Introducing Serena Rose
You may have noticed that Natalie has been doing most of the posting around here these past few weeks. I have been a bit preoccupied… with this little munchkin:
Serena was born 6 days after her due date, and when she decided she was ready, she wasn’t messing around! I ended up having a ‘precipitous labor,’ the term for labors that last less than 3 hours. On the surface this sounds amazing, but in reality it was no walk in the park – all of that dilation still had to happen, just in a very short period of time, meaning it was kind of like one long continuous contraction. (Yikes.) We got stuck in traffic behind an accident, and the baby was literally almost born on the Mass Pike! Natalie was in the car along with my husband, and we joked after that she was like an accidental doula! I was screaming all the swears at the top of my lungs, and was really overwhelmed since I thought I was in early labor, and it was not AT ALL what I thought it would be like. Most stressful car ride ever – my poor husband! He tailed a police car action-movie-style, which is probably why we made it to the hospital!
Once we got there, they ran me up to Labor and Delivery, and I was pushing 20 minutes later. In those 20 minutes I was yelling, apologizing to the staff for yelling, wanting an epidural in spite of my plans for an unmedicated birth, and was in shock about how everything was happening so differently than I had pictured. We had brought relaxation tracks and back massagers – the idea that any of that would have helped was absurd in the moment. My husband was doing his best to keep me calm, and his presence made a huge difference. When the midwife checked me again and realized that I had just gone from 5 to 10 centimeters in 20 minutes, the extreme pain I was feeling made a lot more sense! I had to wrap my head around how quickly everything was happening, and just being in the hospital really helped me to calm down and focus. They also had nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and while it didn’t get me laughing (!), having a bit in between contractions helped me to stop panicking.
I don’t know how it is possible after 40 weeks of pregnancy and all the preparations, but somehow I don’t think I really understood that I was about to have a baby. It still seemed sort of theoretical. When the midwife told me to reach down and feel the baby’s head, it was almost a shock – that’s my baby! With a few more contractions, she was on my chest, staring right at me. MAGIC. My body made this creature, this amazing little human. How is it possible!? She was so alert for the next few hours, and the three of us just looked at each other. Wow.
After another day in the hospital, the three of us came home. What a wild feeling to leave the hospital! We were so excited, intimidated, and exhausted! The last few weeks have been a mix of wonder, crazy emotions, falling in love, late night Netflix, and hunger (what can I eat with one hand?). Everyday the baby changes, and I can’t believe how much she has grown in just a month! I already can’t imagine the world without this little babe.