Here she is!
The short version of the birth story: The induction began around 8:00am. The combination of being sick with a sinus infection and frequent interruptions from people coming in and out made pain management difficult, so I went ahead and asked for the epidural around noon, even though contractions weren’t too bad yet.
Unfortunately the epidural didn’t get full coverage. There was a spot about eight inches in diameter on my lower right side where there was zero pain coverage.
The anesthesiologist obviously felt bad about it, so she added more medication to try to get it covered. Didn’t work. She added more and more medication but we couldn’t get that spot anesthetized. We did, however, get the rest of my lower body anesthetized to oblivion — at one point I saw the nurse set something big down on the bed and I realized with a jolt that it was my freaking leg. I lost all sensation, even pressure, in all my lower body except that one “hot spot.”
Being completely unable to move any of my lower body while experiencing the pain of pictosin-induced transition contractions will not go down as one of my favorite childbirth memories (though I did offer it up). As a sort of anesthesiology consolation prize, the anesthesiologist asked if I wanted some straight-up narcotics to “take the edge off.” I told her dump that and every other kind of pain-killing substance she had into my IV. As promised, the “edge” was taken off — along with any other possible care I might have had in the world.
The baby arrived a little bit later around 2:15 and, due to some combination of the narcotics and the grace of God, I didn’t have any of the stress I typically have in the first few hours postpartum. I was just thrilled to meet her and overwhelmed with happiness.
I can’t thank you enough for all of your prayers. When I was going through all the pain after the failed epidural I thought of how many people were praying for me and it really gave me great comfort. Also, my husband and I have both noticed a certain peace that’s come with this baby, even through the inevitable ups and downs of the first few days, and I think that your prayers have a lot to do with that.
I am so impressed with Care Calendar. It’s a free online service that lets people coordinate with one another about bringing someone meals. A dear friend set one up for us, and it’s been so handy to be able to log in and see who’s bringing us what for dinner and when. It’s also helpful to our friends to know when we need meals and what other people have already made. I highly recommend bookmarking it to use next time someone you know needs some help!
Also, I can’t believe how helpful it’s been to have dinner taken care of every night. I knew it would be nice, but I’ve been blown away by just how much it helps us to enjoy this time that we don’t have to think about what to fix for dinner.
Breastfeeding is going amazingly well in terms of pain. In one side the pain is about a 9 on a scale of 1-10 (better than a 10!), but on the other it’s only about a 4! This is unprecedented and unbelievable — I daresay miraculous. I think it’s due in some combination to:
- Your prayers.
- The Saint Diet. One of the drastic changes I’ve seen in my body since cutting out sugary and processed foods a couple months ago is that I’m less inflamed and sensitive generally.
- Approaching latch with even greater ninja-like precision than usual.
I still have major low milk supply issues as I have with every other baby, so I’m pumping and taking herbs to deal with that. I’m thrilled that the pain is better though!
New life brings out the weirdest behavior in people. On the one hand, everyone we’ve been around this week has been raving about what a beautiful, precious blessing our new little girl is. On the other hand, more than one person has expressed horror at the idea of future children — I don’t mean something like “it would be difficult to have another one too soon”; I mean if you saw a video of their face you’d think they had just heard about some horrific crime against humanity.
One person asked if we’re done, and when I said we’d like some space but that we almost certainly would have more children eventually, her face contorted into a look of disgust. She leaned forward and asked pointedly, “WHY?!” Yet moments earlier she was wiping a tear out of her eye while gazing at the baby.
I understand people feeling like more children would be too difficult for various reasons, but what puzzles me is the downright vitriolic reaction that some people have to the idea of future kids. Weird.
I am sooooo excited: as soon as we can get out, I’m having my husband take me out for a SUSHI EATING EXTRAVAGANZA. I have been craving sushi for nine months and haven’t been able to eat any of the raw fish, so our next date night (with baby in tow) is going to consist of me eating embarrassing amounts of food at our favorite Japanese restaurant.
(After I wrote this it occurred to me that planning to be gluttonous during Lent is not my most spiritually mature move ever. Hmm. I might need to re-think this plan.)
I look forward to reading your posts!
photo by Alexandre Chang