Pardon me while I show off my Mom-ness here... a bit of a collection of Sweet Pea related stuff. (Not unlike the box of keepsakes I have that should be in her baby book!)
I still remember that pregnancy and delivery and the long, long nights I was up with her because she wouldn't sleep and how, merely last year (and sometimes even now), she was the child who wouldn't go to sleep at night and cried and cried. Somehow her brother and sister could always sleep through her "don't want to go to bed" tantrums. The other night, from downstairs, Hubby and I heard her talking to her brother who did not want to go to sleep, saying "Buddy, you need to go to sleep now. Everyone is sleeping. Go to sleep." (and don't think we didn't roll our eyes at that little bit of the pot calling the kettle black!)
Since the beginning of her existence, lil Miss Sweet Pea has challenged me at every turn. The very definition of "Sugar and Spice", she can push just the right button to antagonize me, drive me to my limit and beyond, and minutes later be the sweetest little brown-eyed sprite on the planet. There are many days where I feel she will be the death of me, and many others where I just can't imagine my good fortune. She is so very different from her siblings, and sometimes I worry that I'll "lose" her when she gets older. Her Tiny Royal Fartiness rarely misses anything, and will talk your ear off if you're not careful. (What? She's my kid, I can brag!)
A special blog friend of mine once said this about Sweet Pea. I love this quote and will cherish it forever. (truly!)
Sweet Pea has a special spark. She'll glow brilliantly someday (if you can just keep her from torching the place in the meantime)
Written days after Sweet Pea was born:
Being a mother of two has been an adventure so far. Priorities are so different now. For instance, I've discovered that sometimes there is nothing more satisfying than watching a tiny bitty baby finally emit one of the loudest farts you've ever heard and then fill a diaper to capacity after days of struggling with gas. The grunts and the facial expressions are so unapologetic, too.
If you're interested in this sort of thing, here is Sweet Pea's birth story. (Originally posted here) The story was originally posted on my old journal site. Check out the last line -- it's completely true to this day.
"Yesterday's appointment showed no change/progress towards labor. I was instructed to make another appointment for Monday. More waiting. I am now looking for a large vat of chocolate ice cream and hot fudge to plunge myself into in an attempt to put myself into a sugar coma until this baby decides to come out."
Ok, so that wasn't exactly truthful, folks. The thing is, we (The Hubby, the doctor and I) had made plans for inducing delivery on Friday morning, July 26. We were warned that it may not work, though. I was a bit depressed, but hopeful for Friday. If this didn't work, I would not have been able to graciously handle people calling over the weekend to see how things had gone.
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
The appointment with the doctor showed no change/progress towards labor. I left the office feeling (again) that I would be pregnant and uncomfortable forever. I was getting more emotional with each passing day, but had convinced myself that I would be pregnant for at least another week. This despite the bit of hope I carried for a successful induction on Friday morning. The doctor had very clearly warned me that the induction might not work and that I might be sent home. At this point, it was a chance we were willing to take. We chose the morning of Friday, July 26 right after we dropped Punkin off at school. We did not tell Punkin our plans, in case the induction didn't 'take', but we made plans with a family friend to pick her up from school in case it did.
Friday, July 26, 2002
The Hubby and I prepared Punkin for school, and I did my best not to think about what the day may or may not bring. I had been on an emotional roller coaster and was by now pretty nervous about being induced. Not nervous enough, however, to cancel the 8:00am appointment. At 6:15am, a nurse called to say that Labor and Delivery at the Maternity Care Center was now a "full house." The planned induction would have to be postponed until 10:00am. That gave me two more hours to wait. And to think. Not good. After dropping Punkin off at school, I opted for a nap. Time would pass faster and I wouldn't be getting myself all worked up. At 8:30am the ringing phone woke me up. It was the nurse calling back to say that we could now come in whenever we wanted. Sixty minutes later, we were at the hospital, registered and waiting for the doctor in the very room that Punkin was born in. We took that as a good sign.
