Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Disclaimer: I tried to write this story many times over the last two years, after many failed attempts her second Birthday seemed just as good a time as any to share the details about how she entered this world.

When I think about recording Ayara's birth story I think "this will be so interesting", but every story of new life is interesting to me. Whether a mom says "it happened so fast and was so easy" ugh, not fair or "it was the worst thing I ever felt", there is always something unique and inspiring to share.

This story takes me back nearly two years, to a Saturday, the evening before Easter and four weeks prior to Ayara's due date. In order to fully understand the discomfort I felt you have to know these four things:

1. I was diagnosed with polyhydramnios during this pregnancy. That's a fancy way of saying I was carrying a LOT of extra amniotic fluid.
2. Ayara was measuring, on ultrasound, 10 pounds.
2. My belly was measuring about 54 cm., which at that point was even larger than when I carried twins.
3. I had 14-month-old twins in tow... I was tired.
Happy and Large on my Birthday, just two weeks before Ayara's birth.
Now, getting back to the tale. For starters I had been having contractions for weeks, but my midwife and I both decided they were merely Braxton Hicks. However: delivering my twins at 36 weeks gestation, carrying extra fluid, and the extensive amount of moving and grooving I had to do to keep up with the twinkies all put me at increased risk for delivering early again. At this point I was thinking "AWESOME!" Don't judge.

Bob and I tried to get some sleep somewhere around 11:00 p.m... the usual. As soon as I laid down I knew I was in for a long night. Chalking it up to normal pregnancy woes I decided to tough it out on the couch so Bob could get some rest. I tossed and turned and walked and sat but mostly... are you ready? I pooped. A lot. I'd leave the gory details out if I could but they're vital to the story. Rough estimate I'd say probably 12 times I visited the porcelain that night.

By 4:30 a.m. I was starting to wonder if this was the real thing. You know... the "L word." I called the on-call number and waited by the phone for a call back. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew it was 6:30 a.m. and I was still in pain. I called again. The doctor I spoke to thought it peculiar that I'd be able to sleep through labor contractions but advised me to get to the Hospital and get checked just to be safe.

I hung up the phone and told Bob, then called my mom, who at the time lived across the street. She's always been a super woman when it comes to helping us out. She was there within twenty minutes, coffee in tow, and I was in a lot of pain. Waves of contractions were coming just two minutes apart. I was sure I'd get to the Hospital and hear "you're 8 cm. dialated! this is great!" Due to Ayara's large size I had already agreed to a c-section to avoid any possible large baby complications, but I still felt like I'd made bodily progress. Like there was hope for a VBAC.

I could tell my mom knew something wasn't right. She looked concerned while she fed the twins breakfast and I contracted on the couch... and Bob leisurely sipped his coffee. I had been in pain for so long he thought it was another false alarm. Through sobs I told him "we need to go!" and within minutes we were gone.

Lucky for me the Hospital is just a short five minute drive away, but it felt like an eternity. When we got there I was in so much pain I had to sit down. A friendly staff person got me a wheelchair and we were off to labor and delivery for a check. Contractions coming strong every minute had me thinking "this baby is coming NOW!"

Inside Labor and Delivery felt like hell on earth. I was uncomfortably situated on an exam table, questioned, stripped, poked. You name it, it happened. It was chaos to me.

I was able to tell the nurse I'd gone to the bathroom twelve times. She did a double take. She looked shocked. Actually she couldn't believe that I was still standing due to the extreme dehydration I must surely be experiencing.

At that point I began to black out. I remember my eyes rolling back in my head and thinking "if I were to die right now, I'd go peacefully, it would not hurt. In fact it would feel better than what my body is experiencing at this moment. I will surely die if I don't have this baby. Now." I was able to mutter something about puke and a sterile bag made it's way to my lips. I opened my mouth and projected orange juice.

They finally hooked up an IV. Within minutes I was feeling better. Contractions started to slow and I regained some conciousness. Noticing my improved state the doctor (who had been called in sometime during my blank episode) ordered some tests for the baby.

With everything going on there had been little to no movement in my otherwise active baby girl. I had previously been too sick to worry, but feeling better I started to freak. A noise test was issued to try to "wake" Ayara. It lasted three minutes and consisted of a series of loud beeps by machine into my belly. No movement. The doctor ordered an ultrasound.

We were wheeled down to ultrasound where I laid in discomfort for half an hour while we watched our baby girl lay lifeless on the screen. Now we were truely in panic mode.

Back in Labor and Delivery the doctor came whirling in. "How'd you like to have a baby today?" She said with a smile. I instantly burst into tears feeling joy for the soon-to-come relief from pain but also anxiety over my daughter's premature age. She asked "are those happy tears?" to which I replied "yes."

Not two minutes later, propped up on my side, I felt an intense rush of fluid. I was so embarassed. I told the doctor "I think I just peed myself." She told me she'd take a look and her eyes got large. My water had broke! And all on it's own! I was beyond ecstatic! Finally, a sign that we were exactly where we were meant to be.

Soon after I was prepped for a c-section and met my amazing team. Two nurses were mothers of my  high school friends, the anesthesiologist another friend's uncle. I felt I was in good hands. After having such a horrible experience with my spinal during Dayr's delivery in Nevada; however, I was really hesitant. I started rambling on about it, thinking that if they knew how bad it was they'd do everything in their power to better my perception. And they did. Of course my husband was sent out of the room for this part, but having some familiar faces helped to ease my nerves.

Once the spinal block was in place we were ready for action. Bob came in, oxygen was flowing, everyone was ready for Ayara.

It seemed like only seconds before I heard the most beautiful sound. My baby had arrived. She was big, and beautiful, and still covered in vernix. The doctor held her chubby, goopy body up for me to see and I held her, tears streaming, for the first time. 



Now for the fun part. How much did she weigh? Arriving four weeks early we were all anxious to see if the ultrasound was right. She looked big, but was she really 10 pounds? They laid her on the scale. "Shoot! It's in kilos!" Hit the button, wait for it to recalibrate...

12 pounds 3 ounces

What? My jaw literally dropped open. This is a premature baby! And she weighs more than twelve pounds? Alert the press! And we did, and they were all over that. Go ahead, google her - I dare you.

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** Update: I realize after discussing with my husband and rereading what I wrote "... and Bob leisurely sipped his coffee" that I portrayed him in a nonchalant, if not lazy, light. That is simply not the case. What Bob does for me and our family does not get appreciated nearly enough. During the time he appeared "leisurely" to me he was mentally preparing to leave our home and boys for who knows how long. What was calm on the outside was really a high level of alert and orderly thought inside.  

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful story. I can't believe that she was 12+ pounds! OMG! And 4 weeks early??!! Incredible!

    (You know, I was visiting the porcelain a lot on the night that Roman was born, too. WTH??)


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