for this long and only be at 4? This is not normal for me.
Hard to keep baby’s heart rate on the monitor. Why?
They get me to my room. 3 minutes. 3 minutes. 3 minutes. Nurse-who-thinks-I-can’t-possibly-be-serious-about-declining-the-epidural comes in and says something annoying and patronizing about it being the ‘last call’ for the anesthesiologist to my awesome nurse, who then pointedly tells her to scram. Hah!
3:40 a.m.- my back. My back is on fire. I’ve never felt back labor until now. Nurse checks me. Only a 6. I mention the back pain and she says “Oh no, she’s turned posterior. That’s also probably why this labor isn’t progressing as quickly as your previous ones. And also why we can’t keep her heart on the monitor. She’s fine. Just backwards.”
Well, that will just not do. I get on my hands and knees and sway and pray and just like a good little girl, she turns anterior and I know, I just know, things are going to go fast. It’s only been 3 minutes, but I start pounding on the call button. “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I think she’s coming”.
Good nurse: “I don’t think you’re crazy. You’re the one who’s in labor”.
She checks me. “I’m going to call the doctor right now. Hang in there. Does your water usually break on its own?” Thank God it doesn’t…ever, so I know that if we have to, we can wait, but only just a little.
4:00 a.m. This is the roughest stage of labor. Transition is the biggest test of a natural childbirth, the moment when you simply must give up the idea that you are in control of this life and especially this process. God challenges you to realize that He is stronger than you can ever be, and that you must give over your pain to him. Trying to own it alone can only lead to feelings of uncertainty and despair. Allowing the Lord to manage it for you is the only way to keep yourself present for the new person who is about to enter your life.
The doctor arrives.
4:12 a.m. “Okay, Okay. She’s coming. It’s time” I hear someone say. That someone is me. Nurse checks. “She’s complete. Baby is right there.” Me: “Pushing! Pushing!” Dr.: “It’s okay, Dwija. You don’t have to wait. Do what you need to do. I’m going to go ahead and break your water now.”
Deep breath. Big push. Relief. Compared to the intensity of transition, pushing is like a breath of fresh air. Wait for the next contraction. The absolute absence of pain between the contractions allows me to fully relax. Eyes closed. Breathing. Alright, it’s time again.
4:19 a.m. Deep breath. Hold it. Big push. “She’s right there. She’s almost here!” Tommy’s magic words with every baby, the moment I wait for the entire time. His voice, that idea, gives me the strength to finish right then.
4:20 a.m. She’s here! Oh, she’s crying before she’s even fully born! Pink and angry and beautiful. They lay her on my chest right away and she latches on like a little eating champ.
Cecilia Jean Borobia, born at 4:20 a.m. on March 27, 2010. Natural childbirth with 10 hours to get to 6 cm while baby was posterior and only 40 minutes to get from 6 to 10 with baby anterior. She was a tiny thing, at just 7 lbs and 19.25 inches long, but strong and healthy and hungry. Thank you God for this greatest gift!
Taken 5 hours before she arrived...
Right after birth, my little nugget has her first snack:
Aw, those precious little cheeks!
Snuggly like a burrito...
Meeting her big brother for the first time: