Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our Little Angel has ARRIVED!

So we finally did it. We had our little girl. A week ago from today my water broke at 12pm, and let me tell you it was not what I had expected! There was this little pop and a gush, and all I could think was "Either my water broke or I totally just wet myself and the bed." Ryan instantly noticed something was up because before I even finished that thought he was looking at me and asking "What's up Babe?" after telling him I waddled to the bathroom to check things out and sure enough I was dribbling disgusting liquid. They never said that once your water breaks it keeps coming... was not expecting that at all. Luckily I had my next appointment with the doctor at 1:20 and wasn't concerned a bit when my contractions jumped from 10 minutes to every 6 almost instantly after my water broke. After waddling through the doctors office (leaving Ryan to literally clean my trail), they checked things out and sure enough membranes had ruptured and I was 3 1/2 dilated and 75% effaced. We headed straight to the birthing center from there and were in a room getting ready to greet our girl at 2:00. They checked me again at 2:30 and I was at 4cm, excitement mounting I was preparing myself for what was coming.. the contractions weren't at all what I thought they would become, I barely paused for each one, but then things slowed down, contractions remained and slowly became closer together and more intense, but at each check it seemed my progress had come to a stop, I was still at 4cm hours later and they decided to introduce me to Pictocin... let me say now that stuff sucks a load! My contractions immediately started coming one on top of the other - I kid you not when I say that I had NO break between any of them.The women around me that had birthing experience and the nurses kept jabbering about how they hadn't seen such intense contractions at such at rate before - I really would have liked to shove something large down each of their throats but I was a bit preoccupied trying to breathe through each contraction and remain focused on my objective. I was getting scared because the doctor and nurses had noticed the baby was starting to become distressed and her heart rate was dropping. Originally my birth plan had been entirely "I want a natural birth, no medications, just completely a natural experience." I hadn't even thought of the possibility that something might happen to change things, never even considered a C-section as being something I should educate myself on because that would never happen to me. After no progress and increasing distress on the baby and overly powerful contractions my doctor informed me that we really had no other alternatives and she would have to perform the cesarean section in order to provide my baby girl safe passage into our world, we still had no idea what the issue was, but she was confident that it would be evident when she opened me up.
At 2:45 am I was prepped and wheeled off to surgery with my entire family and several of my closest friends waiting for us in the waiting room for the outcome. Ryan pulled on his disposable scrubs and joined me in the surgery room where they gave me a spinal (little sidenote here: Any kind of pain medication, any kind at all, knocks me out silly) and at 3:22 am our little girl entered the world completely perfect and healthy at 7lb 4 oz and 20 inches. The doctor took a look to see what could have caused such issue in delivering our little girl and was surprised to find my pelvic opening was too narrow. I could never have delivered our baby vaginally, and will never be able to do so because the opening is so narrow. I will admit that when I first found out I was saddened and felt some grief knowing I could never experience a natural birth.
I felt like a failure in that area, but then looking at my little Karli Ryan that feeling just disappears, because really what failure is there in having created and brought into the world such a perfect and beautiful little person. I met her the first time in the operating room, however I dont remember a thing about the experience from the time the spinal kicked in until sometime in the recovery room. I do remember that Ryan said "We have our little girl" and I was so happy, but outside of that the entire ordeal is a vague blur that gets less and less clear.
I have to admit as well that previously I had thought that women that get C-sections were taking the "easy way out". I will admit total ignorance and stupidity for that, there is nothing easy about having been cut open, being unable to remember anything about your child's first hour of life, being unable to lift her because it could hinder healing or damage something, or having to depend on your husband or someone else to help you throughout each day because you just aren't able to do it all. I know that I will only be able to have children by cesarean in the future and it scares me a bit because of those things.
