Someone told me to beware – since I had such an easy pregnancy with Brooke I was bound to have a hard labor and delivery experience. That person was pretty much right.
I was four days past my due date. I was still feeling great. I hadn’t been in any hurry for the baby to come because I had wanted to finish out teaching the school year (which I was able to do).
At about 6:00pm on June 2 I realized I was having contractions and they were coming regularly and consistently. Hooray! This was it! We started timing the contractions and they were spaced too far apart to warrant visiting the hospital. I spent the next nine hours at home pacing our condo, watching movies, groaning, timing, trying to sleep, not being able to, etc. Finally at about 3:00 in the morning I told Dallas we should head to the hospital.
We checked in and they monitored me for an hour. Good news – I was having regular contractions and I was getting more dilated. Bad news – it was happening a little too slowly for them to admit me. Instead they kept monitoring me. Dallas and I were so tired that I tried to sleep between contractions but they were painful enough that I couldn’t do that very well.
Finally they admitted me. I got an epidural before too long and felt much better. My nurse told me to try to sleep. She said I’d need lots of energy for pushing. Pshaw. I was too excited to sleep.
At about 11:30AM I finally felt the urge to push. Thus commenced the pushing marathon. I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. Two hours later I was really wishing I had heeded my sweet nurse’s advice and had slept when I could because I was beyond exhausted. I hardly felt conscious at times. FINALLY Brooke was born.
I remember being so tired. I wished I could just pause life and sleep for about 24 hours and then push play again. I knew having a newborn would be exhausting but I was not prepared to be so depleted from the very second she was born. I had been in labor for almost 20 hours and hadn’t slept much during that time. The doctor handed her to me and I remember being so weak I could hardly hold her.
Brooke was 7 lb 9 oz and 19 inches long. She was born at 1:44 pm. We were all charmed by her long hair and big eyes.
Do I look like death? Apparently my Mom thought so. Brooke was born on a Sunday. My Mom, Dad, and siblings wanted to come down and see her that day since they didn’t have anything else going on. I warned them that I was tired. I guess I didn’t warn my Mom quite enough because she thought I looked horrible. I remember when they came to visit I was sitting in my bed and the world was spinning around me and I was trying to stay with them, but I just really couldn’t. I also remember the nurse bringing me my dinner. It was a chicken breast. A whole chicken breast. I picked up the fork and knife which felt so heavy, looked at them in my hands, and realized there was no way I had the strength to cut my chicken. I helplessly put my utensils down again and hardly touched my food. Looking back on it I’m amused that I didn’t think to have the nurse help me, but the thought never crossed my addled mind.
After sleeping a bit I started to feel like I was again entering the world of the living. My Mom came for a visit the next day and was relieved to see how much better I looked.
Giving birth is serious business.
Of course we thought Brooke was the most perfect baby in all the world. Every expression and noise was adorable. I could (and did!) stare at her for hours memorizing her features. We had our perfect baby girl.