In celebration of Emmitt's birthday (tomorrow) and in anticipation of Baby Girl's birth, I thought I'd do a small birth story for Emmitt. I had started one shortly after he was born, but never finished, as it sort of overwhelmed me to think of getting everything just right (remember my problem? I told you about it here.). Also, I was sort of busy with a newborn.
Jaron and I went to Mercy Hospital on a Sunday morning. We ate some breakfast at Panera just across the street right before, and as we drove to the hospital we listened to "The Mountain" by Heartless Bastards. It's a good song to get you pumped up. I had some symptoms that started Friday night (I was 38 weeks that day) that made me wonder if I was beginning to go into labor, but they weren't very clear, so we spent Saturday getting nursing bras and packing the overnight bag for the hospital. Saturday night my symptoms slightly changed to make me more sure that it was about time, so Jaron and I talked and decided that we would sleep in our own bed and see how it went, but then definitely go to the hospital on Sunday to check it out. I had contractions throughout the night, but nothing very regular.
When we arrived at the hospital, they checked me and confirmed I was leaking amniotic fluid, and therefore admitted me. Too much for the blog? There was no big, tv style water breaking for me. That's why I had been a little uncertain. I never really progressed on my own, so they induced me, but things still didn't move along much. I sent a long email of work information to my boss. Even though I was full term, I did not expect to have Emmitt for a few more weeks and I still had things to finish up at work. This caused me great stress. I hated the idea of leaving my coworkers (and friends) with extra work. It made Jaron crazy that I was spending time on an email, especially since I would have to take breaks every time I had a contraction. I thought it was kinda funny. While we were waiting, both my parents and Jaron's parents were at the hospital with us. My dad read excerpts of Tina Fey's Bossypants to me. It was a good distraction during contractions for a bit, but then they got so strong that nothing was a very good distraction. I had gone into the situation with an open mind about getting an epidural. I had thought and thought and thought (and read and consulted others) about it during my pregnancy and finally decided that I would just see how it went, I wasn't going to beat myself up about it anymore. So when I had still progressed very little by Sunday evening, I decided to get the epidural. Shortly after that, Emmitt's heart rate would go down every time I had a contraction. They put me on oxygen and had me lay in certain positions to try to keep this from happening. I did this for a few hours, in hopes of preventing a c-section. But then a nurse checked me to see if I had progressed any, and she discovered meconium in the birth canal, and at that point I knew I'd have to have a c-section. Immediately there was quite a hustle and bustle of events to prepare for it. Due to the meconium, they told me that they were going to try to get Emmitt to the NICU team before he cried so I shouldn't be alarmed if I didn't hear him right when he came out. They wanted to suction him as soon as possible. I appreciated this information.
Jaron stood next to me as Emmitt was delivered. The OB sang to Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" at one point during the procedure, which Jaron and I both treasure, because it was both hilarious and that song is so great (John Cusack, with a boombox, playing it in Say Anything... the best!). When Emmitt was out, Jaron kept going to him and coming back to check on me, showing me pictures of our baby boy. I was reaching my head around trying to see him. When they finished sewing me up and laid Emmitt on my chest, I was so happy to finally be touching him and seeing him up close, but there are two things about those first moments with him that I will always remember, and that surprised me a little. The first is that he was so alert. His eyes were just darting around, checking everything out. Knowing him now, this is just right, but I guess I expected him to be more tired from the delivery. The second thing is that his nails were so long. Crazy long I tell you. My godsister, Aimee, was the first to cut his nails, as she already had experience in that department, and I did not.
Some very dear ones gave Emmitt the book, On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman, as a gift after his birth. It was such a thoughtful gift and the story is so sweet. Even to this day, I can barely get through it without choking up in several places.