For those who have known me during the last nine months, you know that my pregnancy with little Baby Lev was basically uneventful and entirely too easy. Sure, there were bouts of nausea, sleepless nights and some discomfort here and there. But, overall, when compared with many other pregnancies that I’ve been witness to, it was really pretty mellow.
So it came as a bit of a surprise when the last weeks of the pregnancy started to get a little hairy. Not so much with the baby, more so with every other aspect of our lives. Everything just started getting really tricky and we were faced with some major challenges that we were in no way expecting. Homeowners insurance issues, Matt’s car going kaput, the decision to delay Matt’s return to school. Then, on the day before our scheduled induction, we had to make the heart wrenching decision to put our cat to sleep.
Poor Charlie wasn’t even two years old and we had just had to put down another cat almost exactly one year ago. (Note to anyone adopting a cat from a shelter – be absolutely sure that they have been thoroughly tested for things like feline leukemia. Don’t just trust the shelter who said they took care of that. Have it done for yourself with a vet you trust.)
To say we were ready to get off the crazy whirlwind roller coaster ride that life had thrown us on for that couple of weeks is the understatement of the century. With everything that had gone wrong, we walked into the hospital with a sense of cautious optimism for what the day would hold. Little Miss Thing was already a week late and we were so anxious to see her sweet face.
Sleep the night before was elusive, so dragging myself out of bed at 7 a.m. after only a couple of hours of not-at-all-restful sleep was a bit of a challenge. Couple that with the huge amount of nerves and anxiety I had about what was in store for me that day and I was a bit of a wreck.
But, go to the hospital we did. Bright and early and with nothing but a banana on my stomach, we got checked in and situated in our hospital room and got the show on the road. Doc came in and broke my water, then a short time later we started the Pitocin drip to get my contractions going. I managed to let the contractions go to work for a couple of hours before I called for the epidural. Hey, I’m no martyr and I never held any delusions that I would be able to handle full-on labor contractions. To me a couple of hours felt like all the due diligence I needed to perform to have given myself a “full” birthing experience. I have the utmost respect for any woman who can manage that without any drugs. Seriously. They’re superheroes.
With contractions underway, it seemed like things were progressing fairly well. A bit slow, perhaps, but well. It wasn’t until my dilation stalled out between 5 and 6 centimeters that we began to worry a little. I was already at 4 centimeters when I checked in to the hospital that morning, so the fact that things hadn’t moved along farther than that by late afternoon was discouraging.
At about 4:30 p.m., the doc came back to check on me. When she walked in the room she immediately said that she had a feeling there was a positioning issue. Sure enough, the baby had gotten turned all kinds of crooked and sideways and was basically stuck in the birth canal. My doctor explained it much better than that, but honestly I was too worried to really grasp what she was saying to me. All I knew was that my doctor just told me my baby was stuck and there was no way to correct her position.
About five minutes later we decided to go ahead and get a c-section under way to get our little girl out before she began to feel any distress.
Let me tell you – when you spend your whole pregnancy intending on delivering your baby one way and then have to change plans on a dime to accommodate for a fairly scary situation, it can really rattle you. I was so stunned I wasn’t even able to cry – though I certainly wanted to. All I could think about was my baby girl and that we had to get her. Like, now.
Less than an hour after making the call, she was with us. Sparing you the majority of the gory details I do want to note that it ended up being especially good that we had to have the c-section. Her umbilical cord had wrapped around her three times – one time each around her leg, chest and neck. Luckily, it hadn’t caused any damage, but it would have been a significant complication during a vaginal delivery. It also may explain why she wasn’t dropping during the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy. She just wasn’t able to.
And, with that, all of the drama was finally finished. We spent the next several days with a fair amount of paranoia in the back of our minds that something was still going to go wrong. Much to our relief, that never happened. She’s a perfect little girl with not a thing wrong with her, save for a minor bit of jaundice in her face.
It is with great joy and pride that I introduce to you our daughter, Chelsea Maya. Born January 17 at 5:35 p.m., she weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz. and measured 19.5 inches long.