I was lucky enough to witness a miracle last week. What miracle is that you ask? LIFE!
My sister finally had her baby. Welcome the newest addition to the family, Mason. Isn’t all 9 pounds 1 ounce of him adorable? Just look at those cheeks!
If you follow my blog you have already read my delivery story in “A Labor of Love and Pain“. That story is about my first experience with childbirth and this one is about my sisters’ second experience. I was present for both, however, she didn’t really need me for her first. I would venture to say that she didn’t think she would need me for this one either.
I have some memory problems with this disease so the specific weight of her first born isn’t tucked away in my mind. I do good to remember these with my own children. But one thing I do remember is that his head was the largest noggin’ that hospital had measured in 7 years. I don’t know if he still holds that record at that hospital but suffice it to say, he had a BIG head! When she got done delivering him she looked me dead in the eyes and said, “THAT’S how you have a baby!” I wanted to knock her teeth down her throat. I mean, does anyone really think I hadn’t rather taken the easier route? I forgave her quickly because I knew she was under the influence of a lot of pain medications.
I wouldn’t wish my experience in my first delivery on my worst enemy. That would be pure evil. Unfortunately, as the day unfolded, it was seemingly being reenacted by my little sister.
I arrived at the hospital around 11 am. She had started the process of being induced around 5 am that morning. She was still only 3cm dilated. We had a long way to go. She had already been given her epidural but was still in a great deal of pain. Similar to my experience, her’s wasn’t working for her right side. If you recall, mine didn’t work for my bottom half, below the belt. They gave her additional doses several times and things seemed to be getting better -until they weren’t.
The contractions were hurting her so badly that she developed the chatters. They were so familiar and all I could do was hurt for her because I knew all too well what she was going through. It really isn’t any fun at all to see your little sister going through so much pain. Sure, my sister and I haven’t always gotten along. There have been times (as noted earlier in this post) I wanted to wring her neck. There have been times that I just really couldn’t stand her. But she is MY little sister. It is okay for ME to feel that way, but not anything or anyone else. They’ll have me to deal with if it comes right down to it. (scary isn’t it)
My sister and I are two very different people. She tends to take things and blow them out of proportion. Everything is on a much more grand level for her. And that’s okay. Everyone is different. But because I knew these traits existed with her, I knew it was important not to lead on to her that things weren’t going fine with all that unfolded during this day.
Her doctor came in and checked her again around 3:00 pm. She was still only 5cm, but the doctor said she was now considered to be in active labor. She said she believed she would have the baby around 10:00 pm. Not long after that is when the extremely painful contractions began. The baby’s heart rate kept dropping a good bit after every contraction. The nurse was now staying in the room to monitor this.
Things were getting increasingly scary.
The doctor had been coming in and checking her progress every two hours. For reasons still unknown to me, she came in and checked her again about 45 minutes after she told her it would be 10 pm before time. I am assuming the baby’s heart rate issue was coming into play here. To everyone’s surprise, she was ready to start pushing! In hindsight, I now believe this was God’s way of making sure baby Mason was delivered into this world alive.
And so it began:
The doctor made an announcement that they needed extra nurses on standby to prepare for a shoulder dystocia delivery. I was thinking to myself, “a shoulder dis-what”. I could sense concern in her eyes and her urgency on the matter. My sister started pushing… and pushing… and pushing… I reminded her that not all deliveries required just 15 minutes of pushing like my mother had insinuated to me all of those years ago. I tried to make light of the situation and encourage some laughter.
She was in extreme levels of pain. I’m not exactly sure what makes those epidurals work so well for one pregnancy and nearly not at all for others. Does this problem just run in the family? Who knows? In all, she pushed a little less than 45 minutes. Still 3 hours shy of my experience, but still longer than anyone would want for a delivery where the epidural wasn’t doing its job. Between contractions, the doctor was making “serious” eyes at me. I had no idea what she was trying to tell me, but I knew it wasn’t good. I knew she needed someone in the room to know that things could turn out bad. Things may be wrong, stuff could be about to take place that isn’t desirable for any involved. I think my sister also saw the doctor making these expressive looks at me because she kept looking at me and asking “what’s wrong?”
I have never been a good liar. I learned at an early age not to lie because my face always gives it away that I’m being untruthful. I can’t lie unless I have to. You may recall my writing about my acquired poker face. Here I am, using it again on yet another family member. I kept telling her that everything was okay. Just push, I would say. Just. Keep. Pushing.
Finally, Mason made his grand entry into this world. He was huge. He was huge, but he wasn’t crying. Immediately, I noticed his head was bleeding. I assumed it was associated with the force used trying to pry him out of his mother’s womb. You see, he was stuck. And the doctor had already anticipated this. I would later learn from Google and the real life experience happening before me what shoulder dystocia was. You can Google for yourself and see, but the most apparent thing to me was that it was SCARY for all involved.
His color wasn’t right. His head was almost blue along with his arms and feet. He wasn’t breathing right either. My sister kept asking me if he was okay. Me and my poker face kept telling her that he was. Then they sent the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) in to assess him and see if he needed to be moved there. I looked around the room and told my sister that I sure hoped no one else was ready to deliver because it looked to me like the entire staff was in our room. I lost count of them all. Again, she was asking me over and over what was wrong with Mason. I kept lying and telling her they were just being extra cautious because he was such a big baby. Another 45 minutes later, they were still in the room. Still, this large baby hadn’t even been weighed yet. There were too many other more important things going on.
He had bruises on his arms, bruises on his head, bruises on his side, but still, he pulled through. He was okay. He didn’t even have to go to the NICU, praise the Lord again!
I returned home and when I got here I got a text from my sister telling me the weight and length of the healthy baby boy that is now known to everyone as Mason. My new nephew. Welcome to the world Mason!! I hope the world is easier on you than you were on your mother’s body. (kidding) You may have come into this world a bruised up baby, but you have left your mark on the hearts of many already.