Thursday, April 5, 2012

Birth Day Surprises Part II - The Contortionist

If you've read Part I, you know that my baby girl arrived earlier than expected and not under the best of circumstances. Still, she arrived healthy, and that was all that mattered. Besides being exhausted all of the time, Rob and I got into the swing of parenthood. We adored our little girl. Though I'm sure that at some point we had discussed having another baby, I was not in any hurry. I was perfectly content with one and thankful that Alana was becoming more independent. The "Terrible Twos" were sneaking up on us, and I just wanted to enjoy my sweet girl. 

In June of 1998, when Alana was just a couple months shy of two, we took a road trip to North Carolina. On the way, we stopped in Savannah and Charleston, spent some time in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, where I have family and where Rob went to college (Go Seahawks!), then took Alana to Disney on our way home. I remember (and I'm SURE Rob remembers me) being very moody on that trip. When we got back home, I wasn't feeling well and thought I might be coming down with the flu. The next morning, I went to get a cup of coffee and was suddenly revolted by the thought of drinking it. Uh-oh. "No...," I thought, "It can't be. Could it? The last time I didn't want coffee was when I was pregnant with Alana!" I took a home pregnancy test and, SURPRISE!, I was indeed pregnant. I don't remember doing this, but Rob says I threw the pregnancy test at him and yelled, "Happy Father's Day!" Told you I was cranky!

As I did with Alana, I tried to take very good care of myself during my pregnancy. I ate right, I exercised, and again, once the first trimester and all the crazy emotions that go with it passed, I felt great. My doctor was in the process of putting together a website and, knowing how smoothly my first pregnancy had gone and how quick my first delivery had been, he asked if I would be interested in possibly delivering my baby on the Internet. Now, get your mind out of the gutter...just because I had aspirations of being an exhibitionist as a child doesn't mean I wanted to show everything online. He assured me that the cameras would be in the room, but they would not be aimed there! I thought it sounded like a pretty cool idea. 

As my February 12 due date approached, however, the website wasn't coming together as planned, so the online birth idea was scrapped. Little did I know what a blessing in disguise that would be! Since Alana arrived so quickly from the time I went into labor, and subsequent deliveries are usually even faster, I asked my doctor if he would induce labor early so that I didn't risk giving birth at home, in the car, at work, etc. He agreed and I scheduled an appointment on Friday, January 29 to go into the office and have him induce labor. 

The week before my appointment, I remember sitting at my desk at work and suddenly feeling the baby do a somersault in my belly. I figured that he was just getting himself into position. He was pretty active and moved around a lot, so I didn't give it much thought.

January 29 arrived and I went for my appointment. The doctor started the induction in the office and sent me to the hospital. He said he would stop by after office hours (which were short on Fridays) and break my water if I hadn't delivered by then. I was settled in at Boca Raton Community Hospital (where I was supposed to have delivered Alana) by noon. Dr. P was in town and he would be delivering my baby boy. I was very excited. Not much was happening by the time Dr. P arrived around 1:45, so he broke my water. Within minutes, my contractions started and progressed VERY, VERY quickly. By 2:30, I told the nurse that I felt like I was ready to start pushing. She examined me and confirmed that I was, in fact, 9 cm. dilated (almost there!)...BUT (pun intended here), she said, "That's not a head I feel, unless your baby has a crack on his head!" WHAT????! "This baby is breech!," she said, "You can't deliver him like this. We'll have to do an emergency C-section!" 

I was completely terrified. My labor had progressed so quickly, I didn't know how they were going to stop me from delivering him. The nurse explained that they would give me a drug to stop the labor long enough to prep me for surgery. Once again, I had no epidural and no pain medication. They wheeled me into the O.R. and explained they were going to have to give me a spinal. I remember shaking so badly (mainly because I was terrified for my baby) that I was surprised they were able to put the needle where it belonged. 

My doctor arrived and performed my C-section. 6 lb., 13 oz Chase Alexander was born at 3:08 p.m. When Dr. P pulled Chase out of my belly, I remember them lowering the drape so that I could see him (along with my abdomen cut open - talk about surreal!). I was so excited to see that he was alright that I didn't notice his leg. He was born with one leg sticking straight up his body, with his foot turned backwards. I heard Rob asking the nurse if his leg was going to stay that way. He said when the nurse tried to put it down, it sprang back up! I guess that when he did a flip the week before, he must have gotten stuck! His leg did eventually straighten out and it has been fine ever since.

My sweet, handsome Chase is now 13 years old. He's not a contortionist, nor is he into yoga. He does still love to flip, but he sticks to roller coasters instead of gymnastics. He loves skateboarding (and is very good at it too). My "goofy-footed drummer" inherited my brother's musical talent and can play at least eight seconds of any given song on drums, guitar, or keyboards. If he puts his mind to it, I believe he can do anything. He came into my life at a time when I wasn't even sure that I wanted another baby, yet he has turned out to be one of my greatest blessings. 

I have no videos of the birth of either of my children. Rob and I were so thrown off by Alana's early arrival that we didn't even think to bring the video camera to the hospital with us and cameras weren't permitted in the O.R. for Chase's birth by emergency C-section. I am very thankful, though, that  Chase was NOT the first baby born on the internet after all (although I think it would have been a cool story for him to share). I think that both Alana and Chase's births were God's way of teaching me that things aren't always going to turn out the way I expect them to, but it's okay...they turn out the way He wants them to. :)

With Love and Aloha ~ Nancy 

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