Yesterday, I posted the first part of Mara’s birth story. Today I’m wrapping the story up, and getting to the good stuff.
The Final Stretch
After the third attempt, the epidural was successful. This time, both sides of body started getting numb, all the way down to my toes. Suddenly, I could barely feel my contractions, and I was comfortable again. When my midwife came back to do her final check before heading home for a while, she had the take me off the Pitocin. I’d only dilated another half-inch, and she suspected that the stress from the decreased fetal movement and two botched epidurals, had stonewalled my labor. About an hour and a half later, around 8:50 pm I started feeling pressure. The sudden urge to poop came over me, and I was well-aquainted with that feeling. It was almost time to have this baby.
I called for the nurse and told her what was happening. She checked my cervix, and I was dilated to 8 ½ centimeters and the babies head was already moving through the birth canal. She called my midwife and started prepping the room for delivery. Two more nurses came in. They started washing their hands, putting on gloves, and turning on the lights and the heat lamp for the baby. I started getting worried. The baby made it clear that she was coming whether they were ready or not. If my midwife didn’t make it back soon, I was going to have this baby without her.
A few minutes later, she came into the room, scrubbed in and got ready to catch a baby. Jordan was at my side, holding my hand. I started pushing. With the first push, her head came out. With the second push, I pass her shoulders, and on the third push they pulled her out. They quickly wiped her down and put her on my chest.
Mara Charlotte was finally here. The moment I look in her eyes, I fell in love. She was absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t help but think how much she looked her daddy, and her big brother Harrison. I kissed her head repeatedly, as I pushed one final time to deliver the placenta. Once I did, my midwife held it up and pointed out all the white stops on it. Just as she’d suspected, it had stopped doing it’s job, and that’s why Mara stopped moving. None of the at mattered though, she was here, and she was healthy. I put her on my breast and started breastfeeding. In that moment, everyone else faded into the background. As far I was concerned, there was no one in the room but Mara, Jordan, and I. It was perfect.
You Can Eat Now, Wait No You Can’t…False Alarm, You Can Eat Now
After she finished her first meal, the nurse promised me one. Great, I’m starving, I thought.
“Oh wait, the kitchen’s closed”, she said.
“Plus, you’re getting a tubal ligation, so you can’t eat just yet”.
They started calling for the doctor who was going to do the surgery, and a few minutes later, someone called and said that he’d left 5 minutes earlier. What?
“Well, I guess you can eat now”, she said.
But it was too late, it was 11:25pm, and I wasn’t sending my husband out to get me food.
Goodnight, Sweet Girl
After the epidural wore off, a nurse helped me to a wheelchair, so they could move us to the room we’d be in for the next couple of days. Once we settled in, I ate some saltines, and drank a sprite, then I gazed into Mara’s eyes some more. I loved everything about her — the way she breathed, cried, cooed. Her smell was intoxicating. I spent the next few hours staring at Mara, breastfeeding and listening to my husband snore. It was wonderful.
The End of an Era
Around 6am the next day, a nurse came to get me so that I could have my tubal ligation. It was bittersweet. Over the last 13 years, I’d been pregnant 5 times, and I had 4 beautiful kids to show for it. It started to set in that Mara would be my fourth and final baby. After her, there would never be another.
They rolled me into the operating room, and prepped for anesthesia. I got a spinal block, which is basically a stronger epidural — and to my delight, this anesthesiologist did it in one try. They were playing Taylor Swift, and I talked to the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and nurse the whole time, but I didn’t feel a thing. Half an hour later, it was over. The end of an era.
The End, and The Beginning
After almost two hours of recovery time, I was taken back to my room to rejoin my husband and our new baby girl. After a few hours of rest my mom came with our older kids to meet their new little sister. Harrison showered her with kisses, and Chloe and Travis were instantly obsessed with her.
The rest of my time there was pretty uneventful. We were released the next day around noon. From there, we packed up our minivan, and headed home to begin the rest of our lives together.
A family with four kids. Wow. Three years ago, if you’d told me I’d have two more kids, I’d have bet you money that you were wrong — but here I am, and here we go.