Cervadil was applied and now we were waiting for labor to commence. The Hubby watched TV while I read the book I brought. I had had some contractions that morning already, and still felt them coming, but not on a consistent basis. The doctor came in to check on me now and then. Around 1:30pm or so, the doctor reported that there had been some progress, but not enough to warrant our sitting around the hospital any longer. I was being sent home, but was not as upset as I thought I would be. The doctor said we would "go for broke" on Monday if I had not delivered by then. She also added that she thought we would be back later Friday night. That is something this doctor hadn't said before, even while the other two doctors had been saying "any day now." She explained that even though I was going home after they monitored the baby's progress for a while longer, the medicine was still applied and doing it's job. At 2:30pm, we were on our way home.
I called Erika (the aforementioned family friend) when we returned home to let her know she didn't need to be 'on call' any longer. Nothing was happening, and we would pick up Punkin from school tonight. I sent off a couple of emails, and checked in on the message board I can't live without. As I was posting a reply, I felt a definite muscle 'twang'. It was a strange, slightly painful feeling that took me by surprise. I'd been having contractions for weeks, and no longer bothered to time them because nothing had been happening. Now, however, the contractions were ever so slightly more noticeable, and when I decided to time them, I realized that they were coming two minutes apart!
I mentioned this little factoid to The Hubby and called the doctor's office to let them know. I was still a little disbelieving of what was happening, but when they told us to get back to the hospital quickly, we did as we were told. I called Erika back to ask her to pick up Punkin after all, and very briefly told her what was going on. On the way to the hospital, I called Punkin's school to let them know that Erika would be picking her up. We also told Punkin that we were going to the hospital to have the baby. She was more excited that Erika was coming to pick her up than she was about the baby.
By 3:30pm we were back at the hospital. The doctor joked that we didn't have to come back so soon just because she said we'd be back tonight. We told her what had happened and I was once again "wired for sound" with an IV, the monitor for my contractions, and the monitor for the baby's heartbeat. The contractions started coming more frequently (after I was given Pitocin) and with more intensity. Around 5:00pm or so I was given an epidural, and was grateful for it.
At some point, I began to have the shakes. That had happened during Punkin's delivery, too. I was given a warm blanket (although I didn't feel cold) and the shakes went away. I don't remember when the doctor broke my water, but I know she did. I'm not quite sure on the timing of some things, but I do know that a few minutes after I was given the epidural, more nurses came into the room, the monitor for the baby's heartbeat was closely watched and the doctor and the anesthiesologist started looking concerned. I was given an oxygen mask to wear and asked to roll onto my right side, then my left where they told me to stay. The concern of the medical staff transferred to me at that point and I looked up at The Hubby and asked him what was going on. He in turn asked the doctor. Her reply of "I will tell you, but I can not do it right now" was not a comfort at all. I heard the words "...may have to do a C-Section..." and my eyes flew to The Hubby, and I just thought "Nooooo". That was my biggest fear with this pregnancy. I sailed through pregnancy and delivery of Punkin with no trouble or worries at all. With this pregnancy, I was nervous about the delivery and that the baby would be alright.
A few minutes later, the baby's heartbeat stabilized and the doctor explained that the baby's heartbeat had dropped drastically and did not appear to be bouncing back. That was the reason for all the sudden scurrying and attention. I was relieved that the crisis seemed to have passed and continued to lay on my side for a while. The oxygen mask was removed at some point, and the contractions were increasing in intensity. The medical staff left and The Hubby and I talked a bit about what had happened. He then told me "They still may have to do a C-Section" and in my own mind, I denied it. I didn't want to think about it. Some time later, I asked for and was given more pain medication. The anesithiesiologist was explaining something to me, but I didn't really understand what he was saying. The baby's heartbeat dropped again, the medical staff returned and again I was put on oxygen. I could feel my legs slowly going numb, and I felt like I had to push. I told the nurses and within a couple of minutes, the doctor asked me to begin pushing. I tried to push three times, and it didn't feel like anything was happening. I heard the doctor say "It's not working, we have to get that baby out of there. We have to do a C-Section."
