Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The Story of Lucy
Let me just say that Lucy's birth was NOT what I expected. I was bracing myself for a long labor, and I was also planning to get an epidural. Neither one of those things happened!
In the early morning of December 6th (Lucy's due date), I had a hard time sleeping. The baby was constantly moving around in my tummy keeping me awake. Then around 2 am, I noticed that I was having fairly uncomfortable contractions that were coming every ten minutes or so. After about four of these, I decided to wake up Dave to have him help me breathe through them and keep track of the frequency and duration.
I eventually decided to get out of bed and take a shower, but once I got up, the contractions weakened and shortened. After about an hour and a half of this, we decided to call the doctor. I explained the situation; that I was three and a half centimeters dilated at my last appointment, that I was full-term, and then I described my inconsistent contractions. He said, "Well, you might as well come in and have us check you out." We weren't too rushed as we left the house since the doctor suggested that this could be a false labor.
Dave and I packed up our things and left our house at 4:10 am. We arrived at the hospital about 15 minutes later, signed some paperwork, and made our way to triage. A nurse checked out my cervix and told me that I was 7 cm dilated! She said I was doing great for someone that far into labor (which made me feel good :). She asked if I wanted a wheel chair for the short trip down the hall to the labor and delivery room, but I said that I could walk. I had to take a break half way there to lean on the arm rail and breathe through a tough contraction, but I made it!
Once we arrived at the delivery room, the nurse had me go use the restroom, and then I got situated on my bed. The nurse paged the doctor and put in my IV while I breathed my way through another pretty intense contraction. Dave left to go get my birthing ball (I was planning to sit on it and use it to get through more contractions) from the car, and when he came back about 3 minutes later I said, "You missed it. My water just broke!" About five seconds later I was overwhelmed by the most intense contraction I'd had up to that point.
I told the nurse, "It feels like I have to push!" She quickly got on the intercom and sounded a bit desperate as she paged the doctor again and cancelled my epidural (hello natural labor). She checked my progress and told me to try not to push as she paged the doctor again (I'm pretty sure she was holding the baby in at this point). Meanwhile, I was starting to breathe really fast and could feel my hands and face starting to tingle. I was definitely getting a little freaked out (there was a bit of screaming involved Dave tells me), but finally the doctor showed up. I was encouraged to slow down my breathing, but I couldn't seem to do it.
Finally, I feel like God gave me the idea to sing. For some reason, the song that came to me was one that I haven't sung in years. The lyrics go like this: I cast all my cares upon You. I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet. And anytime I don't know what to do, I will cast all my cares upon you. I just kept singing it over and over.
It was amazing how much peace it gave me, and how it regulated my frantic breathing. Dave told me later that that was the loudest he's ever heard me sing :). I am SO thankful that God gave me that song. He knew exactly what I needed to get me through... He is so good.
Meanwhile, as I was singing, the doctor told me that the baby's heart rate was dropping dangerously low, and I needed to push her out as soon as I possibly could. He told the nurse to bring the vacuum just in case they needed to use it. So, I mustered all the strength I had in my soul, bore down, and pushed her out in three pushes. They cut her umbilical cord and whisked her away to the warming table. She didn't make any noises for what seemed like an eternity, and Dave said that her skin was very blue when she came. I was so scared and so exhausted. The baby finally started to cry and the color came back to her precious little cheeks. Praise the Lord!
They cleaned her off, swaddled her, and brought her back to me. I cannot describe the joy of seeing my child for the first time. I couldn't believe how beautiful she was, and that she was mine.
Lucy Love Heller was born at 5:16 am... less than 15 minutes from the time we got to the labor and delivery room. Apparently she was ready to meet the world. My labor with her lasted three hours and fifteen minutes from start to finish.
The name Lucy means bringer of light... and that's exactly what she does.