Saturday, October 12, 2013

My girl

Our sweet girl, our firstborn, is turning 13 in four days. As a mom, I could go on and on about how time flies and she was just born, but honestly, I feel like we have had her forever. Olivia was born one day shy of 6 months after our wedding (it happens, stop judging :)). We had dated forever and we certainly didn't feel like we were slighted by not having any more "newlywed" time. We were ready to start a family and we were delighted to have her. But, I have been a mother my entire adult life. Up until Mike and I married I lived with my parents and never had any major adult responsibilities. So, she's been my sidekick through adulthood. 

I have never written her birth story in completion, so better 13 years late than never. 

Let's start by addressing the fact Olivia was almost THREE weeks late! My original due date was September 21. Then, it was pushed to September 28. Then, they weren't sure (we found out with subsequent pregnancies that our babies are tiny, weird shaped little fetuses and then grow super fast at the end). So, by October 12, my last OB appointment before she was born I was overdue, gigantic and dilated to 2. Needless to say, I was beyond done being pregnant. I was ALL belly. My stomach was enormous and Mike and I would sit and watch her body parts poke out as she shifted and squirmed. A foot here, an elbow there. So, on Thursday, it was agreed that I would try to go into labor naturally over the weekend with an induction scheduled for Monday. Friday night, my parents, brother, Mike and I went to a hot air balloon show at the very hilly, rocky air field in hopes to jostle something loose. Then, we ate Mexican food. Saturday, Mike and I sat around in our extremely clean, empty house and waited. Late Saturday night, Mike went to bed and I stayed up to balance the checkbook. After totaling all of the Home Depot receipts from the previous month (Mike was nesting big time!), I went to tell him he had to lay off, he had spent $500, and promptly went into labor. The contractions were 15-20 minutes apart and not bad at all, so I laid down and fitfully slept when I could. About 6 a.m., I got up for good as they were getting stronger, but not any closer together. At this point, I had been in inactive labor for about 8 hours. I sent Mike to pick up some breakfast (we couldn't mess up the pristine kitchen, the baby might want to see it) and I got in the shower to wash my hair and shave my legs :) That is when "active labor" kicked in. The contractions starting coming hard and fast, every 5 minutes. After 30 minutes of that, we decided it was time to head to the hospital (less than 10 minutes away). On the way there, my contractions jumped to 2.5 minutes apart. I WAS TERRIFIED. I thought I was going to give birth in the car! We made it and went to the desk where we were preregistered. The lady asked me if we were having twins. I growled at her. Mike promised to kill her later but begged me to get in the wheelchair and get upstairs.


Once up in Labor & Delivery, we waited to be admitted. They hooked me up to the contraction monitoring machine (not it's official name) and told me I could have an epidural when I got to 6. I was at 3. I had a goal! I should mention that I was still having strong contractions every 2.5 minutes, so we all thought this would move quickly. It was about 11 a.m. Mike and I had called our parents on the way to the hospital. Mike's parents headed our way from Houston, TX and my parents got to the hospital immediately. We all expected a baby SOON. We were mistaken. 

I progressed so slow. Everyone and their grandfather came to see me. I was miserable, excited, nervous, the whole nine yards. I kept looking to my left where the baby area was, where they would be taking the baby after she was born to check her, etc. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we would not be having the baby in that room. I didn't know why, but I could not picture her in that area. My first mother's intuition.

This is my epidural face

Finally, around 5 p.m., I had progressed enough for an epidural. The sweet, sweet man who administered it is still one of my favorite people. The pain vanished, I rested for the first time in many hours and waited for our baby girl. I was around 7 cm at this point. We watched the contractions arch and fall on the monitor and I marveled at the lack of pain. For about two hours. Then, I felt a little twinge of pain with a contraction. Then a bigger one, then a full on contraction. The nurse was summoned and the sweet, sweet medicine man came back and fiddled with the epidural line. It worked again...for about five minutes. Then, it never worked again. I felt every thing. I kept telling them that it wasn't working at all. They kept telling me it was normal to feel "pressure" and it was working. I know pressure and I know a freight train ripping through your midsection. I had the latter. But, no one would listen to me, so my only option was to have a baby.

Around 11:30 p.m., I was finally ready to push. I was terrified. I could feel everything. I was a BIG believer in epidurals. I didn't want natural child birth. This kid was three weeks late, she was bound to be big. But, I had no other option and was desperate to see her, so I started pushing. And I pushed. For two and a half hours. With no progress. NONE. They could see the top of her head but that was all. Finally, when my doc checked in again to see if we were ready for him to catch, he determined she was stuck. I had determined this two hours earlier, but again, no one was listening to me. I kept saying "SHE IS STUCK, I CAN FEEL THAT SHE IS STUCK", but apparently women in labor say silly things.

