I’m a little late with this, but she’s finally here… everyone, I’d like to introduce you to my daughter, Alice.
Born Saturday, January 21, 2012 ta 8:31 PM
6 pounds, 15 ounces
20 1/4 inches long
It’s been a week, let me tell you. Waking up in labor Saturday morning was quite the surprise. Despite the sixteen hours it took for her to get here, everything went very well.
But I can tell you this… giving birth is probably the worst experience for a romance writer. I say that not because there are regrets, but because when your body is ripped absolutely to shreds, you don’t even want to think about the act that got you in that situation, much less write about it in a way that will make other people want to read it.
We won’t even talk about the stitches…
But the good news is that the swelling has finally gone down – mostly. Sitting upright is no longer a chore, and the men in the audience will be glad to know that I have gained a full cup size in my bra already.
Now for the gory details:
The epidural didn’t work. When the anesthesiologist stuck that need into my spine, she hit a nerve. And the pain… OH MY GOD THE PAIN… on the back side of child birth, I can honestly say that the natural birth process was nowhere near as painful start to finish as the feeling of that needle striking the nerve in my spine.
So yeah, I did this on two doses of painkillers with phenergan chasers. In retrospect, the phenergan was likely a bad idea, because when it got down to the hard labor, I was so drugged that I didn’t have time to regroup between contractions. Each one hit hard and fast, and I wasn’t ready because I couldn’t stay conscious.
Once we got down to the pushing…and this is a bit on the funny side… my doctor had been running from room to room all day (four before Alice and two after), and he had just enough time to come in, sit down, and catch before she was here. Once we got to the critical point, she was here in less than ten minutes.
I lost a lot of blood. A LOT. The only abnormality in this whole ordeal. Scared my mother half to death and the doctor was only slightly concerned… but today Alice and I are both just fine. We’re home and happy and while we’ve had a few hiccups along the way (figuratively and literally), I think we’re going to be just fine. She’s sleeping right now which gives me time to update the world.
She’s adorable, and according to her doctor at her first visit Wednesday, she’s perfect. Well, she does have a knot on her head from where she rested against my pelvic bone for so long, but that will pass in time.
But back to the delivery room… I had a cast of thousands in attendance for the majority of the day. My husband and step-daughter (who, by the way, stayed with us through it all and was there from the very first second of her sister’s life… I’m so proud of her), my mother, my husband’s mother, brother and two of his sisters, Alexandra Christian (who is quite possibly the only person that kept me sane that day and my personal hero for sticking by me even through my screaming) and even my brother, his wife and his oldest child showed up from Charleston. When it came time for Alice to make her appearance, it was only my husband, step-daughter, and mother in the room.
Afterward? That’s a different story. Miss Alice was passed around like a hot potato. And I don’t remember any of it because I was completely drugged. I know at one point Tally brought me a bag of food from McDonald’s (because I hadn’t eaten in 27 hours), but I don’t remember what was in it or that I even ate it…but they say I did.
Miss Alice is now six days old, and she’s doing just fine. We just finished vacuuming and shampooing the living room carpet, and she slept through the whole thing. She’s not a screamer; she’s actually a very good baby. She sleeps a lot, and even when she’s hungry she doesn’t really cry…she sounds more like a squeaky toy.
Despite the long nights and the occasional miscommunication over the last few days, I feel like the luckiest woman alive. My daughter is absolutely perfect in every way, and I couldn’t ask for more.