Xy woke up around 3:30 Thursday morning and discovered her water had broken sometime during the night.
This took us by surprise just a bit, because we expected to have a couple more weeks.. Xy racked her brain and remembered what the doctor said: “Three reasons to come straight to the hospital: 1) blood, 2) contractions of a certain intensity/frequency and 3) your water breaks.” No need to call, just come in.
So we did. We packed a few things first, of course. No panic. Xy took a quick bath, just as I was reading in some reference book that if your water breaks, you shouldn’t take a bath. Oh well.
Then we got in the car and drove. I still could hardly believe this was happening. It was rainy, and the roads were slippery, but there was very little traffic at that hour. By 4:45 AM we were at the hospital (Tulane Lakeside) where we checked in and were assigned to Labor & Delivery Suite #3.
They had a hell of a time getting Xy’s IV in. Three people took stabs at it, poking her repeatedly and painfully. This was actually the most difficult part of the whole day. When they administered her epidural Xy lost the ability to move her left leg, much less feel anything.
Xy reached maximum dilation very quickly. But the baby was still riding high, not descending into the birth canal much at all. She tried pushing, for over an hour, with very little to show for it. Hard work.
So then the doctor made the case for a Cesarean birth. He indicated that Xy might continue to labor for a very long time, pushing pushing pushing, and there might still be complications. We had an expectation that the baby was large, but the ultrasound to determine size had been scheduled for next Monday and thus never happened.
In any event, Xy took the doctor’s advice and — wham/bam/thank you ma’am — they cut her open and had the girl out in amazingly short order. I held Xy’s hand through the whole procedure. There was no pain, but she could feel them wrasslin’ her innards.
At one point the surgical team invited me to take a look. I peeped over the screen and saw my daughter’s head sticking out of her mother’s belly. The next thing I knew, they had her whole body out, with twisting umbilical still connected. I was stunned, and nowhere near as sick as I thought I would be.
Turns out she’s not big at all, just barely six pounds. A number of people remarked that a Cesarean hardly seemed warranted for such a small child. This made me wonder if we made the right choice.
Later that evening I held her in my arms. I’ve held very few infants in my life, having always shied away from people who asked me if I wanted to hold their baby. Shortly thereafter I learned how to change a diaper. First time ever. It’s good to know I can still learn a few new tricks.
Those are the facts as I remember them. It’s a little trickier to pin down how we felt about it all. Jeffrey the Lover of Ellipses wrote, “Let me guess. You are proud… and thrilled… and scared out of your wits.” That’s a reasonable guess, but not quite on the money. If I had to sum it up in three terms, I’d say we are relieved… exhausted… and dizzy.