|The last bump pic.|
"Oh my, have you been waiting long?" They ask. "Where is Maria? She is supposed to be on shift now! No one was here to help you. Oh my!" They went on and on, until another contraction came and my grunting and groaning prodded them into a very medium paced course of action.
And then the porter, the poor porter arrived. The man who had to convince me to sit in that wheelchair. Who came up with this policy? Don't all the books say a labouring woman should walk and move to bring the baby down? I tried to explain to him that after this was all over I was pretty sure I'd never sit down again, what with all the busyness of being a parent and the life sentence by hemrhoid I feared was about to be mine. I told him I was just preparing myself for a life on two feet and would be happy to walk myself to labour and delivery, but he was having none of it. Sensing I had found a man who wanted to do things by the book, I tried to negotiate. I said I would get in the chair only if he promised we could pause so that I could stand up if I needed to. He didn't seem to understand that the world would stop turning if I couldn't stand and sway my hips and he started blathering on about how it would be best to get me upstairs as quickly as possible where there were people who would help me. Wrong tactic buddy, no one could help me now, no one and nothing but the graceful, hip swaying dance of the tropics. Clearly he wasn't about to be swayed by a (normally) petite blond, so that's when I went gangsta on him, and he smiled and continued to insist I get in the chair, which I did, like any gangsta would.
Once we arrived in the delivery room, my new obsession began. Gone was my fixation on hip swaying and here to stay was my fixation on poop. You're probably thinking I was worried about poop appearing on the delivery table, as so many are, but you would be wrong. The pressure had become so intense that I felt sure if I could just poop, all my woes would be righted, and we could get on with having this baby. But no, said the nurse, I can't let you poop, it's not time to push. She did tell me that I was at 6 cm, and that when it was time to push, the poop would come on it's own, which gave me little comfort, but I was about to find out that "comfort" isn't a word my nurse was familiar with.
To distract me, my doula suggested a nice warm shower, so Jimmy got changed into his swim stuff and we prepared to enter the warm water. I got in, and tried to do the lean and hip sway, hitting my head on the many safety bars attached to the walls and promptly got right back out. Jimmy complained about the fact that he had gotten changed for this two second dip, and I felt really, really, bad about inconveniencing him. Or not.
So, leaving the pint sized shower stall behind, I made my way to the bed where we found we were making good progress. Nine and a half centimeters! I nearly leapt with joy at the thought that the
I continued to gently murmur through each contraction, keeping my voice at an always pleasant volume. After a contraction passed, I would exclaim that it wasn't that I was in pain, there was just so much pressure, and when would I be allowed to poop?! Nurse Comfort, sensing she would have to do something to motivate me to continue, checked things out and confirmed it was time to push. Halleluah! So with the next contraction, I pushed. Nurse Comfort stood at the foot of the bed, arms crossed and eyes narrowed. And she stayed there until the next contraction when I pushed again. I looked at her, expecting some kind of encouragement or update on the arrival of the poop, and she offered up a real pearl.
"Shelby, I'm going to need a little more oomph," said she.
Even Jimmy, the man who will, by the end of this tale utter words no man should utter in a delivery room knew that was not the most encouraging or instructive thing to say.
Thanks goodness for my doula, because had I only my nurse's directions to guide me, I would still be in that delivery room waiting for my baby to learn how to crawl so she could enter the world under her own power. As it was, I ended up pushing for about an hour and a half, and I was exhausted. We all thought this would be a fairly small baby, maybe six or seven pounds. I don't know why we thought this, based on all the DQ Blizzards I ate throughout my pregnancy, but we did. So while my mom was holding my hand, giving words of encouragement, her thoughts were not so encouraging. She told me afterwards she was thinking we were in big trouble if I couldn't push this little six pound baby out!
But we slowly made progress, and soon my entourage was exclaiming things like, "I can see the head!" and "Look at that unibrow!" which motivated me enormously.
And all of a sudden, she was there on my chest. I remember being so surprised when I heard she was a girl. She looked so big to me! She proved our hunches wrong again, weighing in at a healthy eight pounds two ounces. There were many tears and exclamations when she arrived. And I thought the hardest work was over. But no, there was a small issue with the placenta. After waiting about 45 minutes for it to deliver to no avail, my doctor gave me some laughing gas so that she could call in a large man wearing soccer cleats to jump up and down on my abdomen to "help things along". So, placenta delivered, there was just one small item left to take care of involving a surgical sewing kit.
I have never had stitches ever in my life. I hate needles and am afraid of every and any surgical procedure. So, still high on laughing gas, I began loudly voicing my fears to the room. Jimmy, proud new father, comfortably seated in the rocker with his daughter offered some words of encouragement.
"Remember the time I had to get ten stitches in my lip? I did just fine, and you will too."
My doctor (bless her heart) threw him a death glare and said in the iciest tone she could muster, "This is just a slightly more delicate area."
And I survived her handiwork.
We settled in to get to know our new daughter, Jimmy and I and my burst blood vessels. Jimmy had a couple of hours to spend with us before he got back on the road to Calgary to win his playoff game, even scoring a goal in the process. It was fun to watch online in the hospital, and Gracie got several mentions during the broadcast. Jimmy made it back to the hospital by about two am to spend the rest of the night with us. I was very lucky to have my family stay with me during the day, and my sister through most of the night so that I wasn't on my own.
|Ready to go home.|