"So... How come labour isn't really like it is in the movies?" Dustin queries.
"What do you mean?" Says I.
"Well, in the movies they always have their water break and then they go into labour."
"Yeah, that actually only happens like 20% of the time. But they make it seem like it always happens that way in the movies. Not too sure why."
Approximately 24 hours after said conversation and around three weeks before my due date I got up after a nice hot bath a promptly soaked my drawers. And then a hand towel and then a beach towel. "Um, I think my water broke Hunny". This was a totally new experience for Dustin and I as with the other two labour started on it's own and I was able to labour in the comfort of my own home before having to drive to the hospital. Our usual trips to the hospital consisted of panting and painful contractions. This time around we drove to the hospital in stunned silence and disbelief that we were indeed going about it again. I knew we were going to meet the baby soon as I tested Group B Strep positive this time around and I knew they'd induce me to reduce the risk of infection to our baby. Here we go again.
Just before my water had broken a friend of Dustin's had called to come over and hang with him for the evening. He arrived just in time for the chaos to begin. Thankfully the kids were already fast asleep in their beds for the night. So, we left our friend at our home with our kids and we headed off to the hospital me with a bulky towel between my legs and Dustin overburdened with suitcases and camera paraphernelia.
We arrived at the hospital at nine and it was nice and quiet. Perfect. They'll induce me right away and by morning I'll be snuggling our precious fuzzy baby. Only the hospital wasn't quiet. It was PACKED! So packed and full that because we weren't a priority we waited in that sterile, flourescent delivery room all night with nothing but year old National Enquirers to read and a stiff bed with napkins for pillows and blankets. They came in a few times promising us times that we'd get started in the drip. Midnight...nope. Two thirty...nope. Finally at six after a fitful, nervous night the nurse came in a hooked me up to some oxytocin. Sweet. If this works as fast as they tell me it will I'll be cuddling my baby by ten.
An hour goes by... no contractions. They increase the doseage. However I'm a little encouraged by this point because Heidi (the best delivery nurse on the planet)is there and has switched her schedule around to be there with us for the delivery. YAY!
Another hour goes by...maybe a handful of contractions. Nothing to complain about yet. Nine, ten o'clock still barely a thing going on. I keep getting the doseage increased. Ten thirty, here they come a little bit more regularly not quite painful yet. Eleven hits and now things are getting rolling but I can still talk a joke between contractions. Noon. Okay I need something. Heidi introduces to me to my new favourite drug. Phentanyl. Fentanol? Or something like that. Whatever it was it got me through the next hour like I was floating on a cloud. Then at One o'clock i thought I was about to die. I had three of THE MOST painful contractions of my LIFE. Right after another. I'm talking not even three seconds of a break in between. And all this is happening while Heidi was on her break. I pleaded with the stand in nurse to get me an epidural. She asked if I could wait. I wanted to punch her and wished for Heidi. Then Heidi came back and tracked down the doctor for me to get me the epidural. Bless her heart.
So, the doctor came in and checked to see what my progression was in order to start the epidural. And lo and behold I was eight to nine. So, I guess no epidural. the next fifteen minutes were a bit of a blur. I just remember yelling at the next contraction that i was getting ready to push and Heidi telling me not to and to "pant it out" which I did and then I must of hyperventilated or something cuz my hands went all numb. Then I think it was just a couple of pushes and our she slid. All white and covered in vernix. And she was indeed a girl. She weighed in a seven pounds even. And twenty inches long. Born at one thirty eight. I'm not sure if this all entirely accurate, Heidi probably could tell you if it was or not. But, this is how i remember it happening. So, it took a while to get me going but once my body figured out what that drug was trying to get it to do it cooperated nicely. Maybe a little too much so. I must say that I really don't want to do that again. Ever.
It took Dustin and I a bit to finally name her. But, I just love what we ended up choosing. I have always loved Olivia. In fact i had wanted to name Megan Olivia but it just didn't work out so I'm thrilled to have the name this tima around. And we also chose Faith because Dustin really feel like his faith is going through some major changes over the last while and Olivia is sort of symbollic coming into our lives at this time. So...Olivia Faith it is. She looks ALOT like Megan's baby pictures but it seems that the older she gets the less she looks like them. She does resemble Dustin quite a bit which obviously makes her a gorgeous little person. We are in love and smitten.
The last few days have been a wee bit of a roller coaster ride though. The day after she was born they discovered that Olivia has a heart murmur. The initially told us that it was probably a small hole that all babies have that close up either right at birth or shortly thereafter. However the next day the murmur was still there so it was decided to do some further tests just to investigate a little more. So on friday Olivia had an ECG a chest X-ray and an echocardiogram of her heart. The results of which showed that she has two holes in her heart. We've been told that having a hole in a baby;s heart is very common but having two is not so common. She has a small hole between both atrium and a moderate one between both ventricles. Apparently the one between the ventricles may close on it's own over time but the other most likely will not. I'm not sure how long "over time" means. But I'm pretty sure it means years and not weeks or months. We see a cardiologist in a month and untill then we just do the regular check ups.
Its wierd, I flip flop back and forth all day between this is totally okay and she's a healthy baby and this most likely won't affect her to all the what ifs and frightening doubts in my mind. As far as we call tell she is no different from our other babies and appears perfectly healthy and happy. But, i wonder what she'll be like as a toddler or even an adolescent. And then I realise that worrying about what I have no control over is senseless. I must say that I feel even more fiercely protective of her and it's created an awareness in me of the brevity of this life. I treasure every moment with her as she seems more fragile to me even if she ultimately isn't. I even recognise the frailty of my other two kids even more so as well. She is more precious and beautiful to me with each passing moment. I praise God for this because of what it has taught me and how it has shown me the infinite preciousness of these beautiful children I have been blessed with. How overwhelming and fierce and all encompassing is this love that we posess as parents for our children. It's almost frightening isn't it? And yet how small is this love in comparison to the love that the God of the universe has for us? How marvellous and strong.
So, this is the beginning of the story of Olivia Faith. I'm so privelleged to be a part of it.