A year ago today: October 18

So we all woke up early Sunday morning, and honestly things are a bit fuzzy from here.  All I remember is that the epidural wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.  I had tried to do lots of research and have realistic expectations and at the same time not to hold anything too tightly, but I had never – not even a little bit – considered that my epidural wouldn’t work.

And I am a huge wimp.  So, the anesthesiologist made several more visits to my room… he kept upping the dosage of my epidural but it just wasn’t taking.  At this point I’m in a lot of pain (duh) and not really handling it very well.  More contractions, more crying, begging for something to drink (not allowed), more crying, more epidural, more pain meds, more crying.

Finally it’s time for the pre-pushing.  I think I just made that word up but basically, you push until right until the baby is about to be born and then they take you to the delivery room where you actually deliver the baby.

I pushed and cried and pushed and cried and wanted to give up for two hours.  And that apparently is all that you are allowed to push.  She just wasn’t moving.  They let me push some more with no luck and decided that I needed to have a C-section.  I didn’t wan’t a C-section, but at this point I’m hurting so much I just want the baby out.  Plus I really don’t have a choice.

So, they wheel me out of the room into the OR.  No one is allowed to come with me.  Actually that’s not true.  Mr. 16-year-old anesthesiologist was there.  He gave me a spinal tap and then said he’d sit with me through the surgery.  I had no idea that they strap your hands down for a C-section.  I felt like that dead guy in the DaVinci code movie.  They gave me an oxygen mask but I was shaking so bad from a combination of nerves and being freezing cold that it kept falling off my face and my hands were strapped down so I couldn’t fix it (why do I remember that so well?  I don’t know).  I think at this point I was in and out of consciousness.  I do remember the anesthesiologist guy trying to comfort me by patting me on the hand, but all I could think was, “ow, you are patting my hand right on top of my IV needle and it hurts.”  But he was trying, so that was nice.

After what seemed like forever, I heard a baby cry.  I couldn’t see her, but I guess they were cleaning her and wrapping her up.  As the nurse passed by, she asked if I wanted to see her.  Um, yeah!  So I guess I saw her, but nothing really registered.  The last thing I remember is calling out to the nurse, “Don’t feed her!  I am going to breastfeed!”  And then I think I passed out or fell asleep or something, because next thing I know I am waking up in a recovery room (which kind of felt like a supply closet, but that’s beside the point).  I’m not sure how long I was out, but apparently when the nurse was taking Isla to the nursery, she passed by Caleb, my mom and Mona waiting by the elevators.  It was 12pm exactly, which we know for sure because the power ticked off, so their first view of the baby was in the dark.  I think Caleb may have opened up his phone to try to get a peak at her.

Caleb was in recovery with me when I woke up, and eventually they wheeled me up to my room where I finally got to hold Isla for the first time.  What the heck.  This is my baby!!!!!

is she not the sweetest thing ever?!?

You know, I was going to continue this a little bit, but to be honest, it’s frustrating me, so I’m not going to talk anymore about our hospital stay.  I thought this would be healing to write it all out and share it, but it’s not.  I will just say that the next few days were some of the most difficult of my life.  A lot of it is a haze… I do know that I was begging for more pain meds way more than the nurse would give them to me, and we were in a constant battle with the baby nurses over feedings, clothing, and letting Isla actually be in the room with us.  The first few weeks of Isla’s life are just a jumble of more medication, trips back to the hospital, several infections, fighting with the doctors who refused to listen to my concerns, and of course very little sleep for all of us.

So instead of continuing, I will just give the answer that I give to most people when they ask how having a baby in Beirut was: She’s here and she’s healthy, and we are so thankful for that.

It feels so fresh as I write it… So let’s fast forward a year.. I can’t believe it has been a year already! I can’t believe we have a one-year old!  How did time go by so quickly???

Happy birthday, baby girl!!!  Mommy and Daddy love you so much and can’t imagine what our life would be like without you in it!  We thank God soooo much for you!

Ahhhhhh!!  My baby is ONE!!!!!

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5 thoughts on “A year ago today: October 18

  1. Sorry about all that. Hmm… I had a bad experience, but not half as bad, with my third delivery, and I still miss what should have been.

    What is your closest “other country” for the next delivery? Italy?

    She is adorable, though, absolutely adorable and I hope you have a much better birthday this year for her!

  2. Oh Nicolette, how hard. I can understand your not feeling like writing about it right after the fact! Guess you will be prepared for anything in the future… Don’t know about you, but although I certainly knew I couldn’t control things, I still had an idealized picture of what Carson’s birth should be like. And although it went reasonably well, it wasn’t my perfect picture, which made me sad. And in some ways I think that keeps going on–I build up for myself this idea of the perfect mother I should be and the perfect childhood he should have, and it never works out just right. Lots of pressure we moms put on ourselves! Anyway, I’m glad your little girl came to you even in what sound like pretty miserable circumstances, and you get to love her and she is blessed to have such parents! Happy Birthday, Isla!

  3. Through happy, thankful tears we read this beautiful blog! We are so thankful for you and Caleb and for the gift of Isla. She is an amazing gift from the Lord and we praise Him for her!!! We love you all! Happy birthday, Isla girl!!

  4. Nicolette,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry that you had such a hard birth experience…but am so grateful with you that Isla is a happy, healthy girl! (and adorable I might add. I so admire you though, for being willing to go through the birth process in Beruit! You are much braver than I am… :) So Happy Birthday Isla, we are so grateful that we got to meet you and hope to see you again soon! :)

  5. We didn’t have a great experience with Kian, either. Not nearly as bad as yours, but enough to feel let down. I’ll be thinking of you that the time will come (sooner than later) when God will heal your heart. What do we do when NOTHING goes as planned? Perhaps it makes our heart stronger, but isn’t there was an easier way?
    Happy Birthday to your little girl! I like her! She reminds me of my little girl. Nothing real quiet or ladylike about her, but she is definitely herself and that makes me happy!
    -Kristin

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