Blondes couldn't hold still. She was jumping and running over to me, then back to Grammy then back to me. She couldn't hide the grin on her face if she tried. The night I birthed Gigi, I called Blondes on the phone to tell her about her new baby sister. I couldn't hold myself together as she exclaimed back to me, "Oh Mommy! I'm so excited!"
Mae was a little more apprehensive - biting her nails and gripping my mom's fingers.
But that all changed the second we were home - where her large head is consistently the only thing capable of being seen in Gigi's line of sight and her saliva reliably glistens across Gigi's forehead all day long.
Friday morning I awoke to more contractions coming even more frequently than the day before. They had been keeping me up all night. I had been into and out of the bath, into and out of bed, on the couch and about every other chair in the house. 10 minutes apart. Getting more and more intense.
We dropped the girls off a little after 9:30 am and Easy drove around to garage sales while I labored in the car. I was waiting for them to get closer, but they didn't - 5 minutes when I was up and 10 when I was down. I was getting frustrated. Mae came so quick and I thought this would be even quicker. I called my doc's office. They were not helpful. We went to the store and walked around - bought some beverages and some cookies. I called my mom who listened to my concerns and advised me to go to the hospital.
I thought it was too early. 11:30 am.
They hooked me to the monitor and we watched and felt each contraction go by. Still not getting any closer. I was worried. Something had to be wrong. Baby too big? Cord around neck? I didn't understand why it wasn't getting any harder! I was only at 3cm. After contracting all night! We got up and walked for about an hour. E and I paced the hall hand in hand. We talked about our little Three. We counted the tiles in the floor. We laughed. He kept trying to get me to go faster. I would bury my face in his arm when it got tough. I think at one point he even requested that I do lunges.
When we got back they officially admitted me. 2:30pm. I was at 4cm. We discussed starting pitocin to get things moving along. My doc was on the way to also break my water. Both options I was unsure of. Scared of pitocin induced contractions and scared that breaking my water would send me over the edge too quick. I considered both and in my head thought about an epidural. I honestly didn't feel emotionally strong enough to birth the baby on our own, but E was right by my side - taking my criticism on his back rubbing technique, wetting my head and legs down, encouraging me, loving me. He gave me strength since I didn't have enough on my own. That is what is so beautiful about marriage - about having a companion. They pick up your pieces when you have fallen apart. He was the only thing that could have done it. He kept me afloat when I felt like I was about to drown in my self induced doubt.
3:45 pm. I get my IV and we decide on breaking my water. Just 4cm. She made a small hole in the sac and after about 20 more minutes of inconsistent contractions E gave me a blessing and I got into the shower. The nurses barely knew how to work it. The removable shower head was irremovable and the one that worked was blasting hot water everywhere. I leaned my arms and head against the cold tile wall. I stood and prayed that the baby would come soon. That she/he would be fine, but mostly that I would be fine. I was up and down. It was getting intense. I leaned and called for Eric. I was a mess - a hot laboring mess. I swayed my hips, breathed deeply, and finally knew it was time when I just couldn't take it anymore.
corpse-like hays in the middle of labor land
When I got out it was about 4:30pm. I felt a little urge to push. Eric dried me off and I knew I had to get back in the bed. He wrung cold water over my legs, chest, and head as I breathed. In through my nose. Out my mouth. The tide comes up and I push it back down. There was no stopping these contractions. They were the real thing. In and out. We called the nurse and I asked her to check me. She first hooked me back up to the million gadgets to monitor my contractions, baby's heart rate, my BP, and my oxygen sats. 4:45pm. By the look on her face I knew I had progressed in that hot and miserable shower. When she said I was a 9 I thought I had heard her wrong. I looked at my husband and was assured that she in fact had said "9."
She jumped up to call the doc and came back minutes later with everything they would need. I reminded her that E wanted to help receive the baby so she went out to get him a gown. As soon as the door shut the baby decended. I knew my doctor wouldn't make it. I looked up at Eric and mustered out "baby's coming!" along with a few moans that were followed by some insane burning.The poor guy was juggling 2 camera's trying to push the call light and about to chase after the nurse down the hall when he looked and sure enough the baby was crowning. He shouted "Baby's coming!" as the nurse barreled back into the room. By the time she reached my bedside the baby's head was out. She dropped E's supplies and was frantically getting on her gloves, when she looked me in the face and told me that I needed to deliver my baby now. I took the biggest breath I could manage and pushed slowly and steadily. It was all me now. Just me and my baby. We were controlling this thing and the next second I knew, everything released and the baby was out on the bed. A girl. A perfect little girl. Her cord was only about 8 inches so I scooped her up as high onto my belly as I could. The baby's nurse (who I think was hiding in the corner) handed a blanket to me and E and I began rubbing our new little girl as my nurse suctioned the baby's mouth out and clamped and cut the cord. Seeing her little red body and hearing her cry was music to my ears. It was then that I knew we were in the clear. It was then that I took all of her in - my baby girl!
