09 October 2016

Ruthie's Birth Story

Well, Ruthie turned 9 months old yesterday, so I guess it's time I document her birth in greater detail than I did on Instagram.

This pregnancy was brutal.  You know how you can have a wonderful and rich life, but because of hormones and the internal chemicals they get wriggling around, at certain points of your life you are unable to feel the wonder and richness of your life?  That was April 2015 to January 2016 for me.  So, needless to say, as Jeff and I were riding the elevator to the 2nd floor of the Mission Viejo Hospital, en route to the LABOR AND DELIVERY WARD, for my induction at 7:00 AM on January 8, I was absolutely giddy.  We got off the elevator and all 1_ 9 pounds of me did some pirouettes and twirls and prances toward the nurse's station.  I was so grateful to have finally arrived at my induction day. Even though we later paid through the nose for such services, they escorted us to the room and showed me the gown I was to put on and I was thinking things like, "Really??  For me??  WHAT WONDERFUL PEOPLE!" Again, I was just so happy that this was all really going to go down -- I was going to check a pregnancy at the door and go home with a baby.  Do I make my point? I have even more stories about the gleeful quality of the end of the pregnancy, but I'm done with them for now.

I don't remember my nurse's name.  She was the most no-nonsense nurse of my 3 deliveries.  Super nice, though, and we started getting all plugged in.  Dr. Capobianco came in and, knowing how greatly anticipated this day was, came to the foot of my bed and grabbed my blanketed toes and had them do a little dance.  "You made it!" he said.  He said he could break my water now, or we could wait until 12:30 PM when he was done assisting with a C-section.  My nurse had strongly recommended waiting until after my epidural was coursing to get my water broken, just in case the anesthesiologist was delayed and I started having big labor (and duh pain) before he could get to me, but the prospect of waiting until the afternoon for my labor to start seemed silly.  I rolled the dice and POP went my little water.  And it was all good, cuz my lovely anesthesiologist (whose name I also forgot) gave me the juice pretty quick.

I was so excited to just relax and let the contractions rock and roll while I was blissfully unaware, and I caught some sleep.  My sisters and sisters-in-law and close friends and mom texted every so often to check in, and I was happy as a clam, relishing what I knew could very well be my final delivery. Things progressed slowly at first, and then a quick race to the end.  She was ready to come!  The nurse called my doctor, and a few minutes later, the power went out.  That caught me by surprise.  I remember thinking, "WHAT?  The power can't go out in a HOSPITAL, I'm about to have a BABY!"

The generators brought it back on several seconds later, but the monitor that showed the baby's heart rate and contractions didn't.  The nurse said it was no problem.  We waited for the doctor, and I was very blissfully unaware (still).  I didn't notice, but Jeff realized our nurse was pacing, calling the doc every couple of minutes, and kept marching to the window where she'd be able to see him coming from his office across the street.  She seemed to be getting nervous that the baby's heart rate was plummeting or there was some sort of distress and we'd have no idea.  She was putting on gloves and telling me we'd start pushing without Dr. Capo when he thankfully came trotting through the parking lot.  She and Jeff were relieved and I was just lying there enjoying my epidural.

In came the doc in all his scrubbed glory, and I began to push.  Just 2 pushes, just a few minutes, and she was in my arms.  Pink as a Mentos, with a shock of almost-black hair like mine.  After holding her for a minute, they snatched her up to weigh and measure her.  She was 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and 19.5 inches. Once she got nursing, she stopped screaming :).  How do I go on from here in the story, though?  Anyone who's gone through child birth, or held a mother's hand while their child came barreling into the world, knows how inexplicably charged it is, how heart-wrenchingly wonderful.  Going back to each step of the day in my memory just makes my heart swell, swirl, and hurt a little.  What I wouldn't give to relive it again and again.  Ruthie was beautiful and sweet.  I just knew she was a good one, and I had been waiting to meet her for so long.  It took all day to decide on her name (it was between 3 in the end), but once Ruth was chosen it attached to her quickly.  The next two days were some of the best of my life, me and my Ruthie girl in our little recovery wing hospital bubble.  

She is the apple of our eyes, and we love her every single day.