Snowstorm Baby II
She was breach.
The little girl in my belly was sitting upright, like a Buddha, content and warm.
The doctor was not pleased.
“If she doesn’t turn over this week, we’ll have to “manipulate” her into position.”
“What does that mean?”, I asked.
“Well…we can try to turn her around from the outside, which is not exactly pleasant. OR we can go inside and try to move her around. Also, not pleasant.”
After 9 months of watching my body perform the ‘Baking a Baby’ show, after 8 months of pricking my finger four times a day to test my glucose, after 1 month of giving myself insulin injections every night, after constant UTIs and raging hormones and worrying how Boy-child would feel with a new little one in the house, it was almost time to pop.
Trouble was, I wasn’t exactly sure how to do it.
The first time, Boy-child took three days to emerge, and then it was a series of false-starts and frog positions and epidurals, and the final salad tong forceps that brought him out, screaming. It was long and involved, and not what I expected.
With Girl-child, her smaller size indicated a more comfortable process. But how, exactly, did that work? When would I know it was ‘time’? What about this 'breach' thing?
I was due at the OB’s office on Thursday. Wednesday night, I slept fitfully. Something I ate, or maybe gas, kept my belly tossing and rumbling. I was nauseous. I asked the OB at my appointment what it could have been. He checked my belly, and announced, “She’s turned!” My Buddha Baby was now “engaged”, head down, ready to swim out. The OB said that, because of the gestational diabetes, they’d induce the next week if she didn’t appear soon.
They didn’t have to wait long.
Saturday night, around 11 p.m., I started to feel, well, “not quite right”…a tightening in my belly like I’d never felt. We waited, and I finally determined they were contractions. Just to be sure, though, we trekked to the hospital, Boy-child bundled up in the midnight snow, bleary-eyed and confused, Sergei and I hopeful and a little nervous. We’d planned to have Ultra-Cool In-Laws come stay with Boy-child, but we didn’t want to call them yet…just in case it was a false alarm.
“You’re in labor!”, the nurse announced, and we made two important phone calls…the OB, and the In-Laws. The snow that was little more than flakes when we ventured out was now a full-blown blizzard. In-Laws would call from time to time with an update…on the highway, should be there shortly…highway closed…will be there as soon as we can….
The contractions got harder and closer, and more painful than I’d remembered with Boy-child’s delivery. Morphine is a wonderful drug, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It was the only thing that got me through the night. Sergei left at some point with Boy-child, to meet In-Laws at our house, and fortunately the nurse upped the drug so I was comfortable while he was away. Sergei returned, my rock.
The OB finally arrived, with tales of the awful roads. An epidural was put in place, but for some reason, I didn’t feel the effects. (It was only the next day I found out they had done it wrong, and instead of injecting soothing medication into my spine, had pierced ‘the wrong place’, and I leaked spinal fluid the next day. But that’s another story.) The pain got stronger, the urge to bear down overwhelming, and I felt everything. It was too much, and yet, I was fine.
The morning of Super Bowl Sunday, in the year 2000, in the middle of a blizzard, a beautiful baby was born, with a thick head of hair, and a loud strong voice. I remember trembling as I held her. She was so perfect. So beautiful. So unbelievable.
Today Girl-child is 7 years old.
I’m all teary, because I can’t believe how much joy she’s brought to our lives. And how lucky we are.
Happy Birthday, honey! I love you, so much.