Sunday, May 15, 2011

Amazing Grace

The Facts
Name: Caitlin Grace Turner (known as Gracie)
Date of Birth: Saturday, 14 May 2011
Time of Birth: 11:49 p.m. British Summer Time
Weight: 8 pounds 3 ounces
Other metrics: They don't measure how long a baby is or head circumference or any of that other stuff here.

An hour after delivery.

About 13 hours old. Sleeping just before heading home from the hospital.

I keep thinking about the witty things Jason had to say when Rosie was born. Both here on my blog & also on his own (which he hasn't used in three years). And I just can't compete. So, here's what I've got to say:

Caitlin Grace Turner joined our family very late Saturday night at 11:49 British Summer Time (aka GMT +1).

The Details

For those who want details, let me jBoldust say We are done. I love my baby. She's sweet & Cami, Graham, & Rosie love her. I am thrilled that Jason and I have grown much more competent in our actual ability to care for a newborn than we were when Cami arrived, while being much more cautious with Gracie's well-being. But I am never doing this again.

I almost gave birth in the car.

You think I'm joking, but I'm not.

Call it a cultural misunderstanding.

I was 10 days overdue. My ob/midwife team in New Jersey just wouldn't have let that happen. They would have scheduled an induction last week during which I would have gladly let them stick a very big needle with heavy-duty medicine into my back, spent the night sleeping, & had a baby about mid-day.

Well, that sort of thing isn't done here. 14 days overdue is the standard for induction. And so I experienced slow off-and-on labor beginning on Friday night. Just like I'd prayed for, actually.

But I didn't pray that it would stop at 3 a.m. Saturday morning. Or that because I've never had a delivery that didn't involve pitocin (evil stuff), I wouldn't know that I was in actual heavy labor. So, when I called the hospital about 10:30 p.m. I spent about 10 agonized minutes trying to get the midwife confirm that it was time to come in (and even then it was a grudging "Well, I guess we can check you out.") By the time my friend Tracy arrived to stay with the kids, I needed somebody rational to remind me how to breath through a contraction. She saved me from hyperventilating.

I saw the car clock read 11:23 when we got in. And during the 15 minute drive I groaned out, "I think I'm crowning." "You can't be," Jason countered, "Your water hasn't broken." (A convenient untruth -- he didn't know he was lying -- designed to keep us both from panicking/hyperventilating.)

We got to the hospital & never made it into the triage center. The triage midwife took a look at me at the door, asked "Do you want to push?" and ran for a wheelchair (which doesn't happen in English hospitals -- if you are in labor, you WALK). She and Jason ran me into the delivery suite, demanding an empty delivery room, which the delivery midwives chaotically tried to find.

The midwife and attending nurse very quickly assigned to me handed me a breathing tube with a mixture of laughing gas & oxygen. When another contraction hit I sounded like Darth Vader, sucking in that stuff like a drug addict. When they got me out of my trousers, there's wasn't time to get me out of my shirt & cardigan. It was just "up on the bed & push."

"I WANT AN EPIDURAL!" I screamed, to which the midwife replied, "We're way past that stage, honey." And we were, two minutes later a tiny head was free -- sunny side up. Jason said Gracie stretched & blinked & looked around. I'm so glad I didn't see that. I keep imagining this little purple alien head in a box. Anyway, another push to get her shoulders out & she was free, where they cleaned her right there on the bed & I got introduced to my baby.

Like I said, she's sweet. Right now, she's laying on the Boppy on my lap, sleeping. And I love her. But, and I really mean this, I'm never doing that again.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Just a few more photos

This makes me laugh. Something about it reminds me of American Gothic. Although this happens to be English Medieval.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Told Him I'm Not -- American Mothers' Day Special

Graham just told me, "Mom, you're the best person in our family. But I'm not sure if you're the best person in the world."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Feels Familiar

Remember this post? Feeling very familiar right now. Only major difference is that it's 11:23 a.m. & that I actually slept last night.

I wish that we were able to recreate this follow up today. But Jason's got a long day at the office and all three kids have school today. Sure, I'll grab Rosie from preschool in 40 minutes and we'll play outside, but that's not a day at the beach.

It's been a day of washing the car, returning library books, getting meat from the butcher, and vacuuming the house. Sounds like I'm nesting, doesn't it? And nesting is the one part of pregnancy that I just don't do. The reality is that I'm taking advantage of my last guaranteed three-hours-all-to-myself-period to do those things that will drive me nuts when I'm supposed to be basking in the glow of new (again) motherhood.