Be prepared..it’s a long one 🙂
So Christmas Eve I peed on a stick. I stared at it for what felt like an eternity. Then, I danced. No one else was around, so I picked up my little furry ones and twirled with them in the kitchen. I decided to tell daddy-to-be Christmas morning…
Christmas Eve night, I told my sister-in-law and she helped sneak me virgin cranberry soda drinks all night long. I love her 🙂
Christmas morning I peed on another stick. It was just as amazing as the first time. I stuck that stick (kinda gross I know) in daddy-to-be’s stocking. He about fainted. On the drive down to my parent’s house he asked me, “are we always going to be this happy?” 🙂
Christmas day was a whirlwind, we hosted Christmas dinner, daddy-to-be kept following me around telling me to be careful and not to bend over or lift anything heavy 🙂
New Years came and went. I can’t believe no one could tell my “cosmo” was a fake 🙂 I remember thinking to myself, “our baby is going to be BORN this year.” This little fact made the 2011 countdown extra special.
I really loved the period of time between finding out we were having a baby, and telling everyone we were having a baby. We were the only ones in the world (besides my sister-in-law and God) that knew this little wonder was growing inside me. I remember one night we talked about our favorite childhood memories. Mine…were the forts I used to make in our living room with my brothers. So, we built a fort in our living room.
I would make Dave take pictures of my “bump.” I seriously remember him taking this picture, I was so excited because I thought I was “showing.”
I laugh now looking at that picture. That was no bump.
Now THIS was a bump.
One of the best moments of my pregnancy was finding out Ry was a girl. I took that whole day off of work, and went…shopping, duh.
Telling everyone was a lot of fun too 🙂
I loved being pregnant.
If you know me at all, you know I am a planner, and while David did his best to remind me that this was the one thing I could not exactly plan, I did my best to do so anyway. One of the first things we did was hire a doula. Having France, from Rightful Birthing, as a part of our birthing journey was one of the best things we did.
France helped me come up with a “birth plan.” In my birth plan (which let’s be honest, was several pages long), I clearly laid out exactly what I hoped my birth experience would look like. I made several copies and forced, I mean asked, my OB/GYN to scan it into my medical record so that everyone would read it. I hoped to avoid pain medications, I was adamant against a cesarean, and the most important part of my plan (which was bolded highlighted and italicized) was that I wished to hold baby Rylie skin-to-skin immediately after she was born.
So, 40 weeks came and passed and still no baby. By this point I was getting impatient and so incredibly ready to meet this little life in my belly that had been hiccuping, twirling, and bruising my ribs for the last couple of months. I seemed to have a lot of practice contractions while in the car, so a couple times Dave and I would jump in the car, stick in an old burned CD I’d made him in highschool, and just drive…hoping that the practice contractions would decide to get a little more serious.
I had been seeing Jamie my acupuncturist from Whole Family Wellness for a couple of weeks, and at my last visit with her she asked, “are you ready to meet her yet?” I was VERY ready to meet her, and on my drive home from that visit my contractions started.
They started around 5 PM on Labor Day (no pun intended), and I spent that night at home bouncing on a birthing ball watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills while David slept (I told him to sleep, he had a long day ahead of him). We went into triage early the next morning. They told me the last thing a 41 weeker who has been having contractions for 12 hours wants to hear, “you’re only one centimeter dilated, go home, come back later.”
We went home. My water broke. We went back.
The next 12 hours are a bit of a blur. I do remember one thing though, I never pulled out the birth plan. I eventually got an epidural. I was so exhausted from laboring for so long, and in so much pain, I needed some relief. They gave me a low dose, so I was still able to move my legs and feel the contractions, but without the intensity.
Poor Dave. It must have been the hardest thing in the world for him to watch, and not be able to do anything. One of the only things I remember about the 12 hours of laboring in the hospital was when David tried to feed me ice chips. He didn’t realize that cranberry juice had been in the cup. He spilled it all over me. Luckily, we all laughed.
After 24 hours (O.M.G.), I finally got to start pushing. I pushed, and I pushed, and the epidural wasn’t working, and I pushed, and screamed, and cried. Two hours of pushing later, I knew in my heart that our baby was not going to enter the world the way I had imagined. I was pushing with everything I had, and she wasn’t moving. My doctor gave me 3 options, 1) Keep pushing, but I don’t guarantee she’s going to come out this way, 2) forceps or vacuum, but I can’t guarantee that will work either, or 3) cesarean.
Cesarean. I cried. My mom stroked my hair. I remember David having a look of relief. I closed my eyes and did a little self-talk. “I can’t have a cesarean. I don’t have any other options. I won’t get to hold Rylie right after she’s born. This is the safest way for her to be born. I won’t get to see her take her first breath. All that matters is that she comes out and takes her first breath.”
I kept my eyes closed while they wheeled me away. The room was really cold. David looked cute in his scrubs. It all happened very fast, and before I knew it, I heard her. My daughter. I heard her! She cried once. Dave later told me she just kept blinking, looking around at everyone. I remember someone (I don’t remember who) saying, “She’s a big one!”
I remember having the hardest time opening my eyes. I was so exhausted. Then David said, “Cass…look.” There she was. I already knew her. It was like seeing an old friend. Before I got pregnant I had imagined her, when I wanted to get pregnant I had prayed for her, while I was pregnant I had spoken to her. We were soul mates. She was perfect. She was chubby. I was in love.
I’ll never forget when the last nurse left our little hospital room and we were left alone, just the three of us for the first time. Dave and I would just study her, and hold her, and kiss her perfect little nose. I loved those first couple of nights in the hospital. We never slept, we were exhausted, we had never been so happy.
It didn’t happen how I imagined, in fact, it was kinda the opposite of how I imagined. I didn’t get to hold her the moment she was born, but I get to hold her for the rest of my life (at least until she breaks my back or turns into a teenager and doesn’t want me near her). She has completely changed everything. I’m so blessed to be her mother.
Happy Birthday Rylie 🙂 09/06/2011