Today is my beautiful Georgia Wren’s birthday. She is one year old. How that is possible, I have no idea. So much has changed over this past year, but the fact that she has grown from a teeny tiny newborn to this crawling, climbing, laughing one-year old…..it just boggles my mind. So over the past week or so I’ve really been taking a trip down memory lane, thinking back to her birth and the events that led up to it. Even though I wrote out her birth story in her journal, a personalized one to her, I thought I would try writing it out like a short story. Exercise my weak little writing muscles. I had no idea how much I would love doing it. Every other night this past week I have sat down with my computer, piano Pandora music playing through my earpieces, and just remember and write. And write and write and write. I know I can be long-winded with the
pen keyboard, but yowza! This takes the cake. I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many pages I ended up writing, but it’s A LOT! So I’m going to share this not-s0-short story in segments. Yeah, it’s that long. Can’t say it’ll be that interesting, but it means a lot to me. Going back through all the events and emotions, it just takes me to those moments, and I feel so in awe of the beauty that God made in my little girl. Every birth is a miracle. Somewhat of a cliché, but it is so very true.
So anyways. If you’ve got a hundred or so hours to kill (or maybe 15 minutes), I’d love for you to join along and read how little Georgie came into this world. She makes my heart burst with love every single day. And I am so thankful.
Georgia Wren- Part 1
42 weeks and 1 day pregnant and I’m reclining on the exam table in Dr. Q’s office. Goo on my belly, black-and-white squiggles of my baby on the screen.
“Everything look ok?” I ask the doctor. Smile on my face knowing this time tomorrow that black-and-white image will soon be fully color and fully in my arms.
“Textbook” he says. “Everything looks textbook. Baby’s doing gymnastics in there right now”.
“Good,” I say. “Good.”
So it will be tomorrow. June 2nd we will meet our second born. Some time early morning. Check-in at 6:30. Then off to the O.R. Not exactly how I had hoped, how I had planned, how I had prayed. Another c-section. More drugs, no pushing, a re-opened scar. But it’s ok. I had come to peace with this plan a week ago when I was 41 weeks and still not 1 centimeter dilated, not 1 percentage effaced. I had tried all I could. All the herbs, all the home-remedies, all the myths. Nothing worked. Baby wasn’t budging and I was out of time. So c-section number 2, here I come.
We leave Dr. Q’s office and go to lunch just the three of us. The last time it’s just the 3 of us. We pick a seafood restaurant and I order honey grilled salmon and veggies. Bailey eats off my plate and we sit in the afternoon sun and soak up these memories. Instead of after-meal mints, they give us warm chocolate chip cookies as we head out the door. “This might be my new favorite restaurant,” I think as I wipe off the chocolate that is sure to be in the corners of my mouth. It always is. Then we pile into the van and head for home.
“Let take the Blue Ridge,” I suggest. Steve agrees and we make our way home through the weavy, windy mountain roads. No stop lights, no traffic. Acoustic tunes lull Bailey to sleep in her car seat and my eyes drift in and out of focus as the rolling mountains play peek-a-boo with the thick green trees that line the road. “God. This is beautiful,” I pray. “These mountains…..these trees……this light. All so beautiful. Thank-you…..thank-you…..thank-you……”
Arrive home and the hours pass slowly. Grandmom and Mom arrive and we sit around lazily playing the same ol’ guessing game. The one we’ve played for the past 9 months, but still have no answer to. Boy or Girl? What will you name him? Name her? Who will she look like?
This game never gets old.
Bailey and Daddy go for a swim in the apartment pool. I watch some bad TV. Chat about nothing and everything with Mom and Grandmom. Oh to be a Southern woman! Mom’s impressed by my stockpile of frozen meals in the freezer. I tell her cooking has helped week 41 and week 42 go by more quickly. We laugh. All 5 (and ½) of us go out for dinner. I load up on everything I can inhale without getting sick. I know the rules. No food or drink after midnight. Then goodness knows how long before the next permissible bite. Mom takes one last picture of us at the restaurant of just our family of 3. My face is so bloated it’s a wonder I fit into the frame. 42 weeks and I feel every bit of it.
Get home and same night-time routine as always. Bath, brush teeth with Thomas toothbrush, read our 3 books, say night-night prayers. Prayers for the baby, for the doctors, for mama and daddy.
“Give your baby one more night-night kiss”, I instruct Bailey. She knows the drill. She’s done it a thousand times.
Leans head down, pats my belly, gentle kiss. “Goodnight baby. I love you”.
“Gosh I love her!” My heart aches at the thought of leaving her for a few days. Of having to change her world so suddenly. Of having to divide my time, my love, with her with the new baby. But the ache is outweighed by the excitement. “The Grinch”, I tell myself. “It’s just like the Grinch. My heart will grow 3 sizes too big and my heart will have room for both. It just will. God made it that way. It’s all going to be ok.” I kiss her blonde head, tell her to stay in her bed, and leave her room.
