Today we're celebrating Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, and to our favourite mother--Michelle Duggar, and the other Duggar mothers, Mary, Deanna, and Anna!
I had the good fortune to be in the UK to have my child, for many reasons. But one that sticks out, is that she happened to be born on what they call, "Mothering Sunday." It falls in March over there. My daughter was born 6 1/2 weeks early (I've told parts of this story here and there, so today, you're going to hear it all.) The only downside? I ruined the lunch we had planned with my Mother-in-law and sister-in-law--however, hubby did take them out after the baby was born and they did come visit me and see the new little one.
I happened to be in the hospital because the midwife found signs of pre-eclampsia on Thursday, and I'd been told day by day that I'd be going home soon after they did more "tests." I had a headache they couldn't get rid of (I'd had it since to previous Sunday) and my blood pressure wouldn't come under control. If would calm down for a bit then go wild again. I would have to sit still for 30 min a few times a day so they could hook me up to a fetal monitor, only because everytime they did, my little monkey would swim away--so as soon as they'd find her I'd have to sit perfectly still--apparently she hated that test! Throughout the entire process I was reassured again and again that my baby was perfectly fine, it was my health they were worried about. Finally on Saturday I was told they had me scheduled for an ultrasound (called a scan over there) on Monday morning and if that was ok, I could go home.
Now as these few days had progressed, the other two beds in the room had women coming and going--it was kind of a staging area--pre-labour--before they'd go to labour rooms. In the back of my mind I got to thinking that I just might be having this baby early. That and the fact that when they checked me in they gave me a special shot to speed up the development of my baby's lungs in case I had to deliver early. I started to rethink my baby name. When I went into the hospital she was "Saffron Rapunzel." The more I said it out loud, the more I didn't like it--it sounded great with a British accent, which I don't have--so hubby had to bring me the baby name book in one of the many trips with things I needed (always had a list!) I would walk around the circle of the ward to pass the time (you have to pay for TV over there) and I'd read. As I was walking around, I asked the doctor at the desk if just because I had pre-eclampsia it meant I had to have a c-section, or if I could still have a natural birth. She said they always try to do natural first. That lifted my spirits. Then I joked that if they couldn't find me I'd be down floating around in the birthing pool--they had a huge lovely birthing tub that I SO wanted to go for a swim in!
Then Sunday morning came. My headache was off the charts and all night we'd been doing shots of liquid morphine (literally like doing vodka shots.) Breakfast was brought in and the doctors told me that I could take it with me to the other room, they were moving me to a different room so they'd have more space (remember I was sharing with 2 other people.) So as I'm kind of loopy and being taken across the ward to another room, I had presence of mind to ask a nurse to call my husband. Next I remember I'm laying in a bed and 3 different people are putting tubes in 3 different places--both arms and my neck. Ten minutes later I asked again for someone to call my husband, because I was sure that in all this mess (there were about 12 people, no kidding, in my room) whomever I asked probably hadn't done it. But I was told he was in the lift! (the elevator) And the next time I saw him, a fe minutes later, he was standing at the foot of my bed in scrubs. Huh. Interesting.
Then it occcured to me to ask the question. Where we going to have a baby? You see, no one actually bothered to tell me that we were going to have this baby. The answer was yes, we were going to deliver this baby. My next question struck everyone as rather funny, "Am I having a c-section?" The doctor said yes. "Good," I said, "because I don't think I can push."
We got to the operating theatre and that's when the resident who put in my neck line realized that he hadn't taken off my t-shirt. He was very distressed about it. "Cut it off! I shouted. He was still unsure about it. "It's okay," I said. "I got it on sale." Everyone laughed so hard, it was hilarious! Then my husband had to explain to them what an outlet mall was. (It was from Eddie Bauer.) And Hubby still has the cut up t-shirt.
All through the procedure I kept whispering "Jaspin." Because I was sure that's what her name would be. When she was born they wheeled her quickly past my head and that's all I could see of her as they took her to the NICU. Hubby took pictures with our phone. When I got to the recovery room the first thing I said was "I don't want to name her Jaspin!" So for a few minutes she was Spencer. Later on in our room we spent about 2 hours trying to name her. She was Amistad for awhile, but we couldn't decide if it was a first name or second name. We went through friend's names, we had the baby book of 100,001 names. We went through the list. Finally we got to the boy list to see if there was anything there...and we got to Zephyr. We just looked at each other and it clicked. She was Zephyr. The nurse watching over me was trying not to laugh as we were spending all this time figuring out a name.
I was still paralyzed from the waist down with a clicker to stay that way and they'd bring liquid morphine every so often. I didn't get to see Zephyr in the NICU until Tuesday. I was not happy about that. They moved me to the regular ward on Tuesday evening after dinner. And I waited all day Tuesday to see her, and finally hubby showed up to take me as they were ringing the "no more visiting hours" bell--they didn't bother to tell him they were moving me and that hours were changed. And I burst into tears again. They promised! Well hubby raised all kinds of noise and the nurse came in and soothed me and promised that I'd have a wheelchair there in moments to take me down to see my baby--and I did. She was beautiful. I got to hold her--hubby had been to see her, but hadn't held her, he made sure that I was the first one to hold her. It was the most amazing thing ever, she looked into my eyes and I knew then that I was mommy.
I woke up in the middle of the night in a ward with 5 other mothers who all had their babies with them--and mine was in the NICU--I hobbled into the waiting area/lobby where the nurse's station was at about 3am and started bawling. I told them I couldn't go back in there. I couldn't sleep in there with those babies and those mothers, it wasn't fair. Wednesday morning the head nurse came and talked to me and moved me to a private room, she explained that this never would have happened, they were just full. So I spent the rest of my stay in a private room, getting to go down to the NICU any time during the day to visit her and hold her. And hubby would come after work and see her with me. Sometimes he'd bring take away. I stayed 5 days after the birth.
Two weeks in the NICU and she was ready to come home. We spent the night in a special family room there where the baby sleeps with us in the room and we "learn" how to be new parents. We get up with her, feed her, change her, and sleep there. If we have questions the nurses are right there. The next morning we get to take her home. And she's been our little muppet ever since.
So there's this mom's story--a baby born on Mothering Sunday. I felt it was appropriate, since today is Mother's Day, and Michelle Duggar has shared so many of her birthing stories with us! So please, feel free to share your birthing stories. Or if you aren't that comfortable, share your naming stories :)