it feels like i’m waking up to the world more every day that Baby V has been alive. that’s the only way i can describe it. i am blogging an update about V before our wedding. a little out of order, but that’s kind of like us, i suppose.
pregnancy felt like supernatural forces were battling for my body and brain for nine months. i envy those mamas clad in tennis shoes who lift weights and chomp on celery. not i. i was exhausted and overflowing with crazy-lady hormones from day one of V’s existence in my belly. i had intense all-day sickness my entire first trimester and threw up at least once a day for my entire pregnancy, including the morning she was born like clockwork.
i also learned that hormones create a different scenario for a pregnant lady plagued with anxiety. even when i felt i was holding back, my mood swings were WIDE open. bless my poor family, friends and coworkers who had to put up with me. then the third trimester brought on intense heartburn that kept me awake and sick all night. i slept sitting up for two months straight with a bottle of TUMs beside me.
i’m sure my awesome diet didn’t help my pregnancy. PB&Js for breakfast, chicken salad at lunch and TCBY after dinner…e-v-e-r-y day. yes, i gained 60+ pounds during my pregnancy. i won’t tell you how far i’m stretching the “+” in that last sentence, but all the extra weight made me feel like violet beauregard in willy wonka.
by the time my due date came and went, i was having mild contractions daily. no one could have conveyed to me the frustrating agony of wondering for hundreds of hours, “is this it?!” when my water broke as i was doing dishes that friday, i didn’t believe i was in labor. J had to convince me to go to the hospital around 4PM. surely enough, it was the real deal.
i had a pretty open birth plan, and i didn’t set high expectations because of all the horror stories i had heard about how quickly things can change in an instant. i wanted to try to labor naturally as long as i could. i did. late friday night, i got an epidural which is where things went wrong. i’ve always had steady, and sometimes low, blood pressure – but it was very consistent during my pregnancy. right after the epidural, my blood pressure went to 60/30.
i guess i’m just so naive that i didn’t realize something was wrong with multiple nurses in the room, an oxygen mask on my face and a panic-stricken look on J’s face. V was in a moment of distress, and they were pumping as much epinephrine as allowed into my IV. my blood pressure never went back over 100/50 the rest of my labor, but surprisingly i had no other symptoms and V was fine too.
the epidural continued to give me issues. i had what the doctor described as a “very dense block,” as in the pain was being blocked well. that may sound just dandy in the way of contractions and childbirth, but i had very little feeling below my chest through the night. for this anxious gal, it was hard. my mama massaged my legs all night so i could have some sensation that my legs were still there – because i truly felt the paralysis might last forever. my awesome nurse Ashley was really innovative and into cool techniques, so i got to try laboring down and all kinds of positioning that i had hoped to experience.
after a couple of hours pushing, the doctor ordered the epidural to be turned off to ease up on the block. ever so quickly, i could feel everything. J and my mom were trying so hard to comfort me. my mama was even pushing and straining with me (the doctor had to remind her that wouldn’t help, haha). after some coaching and calming from the amazing Dr. Talley and some minor interventions, i heard my mom say, “she’s coming!”
i worried i wouldn’t be immediately overcome with love and motherly instinct, but i can say that fear washed away quickly as my knowing of this child as mine was instantaneous. it has been growing rapidly ever since.
i didn’t realize the shell of myself i had become until after vayda was born. again, it was like waking up out of a weird haze. but feeling more like my old “normal” self physically and emotionally both came and went as i began to accept that my self and my world were forever changed by V’s life. i have journaled since shortly after she was born trying to articulate the new and tremendous depth i feel. it isn’t only a depth of love – it is a deeper patience (most of the time) and a kinder care for things in the world i had grown cynical toward before.
i often think: how could i love her more than i do in this moment? and then i reflect to realize i love her far more strongly now than i did last time i asked myself that. i’m in complete awe of motherhood experience now. all the moms i know mean so much more to me now – especially my own wonderful, giving mom. i hope as my life goes on i will be the mom she has been to me.