The Story of Her Birth

February 25th, 2008 by Editor B

Xy woke up around 3:30 Thursday morning and discovered her water had broken sometime during the night.

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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.

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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.

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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.

16 Responses to “The Story of Her Birth”

  1. mominem Says:

    Congratulations, Glad You Mother and Child are well – FULL STOP

  2. Joe Nickell Says:

    Is it too early to start arguing about whether Persephone looks more like you or XY??

  3. Pistolette Says:

    Congrats! Glad to hear everything turned out well.

    I actually scheduled my labor & delivery for this Tuesday night because I’m running overtime. I don’t want a C-sec either, but I’ll get one to avoid *hours* of labor if I have to.

  4. Garvey Says:

    You did the right thing. No regrets, no worries.

    (And don’t listen to the inevitable anti-C-section fist-waivers…what’s done is done, and you are all safe and happy now.)

  5. Garvey Says:

    Ugh–that should have been “fist-wavers.” I get dumber every day.

  6. Editor B Says:

    Thanks for the support. When I wonder about “the right choice” I mean what would have been best for Xy and the girl. Popular opinion is the last question on my mind. But what’s done is done. And of course it was Xy’s call to make.

  7. HammHawk Says:

    Hey, man, I’ve been meaning to congratulate you since I heard the news, but for some reason I felt like I’d be intruding on the special time. So hell, don’t read the comments if you don’t want. I’m really happy for you guys. Persephone’s a lucky girl.

  8. M.A.D. Says:

    Ugh — that should have been “fist-wavers.”

    Actually, “fist-waivers” cracked me up because it reminded me of a story told on roxlyst about a radio announcer at a baseball game who was commenting on how players were “fisting” each other. I think I’d want a “fist waiver” for that one ;)

    Congrats B.

    And, quit doubting yourself. You and XY are the parents and you don’t need to defend any of your decisions to anyone but yourselves. Screw everyone else, they’re not the ones who’ll stay up all night wondering why there isn’t a cure for cholic.

  9. liprap Says:

    Yeah, the poking and prodding for the IV was actually the worst of it for me, too – until my first transitional labor contraction had me climbing the walls.

    I’m just glad all is well and everybody is healthy. And that Persephone is quite the shayne maideleh!

  10. spab Says:

    It’s alarming how easy it is for hospitals to go straight for the C-section, so I understand your questions of is it the right choice. Sonya’s c-section was unfornuate as she became infected from a staph infection probably from someone not wearing gloves.

    But nonetheless, this is great that all went smooth. I remember staring at Sonya’s open gash with our boy laying on top of her and the cord still intact and none of it making me feel ill (just way too much adreniline pumping through me).

    And for me it was like months of quietly waiting and watching Sonya’s stomach grow, then BANG I was in a whirlwind bigger than I imagined. Took me about 6 weeks to get into some sort of “flow”.

    And I used to think it was lots of work to take care of our cat. Hahaha.

  11. TBK Says:

    I ( we Craig and I) are so happy for the three of you. She’s here, she’s loved and that’s all that matters. I look forward to her sitting in one of the high chairs at our restaurant and eating animal crackers and pancakes. Hell I’ll let her write on the walls.

    Congrats

    TBK

  12. justine Says:

    Well you know with Reed I passed on an offer of a C-section and I had to live with some guilt with that choice that resulted in life long scarring for Reed. but I now feel that you can’t second guess yourself, I couldn’t beat myself up any more with that. You don’t know what could have happened with continued labor for xy. Persephone is healthy and non-injured and that is all that matters. I had a c-section with Tatum planned from day 1 and it was wonderful. I say whatever results in a healthy baby is the right birth method. I would tell people who suggest that a c-section wasn’t necessary for a 6 pound baby to stick their opinions up their asses and then try to push them out for 3 or more hours. I tend to get a little heated about this topic. sorry. The end result is what matters not the birth method.

  13. swampwoman Says:

    Congratulations!

  14. chrissieroux Says:

    Congratulations again. Persephone is a very lucky girl indeed.

    I’ll never forget seeing Cade hold Sydney for the first time. He was also a non-baby-holding type of guy, never had changed a diaper, and now he’s the most amazing dad. You will be, too.

    Its a beautiful thing!

  15. wonderland Says:

    Congratulations. She is beautiful.

  16. TS Says:

    Ditto on all counts, B. Here’s to a lifetime of joy with your new bundle. Of course you can do it…of course you can.

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