Year Ago Today … I Held My Baby Girl for the First Time

It turned midnight. I was about 6 cm dilated. Yes, I would have my baby on St. Patrick’s Day.

(For the back story, in order: ; ; and )

Before I knew it, I was fully dilated, the baby was all the way down, and it was time to start pushing. My mom and mother-in-law left the room, and it was just me, my husband, and the nurse. I pushed and pushed with them, and then, when it was time, the nurse called the doctor in, and I continued pushing with him. Because the baby’s head was too big, and there were concerns about her getting enough oxygen, he ultimately did an episiotomy and used a vacuum to pull her out. One more big push, and pop! Her head was out. They pulled her out, and my husband cut the umbilical cord. She was born. It was 2:09 a.m.

The NICU attendants (who had come into the room at some point earlier) swept her over to an examining table. I didn’t hear any crying, just little panting sounds” “uh uh uh…” coming from the baby. They told me her color looked good, but they were concerned about the lack of crying and wanted to take her to the NICU to examine her. They brought her over to me briefly, and I got to see her for the first time. She was beautiful – perfectly round head filled with black hair, tiny little pretty features. I kissed her on the head and said “I love you Siena,” and they took her away.

I was happy.

Meanwhile, the doctor had begun stitching me up, and when he was finished, I realized that there was another concern – about me. The placenta had not come out. More medical staff had come into the room and several were now around me. A woman with a thick Irish accent (which I thought was interesting because it was St. Patrick’s Day) began pushing really hard on my stomach over and over again. I thought “enough already, I’m exhausted. All I want to do is sleep for about 10 hours and then hold my baby.” She continued this pushing for what seemed a very long time. The placenta still wasn’t coming out. So, the doctor decided to perform a DNC. First they gave me this drug that made me very woozy.

They wheeled me into an operating room. Now it seemed like there were numerous people all around me. I asked if they were going to put me under for the surgery, and they said they were. I remember turning to whoever was standing to my left and saying “I can’t swallow.” The next thing I knew, I was waking up, groggy. There was one nurse standing next to me.

Shortly thereafter, I was wheeled to a new room. It was early in the morning, I don’t remember what time. There were my husband, mom, and mother-in-law. And then, just a few minutes later, a nurse came in pushing a little cart filled with my beautiful baby girl. I asked the nurse, “Can I hold her?” The nurse handed me my 5-pound, 15-ounce bundle of joy, and for the first time I held my baby. That was the day I realized that I was now a mom. It was the happiest day of my life.

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