21 January 2008

Can I Have This Dance For The Rest Of Your Life?

New Years Eve was destined to be disappointingly uneventful. There were festivities at the Pavilion, the artist in residence organized a New Years ball. I was too pregnant and tired to even consider it, but I was weepy for being so immobile and big and insisted that I accompany Ed on the evening walk with Secret Agent Dog in hopes of rising out of my melancholy. I’m not good at sitting still or down for long periods. I sat on a bench at the ball field and watched the lights swirl in the Pavilion while music rose on a breeze in the crisp cool evening air and Secret ran and jumped and whirled in acrobatic feats to catch her Frisbee. It made me smile and breathless.

It seemed like such a short spell and we were walking back home. We’d bring in the New Year watching Angel (the spin off of Buffy The Vampire Slayer) because I love Lorne (the green demon who sings show tunes and looks so wonderful in yellow) and I’d go to sleep early, likely drift off on the sofa and hope the Zantac kept the acid reflux in check. But then, WHOA what was that? In the middle of the second episode on the Netflix disc I was hit with a wave of contraction. I think I just had a contraction, I announced with a bit of surprise and disbelief. That was the beginning – at about 11 pm on New Years Eve.

Because I was so full of amniotic fluid, the technicians at the fetal monitoring lab told me that I might not even feel contractions associated with early labor. That might have been true. I moved from “early” labor (contractions 10 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 5 minutes apart) within a mere half hour and dove right into active (regular contractions, five minutes apart) labor by midnight.

Neither Ed nor I really believed it. He kept urging that we gather our many’s and get a move on. I kept saying that I didn’t want to drive into the City on New Years Eve night only to be turned away because I arrived too early or it was a false alarm. He packed the truck with my hospital bag and labor kit and called LB to let her know we’d likely be dropping the dog off. I lay in bed as the contractions worsened.

I’d really wanted to have an un-medicated delivery, but after about 9 hours of active and transitional back labor, I asked for a fentanyl shot and when that wore off and the contractions came on two fold (literally, two at a time, less than a minute a part) in timing and intensity, I surrendered to the epidural at about hour 10. She was facing the wrong way and despite being fully dilated, she wasn’t budging beneath the pelvic bone. I pushed for hours, with no progress. In the 11th hour (which was actually the 18th hour) the epidural began wearing off and the anesthesiologist was in a c-section. We pushed right through it and the attendant finally offered either suction or a c-section. I opted to try the suction first – so he came in with vacuum/suction at about 6 pm on New Years Day… he turned her head and literally she was born two contraction, four minutes later. Why didn’t we do that several hours earlier!?!

I was spent, but she was healthy as they come - pink and beautiful. The nurses said there was a rush on labor/delivery that night and ten couples arrived, ten babies were born. They said that she was hands down the healthiest looking of them all. (I guess newborns often look yellowed and jaundiced and all pruned…. Not Zoe, she was plump and pink and full faced.)

She weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces and was a sleek and tall 21 inches long. Her hair is coppery red and as the attendant said, “she looks a little grumpy.”


Harriet said...

Congratulations! She's beautiful (and I love the onesie)!

Harriet said...

Re: Sleep: Whenever humanly possible. I found that I got used to the crazy schedule after a couple of weeks. I also found that as long as I got three hours in a row at some point during the night, I was okay, assuming I got some other shorter spurts of sleep. But if I didn't get three hours in a row, I was toast. The good news is that it gets better pretty fast! Re: the RSS, I just added a button for it in my sidebar, but I'm not really sure how that works. I use bloglines for my feeds and it makes things really easy. There are widgets for both the mac and the igoogle homepage that allow you to see how many new feeds you have, so I know when to click through.

Eleanor said...


titration said...

Sigh. I can't wait to meet her. Isn't your mom's birthday close to this day? Hmmmm.

Kate (MarilynStar) said...

She's gorgeous!! Congrats!! You are going to be a beautiful mom!

Zuzu said...

Harriet -

Thanks for the RSS button! I'm so happy to be a subscriber again!

Eleanor -

Thank you!

Titration (aka "Just Me") -

She can hardly wait to meet you too. She was born the day before her grandma's birthday. If she'd have had her way, however, she'd have waited until the second (which would have made her grandma quite happy.)

Kate -

Thanks so much!


Claudia said...

Congrats - she's lovely. As Harriet says, get as much sleep as you can. Ignore the house. Feed yourself. If you're nursing you'll find that you are ravenous the minute you sit down...and can't get up for awhile. I created a station (tv trays work well) with water, snacks, tv remote, books, etc. for those long sessions.

storm-shadow said...

W-O-W! I'm so late in saying that and feel bad. I do admit that I wonder from time to time when you were going to go from a hippopotamus with a gland problem and back to a normal genital piercing type. Oh, post pics of how big ya got! I've got one of my friends and she had this hilariously smug face.

Madrigle said...

oh my gosh, she so gets my vote for most precious baby! very very cute, I just have this innate feeling you are SUCH a good mommy. *** So, I should have just deleted not-green-eyed-guy's message. Hindsight right? Instead I took the quickest route to douche bag ville and rote him back . . . I've not heard a word from him since. I'll learn my lesson someday, I promise. :) We had a snow day today. i can't express to you how happy that made me feel. :D hugs.

Zuzu said...

Claudia -

Thanks for the tip re: the snack tray.. I prepare it in the morning, it's been a lifesaver!

UberC -

The deflation post partum takes awhile. It's been nearly a month and I've lost over 30 pounds (one retains a lot of water after delivery... it goes away slowly.) It's not so much the weight that's awkward, however, as much as the muscle loss - especially in the stomach. It's totally like jelly and it's not fat, it's that the muscles have been totally wrecked.


I hope I'll be a good mom... that would be the goal! Still no word from NGEM? All the better really... These boots were made for walkn'!


Monique said...

More pics! I demand more pictures of your angelic little girl! :) She's so adorable...can't take my eyes off her. How are you holding up?

Anonymous said...

Oh Zu I am sorry I didn't check your blog until now! I'd been wondering about you. Congratulations, and I am so glad she is well! and you are too. hope you are getting enough sleep. And is the nursing going well? I found that required more info and determination than labor did...and beware the wrong kind of info, like the kind that makes you feel guilty

boann said...

awww i just saw this.. she is so pretty. hugs and warm thoughts and belated congratulations.