Sunday, November 26, 2006

Four years ago today...

I became a mother. My water broke at home, then I spent 17 hours in pitocin-labor hell, without progressing. I was told that my baby's head was probably too big to pass through my pelvic bones, so a c-section was indicated. I had been vocal about wanting a natural childbirth, but once there seemed to be medical evidence that I needed the surgery, I let go of my desire and agreed. I learned later that Becky's heart rate dropped quickly while they were prepping me; Jim almost missed seeing her be pulled out. It turned out her head was small enough, but she had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, AND she was holding it. She wasn't doing well at the moment of birth but I didn't know anything was amiss, except that I hadn't heard her cry, and Jim said he couldn't see anything. (He'd seen this tiny purple girl come out and knew something was wrong but wisely said nothing to me.) Then she did cry and I relaxed; everything was fine now as far as I was concerned. The nurse brought her over for a kiss before taking her to the nursery.

It wasn't until seeing her that evening and speaking to a pediatrician the next morning that I learned that she had been in distress and had aspirated meconium. When Jim and I first saw her, she was full of iv's and monitors, laying under a lamp. It was surreal, so far from the picture I'd had in my head of what our birth-day would be like. Fortunately, every time I came to see her in the nursery, another monitor had been removed, and I was able to feed her a bottle after a day or so. I really wanted to nurse her, but her throat was so raw from suctioning that she had no interest in sucking for a while. After 3 days a lactation consultant worked with us; again Becky wasn't cooperating and I was crushed. I came back for her next feeding, and this time a wonderful nurse sat us down together and said "let's just bring her to the breast and see what happens". That miracle girl latched on and sucked for 20 minutes. I was so full of joy and knew that we were going to be all right. I ended up staying in the hospital due to high blood pressure, a legacy of childbearing that I still carry, but they let Becky stay with me for the last 2 days so I started to really feel like a mama.

She was a fun, easy baby from the start; a great nurser and good sleeper. We found that we were more laid-back parents than I'd thought we (okay, I) would be, which really helped her to be less fussy. Her first year passed in the blink of an eye, then her second, and now her third and fourth. Becky is funny, smart, sweet and loving. She loves fun and has a very infectious laugh. Right now she's perfecting writing her name and is making strides at day care in terms of coloring and other skills; Jim and I have been amazed at how she's progressed. She remembers EVERYTHING and asks a lot of questions. We talk about deep subjects like God and the earth, as well as lots of silly topics. She's in love with Diego on Noggin, and learns a lot from him too. (Did you know that baby penguins can't swim until they get their swim feathers?)

She's been a fantastic big sister to Carly; the moments of jealousy of having to "share the limelight" are few and are overshadowed by her obvious love for "her baby". They now play together, rolling around on the floor hugging and giggling. To Carly, Becky is the sun and the moon and it's easy to see why. I feel lucky and honored to be her mommy.

3 comments:

Jacqueline said...

beautiful. Happy birthday Carly and very happy birthing day to you, Liz.

Natalie said...

What a sweet post, Liz! I hope you'll post pictures! :D Happy Birthday to Becky, too!

Rebecca said...

Can't believe how fast it goes. She's 4 already? Happy B-Day Becky! What a great big sister.