Friday, December 18, 2009

The story of Zoe

This is... almost six months overdue, but it is very slow at work, the week before Christmas, and I don't have any motivation, so why not tell the story of Zoe.

My pregnancy with Zoe was much different than my pregnancy with Dominick. The insane amount of sickness being the main difference. Once I hit the six week mark, it was like my body said, yup, you're pregnant! Whammo! It got so bad I couldn't keep water down, so I went in to my doctor and they did an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay and to see if there were multiples. Obviously, there weren't. They gave me a prescription for Zofran, which is a drug they give cancer patients to help prevent nausea. It didn't do this for me. It just took the edge off of it. Two highlights of these weeks full of sickness: 1. Dominick hearing me wretch into the toilet so much he started to pretend to do it; 2. Throwing up in my car on my way to work. Luckily I had a plastic bag with me and I was right by mom's house, so I could turn around and get cleaned up.

The sickness began to pass around the holidays and I started to feel more like myself. Then we got hit with a double whammy: Brad lost his job and my doctor thought there might be something wrong with the baby, all in the same week. Actually, all in the same DAY. I will spare the details and say that these were several weeks full of anxiety, fear, and support from family. We ended up having an amniocentesis as this is the one test that is 100% accurate. The procedure was... uncomfortable and I never looked down to see the needle, I just kept my eyes on the ultrasound monitor and watched my daughter bounce around. Two more weeks of waiting and my doctor called me saying, NORMAL! EVERYTHING IS NORMAL! Sigh of relief doesn't cover it. But my mother's intuition was telling me the entire time that this baby is going to be fine. While Brad and I dealt with what happened with his job, the rest of the pregnancy progressed normally. I had some bouts in the hospital because of contractions, but nothing too severe.

July 2nd was my due date. It came and went and I was swollen, uncomfortable, and just wanting my baby to be here. Plus, I'm impatient. Patience might be virtue, but it's not one of mine. So we said, screw it, let's plan life like she isn't coming for a while. So we went to our friend's for July 4th, ate a lot, watched the fireworks, and went home around 11. I was starting to feel uncomfortable and figured it was from standing and being up and around so much. I just need to lay down, I thought.

So begins the roller coaster.

We get home and I felt a few contractions, but figured they would stop once I laid down. I think I closed my eyes a little after 11:30 while Brad was downstairs. I awoke at 1:30 a.m. to a very sharp pain. I woke up going, okay, here we go. I woke Brad up and said, start timing. So they started getting closer and harder, so we called my mom to come over and watch Dominick. I got up and started to pack the bag, get dressed, etc. Then some brainiac started lighting fireworks off in the street. It was 2 a.m. at this point, so Dominick wakes up and comes in our room. I'm sitting on the bed and going, what the, I just WENT to the bathroom. I go again and realize my water broke. Brad was on the phone waiting for the doctor, so she asked to talk to me and I told her what was happening and she said, okay! I'll get dressed and head in! My mom came and so Brad and I kissed Dominick good-bye (I cried), and we headed to the car. It hurt to sit down. A lot. So I put the seat all the way back and laid down all the way to the hospital. On the way there I had to tell Brad to go a little faster. Then to slow down so we didn't get pulled over. We get to the hospital and take the long journey up to the maternity ward. The hospital I delivered in has a Triage unit that you have to go into first, and then you are put into a birthing room. So I sign in and I'm getting... grouchy. It's only tolerable to stand up, so when the nurse tells me to lay down so she can put the monitor on my stomach, I said, NO, IT HURTS TOO MUCH. I manage to get on the bed and the on-duty doctor comes in. "Well, it's a good thing you got here when you did! You are 7 cm and 100% effaced!" My first thought is, Oh. Shit. No time for an epidural. The contractions are on top of each other now and get more intolerable. I'm having a hard time remembering how to breathe and practically breaking Brad's hand. I kept asking for an epidural and God bless the nurse, she was really trying to get an IV in my arm. I also told her to get me a basin because I threw up when I had my son. The contractions and coming, harder, faster, and lasting longer, and I'm moaning, groaning, and swearing. I'm trying to retain some sort of composure, but the nurse tells me to let it out. Then suddenly a wave of fear comes over me. I tell them I'm scared and the nurse and Brad get me to refocus and get through it. Then the feeling of going to puke came right as a contraction was ending, so I tell Brad and he is holding the basin while I'm puking, which was not pretty. So I'm on my side, heaving and puking, and it was like pushing. As soon as I stopped puking, I yelled, SHE'S COMING. IT BURNS. The nurse runs and gets the doctor and they both come in and say, she's crowning, we have to get her out of here. So monitors, tubes, wires, my IV, all come flying through the air and I'm literally trying to hold Zoe in. Meanwhile, still moaning and groaning I am being wheeled through the triage unit, Brad trying to hold my hand, the nurses trying to make it through the area and saying, "Where can we put her?! I think the OR is the closest!". We get into the hallway and the nurse tells Brad that he has to put on a gown and cap to go in. In the meantime they wheel me in and Zoe was RIGHT THERE. Brad comes in, walks up, grabs my hand, and just as the door to the OR was closing, Zoe came out. I think I pushed once. I leaned against Brad, looking down at our daughter, and kept saying, Holy shit. Holy. SHIT. Ten seconds later, my doctor walks in and says, "What the HELL is going on in here?!" I love my doctor so very much, she is so fun, yet cautious, thorough, and full of knowledge. We all probably shouldn't have been laughing as much as we were. I was on a natural high. I just gave birth with no pain medication and when they said what time it was, 3:30 a.m. on the dot, I realized it was only two hours. While my doctor started to do her work, Brad called all the parents and uncles and sent a text to our friends so they would see it in the morning. I was in the OR for about two hours before they were able to put me in a birthing room. We didn't care, Zoe was awake, alert, and nursing and Brad and I just kept talking.

Zoe Vera
July 5th, 2009, 3:30 a.m.
3 days late

The nurses were in and out, apologizing, etc. We really didn't care, the hard part was over!

Around 5:30 a.m. they finally had us set to go into a room, so away we went. The difference between giving birth with an epidural with Dominick and naturally with Zoe was obviously very different. Aside from the pain of the delivery, I could really feel the extreme cramping that happens after giving birth. I tried waiting as long as I could and then I really needed something for the pain, so I buzzed the nurse for my Motrin. She apologized as Triage got slammed so they were busy. I didn't care, Brad was trying to nap, Zoe was in my lap, and I was still in a state of, HOLY SHIT I JUST GAVE BIRTH. WITH NO DRUGS.

The grandparents were the first to arrive and unfortunately, because of the Swine Flu, no one under the age of 18 was allowed on the maternity floor. So that meant I couldn't see Dominick and this bothered me immensely. I was out of the hospital in a day and a half, so that was a huge help for me. Dominick was more excited to see this Zoe we have been talking about for so long and could've cared less about me. But he has been great since Zoe came home. Sure, he has had his moments, but he has gotten over them.

It was a whirlwind of a summer, but our family is now complete. The transition from one child to two was much more than I thought it would be, but we did it and now that we are both back to work, feel like we are finally in a routine. Now we are in the midst of our first holiday season as a family four and it is fun. Dominick fully grasps Christmas and Zoe is infatuated by all of the lights, and although this year was full of plenty of bad things, Zoe is what pulled us through and gave us all something to look forward to. I'm a sappy mom who loves her kids, what can I say. When she is older, I look forward to telling her about the year she was born and how much her presence (inside and out) helped everyone in our family.