About 3 minutes later my doc walked in. And about 10 minutes later my bestie, Alisha. They barely missed it.
But we killed it. Literally we. Me and Eric - and baby Gigi.
She's getting a lot of love - which is good because we have a lot to give.
You may have heard about my fall. You want to hear it all?
I didn't want to go to clinical on Saturday. I was sick and had spent 2.5 hours the night before in Urgent Care being tested for the flu. It was negative and my WBC count was normal. Regardless of the fact that I felt like I had been hit by a bus my instructor encouraged me to at least show up. I can only miss one day and I need to save that day for my baby-recovery.
I didn't get to sleep that night until midnight and woke at 5am to see how I was feeling. I grudgingly put on my scrubs, tried to eat a good breakfast, popped a couple tylenol, and headed out the door.
I felt okay once I got there and as I started working I felt better and better besides the intense pressure of a baby's head on my cervix. It was a good pressure though. I encouraged it by staying on my feet.
Around 10am I was helping my nurse wrap a patient's leg and started to feel quite light-headed, dizzy, hot. I knew I needed to sit. I got out of there and tried to make it to a chair in a dictation room. The next thing I knew my face slapped to the ground and I felt pain in my knees. I remember thinking - why does my face hurt?? It felt like a dream. A pharmacist saw me and helped me up. He told me I fainted. My pants tore and my face hurt. I think I was pretty dazed for a minute, though I denied it at the time. I texted my instructor and Easy:
Passed out and fell on my face. Don't worry. I'm okay.
Of course E was calling immediately and my instructor was there within seconds.
I was ordered to stay put and work on my care plan for the rest of the day and luckily I was in a hospital and surrounded by people who took really good care of me.
Man, I hope I don't have to go back this weekend.
Send me some good labor vibes please! C'mon baby!!
My due date is Saturday the 17th. Last Wednesday I was 50% effaced and dilated to a 2. Baby's head is definitely down. I will have the baby no later than Monday the 19th, as I have a scheduled induction for that day.
it hit me that the next thing "on my list" is to have a baby. the problem is that i'm not ready. i've been so distracted. too distracted. and i felt that it was too late to mend it. that i wouldn't have enough time to get ready for this birth.
i thought of that moment during childbirth where you "hit the wall." it's a rough moment. it's where you literally feel like you can't go on. it was mild with my first, but with MaeMae it was real. and it was scary. that moment played over and over in my head last night. all i could think about was how i'm not ready. i'm not ready to surrender to it. i'm not ready to face it even though in my heart-of-hearts i know that i want a med-free birth - i thought about my epidural friends.
the thing is that i have always said how it's a mental thing. if you have mentally committed that there is no other option, then there really is no other option. you just submit to it. and it is beautiful.
so, because my husband rocks he suggested i take a time out. from now, until i have the baby, all i'm to do is focus on me and this birth. he told me not to worry about the dishes - music to my ears! he calmed and reassured me as we talked and he rubbed my back. i called kiersten today and she motivated me and related with me (they finished remodeling a house and my brother started a master's program while in the last weeks of pregnancy and first few weeks of Baby Gibbs' life).
i really can't wait to meet our Three. Baby, i'm sorry i've been so stressed/busy/distracted, but i guess that i still do have a little time to train my brain and get ready for your arrival. i can't wait to see you, hold you, smell you - know that you are all mine. unfortunately i'm totally sick. like, really sick. fever and all. so please, take your time.
Where the Gardiner's opened their windows and doors.
We smiled. The whole world smiled. Fall in Arizona!
We have been busy since then.
Dining outdoors (notice the jeans).
The little hippie in me has started composting for my garden next spring.
Unfortunately we were without our man for a few days there. Which made life here a little more hectic and lonely.
Because he took a little trip to paradise (aka Havasupai). I wanted to go, but we didn't think that would be the best idea. He has promised to take me though. Maybe in a year or when Three is old enough to be left.
Speaking of Three. We are just waiting.
(that is not he/she in the bottom of the bassinet - just another naked baby doll)