After a decent night of dozing, I woke up at about 6:30 or so feeling...strange. I lay there in my bed frowning for a while, before I woke Ian. "I think I need to push" I said, and he said "don't do that!" He called in a nurse, and after a quick check of my cervix she announced that I was 9.5cm dilated, and please don't push just yet. Soon, but not yet. That was not what I wanted to hear. The need to push was becoming overwhelming. After about ten minutes I started crying...not because it hurt, the epideural made sure of that, but because I didn't think I could stop myself from pushing for much longer. Once again Ian called a nurse, and my cervix was checked, and I was told that I could push with the next contraction.
I started pushing, and man, it was hard work. As I pushed, Ian held my hand, and kept me company. My doctor was called. When Doctor Brown came in and checked things out about 45 minutes after I started pushing, he could feel the baby's head, round, and high up. After an hour of pushing, she hadn't budged. After 2 hours of pushing, she hadn't budged. Dr. B. decided that it was time for some intervention.
First they tried the vacuum, which is supposed to be gentler than the forceps. It was a huge suction cup that they apply to the baby's head, and then they yank. Dr. B had the resident do it, and I swear, if the suction had gone suddenly, she would have gone through the wall she was pulling so hard. She yanked for a while, and when they checked....the baby's head was round, and exactly where it had been. By this point there were 3 NICU nurses, 2 Labour and delivery nurses, an Anestheiologist, my Dr., the Resident, and Ian in the room. It was getting crowded.
Obviously the Vacuum was not going to work, so Dr. B pulled out the forceps, held them aloft (I kid you not) and announced "These have saved more lives than penicillin. He wouldn't let the resident use the forceps though, they are a little more tough to handle. As he applied the forceps, I finally felt it...all the way through the drugs, and it hurt. They also had to do the episiotomy at that point.
I don't really remember much of the next 10 or 15 minutes, I was incredibly focused in getting that child out of me. Ian was proud of the help that he did, but I can't remember it at all. Honestly, he could have been making out with the cute nurse in the corner, and I wouldn't have noticed.
Finally Mary Beatrice Elizabeth was born. The NICU nurses grabbed her away from the Dr. to check her out and to clean her up while I was being stitched back together. I think this part was the scariest for me, the baby hadn't made any noise at this point, and one of the nurses came over to tell me that she was shocky, her blood pressure was a little off, and that she had a huge haematoma on the back of her head because of the vacuum. Then the nurse handed me a baby, all swaddled up, and told me that I could hold her for a couple of minutes, and that I should kiss her.
I can't describe the feeling when she finally left my body...after all that work and discomfort, it was worth every second just to see her precious, beat up and bruised little face. I know it's clichee, but I really did love her from the instant I set my eyes on her, and every day, I fall more and more in love. It was hard at first, she spent another week in the Neonatal ICU, and when we first brought her home we didn't know what to do with her, but she's been patient (relatively) and she's taught us everything we need to know.
Happy Birthday, Mistress Mary. I love you more than words can express, and I cannot wait to see what surprises you are going to bring us this year. You are such a joy to me, I cannot imagine life without you.