Saturday, November 1, 2014

Miriam Elaine Proffitt

So I gave birth to a baby 2 weeks ago. And every day since I've been faced with an overwhelming sense of panic: "This baby is changing SO MUCH every SECOND and unless I make a record of ALL THE THINGS, I won't remember any of it." The panic, the anxiety- it's no joke. So serious that I'm actually going to *maybe* start to try and... blog again. So here goes, my blogging comeback is brought to you by one incredibly loved little lady, Miriam Elaine Proffitt born October 15th, 2014 at 2:44 pm. 

Here's a birth story for you, future Margaret, who is a trained midwife because childbirth is fascinating to me as evidenced by the TMI details below. (And when I get around to it, I'll add in these amazing photos from my friend Megan. In the meantime, here's a link and password "DrPepper".)

Miriam is coming up on 72 hours old, so I figure I better write down her birth story before things get too hazy. On Monday (10/13/14) I had an appointment with my doctor. He was going to be off for fall break and I knew I wouldn’t see him for another week. I was 3 cm, 60% effaced and did NOT want to be pregnant for another week. He stripped my membranes and sent me on my way. Over the next few days, I lost my mucus plug and I had light spotting. I felt super uncomfortable. My body ached constantly, my back especially. I decided to stay home from book club on Tuesday night because I just felt a little off.

I woke up at 5:30 in the morning on Wednesday (10/15/14 and exactly 39 weeks) with painful-ish contractions. After an hour or so, I started timing them. They weren’t particularly regular, coming every 3-7 minutes apart. I went downstairs and got the boys ready for school and ate some toast, still timing them. Clark came down around 7 and I told him I *might* be in labor. For the next couple hours, we got ready, packed bags and took showers. The contractions continued but weren’t very regular and the pain was bad but manageable. At nine, we dropped Asher off at the East’s for his playgroup. I was pretty sure I was still only in the early stages of labor so we decided to grab breakfast at Einstein’s Bagels. We pulled into the parking lot and I had to lean against the car during a contraction- they were getting more painful. Einstein’s was full of old folks and I got some pretty weird looks as I ate breakfast and moaned through contractions. I figured if I was headed to the hospital where they don't let you eat anything, I better fill up on yummy food now. After breakfast, we stopped at QT for a large soda. I was all set to go. We got to the hospital around 10 am.

 Heading off to the hospital. 

In triage I was met by Kristy the South African nurse who helped deliver Ike. She recognized me and I definitely remembered her because she was such an awesome L&D nurse. They hooked me up and checked me-  4.5 cm, 80% effaced. For the next hour and a half, they monitored me in triage. The monitor wasn’t picking up my contractions but I sure felt them, especially in my back. I began to worry that I wasn’t in active labor and they would send me home. The contractions showed up better while I was standing, so for an hour and a half I stood in the triage "room" and breathed through contractions, hoping they would admit me. Ouch.


Feeling much better. 

Around 11:30 am they decided I was actually in labor. Got back to the room around noon and got settled in. My nurse encouraged me to ask for my epidural soon because the anesthesiologist was headed to the OR and only had a small window to squeeze me in. I was hesitant- they hadn’t checked me since 10 am and the contractions were still manageable. I didn’t want to jump the gun and slow things down by getting an epidural. Eventually she and Clark convinced me though. He was there immediately and started the epidural (he didn’t have any time for me to sign the consent paperwork). Epidural worked great this time (unlike with Asher- cue the horrific memories of excruciating pain). Right after placing the epidural (at 1 pm), they checked me again- 8 cm. 

I’m proud that I made it that far without any pain intervention but man, I was glad I got the epidural when I did. If I had decided to wait, I would have missed my window entirely and I would have had a natural delivery which I was not prepared for (and Clark was definitely not prepared for). Doctor Nelson (on call doc with La Dea) came in to introduce herself and broke my water around 1:45 pm. Everyone left me alone to labor down. I put on Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend and went to my happy place. I could still feel some of the pain/pressure of the contractions but it was much more manageable- sign of a great epidural.

Around 2 pm (in the middle of Young Lion) they checked me again and I was complete and ready to push. They paged the doctor and started breaking down the bed. Several other nurses came in and got the room ready for baby. Then we waited for the doctor. They paged her again and we waited some more. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Eventually she ran in with a towel on her head- she was in the shower and rushed out when she got the page. I started pushing. I pushed through one contraction and then asked for a mirror so I could see the progress. I pushed through one more contraction and felt her head pop out, quickly followed by the rest of her body. 

They placed her on my chest while Clark cut the cord. She was 6 pounds, 7 ounces and 19.5 inches long born at 2:44 pm. She cried quite a bit and didn’t stop for the next 45 minutes or so. Her apgars were great- 9 and 9. I had a 2nd degree tear along the same scar line as my other tear/episiotomy and the doctor sewed me up. She took some time to show me the placenta and the amniotic sac. It was fascinating to me. There was a fatty cyst on the placenta about the size of a golf ball. She said that was totally normal. I asked for my soda and was pleasantly surprised to find it still full of ice. That’s my kind of labor and delivery- fast enough to to still enjoy a nice cold Diet Dr. Pepper (with a little bit of pina colada slushie mixed in) after pushing a small human out of my vagina. Thank you QT and your styrofoam cups!

The next hour is kind of a blur. I remember holding her and nursing- she latched on immediately. We took time to look her over and marvelled over how much hair she had. She looked like a combo of Booker and Ike (with Booker’s super round head). She has no eyebrows or eyelashes (like Asher at birth) which makes me think she might be another blond, blue-eyed child, although the hair on her head is quite dark for now. She has extremely long feet and skinny little legs. She is my smallest baby by more than a pound. A tiny little thing.

Breanna brought the boys in to meet their sister and they took turns holding her. Asher was less interested and Booker and Ike were enamored. They helped move me into the recovery room and then went back home around 5 (thank you so much Bre!) Marie showed up shortly after and spent the evening with me while Clark went home and got the boys settled in for the night. Clark spent the night at the hospital but headed home the next day to be with the boys. It was nice to spend the whole day with just me and Miriam- sleeping on and off all day. After getting the all clear from the pediatrician and the oncall OB, Miri and I were cleared to go home exactly 24 hours after she was born.

Overall, it was a great labor and delivery experience. I wanted so badly to go into labor on my own and not worry about having to be induced as a VBAC. Contractions started in the morning (not the middle of the night) so it was easy to find care for the boys. Even the hospital was super empty that day- with a total of four deliveries. She came exactly one week early and I am SO grateful for that. I was fully expecting to be pregnant for another week and Dr. Chen had planned on an induction for 10/21/14. I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait another week. Other than feeling sore and cramping while nursing, I’m feeling pretty good. It’s amazing how quickly all those awful pregnancy symptoms go away immediately- no more extreme heartburn, no aching back and constant peeing. The sleepless nights are still around unfortunately. Miriam has been pretty difficult at night. My milk came in today (3 days after birth) and I’m hoping now that she’s eating more, things might improve.

As far as her name goes, the name Miriam has a lot of significance for me. Of course I love the idea of paying homage to the region of the world where I grew up (although the more traditional Arabic spelling would be Maryam.) More importantly though, she's named after my sister Marie (Marie=Mary=Miriam) and in a way, also after her daughter Amara whose name comes from "amira" which is Arabic for princess. Plus, one interpretation for the name Miriam is "wished-for child" which, you know, DUH!

I’m so thrilled she’s here. I’m in love with everything about her (except for the frequent waking up in the middle of the night parts about her). I’m still in shock that she’s a GIRL and that she’s mine to keep for realsies. We love you Miriam Elaine Proffitt!