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.


Jessica said...

HAHAHAHA!!! LOL!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I truly don't mean to laugh, but I can only imagine the whole happening in my head and I think about me and Bill, and then I just have to laugh. what a way to come into the world. What a sweet baby she is, and so beautiful! Congratulations again!

Little Tree Vintage said...

so happy for you guys! that labor story sounds so scary, being in america definitely has it's good moments i guess right? haha. I am glad all is well and you did NOT give birth in a cab, that could have been a messy experience :)

Meredith said...

Oh Starr!! What an amazing story!! My sister's 3rd came that way, in Colorado. They almost stopped at the hospital that was before the one where their doc as privileges. Crazy times for you guys. But she is beautiful and sounds like "all's well that ends well", right?

Amy Donner said...

What a beautiful little girl, and what an amazing experience! Wishing you all many happy moments with sweet Caitlyn.

ALYN said...

I had my 4th about 1.5 hours after arriving to the hospital, and that was too fast. I can't even imagine how intense that was, Starr! Congrats on the new baby girl!

Anonymous said...

So I'm hearing you are thinking 2 or 3 more and then you'll be done? ;) Congrats on the new addition. Congrats also on the natural childbirth badge, which folks seem to like, even if that came accidentally. I'm really glad she waited until you were in the hospital and I can't believe they send folks home so quickly there! Did you at least get a nap?

Tricia said...

Oh, I just loved every word of that story. I could picture it all--I want an epidural!! She's such a lovely little lady. I'm so happy for you guys.

christina said...

Yay! Great story and congrats on your new baby girl!


Chrislynn said...

She is adorable! What an adventure, Starr!

I think babies named Gracie are pretty awesome, congratulations.

Ellen Fehr said...

Love the telling of the experience, love the title, love having gotten to see her shortly after you got home, love YOU lots--YOU are amazing!

Love Lorri said...

Congratulations!!! Adorable Gracie was born on my David's Birthday! That makes her extra special in my world! Love the story! xoxoxo

SARAH said...

I am laughing my butt off. You can totally do it again. you went through all of your labor, relaxed and unaware of what stage you were. You now know what real labor is like! You are a pro now!

Lisa G. said...

Wow, Starr--congrats on getting through all that and on your beautiful, healthy new arrival! I totally don't blame you for not wanting to go through that again. I'm not even sure I want to go through it ever, and you've been through it in some form or another 4 times! You've definitely earned the right to be done, if that's what you and your family want. ;)

Jen said...

ha- famous last words! She is beautiful. After months without the internet i can finally catch up on all my blog friends! i am so happy for you! I am so glad you got the story down.