Friday, September 21, 2007
HAPPY 9th BIRTHDAY, MAIA!
Today is my Maia's ninth birthday (which means I have been married for exactly nine years, nine months and one day--but this post isn't about my fertility :). I can hardly believe that it has been nine years since I first laid eyes on my sweet angel girl. Allow me to give a quick (let's hope) overview of her entrance into the world.
My water broke at about 1:15 a.m. I thought I was peeing the bed, but when I awoke and went to the bathroom it just kept coming out. I woke up Michael and called my parents in PA to tell them that we were heading to the hospital. When I got to Orem Community, they checked me and told me that I was like 2 cm dilated. I knew I had a while to go and that it was the middle of the night, but I was just so excited that I was about to become a mother that I couldn't sleep; I didn't even try. Instead, while Michael slept on the couch next to me, I sat up in bed doing crossword puzzles and anticipating meeting my baby girl.
Periodically, the nurse would walk in and ask me if I was feeling the contractions because they looked pretty strong on the monitor. I could feel them but they didn't hurt and I smugly thought to myself that I could have a dozen kids. Because my water had broken, the nurses were hesitant to keep checking me. By late morning, though, they were unhappy with my slow progress and put me on Pitocin. That kicked things up a notch, to be sure!
After a few more hours and a shift change, a new nurse checked me and asked if I'd been told that my baby was head down. I answered affirmatively. Later, another nurse checked me and then silently raced from the room. She returned quickly with an older nurse hot on her heels. The younger nurse was saying, "I felt a crack." The older nurse checked me and confirmed that my baby was in a frank breech presentation.
I was slightly panicked. In my prenatal class they had taught us that breech = c-section and I was terrified of that possibility. My doctor came in and talked to me and actually gave me the choice of trying a vaginal birth or getting a cesarean. Since I had already been in labor for 12 hours and was 8 cm dilated, I chose to try the vaginal birth.
They prepped me for an emergency c-section (giving me that dreaded epidural that looked really scary to me) and even wheeled me down to the operating room to do the pushing--just so they'd be ready if things went sour. On my way to the OR I saw my mom who had already flown across the country for her latest grandchild's birth! I pushed for quite a while and found myself 15 minutes away from having a c-section when I was finally able to push out Maia's little bruised bottom. (Pushing was such hard work! I couldn't feel A THING and couldn't get the angle right until a nurse tied a towel in a giant knot and then played tug-of-war with me between my straddled legs.) After Maia's bum came out, the doctor fished out her legs; I gave a little push of her body and then he fished out her arms and shoulders. He used forceps to get her head out.
She weighed 7 lbs. 13 oz. and was 21 inches long. Because her feet were by her head in my womb, her hip sockets never formed. When the respiratory team laid her down her feet went right back up to her ears. It was the funniest thing! She had to wear 3 diapers at a time to keep her legs in place until she was fitted for a brace; she wore the brace for about six months.
She was a little celebrity in the hospital. People would pop in my room all day to peek at "the vaginal breech baby." She had the most beautiful head of any first vaginal baby around, but her butt was black! Poor little thing.
I remember just holding her and singing to her that first night in the hospital. "All mine in your loveliness, Baby, all mine..." I was so thrilled to be her mother and couldn't believe the trust Heavenly Father had in me to bestow upon me such a gift.
I still feel that way. Earlier this week I touched on Maia's creative gifts. She has such a wonderfully unique mind and I feel humble to be her mother. She is very tender-hearted, talented, clever and creative.
To help document your ninth birthday, Maia, I celebrate
* Your gift for writing (journals and journals full of gems)
* Your amazing illustrations
* Your love of fairies
* The intense care you take of your Tamagatchi
* Your commitment to being a vegetarian (over two years strong now)
* Your grace in the swimming pool
* Your recent attempts and successes at overcoming fears (like escalators and dogs)
* Your wish for your hair to reach your waist
* Your naughtiness for reading far into the night (2:30 a.m. with a flashlight-- naughty!)
* Your enjoyment of ketchup bread and spaghetti
* Your improvement at playing the piano
* Your excited smiles when you come home from Activity Days at church
* Your willingness to help me when I need it