Ouch ouch ouch another contraction, one on top of another…Cue the amazing anesthesiologist Dr. Shin. He was my shining star, he was amazing, he was wonderful, he was funny, he was nearly painless, he was fast, and he delivered sweet medical numbness that would allow me to rest and delivery this baby safely. For each procedure they had we go through they had me recount which ArtPrize entries I liked best, after reciting this by the 6th time I wish I had it tape recorded so I could click on and I could click off.
Dawn instructed Adam and me to take a rest for a bit so I had enough energy and he enough stamina to get me through what was awaiting us at 7:00am. She checked out for about 15 minutes to grab a bite to eat, I shut my eyes and fell into a semi sleep. at 3:00am I posted the following status update to Facebook, “started the evening at ArtPrize w/ Mom & now enjoying a night at Spectrum waiting for Hercules to arrive.” T-4 hours, or so we thought.
She reappeared around 3:10 (having eaten the fastest meal on the planet), maybe she decided to check me before she headed in for that quick bite. All I can say is she was smart enough to have prepped my room for when it’s time to deliver, because we weren’t expecting her to say the following, heck I don’t think she was expecting to say it… “you are at +3, you need to start pushing now.” Whaaaa??? You told me to sleep, that is what we were trying to do, why why oh why would you tell me I am at this mysterious +3?
Within minutes the room was coming to life. Dr. Leazenby returned, Dawn the RN back in the room as was the nameless medical student. Another thing I learned about that night is that on TV they have the actresses sweating it out under those courtesy napkin on their laps, for me this wasn’t the case. I also had the mirror to contend with. Zen Calm Caroline was still in check I will be fine, I knew it, I felt it in my bones. I actually wasn’t afraid of this experience, though I feared it for many years prior.
I pushed three times… one, two three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Okay rest. and rest I did. I was being told that I was doing really well that I was pushing well (kinda hard to gauge when you don’t feel anything from your belly button. Correction, I could feel my skin but my legs were only able to flop around like fish out of water. They brought in extra lights, the search lights were pointed on my lady bits, they were going to find our baby in there. Unfortunately, the search lights reflected in the damn mirror and I looked up, the doctor’s head didn’t block enough. I saw more than enough. I can’t undo what I saw.
I pushed a total of three or four times (counting to ten each time.) And I was being reassured that I was doing really well. They marveled at my labor it was progressing quickly, efficiently, and the baby was doing great. I live off of positive praise so naturally I was aiming to impressed.
Suddenly I felt a big relief of pressure and a funny shaped item came out.
I had three things in mind for my birth plan that I ran out of time to create. 1. I didn’t want to see my lady bits in a mirror. 2. I didn’t want to see the child coming out of me. 3. I didn’t want a baby on me until it was scrubbed clean. None of these things happened as expected. But in all honesty I didn’t care. Sarcastic Caroline disappeared, cynical Caroline faded away. Love struck Caroline appeared. I saw the baby exit, I saw the aftermath of the birth in the mirror (eww gross) and I saw my baby placed on my chest (I don’t hold babies this tiny and floppy, only to learn that we will hold this tiny child AND we will need to raise it). Holy crap he is here and he is perfect. I was happy I was teary-eyed. I was becoming “Hallmarky”
Henry Adam Ramseyer arrived into this work on September 27, 2011 at 3:24. The actual delivery took about about 15 minutes. I just survived a fast and easy labor and birth, which resulted in the birth of a perfect baby. I felt so alive and awake, I decided I would call my mom. Adam called his family, only double checking with me right before the call that the baby would be named Henry (we didn’t know his size nor his weight at this point.) After getting to know our newest relative I asked for specs. After weighing and measuring our screaming little infant we learn that I gave birth to a tiny little peanut, weight only 6lbs 13 oz and measuring a lofty 19.5 inches.
I called my mom who was surprised to hear from me. Here is how that conversation went:
Mom: “What happened? Why are you calling?”
Me: “We had the baby!”
Mom: “Wait, you weren’t supposed to have him until around 7:00am!?”
Me: “I know! But I just had him 15 minutes ago!”
Mom: “Oh my Gosh! So what’s his name?”
Me: “Henry Adam Ramseyer.”
Mom: “What a lovely delicate name!” (I don’t think she was thinking of a particular Henry, a Henry the VIII who was anything BUT delicate.)
We were truly blessed, our son had arrived and the fun, challenges and new experiences were just about to begin. We were as clueless as our newly birthed infant, but we were excited, we were now parents!