Olivia’s due date was estimated to be June 18th…right in the height of fire season (my hubby is a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest service; excellent timing on our part). Due to my husband’s job and limited ability to take time off of work in one of the busiest months of the year, we decided to schedule an induction for June 13th at 4pm. I was zen about the whole thing. I planned on being the hippie chick of the hospital and give Hypnobirthing a whirl. One of the breathing techniques I learned was best practiced while sitting on the porcelain throne, doing…well ya know #2. While sitting on there breathing, out and down, I was supposed to visualize my cervix opening gently and smoothly like a delicate orchid blooming in the sun. Right, so THAT was NOT what I was visualizing and you probably don’t want a description of what was running through my head. I digress.
About 2 weeks prior to the scheduled induction, hubby…also known as Sterling…came home. Oh SHIT, this is now real! Not so zen anymore. Screw the breath practicing on the toilet and rainbow visualizations, my imagination was going to all the wrong places….torn perineum, ineffective epidurals and oh god the dreaded c-section! Of course, no one knew my level of panic, but it was on high alert. Luckily I had already been well acquainted with the amazing hospital staff and my lovely entourage of midwives due to TWO episodes of pre-term labor back in April. Knowing how amazing my support system would be definitely eased the stress. So I chilled.
My mom was my birthing coach since my hubby was gone for the last 3 months of my pregnancy and couldn’t practice anything with me. The three of us moved into the gorgeous hospital room with the BEST view of the Flatirons (a mountain range). Back to the zen stage. Fast forward 60 minutes. Midwife comes in and inserts the evil evil cervix bulb thingy that had one mission and one mission only…to kill me! Midwife so sweetly says, “Now, you might feel some cramping similar to the beginning of a period. It shouldn’t last more than an hour, unless it starts labor. If it doesn’t induce labor, we’ll start pitocin at 6am.” Cute, naive me believed her…I’ll have a tiny bit of crampiness and then will sleep for like 10 hours, laugh, watch tv, ya know all the usual ‘waiting for labor’ activities. She lied. I didn’t have cramps, I had the worst pain ever! This is what she called LABOR! I wasn’t ready. Labor was early. Labor wasn’t supposed to come for another 12 hours. I forgot ALL of my hypnobirthing techniques and went straight to “OOOOOHHHHHH SHIT!” The real fun started when I couldn’t stop throwing up. All my my glorious hopes and dreams of going au natural were shattered as I quickly realized that I was no where near the transition stage and already had zero energy. 5:30am…magic juice was in full effect. 6:00am…Robyn sleeps.
It is now 2:30ish pm and the midwife checks my dilation…I was a 10! But, “Hmmmm….,” she says. Hmmmm? What does Hmmmm mean? “I think that’s not a head. Let me get the ultrasound.” Confirmed, baby had done a somersault somewhere between 6cm and 10cm. Awesome. And yes, that was a foreshadowing of my daughter’s personality. The midwife and OB did a fantastic job explaining the whole c-section process as I slipped in and out of my deep sleep. I think I had too much magic juice. They were a bit worried about my lethargic state, but continued on.
As I laid on the hardest, coldest piece of metal with a blue drape 1inch from my face, I prayed to god that 1. I wouldn’t die or have any instruments left inside me. 2. That baby would really be a girl like they promised and 3. That I wouldn’t puke anymore…I loathe puking. I made the Anesthesiologist talk to me to take my mind off of the whole thing. Not sure what he was saying since I was so drowsy. I was nauseous and just wanted to take a nap. Can I just take a nap? A few moments later my beautiful baby girl is dangling above my face and being placed on top of my. My arms were strapped down so I just looked into her gorgeous eyes and said “I have to puke!” Sorry, baby.
My baby girl, Olivia Lilianna was born on June 14, 2012 at 3:23pm; 6lbs 10oz, 21in. Beautiful. Perfect. Healthy. She had lots of dark hair and was (and still is) the most alert baby. Recovering from the c-section was a piece of cake for me. No pain, no issues. Aside from all the puking and the last minute acrobatics my birthing experience was far from zen and yet, still amazing!