Monday, August 11, 2008

The Story of How Samaire Joined Our Little Fam

Well, here I am. I should probably be sleeping, but I figured perhaps I'd take advantage of this particular "Sam and Samaire Dance Hour" to tell ya'll how it all went down. (And so someday we'll have the whole story written out ... isn't really, what this is all about?)

So, you guys all know she was running a bit late. And I was doing all kinds of things trying to encourage her. Spicy foods, pineapple, acupuncture ... all kinds of crazy wive's tails. Sam was even more impatient than I was, I guess I was just trying to enjoy those last days of just her and me. But the date of August 10th was hanging heavily over my head. If I wasn't in full labor by midnight that Sunday we'd have to go to labor and delivery, and I really really wanted to try to avoid that.

And so, came Friday morning. And the Castor oil. Interesting fact: there is nothing on the label of said oil about consumption. Not even a warning not to. But my midwife said I should try it to help labor start, and so, I did. This is the trust level people. I lurve her.

So 5:30am rolled around, the alarm went off and Sam got up and mixed me one helluva gross breakfast drink. (Another note: oil in fact does not mix with water. It congeals. It sticks in your throat. It's, well, disgusting doesn't even begin to describe.) I threw it back.

Not without complaint, I admit. But I did drink every last ounce and then crawled back into bed.

Two hours later, at 7am, Sam woke up to go to work. I was feeling alright. Pukey and yucky - but no contractions. He left assuming it hadn't worked. I watched him leave thinking perhaps she'd be born Saturday - and feeling confident we'd make our Sunday deadline at least.

And then, I started feeling worse. But still not awful. Leslie and Sarah both told me they thought labor was starting. I started thinking about whether or not I should shower. Ha. And then figured I'd wait 'til it started for reals. I actually considered going to the store and buying some hair dye to dye my hair while I waited.

But the castor oil was making me feel just badly enough I decided to wait on that. Leslie texted me mentioning perhaps Sam should come home. I texted Sam and asked him to come home for lunch as I was feeling kind of sick. But made sure he knew I was in fact, not in labor, so he only needed to come home for lunch. This is a testament to how much I trust Leslie. :)

So Sam came home. Immediately. Got here at about 10:30. By 11:00 am I was actually sick. Throwing up sick. And I had started having contractions. But manageable ones - I was still convinced we'd be heading to the hospital late that night for a Saturday delivery.

Time One I told Sam I was going to get the epidural: Approximately 12:00pm.
Right after my first painful contraction that subsequently made me hurl into the trash can. Sam called our midwife, I spoke to her for a few minutes and she congratulated us, told me to be strong and brave - coached me through a contraction and then told us to keep in touch.

I eventually ended up just sitting on the floor of the bathroom for an hour breathing through the initial contractions. Once the hurling stopped, I reverted back to perhaps I will go without the epidural. I even eventually made it to the living room floor around 1:30pm. The contractions were getting stronger and around 2:30pm Sam called our midwife back.

She said not to worry and that if it would make us feel better to come on up to her office to get checked. She could then let us know how I was progressing and reassure us that the baby was okay. (We live a short 10 blocks from her office.)

When Sam hung up and told me this plan I was pretty sure it was a bad idea. The idea of getting to her office and then where? back home? and then the hospital later? I wasn't too keen on any of it. Of course by this point I communicated my concerns by saying "No. Hospital. Now."

So at 3:15 we were on our way out our door. Our midwife promising to meet us at the hospital.

Warning: This is when I puff out in pride and love for New York City. And swear we'll never live anywhere else...

Time Two Misty says "No Way I can Do This":
So we live on the fourth floor of a walk-up. I made it down one flight of stairs, Sam behind me with all our stuff, before I had my first frightening OHMYGOD contraction. A contraction that made me yell. A contraction that made me sit on the top step if that second flight of stairs scared to the bone I wouldn't' make it out of the apartment building in time. Or, well, ever.

And then one of our neighbors heard me and came out of her apartment ready to help. She carried all of our stuff while Sam pretty much carried me. And then she waited with me on the stoop as Sam ran to get a cab on the corner.

Jose, our only-Spanish speaking building guy, immediately ran over to me - ready to help me walk to the car. The Latin guys who live down the street stopped their car and yelled "get in! we'll take you!" It felt like the whole neighborhood was determined to get us to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible. It felt great - even in the middle of all the craziness.

Sam had grabbed a cab though - and the cabbie (honking his horn and yelling at people the whole way) drove us quickly to the hospital, never once flinching as I yelled through contractions in the back seat.

Once we got to the hospital our midwife met us at the front door and we all headed in. Our midwife held my hand the whole way as Sam pushed the wheelchair. We were met at our room in the birthing center by Laurie, the greatest nurse ever, and she and Cora (our midwife) immediately went to work alleviating my fears and assessing how far along I was.

The Last Time I Say "No Way I can Do This": (I was wrong)

I believe my first words to Cora in that room were "I'm scared and I don't think I can do this." She looked me straight in the face and said "I know, and we're going to get you through it. You're going to have a beautiful baby so soon!"

I don't think anyone in the room knew how very right she was. It was definitely soon.

Turns out when we got to the hospital I was already 8 centimeters dilated. Essentially I spent the first 15 minutes in a rocking chair as they monitored the baby (strong healthy heartbeat, as always) and then they got me into the jacuzzi. I was there all of maybe 15 minutes before I told Cora things were getting much more intense and when she checked me her reaction was "Out. of. the. tub. NOW."

Next thing I knew I was on the bed leaning over a labor wedge on my knees pushing out a baby. We hadn't been there but 30-40 minutes. Sam stood holding my hands next to my head while Cora sat coaching me, ready to catch the baby. Laurie took turns on each side, constantly reassuring me (and Sam) and helping us through each push. My water broke right before she crowned - she was almost born in the caul. (But that would have been just too obnoxious, don't you think? 08/08/08 and in the caul? I'm glad to see she has some limits to her grandeur.)

And then, before we knew it - she was here. Sam was saying "I can see her - she's so beautiful!" and then I heard her cry.

It was the most amazing moment of my life.

And I think I'll stop the story here for now. There's more, but for right now I think I'll leave you with that.

It was the most amazing moment of my life. I have no words for the love in my heart that started at that moment. I don't believe heaven can be any better than there, in that place with Sam and our Samaire.

And, of course, we took a picture of ourselves right then.

The moment we became three.


Jen said...

Girlfriend, I have read literally hundreds of birth stories,and I haven't had chills EVER like I did reading yours.


Many many hugs and kisses to you all. I can't seem to say that enough; I'm so happy for you!

Karen said...

wow. damn, girl, I always knew you were strong, but I'm still in awe.

Congratulations, Mom.

"I actually considered going to the store and buying some hair dye to dye my hair while I waited.'


Brandi said...

Thanks for making me all misty-eyed (ha ha) at work, you guys. Damn. And again, DAYMN. What an awesome story and a beautiful baby! Congratulations again!

Katy said...

Yeah! She is so beautiful. I love you all. Have a great time as a new family.

alberto said...


Congratulations! Beautiful!!!!
God bless her.

Jon said...

Congrats and welcome to parenthood!!! Everything has now changed (for the better!!)and you will be amazed how differently you see the world now. Great story too. I wouldn't expect less of Misty. Considering I always heard stories of almost being born on the George Washington Bridge I can just imagine your ordeal. She is beautiful!

Sheila Bocchine, Pinhole Photographer said...

Even her birth story is rad! Makes me miss NYC even more.