Twelve years ago today, after approximately 24 hours of “labor,” a squirming, screaming, squoozh-covered bundle of baby girl was ripped from a cute little incision in my lower abdomen. That day goes down on record as one of my best days ever.
Let me set the scene for you.
On a Sunday evening I checked into the hospital to begin my induction. My baby had been due nine days earlier and showed few signs of wanting to make an entrance into the world. We thought the baby was going to be born a couple days prior because I was up all night with contractions. I didn’t really think the contractions had been intense enough to bring forth a tiny human, but the all-night contractions coupled with bloody show in the morning prompted me to call my doctor. She told me to come in to get checked, so I did. False alarm, they told me. Go take a walk, they told me. Try sitting on a balance ball, they told me. Did they not think I had tried all of these methods to bring about the birth of the tiny human who didn’t want to come out and was already overdue?
Chris and I had already logged more miles than we could count, walking through a different mall every evening. If Fitbits had been around then, we would have made our daily 10,000 steps easily. I sat uncomfortably on my green balance ball every day. It never brought me closer to giving birth, but I suppose it enhanced my ability to balance on a ball, which I’m sure will come in handy some day.
This utter lack of progress landed us in the hospital on a Sunday evening, where my induction began with Cervidil, a medical insert intended to ripen your cervix and stimulate labor. That was about as much fun as it sounds. And you have to lie (or is it lay? – I can never seem to get this right) down for at least two hours, or in my case, all night long, to make sure it works. It sort of worked, in that it stimulated contractions.
Contractions! They loved the intense contractions I began having, so they helped them along with Pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, the chemical that naturally brings about contractions. They began the Pitocin early Monday morning, and it put my contractions in overdrive, all_day_long. I thought I had contractions a few nights before, but those muscle spasms had nothing on the Pitocin-induced contraction frenzy that I faced all day on Monday. After a day of contracting like crazy, having vigorous examinations (good times), stripping my membrane (again, a ton of fun), and breaking my water, I apparently hadn’t entered into the textbook definition of labor. I had made no progress. I had not dilated at all. My cervix had not thinned at all. Despite the intensity and distress my baby and I experienced, we had gotten nowhere.
So, hello C-section! And that brings us to where we began with the squirming, screaming, squoozh-covered bundle of baby girl. She was beautiful, sweet, and … golden. I had never seen a complexion quite like that before. She was brown and ruddy, certainly, but she also had an undeniable golden tint to her. Looking at her was sort of like looking at the glow that surrounded Hercules in the Disney movie of the same name, except for in real life. She glistened; she shone; she radiated. And as it turned out, she had jaundice.
She was ours. This marvelous, tiny human with fantastic lungs, a full head of hair, and a golden glow was our personal miracle. Chris and I were awed by God and the wonder he had worked inside of my body to produce a baby full of life and love and potential.
And today, 12 years later, we’re still captivated by her, and we still marvel at the human God brought forth that Monday evening, one of the best days of my life.