Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I'm not sure the exact times of the next events because... well...  36 hours of labor will do that to a girl. That night the OB residents weren't sure if it was my water that broke or not. It seemed as if it did, but then it didn't. Or did it? Then I felt like I peed again. And then it stopped. And then it started. But was it? And that is how the night went. They came to the conclusion that Rorie's head blocked the fluid from coming out, so that was what all the fuss was about. I was actually in labor and this baby was coming- 14 hours after my appendectomy.

That 4th of July was one I will never forget. I was in labor and it looked like my baby wanted to arrive on the 4th. On her parent's 3rd anniversary! On America's birthday! It was an exciting thought! I was sent back downstairs to Labor & Delivery to actually labor and deliver! Shockingly, I wasn't asked to switch from my bed to a transfer bed when the move happened. I was actually given a wheel chair. So thoughtful. Never did I think that I would be so thankful for a wheel chair. When we got downstairs we set up shop in our 4th hospital room in 3 days to welcome our baby girl. I'm pretty sure I knew what was going on, but I was not even close to be ready for the night I was about to experience.

Contractions started and when they started getting stronger I was given an epidural. I had planned not to have any medication while I gave birth, but one does not usually plan for an appendectomy right beforehand. My abdomen had been through enough stress and the doctors thought an epidural would be best. I obviously didn't object. The epidural wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It pinched and burned, Aaron held my hand, and then the pain was gone. But I couldn't move my lower half. Seriously, can't catch a break. Luckily, my trips to the bathroom were stalled with a lovely catheter. Ah, the little things.

The rest of the day is a blur of contractions. More epidural medication. OB residents. New nurses. There was only one point during our whole time in the hospital where Rorie went into distress. The nurse caught it quickly and helped her back to normal. My body was going crazy and she was a perfect angel. One thing that worried us was that Rorie had passed meconium into the fluid sac. The doctors told us that there would be NICU staff present at her delivery. On a positive note, we noticed that the whole left side of my belly was rock hard and bulged- my baby girl was doing her best to stay away from the operation site. Even in utero, she was super smart and caring.

As labor continued, I chugged down cran-apple juice and tried to eat ice. I hadn't eaten anything for 3 days and I knew I would need calories for pushing. My fever returned and the fatigue hit. Then I was told I couldn't drink or "eat" any more. 11:00 pm, I knew I had one hour to have a 4th of July baby. We started to do practice pushes and continued to real pushes. I could not feel my lower half for the beginning of the pushing. I don't know if you have ever tried to move a glass of water on a table with your mind, but that's what the pushing felt like. I could not feel any of my muscles and I didn't even know what I was doing. I didn't know if anything was happening or if any muscles were even contracting. It was the weirdest thing.

I started to get the hang of blind pushing and then my epidural wore off. And I was told that I had had the maximum amount and couldn't have any more. I was given a small pillow to hold over my incision site while I pushed. I started to really feel the contractions take over my belly and i became very aware of my incision. I clung to that pillow.

On July 5th, from 12:00 am to 4:39 am, the nurse, Aaron, and I were on auto-pilot. Contraction-push for 10 counts. Breathe. Aaron takes off cold towel and replaces it with a new one. Nurse takes notes on vitals. I pass out or attempt to whimper from the pain. Another contraction- push for 10 counts. Breathe. etc... My fever rose and my oxygen levels were too low. Aaron was extremely worried. I was given a mask to wear, which made every breath a hot mist in my nose. My fever made this the most annoying thing ever and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I needed to take a cold breath with the mask off. Which messed up my oxygen levels. So we added that to the auto-pilot mix. I watched the clock on the wall for the longest 4 hours of my life.

At 4:30 am, I started continuous pushing. No stopping. No breaks for breathing. It was time to get this baby out! We had already passed the 3 hour and 3.5 hour mark. The OB resident told me that they would have to do a c-section at 3 hours if the baby wasn't out. Luckily, we all had faith that I could do it. And at 4:39 am, Rorie Gwendolyn was born. 8 lbs 10 oz and 20.5 inches long! It's the weirdest thing to feel completely empty and deflated right after birth. They whisked her away to clean the meconium out of her airway. I told Aaron to go be with her and make sure she was ok. A few minutes later I heard a roar. Baby Rorie came out roaring!

Then, I was in total shock. 4 days without sleep or food. My baby was finally here. Everything hurt. She cried as I looked around the room. Everything looked different. She's ok. Everything was surreal.

Then I got freezing cold and started shaking. I couldn't stop shaking. Finally, Aaron got to hold Rorie and brought her over to see me. I hadn't even seen her yet! She was beautiful and bundled in her Daddy's arm. She blinked at me and I sat there shaking. I felt like that little boy after the dentist, "is this real life?" Wishing my body would stop. I didn't want to hold her because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to control my muscles and I would drop her.

Thankfully, after a few minutes in a warm blanket I got to hold my baby. She was perfect. I asked if we could try nursing. We had to set her up, being careful of my incision site, on a pile of pillows. She was a natural at nursing. I was so proud of my baby and so exhausted at the same time. Aaron went with the nurses and took her up to the nursery. And then I fell asleep from exhaustion. 

We enjoyed the rest of our hospital stay immensely. Lots of visits from friends, doctors, nurses, surgeons. Yummy food. Cable TV. And special bonding time with our newest family member. 

The story of Rorie is ever-changing, never boring, and always an adventure. And it has been from the start.

1 comment:

  1. That was awesome Chels. Rorie is so lucky to have such an amazing mom. You and Aaron are very blessed to have such a happy, smart, sweet, and beautiful little girl. I can't believe it's almost been a year since all of this happened!!! Love you.