I kid, I kid! But seriously, if you're just joining us for this little ride, here's the first part, the second, and now the finale.
It was 4:30 when I texted Drew to come home and we arrived at the hospital around 6:15. Andrea was born at 7:04, and the rest of this story is that 45 minutes. When I think about everything that happened during that time, it's hard to believe it was *only* 45 minutes but that's all the time Little Miss needed. She wasted no time getting to this party and she burst in like Oprah, giving everyone in the room an iPad, a car and a vacation to the Carribbean.
We were all happy to see her but damn, she came in blazin'!
I don't remember much about them wheeling me to labor and delivery. However, I do remember rising up on the gurney, raising my butt to the sky, willing it to detach itself from my body because the pressure and pain in my butt was so intense. You know that expression "chew your arm off?" I couldn't very well do that, but maybe if I screamed loud enough my butt would spontaneously separate from my body - it was worth a shot, right?
They wheeled the gurney into the room next to the delivery bed and told me to scoot over. Yeah right. As if I could move, or do anything but scream. The nurses kept saying "C'mon honey scoot on over. Just scoot over, you can do it, we need you to scoot over, just get to the next bed, that's all you have to do, you can do it.
I took a deep breath and hollered out "Okay everybody just needs to give me a second!" I knew I had to get to the next bed. I knew I could do it, I just needed to focus every cell of my body on that task and I couldn't do with them chattering at me. I took another deep breath. "Okay here I go, here I come, I know I have to move, here I go, here I go...." and I screamed my way onto the other bed and onto my side. Somewhere in there they took my pants and shoes off and my doctor materialized, all calm and zen.
"Well hi there."
"HI! I'M IN LABOR!"
"I see. Well let's just check you then."
"OKAY BUT PLEASE DON'T CHECK ME WHILE I'M HAVING A CONTRACTION PLEASE*roarscream through a contraction*
"Is it over?"
"Yes. Thank you. Sorry about that." I was still on my side and managed to lift my leg so she could check me.
I felt nothing. Actually, I'm not even sure she actually checked me. I think she just gestured in the general area of my vagina, and was like "Okay let's have a baby."
I wish you guys could have heard her voice. She was so chill and zen - omg you guys! I just realized who she sounded like! You know the NPR skits on SNL? That was my doctor!
Anyway, she was like let's have a baby and I was like are you sure? and she said "You have no cervix left. You just do what your body tells you to do" and this chick very calmly and zenly took a seat at the end of the bed, folded her hands in her lap and waited. Like I'm supposed to push this baby out or something. I'm surprised she didn't pull out a magazine or take a nap.
I didn't have time to ask her if she was going to do anything because another contraction ripped through my body. The nurses mobilized, each one taking hold of a leg and sliding my butt down the bed. I wasn't fond of that position; I wanted to be more upright but every time I tried to sit up they sort of pulled me back down. It wasn't a big deal; I mean we're talking an inch worth of movement here. It's not like I was flat on my back, but still. However, again I had no time to complain because here came another contraction and I slid down the bed anyway, turning to my left to grab the handrail with both hands while I screamed.
"Desiree, I know it hurts. I know you want to climb up the bed and close your legs and pretend this never happened but I need you to straighten up for me. We're almost done."
"I KNOW YOU'RE RIGHT. I KNOW. I KNOW YOU'RE RIGHT. I KNOW. YOU. ARE RIGHT."
Between contractions I managed to right myself. I was pushing this whole time. I think. I'm not sure how many pushes it was but good God, every single one hurt. With one of them I screamed out "MY BUTT! MY BUTT! MY BUTT IS GOING TO SPLIT IN TWO!!!!!" That one had to be towards the end because the doctor said I was feeling that way because the baby was right there.
Interestingly, between contractions my body nearly completely shut down. I'd read stories about women sleeping between contractions and I always called bullshit because how the hell do you sleep between contractions? But it's true! I did! I mean, I didn't full out sleep but I definitely relaxed my whole body, my head flopped to the side and I was a calm regular person. During one of those rest times, I very calmly and zenly looked my doctor in the eye and said "I don't like this and I don't want to do it anymore." She nodded and very calmly and zenly said "You're feeling that way because you're almost done. It's almost over and you will meet your baby."
"Okay well then, you pull!" She gave me a sympathy smile, full of compassion and understanding, having heard that a million times before, I'm sure. "They don't have handles."
And then another screaming contraction.
