Seven years ago a little girl entered the world.
She took her time. She made her mama wait. She was soooooo worth it.
I went into labor with Tessa in the morning, which I had never done before. It was strange to labor in the sunlight, but I love sunlight, and I loved being in labor with her. It was a Saturday and we had planned to go to the amazing Russian marionette puppet show that day. I was sad I would miss it. Then I decided, why miss it? So we went. We sat in the back row of the library, Guy on one side of me, Francine on the other, and I rode the waves of the contractions as the ripples of children's laughter cascaded over me. It was joyous. On the way out I told our Children's Librarian "Hey, guess what? I'm in labor." He blanched white and said, "I am not a taxi driver! I don't deliver babies!!!"
We came home to eat and then would have headed to the river, but I was overcome with a shift in my labor, so the kids were shuffled off to friend's houses and we got to work.
I remember at one point kneeling in the labor tub, sunlight bouncing gloriously around the room. The contractions were strong but I was able to visit and laugh in between, even at 8 centimeters dilation. I looked around me and smiled and said, "This is how I always pictured it. This is JUST what I wanted."
At some point Guy and I snuggled and even smooched a little. I sang during the hard contractions and the pain was lessened by my concentration on deep breathing and the familiarity of the songs. The night wore on and finally Tessa came. I watched her being born and I was astounded. I reached to catch her but my hands trembled too much. Claudette lifted her up to me and I don't think I let go of her for the next four months.
Tessa is a dear. She is serious and smart and helpful. She is kind and imaginative. She loves life, and laughing, and loves her siblings. She is gentle and refined.
I always feel sad when my kiddos hit age seven. There is a bend in the road this year that takes them away from pudgy baby faces and dimpled knees. They start to wake up to the great big world and it's possibilities. They begin to care about friends more than cuddles, and they start really gettin' their sassy on. But here she is, such a big girl. And in years to come I will look back at this post and think she looked so tiny.
Big or small, I love this girl.
Daddy took over cake duty and did a smashing job. I had luckily prepped the dairy free frosting a while back and had it stored, and amazingly Guy and I had happened to do the birthday shopping the week before I went into the hospital for our first date night since the last hospital stay. I couldn't stay up long enough to do one of my elaborate cakes, so I let the girls plan and decorate the cake. They did a great job.
See the yellow flash?
That is a flying Cinderella doll.
The boys were fascinated by her and kept picking her up, and I would grab the camera but never quite catch them in action playing with the doll. That doll hit the floor no less than six times, poor thing!
Baby was a little uncooperative at the last NST, and the nurse didn't accept my input that baby was asleep. Cuz, like, what could I possibly know? I only house the tiny human IN MY BODY, so what would I know? They did that awful zappy-noise thing to it to stimulate it and get it to move. Poor baby jumped so hard. Finally, baby woke up and started behaving just as perfectly as it always has in previous NSTs.
As of today I am 32 weeks. This means that a cesarean is no longer required to keep the baby from having a cranial bleed when being born.
So one of the many reasons for a cesarean;
red blood cell damage,
clots on the placenta,
has been checked off the list.
And if baby waits at least 3 more weeks, we can have a birth at the hospital we want where they have labor tubs.
It may seem strange that I have hopes for any particular comforts for our birth experience, but we have lost so much already, that if there are things we don't have to throw out, we won't.
But that is another post.