Everyone thinking that my husband and I would now have our baby in tow, were shocked to see me still waddling about. I rested. I laid on the couch. My Grandmother brought us ham dinner. I think I even remember watching an episode of Ricki Lake. We went to church on Sunday morning and asked for the whole church to pray that I would have this baby the following day.
At 42 weeks pregnant, and at my maximum weight of 122 pounds, I arrived at the hospital Monday morning. Once again I was hooked up to multiple lines and chained to the blasted hospital bed. My doctor, whom I had just switched to, repeatedly warned me to not be afraid when the “C word” was uttered as it was likely to happen being that I was so tiny and my baby was 12 plus pounds. With apologetic eyes, all the nurses nodded in agreement. Yes, she said 12+ pounds. And yes, I cried. But I didn’t care much. I just wanted my baby. The doctor noted that the baby being so big was a likely result of my body over compensating for the extreme sickness.
At noon, I was dilated to a whopping 3cm. At 2pm, they broke my water and I was soon dilated to 5cm. And that’s where I stayed until 11pm. I am now again, at the highest maximum legal dosage of Pitocin. And I’m completely stalled out.
Here come’s the “C word”. “Honey, we told you that you are tiny and the baby is huge. You’ve now been laboring for over 40 hours. Just have the caesarian and get it over with.” I refused. The doctor, taking advantage of my young and exhausted mind, ordered me to take an epidural “because you’re 50 minutes away from having a cesarean anyway. The O.R. is booked.” The anesthesiologist walked in, and I wont lie, I clapped and told him I loved him. After all, I was horridly exhausted and I just wanted my baby. I took the epidural at 11:01 pm, and the baby was born at 11:54pm.
A big, but not THAT big 7lb 14 ounce, baby girl with tons of black hair was laid on my chest. I cried. She cried. Her daddy cried. It was Heaven on Earth. We named her Amarra Gabrielle, meaning eternally beautiful and devoted to God in Hebrew. She was beautiful and perfect and worth every single second of agony.
The doctor said that she miscalculated the baby’s weight because I was so swollen with fluids.
The baby had a little meconium suctioned from her lungs, and I had 29 stitches, so we stayed for three long days in the hospital for observation. Over those three days, I observed. I watched and felt so many things that seems so unnatural. Things that went against intuition and logic. Example, why do they insist you stay in bed while laboring? Getting up, moving around, and allowing gravity to be your partner seems like the obvious thing to do. My Grandmother told me that having babies out in the cotton patch was completely normal and happened all the time when she was a young woman. It makes sense. They’re active, squatting and poised for delivery. Now, we’re lying still in bed, allowing gravity to hold the baby in our back. Why do we have to get I.V.s and antibiotics? I was actually told I couldn’t get out of bed because I was hooked up to the I.V. When I asked by I had to be hooked up in the first place, her answer was simple. “Because that’s how we do it.” Why? Why do you do it that way? Another thing, as soon as the baby was born, they started putting all of kinds of ointments and soaps and different products with different chemicals in it on her. Think about this: while pregnant, we go to great links to protect our babies. We don’t eat or drink bad things. A lot of women eat organic. You wouldn’t clean with harsh chemicals. We’re very careful. Yet, the second the baby is born, we slather them down with every chemical filled product we can find. Why are they putting an ointment for herpes in my baby’s eyes when you already tested me for Herpes and know I don’t have it?!
I got very uncomfortable with all the counter intuitive activities going on around me, and I stated asking questions. I was repeatedly given a version of “because I said so”.
Our little family finally got to go home. I was truly filled with joy. It was New Year’s Eve and it was snowing. All seemed perfect.