Today marks 19 days since our baby girl entered the world and, as everyone says, life looks so much different on this side of the belly. As we head into our third week of parenthood, I can admit, that we do not have it all down. Everything is so much more than we expected, from the number of diapers, to how difficult and demanding breastfeeding would be. But as every parent knows, it just takes one smile, one hand hold, one cuddle in the middle of the night to make it all so worth it.
So let’s go back a few days to Wednesday, August 27th, 9am EDT in Daytona Beach, FL. After a nice four hour sleep and some real breakfast, the Pitocin was once again started and my sweet husband came to take my mother home as she had stayed with me overnight. Assured that it would be hours until we saw any action, they took off to prepare and I settled in for a day of labor. By noon, my contractions were increasing slightly, but not to the extent they had the previous night. When we reached the limit of the Pitocin drip and I was still only about 1.5 to 2 cm dilated, my nurse asked if she could try something. I believe it was called “stripping the membranes”. All I know was that it hurt terribly, but with my desperation to get things going, I was willing for them to do anything. By the time she was done we had achieved 2 cm. A few hours later, my husband and mother were back in the room, my contractions were still bearable and the nurse wanted to work on the “membranes” some more. We achieved 3cm, but at that rate, it would take days.
By the afternoon, the decision was made to break my waters, but even after that, despite an up tic in the pain, no progress was being made. After sitting on the labor ball for a while, the nurse suggested I get the epidural since it was taking 30 minutes to get one. Anyone that has ever had one of these knows the euphoric state you enter. I went to zero pain, which allowed the nurse to work my membranes again, but alas, no progress. At 8pm when my doctor arrived, after countless times of moving me side to side, my blood pressure dropping slightly and again, no progress, the decision was made. C-section time!
Within less than 40 minutes, David and I were prepped and I was on my way to the operating room. As the nurse wheeled me down, I became overwhelmed. This was it, the moment was here, my daughter was going to be born. Due to my excitement, and of course drugs, the operating room was a place of celebration and the nurses and I laughed as we prepared. I will never forget those amazing women. They held my hands, cried with me, laughed with me and we bonded in the moments before she arrived.
As for the C-section itself, it was much more painful than I had expected, and my sweet husband just walked me through it as well as the nurses who whispered everything to me until we heard those sweet cries. All I can remember is looking over to see my husband’s face as he peered at our little girl. I will never forget that look of true love, of pride, of overwhelming happiness.
Later in recovery, my baby girl, unbathed as requested for skin to skin, was brought to me. Within minutes she found her way to my breast and began to suckle and with that, a mother was also born.
The details of the next few days was a blur. We were released a day early since we were both doing so well and I found myself home. By day four, I was a swelled up mess due to the Pitocin and epidural and was hardly able to walk (notice my lovely attire including compression stockings). Nursing was hit or miss, and I cried at every drop of the hat. But the first time I saw her sweet smile and every time since that she cuddles into me, has made it one more day that we count down, one more day in the “parenthood”.
So now we are a family, and like all families, we haven’t quite worked it out, but together we are learning. Together, we are taking on each new day, reveling in her ever evolving personality, and loving her more than I ever thought possible.
And so here ends the journey to baby McFee and begins a new journey. Please join me in our new blog, “Ellie’s Editorial”. She and I will share our adventures, our ups and downs, some laughs and probably even some tears. Thank you for coming along with me the last nine months, for being my virtual support network, for allowing me to share. Now Ellie’s adventure begins.