So, the doc told us to sit tight and they would prep an OR for our C-section. By this time, Mike's parents had made it in (FROM HOUSTON, THEY DROVE) and my parents and family were sick with worry. The grandmas hit the chapel to pray and Mike suited up for the surgery. I was so exhausted, so worried, and in so much pain. I could feel that baby stuck in my pelvis and was so worried that she was hurting. They came to get me for the surgery and wheeled me in. They went to lift me off the table and were AMAZED that I could swing my legs over and move myself. WELL DUH! I told them the epidural didn't work. The anesthesiologist went to work trying to get me numb again when Olivia's heart rate started dropping (mine did too, but I didn't know that until much later). The hustled Mike out of the room and started cutting. They put me to sleep soon thereAFTER. Fortunately, I don't remember much of that. I remember the mask coming for my face and frantically praying for my baby's life before I went out. My last thought was that I hoped that she lived and if I died that she would know I loved her. It was dramatic. Olivia was out in seconds and blue and limp. The doc handed her over his shoulder to the NICU nurses who had been summoned (STAT) and they went to work. My poor, sweet husband was watching all of this from the door they forgot to shut in their haste. He saw her lifeless little body, he heard the doctor say he knew he could save one of us, and he stood there paralyzed silently begging God to save his family. Olivia was quickly revived and began bellowing, never a sweeter sound. My heartrate improved dramatically once the stuck human was removed from my exhausted body and they put me back together. (Sidenote: sloppiest C-section ever! It was totally worth it, but if my doctor had not been so stubborn, it would not have been so dramatic. The scar tissue and other things caused problems for years). 
Sweet Mike was so worried (look, the giant belly is gone!)

I was still asleep once Olivia was deemed healthy and alive, so they started bundling her up and preparing her to meet her daddy. Once he realized this, he scooted over to the waiting room he was supposed to be in and waited. They brought her to him and he cried, prayed, thanked God, and marveled. Then he panicked. He had never even held a baby before and they left him all alone. His wife, the baby "expert" was unconscious. His mom was in the chapel and he was alone. Finally, they told him I was waking up and he and Olivia headed to recovery (I made him promise if anything happened he wouldn't leave her side). I slowly came to, spying the largest, prettiest baby I had ever seen. They had triple wrapped her to keep her temp up and she looked like she weighed 20 lbs. My first words were "How big is she". She was 8 lbs 13.5 oz and 21.5" long. I was so relieved she was fine and beautiful to boot! Then, I was in pain. MAJOR pain. The epidural never worked, so I was awake, still having post labor contractions, through many layers of stitches, without a drop of painkiller in my system. After I convinced the evil post op nurse of this, they finally gave me some Morphin and I could enjoy my girl.
Our first picture, I was so out of it!

She was a beauty. She had a headful of black hair, long eyelashes, and dark blue eyes that were already brown by the end of the week. I was in labor for three calendar days, but it was so worth it! She was also very overdue! She laid flat in her bassinet, stretching as straight as she could. She could hold her head up and look around the room. Whenever I spoke, she would lift her head and follow my voice. She wasn't overly fond of being held or fed by me, I think she sensed my nerves :) She bonded with her daddy immediately, but it took a little longer with me. I was so out of it for the first week, everyone supervised my every move with her. We finally clicked and have been a dynamic duo ever since.
Two days old. Her going home outfit didn't fit, she was so big.

My doctor came to check on us and apologized for doubting my estimate of my due date. He conceded that she was indeed overdue and was relieved it all worked out. I was relieved too and did not use him for my subsequent children...
Two peas in a pod, she has adored him from day one.

We took her home two days later and settled into life as the "three family". She grew like a weed and charmed all who met her. I then spent the next 13 years questioning every decision I made and worrying that I was ruining her. And you know what, I am doing okay at this. Mike is an excellent parent but I always worry about me. But, we have a great kid. She loves Jesus, her family, her friends, and her world. She is beautiful inside and out. Her sense of humor kills me, her talents amaze me, and though I try not to be that parent that is a "best friend", it's hard not to want to be her friend. She's a great kid!

So, if you are still reading, I hope you enjoyed that long, dramatic story. It took me three years to work up the nerve to have another baby and another 5 years to actually accomplish it :)


  1. Always love your stories. Happy Birthday Olivia! Kellye