The uncontrollable shaking started again immediately after I heard that, and I began to cry. I felt like it was my fault that they had to do a C-Section. I felt like I made a mistake in requesting the additional pain medication. I felt like I had put the baby's health at risk so that I could be more comfortable. What kind of mother does something like that? The Hubby kept telling me it would be ok. I just laid there shaking and crying as the monitors were removed and the medical staff prepared things for surgery. When we had the earlier scare, I was adamant about The Hubby being in the room with me. I needed him there. I was very scared.
As they wheeled me out of Labor and Delivery, I kept trying to move my legs. By the time I was in the operating room (a thirty second trip) my legs were completely numb. I could feel my foot slip off the gurney, but I couldn't pull it back. When they asked if I could get onto the operating table, I weakly replied "no." Seconds later, I felt completely helpless as I was lifted onto the table.
The top half of me was still shaking uncontrollably as they strapped my arms down and prepared me for surgery. I could hear the OR techs counting instruments and supplies and the doctors talking about my case. The only person talking directly to me was the anesthesiologist, and that was only intermittently. I told him The Hubby had to be there and he said he would be. I asked if they would put a screen up so that I couldn't see what was happening and he said they would. Then he told me that I should feel the pressure of the doctors performing the surgery, but not any pain. I kept craning my head around to look for The Hubby. It seemed like forever until he arrived in a white paper gown, hat and mask. I felt a little better with him there and tried to reach him before I remembered my arms were still strapped down.
I heard the doctors say "...this is a big baby..." and remember that they were surprised at her size, some nurses were even guessing the weight. Then, "it's a girl." A fact I felt I already knew. I felt the same way when Punkin was born, too.
Oh, did our new little girl sound mad! That had to be a pretty rude awakening for her. One minute she's all snuggly and warm in a nice cozy place. The next minute, she's yanked out into the chilly, and well lit operating room. I looked at The Hubby and said she sounded like somebody stepped on a cat.
The Hubby was invited over to see the baby as she was tended to. I couldn't see anything because of the 'blue screen' that was put up at my chin, but I could tell that our baby was in the right hand corner of the room past my feet. He was over there for a little bit and came back just before they brought our little girl up to me so I could see her for the first time. I saw this (now quiet) little 'burrito baby' all tightly swaddled and wearing a little hat. I reached out to touch her, only to be reminded again that my arms were still strapped to the table. I was relieved that she was alright, and that the worst part was over. I remember thinking that now was the time for the healing to begin. Our baby and I had just made it through the one thing that had scared me the most, and we were both ok.
Sweet Pea was 8 pounds, 12 ounces and 21 inches long. She popped out with a head of brown hair and a pair of blue/grey eyes.
The Hubby went off with the nurses and the baby while the doctors stitched me up, all the while exclaiming at the size of the baby, and how I didn't look that big, and just where was I hiding that baby? I just said "You tell me, you're the one who found her." That's when the doctor told me that there was no way I could have delivered Sweet Pea 'naturally', she was just too big. I would have had a C-Section no matter what.
Some time later, I was wheeled to recovery and tended to by a couple of nurses. When The Hubby came in, the very first thing I said to him was "Hey, honey... I get another two weeks of maternity leave because of the C-Section!" He just laughed at me. We talked a bit about what we had just been through, how the baby was, the people he was going to call, and where the list of phone numbers was located. He was then off to make the calls while I 'recovered' for a time and was then wheeled to the room I would be in for the remainder of my stay.
I was still shaking, and was told that sometimes happened, but the shaking should stop within the hour. The Hubby made all the calls and came to my room for a little while. It had been a helluva day and a helluva a roller coaster ride. We were both exhausted. Neither of us had eaten anything since lunch, and it was now close to midnight. We agreed that The Hubby should go home and get some sleep, and relieve Erika of babysitting duty. He and Punkin would return in the morning.
There were now four of us. We are the parents of two little girls now. Something tells me that the adventure has only begun.
... and I didn't realize how right I was...
Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!