Wednesday, October 19, 2011

9/11 Rewritten: Zoe's Birth Story, Part 2 of 2

"Pretty bird, pretty bird, we've been waiting on you" ~ Jenny Lewis

So the night wore on and I stalled out at a not-quite-ready 8 centimeters. I was getting through my contractions and they were coming every couple of minutes, but my body was tired. We were not having a 9/10/11 baby. Plus, they had to wait four hours to give me another dose of Penicillin, so they wouldn't break my water until then. Felicia reminded me of how fast I went last time when they broke my water, so we knew that would make things really happen. The nurse suggested getting moving again, but my body felt so tired. It was getting late and I started to realize how much the time of day impacts labor. When Q was born, it was a time I still would have been up and about. But all I wanted to do was rest, so I got on the birthing ball for a little while, drank a ton of ice water, went pee a gajillion times, and then got back in bed to sit as upright as possible.

As soon as my IV was done, we asked the doc to break my water. Once he did that, it was on. And I mean ON. It sent me right into transition, and my contractions were getting more intense than I ever remembered experiencing with Q. They were on top of each other and I went into survival mode. I felt overheated and overwhelmed. Off to the bathroom one last time and I got nervous that I would have the baby right there on the toilet. Felicia talked me through it and fortunately I made it back to the bed. I managed to tell them I needed to push. Now. They called the doc and we hear that he also had twins that were just about ready to be delivered. Oh hells no, I thought. This baby wasn't going to wait for some other mama to deliver twins! I couldn't vocalize it because I was trying not to hyperventilate. The nurse said she'd be able to deliver the baby if need be. Um, yikes?

The doc appeared a few minutes later and quickly prepared to deliver the baby, letting me know that I could start pushing if need be. And I did, even though it made me nervous that they weren't quite prepared to catch LL. Either I have a selective memory about Q's birth or this really was a more intense delivery, because, whoa, there's something giant coming down through that canal. The pressure was ridiculous. But I pushed like I've never pushed before. I let out guttural moans as I pushed, which surprised me because I was pretty quiet through most of my contractions. And even though the moans were helping me feel better, apparently they weren't helping baby come out any faster. "Okay, now a push without any sound," said the doc. Moments later, the doc asked for one last big push and a couple of small ones, and that baby was just about out.

"Okay, here she is, come deliver your baby!" I looked down at her glorious face and pulled her out and up toward my chest as she let out fervent cries. She looked absolutely perfect to me. Just beautiful. Even though she was crying and breathing rapidly and covered in goo. They let me hold her for a lengthy amount of time as T cut the cord and as they talked about my 2nd degree tear and as I delivered my placenta and as the doc stitched me up. I didn't care about any of that because my little lady was in my arms. Finally. At 3:27am on 9/11/11.

They eventually pried her away from my vice-like grip to put her on the scale as the nurse commented on her healthy size and predicted 8 and a half pounds. Gasps all around as she weighed in at 9 pounds, 4 ounces. How the heck did I push that not-so-little lady out of me?! No wonder the pressure seemed unbearable. No freakin' wonder I had 2nd degree tearing.

She was having trouble nursing as her breathing seemed labored, so they just said there seemed to be extra gunk in there that they wanted to get out. She also had to have her blood sugar tested since she was over 9 lbs and ended up having low blood sugar, so they sent her off to the nursery with T in tow. They told me to try to get some rest, so suddenly there I was alone in a dark hospital room. I was overwhelmed with adrenaline and love and exhaustion and worry, so I lay there in a half asleep state that I kept startling out of. When the nurse finally came back and assured me that the baby was fine and was given a bit of formula for her low blood sugar, I felt more at ease.

We were transferred into our postpartum room with our new bundle to get settled in. With nary a wink of sleep all night, the sun started to rise on 9/11 and T and I were left to contemplate her name.

"So,  Zoe then?" I asked T, knowing what he would say.

"Zoe." He answered, tired but confident.

Zoe means life in Greek. What a perfect way to give new life to a day when 10 years ago so many lives were lost. Thank you, Zoe, for blessing us with your precious arrival and for giving us such a beautiful association with 9/11. Oh, happy day.

Here is Part 1.


  1. Yay! You are an inspiration! (I love her leg rolls!)

  2. I just read this for the first time...I'm in tears - tears of joy and love for you, T, Q, and Z!