But even with those fears and drawbacks, I know that I could do it again (we still want more children down the road) just from now finally truly knowing the joys of motherhood. There is nothing more wonderful to me than having my daughter close. During our two day stay at the hospital I couldn't give her up, she slept in the bed with me, I would have absolutely loved the breastfeeding at those first few days if I hadn't gotten blistered nipples from her having difficulty latching (we are using a nipple shield right now while my nipples heal). I can't go to far from her at any time without worrying about all the possible "what ifs". It's funny almost, I had always felt my mom was too emotional and too attached to my sister and I with all her worries and her needing such constant contact with us, how hurt she became if we were hurt, etc. But then when we were getting ready to leave the hospital the nurses came in, one to remove my staples and the other to do a PKU test on Karli. The first nurse started removing my staples (which somehow had been placed slightly sideways so they had to each be pried out of my skin) and the second prepped Karli for her poke. I am no fan of needles, and just watching them wipe Karli's heel with the alcohol prep had me cringing, and the pain of having staples yanked disappeared as I watched them stick my baby girl. I wanted to make them stop and to cuddle her, comfort her and to prevent any pain from ever touching her again, but knowing that the whole thing was necessary prevented me from doing just that. And when it comes to other people around her, if I dont know you well, trust you, and know you've washed your hands, I dont care that I just had surgery and am still healing, I'll tackle your ass if you reach for my innocent little girl. I was so deteremined that we limit visitors after going home that I convinced my husband for us to stay up at my parents house for a week to avoid people stopping by for a visit. It also helps having my mom close by, because I can turn to her with all my uncertainties and my questions. I can talk to her about the fears I have about motherhood, my sweet little girl, and about doing things right. I had such fears that a child so soon would place a great amount of stress on my husband and my relationship, but those fears were so far off the mark. Ryan has been my strength and sanity, by my side through every moment, helping me in my recovery and talking me through my emotional moments where I am reduced to tears because of fears, stress, paranoia (yes, I was a total worrier before and now it is about a thousand times worse), and even during my very short-lived grief/ feelings of inadequacy for being unable to give birth vaginally.
Our little girl has brought us closer together, I hadn't realized that our kisses had become almost routine but now they are filled with a love and passion that I can feel through my entire being. She was a perfect stranger, someone I am still coming to know, but from the moment she was placed in my arms I knew that I had never known such a love to exist. She has her daddy's eyes and mouth, her mommy's nose and chipmunk cheeks, and from who knows where strawberry blonde hair (Ryan and I both have darker brown hair, mine does tend to get reddish highlights in the sun). She has my uncle Karl's ears, which makes me smile because he is the man I chose to name her for. She has some of my sister's personality showing through already (which scares me a bit, but also makes me smil) and some of mine as well. She surprises me with her gas, who knew a baby could be so loud when passing some wind?? But that I can tell you she definitely gets from her daddy. She's not a crier, she fusses and if it takes you more than 15-20 minutes to figure out what her fussing is about she'll let out a few squawks, but we've only had one night where she cried quite a bit - I hadn't realized that sometimes a baby even this young could just want some playful attention. It scares me and thrills me just thinking that in less than two hours my little chipmunk is going to be a whole week old. Already I've taken so many photos of her that I am going to have to have a seperate scrapbook just for her first week of life.
Every time I look at her the same thoughts run through my head, "I can't believe we made that little girl!" "How can I freeze this moment forever and just live in it?" "How will I ever be as good a mother as she deserves?" "I dont want to share her with anyone!" "How glad I am that this little miracle was brought into my life" I want to spoil her, give her everything she wants, I want to put her in a little protective bubble and never let anything harm her or dim her innocence. But (see me coming into tears) I know that she's going to grow, time will pass, she'll get older and life happens. I just wish I could have brought her into a better world, not one where people can be so hurtful, cruel, where things aren't perfect.
I had thought that I couldn't wait to rejoin the workforce, I went a little stir-crazy during my pregnancy when I couldn't work. But now holding this angel in my arms I realize I am content and looking forward to time with her, and I really dont want to leave her anytime soon to spend 8 or more hours a day earning a paycheck when I could be home all day experiencing the joy that is my daughter and enjoying the love she's brought into our lives.

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