I am SO PLEASED to introduce my Selah Mae!
At 6 lbs. 8 oz. and 19 inches long, she measures in at perfectly perfect in every way. The official records say she took her first breath of fresh air at 7:35 am Monday, May 9th 2011 (although we told people all day long that she was born at 7:34…and still swear that is what they said. Was the 5 a typo??). Take your pick, I guess.
Selah made her entrance in style: about 4-minutes after our arrival at the hospital. Friends who knew of Josiah’s “12-minute delivery” story asked me throughout my pregnancy if I was worried about getting to the hospital on time as successive children tend to come faster than firstborn children. I said I wasn’t…and I meant it. I made it to the hospital 12-minutes before Josiah was born because I didn’t time my trip to the hospital right…but was in labor for almost a full 24-hours. That experience under my belt, I was convinced I would know the signs and get myself there in plenty of time.
But Selah came quickly!
I woke up with lower back pain and cramping at about 5:30 am on Monday morning. The back pain was not at all out of the ordinary, but with the crampiness on top of it, I woke up thinking “Oooo…I think this is the day!” (My pick on the poll was the 7th…and I had been anxiously wishing labor upon myself for at least 48 hours by the time Monday morning rolled around…) Too uncomfortable and excited to go back to sleep, I decided to get up and whip up a new girly slip cover for the boppy. I went up to my sewing room and started playing with color combinations. Yup, that is where my mind was…I had sorta hoped that I would have one done so that I could take it to the hospital with us. Contractions were starting, but were mild.
At about 6:30 am, I was convinced that what I was experiencing was truly early labor, not just my own premature excitement. The contractions were still mild, but I woke Rodney up and invited him to share in my pain. I folded a load of laundry, and Rodney pumped up an exercise ball (The exercise ball was my response to Rod’s “what can I do for you?”. I think I spent about 6 hours rolling around on it when in labor with Josiah because sitting, standing, and lying down were all too uncomfortable. I had just remembered and decided we should bring it to the hospital with us.) When the contractions sent me to the toilet and had me gripping the side of the tub, I decided that this was not just early labor anymore. I told Rod we should probably head to the hospital. “Ya” he said…he was already on it. Rod packed the bag (I had everything sitting ready to go with a short list of toiletry items that still needed to be gathered). Then he loaded the ball, infant car seat, and recently awoken Josiah into the car. He also called Abbie, a friend of ours who had offered to spend the day with Josiah while we were in labor, and requested that she meet us at the hospital. I was still stuck on the toilet (being gratefully assured I wouldn’t be leaving a mess on the delivery bed). At this point I was bummed that I had decided to start the boppy cover when I woke up and wished I had spent my early morning taking a shower, putting on make-up, and eating breakfast. Oh well…instead I just slipped on some socks and shoes and we were out the door. While the pace had quickened, I still felt that we had several hours of labor ahead of us. We were on the road by 6:55 ish.
Our hospital is not close. Considering that it was about 7 am in the morning on a Monday and we were headed into downtown Denver, I was mentally prepared to spend the next hour in the car. I had grabbed a pillow to sit on and a couple towels (in case my water broke) on the way out the door…and reclined the chair as far back as it would go as I settled in for what I expected to be the next (worst) hour of a long day of labor. The contractions picked up in intensity, duration, and frequency almost before we were out of our neighborhood. I began to wonder why in the world I had been wishing labor upon myself and probably would have changed my mind of it were possible. At least there were no geese crossing the road…so I threw up a prayer of thanksgiving. (True story: this was a very frustrating obstacle on our last drive to the hospital in labor).
When I was in labor with Josiah, I let the world share in my pain: if you anywhere within the visinity you knew I was miserable. I am pretty sure people in the cars next to us on the highway were turning up their radios to drown me out. And if you happened to be beside me in the car, the one whose hand I gripped, the one responsible for putting me in such a state in the first place, and/or go by “Rodney” then it was my sincere desire to leave permanent fingernail grooves in your forearm and hand. This time, though, my sweet two-year-old was sitting in his car seat with two wide eyes on his writhing mommy. So I gripped my pillow, curled my toes, bit my lips together, and kept my verbal utterances to a low moan. I do distinctly remember the contraction which marked the transition from a steady dialation contraction to an “almost time to push” contraction. One short, sharper, higher-pitched sound squeezed threw my bit lips… bu Josiah kept a cool head, calmly telling me a few times “Stop it, mommy.” I told him he was being brave, and I was trying. And I was trying…to stop it. “Don’t push, don’t push, don’t push” became my mental mantra. At this point, the streets started narrowing, getting bumpier, and traffic grew exponentially slower. I knew we were entering downtown…and nearing the hospital. Praise the LORD, for the pressure I felt inside from that little head dropping lower was also getting increasingly stronger. I tried to squeeze my knees together and Rodney gave me moment-to-moment updates on our progress and distance from the hospital.
And then we arrived! Somehow what I expected to be an hour long drive took just over a half an hour. Praise the LORD. Rodney ran around to my door. Paralyzed by a contraction, I took a break from my “don’t push, don’t push, don’t push” mantra to suggest that he get Josiah first. The contraction subsided and I tried unsuccessfully to slip my shoes back on. Rod told me to leave the shoes and we hobbled to the entrance. Right inside the door we had to stop again, this time my “don’t push, don’t push, don’t push” was verbal. When the contractions subsided we were off again. We made it all the way to the registration desk in triage. A nurse came around the corner and calmly asked “What’s up?” Just as calmly, I responded, “I am trying not to push.” She quickly took in the scene, determined that the two-year-old in my husbands arms gave me some credibility, and didn’t require that we fill out any paperwork before finding a bed. I was gripped in another contraction, so the nurses pushed me onto the bed, determined that I was “complete, and bulging,” and announced on their little radios that they needed to get me upstairs to the labor unit as quickly as possible. Rod, with Josiah still in his arms, took one end of the bed and worked with the two nurses to get me on to the elevator. As we entered the elevator, the next contraction came–and within seconds–my bag had broken and her little head had crowned. I told the nurses she was coming. They told me we would stay put and deliver in triage…but the next moment, I felt the elevator surge upward.
Nurses were filing out of the labor and delivery room when we arrived (probably from some morning meeting?) and were encouraged to leave their things and just move…we were having a baby! As soon as we entered the room, the bed they brought me up on from triage was surrounded with nurses and doctors… and no one was telling me not to push. So I did. And there she was. And almost as suddenly the world slowed down. Maybe even stopped for a moment, as they laid my tiny little girl on my chest.
The next couple of hours passed quickly. We moved to the “real” delivery bed to birth the placenta. I didn’t notice until my feet were in the stirrups for a few stitches that I had on one orange sock on and one pink sock. Selah arrived in style…her mommy, not so much!
Josiah clung to his daddy for a long time. Not many two-year-olds probably fully grasp the concept that the baby comes out of mommy’s tummy…but Josiah does: he saw the whole thing!
Watching him discover and rediscover his baby sister over the next several hours added icing on the cake of our miraculous day.
—––––––I am so happy to introduce our newest little bundle of joy.Her mommy……daddy……and big brother couldn’t love her more!You’ll be seeing her sweet face around here more often…and I know you’ll love her, too!