This is where I write about my life. Marriage, children, faith, and coming to the realization that as long as I have those three things...I am home. No matter where that is.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Birth Story...2 Years Later

I have been hesitant to post Rylee's birth story, because, to be honest, I'm still a little heart broken over it. But, my free-spirited and quirky and beautiful Rylee Anne just turned 2 years old. So, I have to reflect on the day she was born. Disappointed in the way things went or not, we still got a perfect healthy baby girl on this day. So, it (of course) is in my top 5 Best Days of my Life.

As usual, this is a BIRTH story. If you are totally weirded out or offended by words like cervix, then you should probably go back to facebook now. You've been warned.

I was due to deliver on March 21, 2009, but because of gestational diabetes and my "history" of a big baby. The doctor wanted to induce at 38 weeks. By my 38th week, I was pretty much over being pregnant, so there was no objection from me.

So, on March 8, 2009 (my 26th birthday) we went in to be induced. The nurse came in and administered a drug to help "thin out" my cervix and help me dilate. I had been dilated to 11/2 and had been 50% effaced for a couple of weeks. But, with the big induction coming the next morning, they wanted to give me a good headstart. When that was done, we visited with the family that had come up to stay, my Mom and Nana and Brian's parents and sister. I cried after they left and took Sarah with them knowing that it would be the last time I would hold her as my only baby. I felt terrible guilt about the effect that having another baby would have on her. I was afraid that my time would be too scarce for her, and that she would resent me and her baby sister for it. I found out later that most of those fears and worries were unnecessary.

After the family left sometime between 9 and 10pm, the nurse came back and offered me a pill to help me sleep. At first, I said no. I know that I have a low tolerance for anything like that. I should have gone with my gut on that. But, after persuading me that this would be the only good night's sleep I would have for the next 3 months (at least) and I would need to be rested for the long and gruelling day ahead of me, I agreed. I took the ambien, and it was lights out, Rachel!

And, here is what honestly happened.

I don't remember progressing at an insanely rapid rate. I was supposed to be induced with pitocin and breaking my water the next morning. But, I apparently started contracting so strong and dilating so fast that waiting until the morning was no longer an option. I don't remember getting the epidural. I'm pretty sure you have to sign all kinds of waivers and things before they stick that gigantic needle in your back, but I can't recall signing one thing. I don't really even remember the contractions, except that I would sit up on the side of the bed when they were strong enough to be uncomfortable. I was fast asleep for the majority of my baby's birth. I don't even remember pushing or the doctor using the vacuum to get her out. If I'd been conscious for that I would have objected. But, I was completely out of it. It was the most helpless, horrible feeeling, to be physically but not mentally or emotionally present for one of the most important things I'll ever do. I had no control over myself or anything that happened.

Rylee was born at 8:15 am and weighed in at 9lbs. 1oz. and was 21 inches long. The exact same measurements as her big sister. I do remember the nurse saying that she had a dimple on her left cheek, and I absentmindedly reached up and felt with my hand to see if my dimple was on the left cheek, too. It is.

Eventually, after what seemed like forever, they brought Rylee to me to nurse and I got to really look at the new little person that I had loved for so long. The emotion that washed over me was overwhelming. And, in that moment it didn't matter how she got here. Just that she was in my arms, healthy and warm, and beautiful.

Immediately after laying her back in the bassinet, I went back to sleep not even able to stay alert sitting straight up. When the sleep inducing medicine finally made its way out of my body, I was able to fully enjoy my new bundle. Nursing often, and taking a bazillion pictures of her with her proud (and all of a sudden very grown up) big sister.

But, to this day, I am filled with regret and disappointment that I can't remember every detail of that most wonderful day.

My take on labor and delivery changed a lot after that day, and I have found myself throwing around ideas like all natural birth, midwife, doula, and even homebirth.

I can't believe that my little firecracker is now a busy, fun-loving 2-year-old. The time has passed so quickly. I have enjoyed every second being her Mommy. Rylee never wants to be very far from me. She loves to cuddle with me and give me kisses. She follows me wherever I go. And, if I go into a room without her, she stands outside the door and calls for me, "Mama, Mama, Mama!!" until I come out.

I really wouldn't trade it for the world.


  1. So sorry your birth wasn't what you wanted or expected! It's totally okay to mourn that.

    At the same time, I love that you focus on the positive. You have a beautiful, bright 2-year-old to love. Awesome.

    I delivered with an OB at a hospital with my first...and then switched to a midwife at a birth center with my second. The latter experience was 1000 times better. :)

  2. P.S. I wrote a post titled "Birth Centers Versus Hospitals" in April 2009:

    Just in case you want to read it... :)