Bryanna's Birth Story
It started off like any other Wednesday night: all-you-can-eat fajita night at the local restaurant. That was my safe haven. I never missed the fajitas on Wednesdays, especially not in the last nine months. After stuffing my face, it was time for sleep. Food and sleep seemed to go hand in hand.
I waddled into bed. Yes, waddled, just like a penguin. Walking normally just didn't happen anymore. I hated trying to get comfortable in bed. I was always a belly sleeper, but not anymore. I laid, on my back, thinking, not about anything in particular, just thinking. Then, out of nowhere, a kick! And not just any kick, a powerful, "knock you over on your butt" kick. "Ouch!" I said aloud. Wait a second, what is that? It felt like I peed my pants.
"Babe, I think my water just broke," I said to my boyfriend. He nonchalantly reached over to check, and I think was a little bit surprised by the caliber of wetness. "Yep," he said. Ugh. That is all he can say is yep. I swear sometimes. I ran/waddled into the bathroom to check everything out and could hear some commotion going on in the hall. My roommates were up and about and excitement was ringing through the house. I was not excited, not now. I was in shock.
I called my mom, and my dad answered the phone. "My water broke," I said shakily."So, what does that mean?" my dad replied. OK Dad, I was thinking, now is not the time for jokes. My dad always tried to make humor out of everything, and frankly tonight, I wasn't in the mood. I could hear my mother and him discussing the issue at hand in the background and then my mom yelling, "You better get to the hospital quick!"
Apparently women on my mom's side of the family shoot out babies when they sneeze. I was not looking forward to that, but knew we should get a move on. We loaded up and headed out. I looked over at my boyfriend while he drove us and wondered what was going through his mind. He seemed so calm, so cool. He couldn't really be feeling that way on the inside, could he?
I had been saying how ready I was to have this baby for months. I hated being pregnant. I liked the whole presence of the baby, the kicks, the movements and the pure miracle of it all. But I hated peeing every five seconds, eating everything in sight, the sleepless nights and the sight of my body. I was only 19. I was supposed to be skinny, and hot, not look like I ate a house. So, if I was so ready to have this baby, why was I freaking out?
That's when I went into pep talk mode. I had to keep telling myself "You can do this," and "This will be a piece of cake." I could not show people that I was actually scared.
When we arrived, the reality of the whole situation set in, and I wanted to go back home. The place was packed. After checking in, I realized that everyone and their mother were having babies that night. Just wonderful, I thought. The lady at the desk informed us that since my water broke, I was not allowed to leave. Where would I go? Do people just come check in and then take off? I assured her that we were not going anywhere until I had a baby in my arms.
My room looked like a hospital room; plain and painful. I hated hospitals, especially the smell. I was really hoping that the baby was coming soon, 'cause I was already dreading staying in that room any longer.
The doctor came in, got way too friendly too soon and checked me over thoroughly. "You are only dilated 2 cm. You have quite a ways to go. Get up and walk around the hospital for a bit—that sometimes helps to get things moving," she said so cheerily that I wanted to jump up and smack her.
I wasn't having any contractions, so walking around sounded better than staying in that room any longer. I just hated having to walk around in that stupid hospital gown. I really didn't want to flash anyone that night. Therefore, I had my boyfriend tie that thing so tight, I didn't know how I was going to get out of it later.
As the night continued on, family showed up and everyone was full of smiles, everyone that is except for me. I was fortunate enough to be having contractions, and that wiped any inkling of a smile off of my face. Pain isn't even a descriptive-enough word to describe the feeling. And nothing helped. I tried walking, sitting, squatting, lying down and anything else anybody suggested. We took those stupid Lamaze classes and I was ready to hunt down that lady and give her a piece of my mind. That breathing was not helping! I wanted that baby out and as soon as possible.
Whatever happened to the ladies on my mom's side of the family sneezing out babies? Why couldn't that happen to me? Of course, I had been hearing my whole life, how I must have inherited more of my dad's genes. I was always proud of that. My dad is extremely intelligent, athletic, good sense of humor and just an all-around great person. This was the one time that I wished there was some more of my mom's side of the family in me. They say patience is a virtue, but it was definitely one that I was lacking at that particular point in time.
My water broke at 10 PM. It was now 9 o'clock in the morning. Something wasn't right. My blood pressure was dropping and I was so weak, tired and dizzy. The baby's heart rate was dropping and people everywhere were preparing for my baby's delivery. I was finally dilated enough, but I had absolutely no energy.
"We have to start pushing," they kept saying. "The heart rate is too low." I reached down inside myself and found enough energy to start pushing. It was not fun. I pushed and pushed and pushed. It felt like I wasn't making any progress. I will spare the details on a few parts, but the pain of the baby actually exiting the body is unlike anything in the world. I had to stop mid-push because the umbilical cord was wrapped around my baby's neck and they had to cut it off.
Now, everyone has seen movies or television shows where the lady gives birth. It's not very messy, the baby is crying, and everyone is so beautiful and happy. Well, mine did not go quite that way. "It's a girl!" the doctor said. That's when I noticed some of the nurses and hospital workers faces. They looked concerned. They were saying that she wasn't breathing. She did not cry. I did not hear her at all. It was definitely not like I had pictured it would be.
Those eyes! I remember these big blue eyes staring up at me. They were beautiful! It was in that instant that nothing else in the world mattered. She was all bundled up in a blanket, and in my arms. It was only for a second, but in that instant, it felt like an eternity had passed. I did not want to let her go. Unfortunately, I had to. The one thing that stood out besides her eyes was her skin. It was grey. Grey like the sky before it rains. I can still picture it in my mind like it was yesterday. So, just as soon as they handed her to me, they took her away. I don't remember much after that. I slept a lot that day. I tried to stay awake, but the pure exhaustion of my mind and body would not allow it.
That was 11 1/2 years ago. My baby girl, Bryanna, was born. She was placed on oxygen for over 12 hours before she could breathe on her own. She was a fighter, and still is to this day. It was then that I learned that sometimes things don't go according plan, but in the end, it will all work out for the best. I don't know where I would be without her, but I know I love where I am with her.
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