Monday, July 23, 2012

Babygirl's Birth Story: One Year Later

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

I can not believe that it has been an entire year since babygirl joined our family. But it's true.

One year ago today, it was the hottest day on record here in Philadelphia. I was 37 weeks pregnant and we didn't have (still don't) air conditioning in our house. So, we decided to spend the day in public spaces with lots of free air conditioning. Our first stop was the Franklin Institute, which is Philadelphia's awesome science museum. We're members, so we felt completely okay hanging out there for close to eight hours letting our boys basically treat the place as their very own indoor playground while I rested my cumbersome body on any, and every available bench.

After the museum, we were hungry, but it was still daylight so we couldn't go home. Instead, we went to Bobby's Burger Palace and gorged on burgers, fries and the most sinfully delicious pistachio milkshakes. After that, there was still a shred of sunlight and the heat was still unbearable, so I suggested we go grocery shopping before rolling on home. Grocery stores are delightfully chilly.

By the time we made it home, the sun had finally set and the heat in our house was tolerable. El esposo didn't really care though, because he had a date with my brother. The two of them had been waiting for months to attend a soccer game between Real Madrid and Philadelphia's home team. It was just an exhibition game, but still, el esposo rarely gets to see his home team play live, so he was chomping at the bit to drop me and the kids off so he could leave already. Of course, just as he was about to walk out the door, my water broke. Or at least something happened that involved a mysterious wetness where wetness shouldn't be. I wasn't 100 percent sure and I knew how much el esposo wanted to see that game, so I didn't tell him.

I just suggested he keep his phone handy in case 'something came up.' Am I crazy, dear readers? Yes. As it turns out, my water had broken, but it took me another hour, three unreturned phone calls to my doctor, one long conversation with my mother and a google search on the Internet to determine it to be so. And you'd think with this being baby number three, I could tell if my water broke or not, but it was just so different. With the other two, the water breaking was an unmistakeable cannonball splash of water. Babygirl was a different story. Just a tiny trickle. So delicate. So feminine.

But back to the drama. Once I realized my water had indeed broken, I called my cousin, who was my back-up birth partner, to come pick me up. Only she wasn't home. She was out shopping. But she managed to make it to my house in record time, collected me and the boys and we were out the door in no time. We dropped my kids off at my sister's house en route to the hospital and then gunned it the rest of the way. I wasn't in any kind of pain, but I was terrified that I'd have a super speedy labor and have to give birth in the back seat of my cousin's Toyota.

But I didn't. I made it to the hospital and managed to joke my way through intake. My spirits were pretty high because there was air conditioning in the hospital. Really good, strong, air conditioning. Ha! I outsmarted mother nature. Then came the labor pains, brought on by that delicious hamburger I had eaten earlier. Sweet baby Jesus, Meltingpot, Readers. I vowed to never eat a hamburger again. Before giving birth to my babygirl, I had to give birth to that burger. Sorry, that was probably too much information. But needless to say, it was on.

Of course I called el esposo to tell him what was happening. Actually, my cousin called him for me. I felt horrible that he was going to miss his game. But, I figured the birth of his daughter would make up for it. Apparently, he didn't quite feel the same way. My darling husband decided to stay for the first half of the game before coming to the hospital. He figured he'd make it before any of the good stuff started happening. While I'd like to be mad at him for choosing soccer over his daughter, he was right.

By the time el esposo made it to my room, I was no longer able to smile and joke with my cousin or the nice nurse who was trying to get me hooked up to all of the bells and whistles and machines required for a hospital birth. She was shocked but encouraging when I said I wasn't interested in an epidural. I was ready with my pseudo-self hypnosis plan, my ipod full of inspirational music and my ear phones. El esposo ran into the room and I gave him a thumbs up. I had promised I was going to handle this labor without going psycho like I did with my boys. And I did. I 'relaxed' through the pain and kept my focus on finally seeing my daughter's face. I was as cool as a cucumber, up until the pushing part.

Somebody once described giving birth to a baby as something akin to pushing a bowling ball engulfed in flames through your lady parts and I'd have to agree. So, at that point in the process, I screamed like a fool. El esposo left the room. My cousin talked me down from the rooftop of hysteria where I'd landed. The doctors gave me a stern talking to and told me to calm down and push the baby out already. I hate being patronized and yelled at, so just out of spite, I got babygirl out with three good pushes. Total labor time, three hours.

Babygirl weighed just six pounds and a wee bit at birth. She had a head full of black shiny hair and grayish black eyes. She was precious then and she's just as precious now. But she's not a wee thing any more. She's juicy and delicious and full of baby love. She loves to crawl, is enchanted by her two older brothers and has not a single tooth. Happy Birthday, babygirl!

Do you have a hilarious birth story? Let's hear it. I'm so listening.


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