Just like that, it was there. The Ring of Fire.
I will never see the Eye of Sauron the same way again.
That's a vagina about to bust open with a baby.
My body saw the Ring of Fire. My mind saw it. My mind and body knew we had to go through it to be done with this whole thing. But somewhere, some other part of my body was like NOPE. nopenopenopenope. I actually gave a small push, felt the Ring of Fire and literally stopped that push and said out loud "Nope."
But the very next breath and my body squashed that dissenting piece of me, hauled that piece up by the bootstraps, we all took a deep breath and took off running through the Ring of Fire, gritting our teeth and screaming the whole way.
When Sofia came out I felt her whole body, piece by piece. I felt her head, then shoulders, arms, body, legs. With Andrea I felt nothing but blazing firebloodheat. I didn't have a baby; I exploded a baby.
The second she came out, it was over. No more contractions splitting me open. No more pain in the pit of my soul. Just this teeny beautiful screaming peanut. My demeanor instantly changed and I was all smiles, saying over and over to Drew "Oh our baby's here! Our baby's here!" I was all happy and kissing him and apologizing for pulling his hair while I was having contractions. I may have tried to break his arm at one point too, I can't be 100% sure.
I asked them not to cut the cord until it stopped pulsing, but it never really pulsed. I even reached down and felt it and I couldn't feel anything. So they waited, but it was probably only a couple of minutes delay before I went ahead and let them cut it because it wasn't really doing anything. Again, my placenta slid out quickly and my doctor asked if I wanted to see it, but I was answering somebody else's question right then and I said no, and they whisked it away faster than I could correct myself and say that I did want to see it. Oh well, no big.
We got skin to skin right away and they did everything with her on my chest. They were going to apply the eye ointment right then, but I very calmly and zenly said "Oh I don't prefer that, thank you" and that was that. They did give her the Vitamin K shot because of my clotting issues but other than that, she stayed with me and they weren't pushy at all.
Once I caught my breath and composed myself, I took a peek down below to survey the damage. I probably shouldn't have done that.
No lie you guys, I've never seen that much blood in my life. There was carnage at the foot of that bed. I was shocked but no one else seemed that concerned so maybe that was normal? But good GOD, I don't know how I wasn't woozy or something because for real, there was a TON of blood.
And then the doctor started to run down all that she was going to need to do. I had a second degree tear from this birth and the tear I had from Sofia's birth apparently never healed right and *it* re-tore so she stitched up both sites. She was all "look at your baby and pay no attention to what I'm doing down here" right before I got a glimpse of a huge-ass needle heading straight for my vagina. I quickfast concentrated on my baby and did the deep breathing I was unable to do for the actual birth.
Never mind the regular swelling you get with any vaginal birth and the lovely hemorrhoids that made their appearance again, but you add stitching up a vagina that looks like a blast site, and my friends, my nethers are mangled. I'm just hoping and praying that it will heal like it's supposed to this time but for now, sitting or standing for too long is utter agony. The sofa is too hard, all the chairs in our house are too hard and the bed is only a little better. Exploding vaginas are no walk in the park.
She finished with the stitching but apparently I was still bleeding more than they wanted me to, which told them I might have a clot or two still hanging around in there. Do you know what these people did?!?!?!?!?!?!!
Mere minutes after I'd exploded a baby, these people pressed on my stomach to push the clot out! HOLY SHIT that was the worst pain ever! I couldn't believe that something like that was legal to do! I may have blacked out for a second from that shit. That was nearly unbearable. However, I'm six days post partum and I haven't thrown any monster clots this time so I'm begrudgingly conceding that they *may* know what they're doing.
It's so hard to believe that someone so tiny can make such a big debut.
Then again, I expect nothing less from one of my kids.
*Kids!* I have kids now!
Look at that squishy red newborn face!
She already has her daddy's chin.
Beautiful and perfect in every way
And so ends the dramatic retelling of the birth of my youngest daughter, Andrea Luz. It was one for the books and if her birth is any indication, she is going to do big things in this life. She already has our hearts and Sofia is smitten with her baby sister, wanting to hold and kiss her all the time. I hope it lasts but even if it doesn't I'm sure I can handle it.
I still have some thoughts on the hospital and of course how things have been since we've been home but capturing this birth story was priority. Thank you for joining me on this little roller coaster. If you need me, I'll be nursing my peanut and snuggling with her big sister and trying not to think about the warzone down below.
It doesn't get better than this.