Rosemary Joyce Nycum born on a Tuesday night at 7:34pm, January 21st 2014.
It feels like so much has happened in such a short time. That is partly why I hate waiting for a baby at the end of my pregnancies. I know so much is about to happen. More things than I would like will be packed into 24 hours of night and day. There is no way to work ahead and change some of the dirty diapers ahead of time or take some of those long nights and space them out. The most planning I could really do was continue to wash the laundry in hopes that my water would break while hanging up the last clean shirt.
Of course, no matter how much planning or anticipation I had, I did not know when this baby would come. And she came in her own time. I was so happy for that. With Blanche I had to be induced because of pre-eclampsia, but this time I was given the go for not only full term and late carry, but Tuesday morning when I went to the doctor sure that I was in labor, they sent me home. The Dr. told me I was so low (and probably 80-90% effaced) that if I went to the hospital they would keep me. But my breathing was steady so she basically told me to go home and labor. This is why I love Austin, Texas. Or at least that a city like Austin has a OBGYN office that supports natural labor. For someone like me who longs to do things naturally but medically that can't always be the case.
I never wrote out my detailed birth story with Blanche. I told my mother in law it would have been a novel. And who wants to read about 30 hours of complications? I did write things in Blanche's baby book, and if she ever asks, I will be ready with a story of how she beautifully changed our lives. I am writing out the detailed story in my journal this time for Rosemary. I think the thing that is staying with me very clearly about this labor was that although things weren't exactly the way I would have liked, that I was able to do so much more on my own this time.
I labored at home from 5am-3pm, including a trip to the doctor's office and back. I was able to eat lunch at home while in labor and to walk with Andrew while laboring. It was a very different experience because I had never been able to labor naturally. Once I was crying through and between some contractions I felt like it was time to go into the hospital. I had been told I was going to be able to be mobile in the hospital as well, so I was just wanting to make my way down the stairs and into the van before the contractions were too close.
For whatever reason, sitting during a contraction was the most unbearable thing during my labor. I stood almost all day at home. Now looking back, I think it was the pressure from a very low baby head, still with the bag of waters intact, and a bladder infection making the pressure seem pretty unbearable.
The unfortunate thing about being checked into the hospital was once I was there they read that my blood pressure was climbing. Because I was considered high risk after having preeclampsia they had to take it seriously. Meaning I needed to lay on my side. I swear that looking at that bed and being told I had to lay down after I had stood my whole labor was like looking at a bed of knives. On the way to the hospital I told Andrew through my contractions I just kept telling myself, "You can do this" in my head. I am not a big screamer/ cussing crazy woman while in labor. But I will say that nice little phrase in my head changed to "Get me off my f-ing back." I was in so much pain and all I wanted to do was stand. This kind of killed the natural labor thing for me. I felt like if I couldn't move how I needed to because of medical reasons, then heck I needed something. Funny enough I was only at the hospital for about four hours before Rosemary was born. And most of that time was spent grabbing Andrew and my nurse Emily's hand through contractions and sort of begging that an epidural could happen. We kept waiting for the Dr. and everyone wanted to talk everything out. Long story short, while getting my epidural, and being able to sit up, my water burst, they emptied my bladder, and within fifteen minutes I felt like I needed to push. I guess I used like 4cc of the epidural or something. Just enough to release a lot of the pressure and then to push Rosemary out.
Andrew warned everyone I was a good pusher. What we weren't expecting was shoulder dystocia. Probably from how fast I pushed her down and out. Maybe a little bit before she was ready. All I know was that I went from a rather quiet and strong laboring woman to having a nurse on top of me while I yelled, "God get this baby out of me!" And then right when everyone started to wonder if this was going to be a real emergency, she was out. And she was on my belly. I saw her face and looked over to Andrew to tell me if she was a boy or girl. He has been the first one to see with both babies. And has announced it to the room of nurses and doctors. I would never trade those memories or experiences for having an ultrasound tech tell us in a dark room. Its more magical with all the bright lights shinning.
Even with complications I didn't tear and was sitting up before too long and ready to nurse. She latched well and had her first little bright eyed nursing session. I felt that new mother high. All of the sudden I went from so much pain to wanting a million more babies. Or at least making it to our decided "four."
More things have happened in these first few days. A second trip to the hospital. High blood pressure. Crying from exhaustion and medication that makes it hard to be an alert new mother at three am.
But I have always liked to try and focus on the beautiful things if I can. The hard things in life are right there in one's face. But during a hot shower while I am alone I can start to remember how lucky I am. The hard things right now are late nights, not feeling great, maybe messes and a fear of not being able to meet all these new needs around me. But I remember how good God has been to me. And I know that when I feel weak He is there. I know some think that Christianity and things that Christians say may just sound like cheesy cliches. But to me it looks different than an ugly coffee mug with a bible verse on it. To me it looks like crying because I have to go back to the hospital. I have to say goodbye to Blanche yet again and we pack our bags. I feel so sad and emotional. I want to just all be together and happy and healthy with my family. But when I see Andrew, and how he has written my blood pressure readings all day in little handwriting on our calendar. How he has rushed around taking care of Blanche, and how worried he is for me. I see how much he truly loves me. I see my in laws there at a moments notice to help and family and friends texting me that they are praying. I see that God is love. And that love is what is surrounding me. That love is pulling me through. And its teaching me how to love others in the same way. That waking up at three am to nurse and look into wide awake newborn eyes is what God does with me. And all of the sudden it makes sense. All of it.