The night carries on like most. TV surfing, internet surfing, conversation surfing. Then they all head to bed one at a time. All but me. 10:30. All of a sudden I have a million things to do. I check my hospital bag again. Nightgown, socks, contact solution, camera, phone charger, the list seems to go on……I tidy the apartment. Again. Bailey’s letter! I have totally forgotten Bailey’s letter! I creep back into her room, careful not to wake her, grab her journal, and plop down on the couch. Pen in hand I write 4 pages of how much I love her. What a great big sister she’ll be. What I pray for her and this baby’s relationship to be like. How much I love her.
Ok, that’s done. What now? What now? Nervous energy won’t let me lie still. 5:30 a.m. will come so soon, but more to be done. I fiddle and keep busy and the time quickly passes. One in the morning and I’ve finally worn myself out. Brush teeth, wash face, take eyes out. Try to quietly slip in next to Steve without waking him up. Drift off to sleep.
It’s 3 a.m. and my belly hurts. The tightening is coming. Slowly, slowly. Really? Right now?? Braxton hicks again? Of all times. I so need my sleep now. The tightening comes. It goes. It comes. It goes. What worked to get rid of these last time?? Oh yeah- a warm bath. Hope I don’t wake Steve.
The water feels so good. I could live in this tub if allowed. Set up shop and never, ever leave. Feels so good. Oh here it comes again! Tightening. Tightening. Tightening. Why is it not stopping this time? Ok, I need a drink of water. That made it stop once. Dehydration or something caused the tightening. Crap! I can’t drink anything. Ok, just rest. Lay on my left side and rest. Can’t sleep though. Pain is too much. What should I do? What should I do? This can’t be real,can it? I have my c-section scheduled in about 5 hours. Do I call the midwife? Wake up Steve?? Is this for real? Decide to just wait it out. We’ll be at the hospital soon anyways and I can ask them my million questions then.
I lie on the couch and flip through all the late night infomercials. Oh how I love infomercials! God knows that. This must be His own little gift to me and my weird sense of humor. Cheesy ad after cheesy ad. Don’t think of the pain, just buy this amazing Magic Bullet!!! PX90! Topsy Turvy!! Why isn’t there an infomercial for painful contractions??? Oh yeah….there kind of is. One of those epidural things. No, no, no. Don’t want that. Just watch the man with shiny hair and bright-white teeth and orange tan tell you about the power of PX90. It will change your life.
The sun starts to come up. I hear mom. She comes and gives me a hug. I tell her about the tightening. “What do you think it is?” I ask, truly naïve.
She laughs. “Uh, sounds like you’re having contractions to me!”
“What?! No. Not now. It’s been 42 weeks. Not happening now. The doctor is all set up. Surgery is ready. Just Braxton Hicks again I bet. I’m sure. No big thing”
She smiles. She must think her daughter is an lunatic. “Well just talk to the doctor when you get there. It will all be ok.”
I’m so glad she’s here. She always says all the right words.
Steve gets up and eats a granola bar and banana. I’m jealous with hunger. I tell him of the last couple hours and he rolls with the punches. Always so calm. We gather our bags. Give bye hugs and kisses. I sneak into Bailey’s room for one last kiss. She’s so peaceful. So beautiful. Oh I love her!
Climb down the steps of our apartment building and look over the horizon at the distant mountains and that gorgeous rising bulb. Knock-down beautiful morning. I have to always remember this.
We start the drive and now that I’m not moving around my attention is brought back to the pain. The tightening. Every 8 to 10 minutes I’d guess. Don’t really time it. What for? It’s not the real thing. It’s going to go away. Just like before. It’ll go away. I’m having a c-section. Not a natural birth. Not the dream I had. Gave that up last week. I’m ok with the new plan, the surgery. This can’t be happening now.
Coasting along and we talk. About the baby of course. This little one already has our full attention. Our full hearts.
“Ok honey. We seriously need to settle on our names. I do not want to be undecided about this still and then just pick whatever name our favorite nurse has. We’ll end up with a baby Marsha. Or Jim. I don’t want to name our kid Marsha or Jim. We have to agree!”
Steve has heard this argument before. We’ve had this conversation a hundred times. We pretty much know our choices, but I’m still not 100% feeling the boy name. In theory, yes. In real life, no. We decide what we decided weeks ago. See what he/she looks like a make a concrete decision then. It’ll all work out. Always does.
Oh no! Why are we slowing down?? Why all this traffic?? We go from 65 mph to a dead stop. Lines of cars. Orange cones. No! No! Not now!! This can’t be happening now! Tightening. Tightening. Oh that hurts!! Turns out major construction on 26 began that morning. Like 2 hours ago. I stare at the clock and will the lines of cars to part like the Red Sea. They don’t move. Now it’s the ticking I’m focused on. The clock, the time, the minutes going by ever so slowly. What if we don’t make it to check in? What then? And all my questions? Will be be rushed or will we discuss this pain thing going on around my stomach region??? And now the tightening. Back to the tightening. Being stuck in this car, not moving, makes it feel so much stronger. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Isn’t that what our labor class teacher said to do? Just breathe. This one will pass. It will go back to normal. And it does. For now, she is right.