My baby isn’t a baby anymore.
Today she is one. A whole year has passed since her daddy and I first met this little person. The tiny little person we had been dying to meet for nine long months.
I can’t believe that we are headed full steam ahead into toddler hood. A couple of weeks ago, I told my dad that I felt like I was taking away her “babyness” by weaning her and he said, “Allison, look at her. I think her ‘babyness’ has been on it’s way out for a while.” We looked up to see my girl, walking and talking and playing babies and chasing the dogs and doing all of the things that “babies” can’t do.
He was right. My baby is pretty well gone.
So I feel like today, on her first birthday, I should recount the story of her birth. I guess I am feeling a little nostalgic for her “babyness” and I can’t believe that a year has passed. In so many ways it feels impossible that a whole year has flown by, in other ways it feels like she has been in our lives forever.
Starting about Christmas 2009, we were on baby watch. My official due date was January 8, 2010, and the week before Christmas (at 36 ½ weeks) I was already dilated 1cm. To me, this seemed hopeful. Like I wouldn’t make it into the new year, like there was a light at the end of this tunnel.
The weather outside was cold and icy for the whole month of December, and I was tired of having to waddle around like I was part of a Whales on Ice show, and I was nervous about our one hour drive to the hospital in Carson City should I go into labor. My dad, who is a rancher, said that I was starting to get nervous like the cows do, sniffing and pawing at the ground in anticipation of calving. I was growing annoyed with people saying how huge and tired I looked, and I was tired of the well meaning comments like, “My god, you still haven’t had that baby?”
At this point, my poor husband and my family and friends were having to deal with me and my bad attitude, too. I was growing cantankerous and my fuse was all but burnt out.
I also began having some strange blood pressure issues, so we were going to the doctor every third day or so, and every time, I was still 1cm. I should receive a ribbon for staying at 1cm for three and a half long weeks.
Christmas and the New Year came and went, and my blood-pressure was still a little wacky, and my bad attitude was wearing on the people around me. It was decided that we would check into the hospital on the evening of January 6th, begin an induction with Cytotec overnight followed my my doctor breaking my water and Pitocin in the morning. The plan was to have a baby sometime late afternoon or evening on the 7th.
We checked in to the hospital in Carson at 5pm on the 6th. We had this really nasty nurse that hated my husband (I don’t know what that was about, but she was so mean to him) and she immediately sat down at the foot of my bed and proceeded to scare the crap out of me. She told me that tonight was going to be awful, and tomorrow would be worse and that it would probably take about 24 hours of hard labor and that I would probably not have my baby in my arms until well after this time tomorrow. She told me how bad it was going to hurt and that I should have taken some better birthing classes or practiced my breathing more and that I would be sorry I hadn’t. She was truly awful. Let’s call her Nurse Beezy.
I proved old Nurse Beezy wrong in that my night was pretty uneventful from the looks of it. The only discomfort I felt was that the bed was like a rock and every time Beezy came back in my room, I would start crying after she left because I was so scared of what tomorrow might be like.
When Dr. Chacon came in at 6am on the morning of the 7th, he said I was at 4cm! I had been doing all that work all night and had no real clue. I wasn’t feeling my contractions, but they were happening – two minutes apart to be exact. He broke my water, and I said, “Wow. That was a lot. I am glad that didn’t happen at home.” Truthfully, I am glad that none of it happened at home because things got a lot more intense from there. Dr. Chacon started the Pitocin and said he’d see me sometime in the late afternoon or evening to meet our baby.
As soon as my water was broken, the contractions were awful. They were right on top of each other and they were unlike anything I had ever experienced. I was a screaming, cussing mess of a woman. I demanded my epidural – NOW. Nurse B. and her shocking lack of bedside manner replied, “I told you that you’d be sorry you didn’t think more about breathing techniques. The anesthesiologist is in a C-section. He’ll be here in an hour.”
This is where I became possessed by the devil. An hour?! An hour?! I told that witch that I didn’t care where the effing anesthesiologist was, get him in here NOW. My poor husband was left with me, screaming and cussing and carrying on. All of this is pretty foggy, but I do remember the lady from the kitchen coming and with a little paper for me to order lunch, dinner, and breakfast for the following morning – and in an attempt to displace what was happening in the room, poor Garrett asking me what I might want. And, between my shouting and screaming and cursing, I answered him. Looking back, it seems like such a funny conversation to have as my head was spinning around like The Shining.
It was 7am. My mom had gotten a room at the Holiday Inn across the street, and we had told her that since it would take all day for this kid to be born, to take her time. She was going to bring Garrett some Starbucks and be here at 8:30 or 9.
Somewhere in here, there was a shift change and Nurse Beezy was replace by a wonderful woman who was amazing. And the anesthesiologist finished his C-section and was headed my way. In the mean time, I was given a shot of Nubian, which did nothing for the pain and made me so silly and even looser lipped. The swears and cruses continued to fly.
At about 8am, the anesthesiologist came in and asked me to sit up. As soon as I was sitting up, I was certain I was going to die. I told the nurse that I was going to have a baby on the floor and I told the anesthesiologist to “hurry the eff up” which made him laugh.
“No, really,” I said in between contractions, “I mean it. I never want to feel like this again.”
“Oh, don’t say that,” he replied, “You want to give this little one a brother or a sister, don’t you?”
“NO!” I yelled, “Not like this. I can get one from Cambodia or something!!” Everyone (except me) chuckled at that.
As he was getting the epidural in, I was still shouting and carrying on, I thought I was going to puke, I gagged, I swore some more. I told the nurse again that I was going to have a baby on the floor. I could feel her making her way out, but seeing as it had only been three hours since I had been in real labor, I knew that it was probably not the case. We had hours ahead of us according to the nurses and even Dr. Chacon. We probably wouldn’t see this kid before dinner time.
As soon as the epi was in place I was a new woman. I could think clearly again. Well, pretty clearly – I was still silly from the Nubain, but I wasn’t cussing or screaming. I felt no pain. Next time I have a baby, I want my epidural at 20 weeks. LOL I told the anesthesiologist that I was in love with him, I was in love with epidurals, and the next day, when it was over I’d be writing a poem proclaiming my love. Embarrassing. Haha!
It was now 9:30. My mom was still not there yet. We figured it was a waiting game now and that we were hours away from having a baby. Garrett opened the windows and we watched it snowing on the hills. We joked about how awful the first three hours of this day had been. The nurse came in and checked me.
10 centimeters. Ready to go. Only 3 ½ hours. We were stunned. She went to call Dr. Chacon. My mom showed up. She couldn’t believe we were ready to go. She missed all of the terrible part, including my exorcism, er, epidural! We were gonna have a baby before lunch.
At 10:15, we watched out the window as Dr. Chacon skittered across the ice from the backdoor of his office to the hospital. He was as surprised as we were that this was happening so fast.
After only 4 ½ hours of labor and four contractions worth of pushing, Hayden Paisley Diegel came into the world, weighing in at a hefty 8 pounds even, measuring 19 ¼ inches long. She was immediately laid on my chest. That was the most amazing moment of my life. I never knew how intensely I could love someone until that moment.