Three years ago, I was working part-time in a library, volunteering as Stage Manager in a play at a community theatre, taking a theatre class, participating in a writer's group (concretebride.com), working for a magazine and going to school to get my Master's in Library Science. Oh, and I was pregnant.
On Cinco de Mayo 2006, I got up and went to work, sick of having to waddle from having a baby's head seemingly permanently lodged in my pelvis (but too stubborn to move out!). I worked my five or so hours and waved "see ya laters" to my co-workers. I had been having labor pains on and off for days, but nothing serious seemed to be happening. As annoying as the erratic pulsating of my belly was, I had too much to do to sit around and whine about it.
I came home from work, did three phone interviews, wrote subsequent articles and turned them in right on time to the mag editor, I was glad to have that done since I was supposed to be induced the next Monday if nothing happened over the weekend. I got the feeling nothing was gonna much happen. *sigh*
Wanting to get a head start on wrapping up my semester also, so I took an on-line quiz, wrote a paper and got a Power Point presentation ready to turn in.
Figuring I had earned myself a nap, I lay down and drifted off to sleep, but fitfully as I kept having labor dreams. At one point, I rolled over from a particular vivid dream, and actually woke up, "Huh, it would be funny if I were actually in labor."
I dozed again.
I woke up. "Was that a contraction?... nah... wait, yeah, there's another one." I looked at the clock. There was another. And five minutes later, another. I timed them for about half an hour and sure enough, they were regularly spaced!!! I shouted, "Yippee!!!" and called Sam.
After a quick argument about logistics (someone had to pick up Ryan), I hung up and hopped (well, waddled) into the shower. 20 minutes later, Sam was there, panting and Ryan looked like he had seen a ghost. When I asked him what was wrong, he said, "Papa drives fast."
Sam tried to talk me into letting him drive, but most of you who know me will remember that I'm a control freak about vehicles even when I'm NOT pregnant.
"But your contractions are three minutes apart! You're going to get us into an accident!" Sam shreaked.
"You guys can take the other car if you're worried about that. I gotta go, though, so you need to decide if you're riding with me or not." I climbed behind the wheel of our Camry and started the engine.
Sam threw up his arms, loaded my bag into the car and got in.
Strangely enough, I only ever had strong contractions at the red lights. And they only seemed to last as long as the lights. "Two minutes," Sam said, timing the last one. "I can't believe you're driving yourself to the hospital with contractions two minutes apart."
I shrugged, thinking about how I wished I had gotten that last paper done.
When we arrived at the hospital, I got out of the car and let Sam go park it. My contractions were under two minutes apart and getting really strong.
I got in there and started getting hooked up when my labor coach (hey B!) walked in the door. B was the perfect coach because she didn't do anything, just as I had asked. I told her I didn't like to be touched during labor. That I just wanted to be left to do the job I was created to do. And she was there to bust out some whoopass if anyone got near me. That, and crack jokes.
And that's what we did. We gabbed and joked and watched TV. I took breaks here and there to breathe through contractions. I did let the nurse give me some nubain at one point because getting high sounded like fun. But it had worn off within about half an hour.
I wanted to have the baby on Cinco de Mayo. There you go. I've admitted it. I thought it would be hilariously ironic to have a Franco-American baby on Cinco de Mayo while living in former Mexican territory. Plus, it was my friend Mevy's birthday. AND it was my friend Lynne's hot SON's birthday, too! It seemed to be in the cards.
Until everything sorta calmed down.
PISSED. ME. OFF. I was contracting and dilating up to a certain point but I couldn't get past about an 8 or 9. I knew what it would take to get things working, but I was afraid the doctor wouldn't get there in time if I did. Then again, I could see I only had a good half hour left if I wanted her born by midnight.... So, I got up to pee. That always works.
As soon as I started to get up, it was like something dislodged and I stared to contract again. And then, out of nowhere, I could feel the familiar sensation I like to call "the cantaloupe" (and to accomodate the squeamish sector of my public, I won't elaborate)... You get the picture.
I lay back down and gave up on peeing. The baby was coming. I turned to the nurse and said, "Um, it's coming out."
She smiled lightly as if to a child and said, "I'm sure it feels like that," she looked at the machine monitoring me, "you're just having a hard contraction. Try to breathe."
"Uh, no, I can feel it tearing. This baby is about to come out." I wasn't screeching (although I admit to feeling a teeensy bit of panic at this point... that she was being so nonchalant even though I had already had two kids and kinda know my stuff--something I thought she had caught onto). I was speaking to her matter-of-factly.
She sighed and put down her pen. She got up and came over to where I was, lifting my gown to get a visual. "Oh my God, you're crowning!" She leaned over and pushed a red button and immediately an entire crew of people came in. They were rushing around trying to get everything done, but I said, "I'm going to have to push soon."
"No, don't push yet. Wait for the doctor," the nurse said.
"No, I'm sorry. I'm going to push soon."
Another nurse looked at me and said, "It's not time, you're not ready. Don't push."
I squeezed through the contraction, literally holding the baby in.
"I can't do that again," I said. "I'm going to push."
"No," a nurse said. "Breathe." She was putting on gloves and those paper garments and all that sterile stuff they put everywhere.
"It's coming out," I said.
"We haven't lowered the bed," my attending nurse said.
"Where's the doctor?" Someone else yelled.
"She's crowning!" Another one said.
"It's coming!" I said.
This last time, I must have spoken with the voice of god and the universe because all the nurses looked up at me at once.
One nurse said, "Okay, we're going to have to deliver."
Another nurse took my hand and I saw B flinch, opening her mouth ready to say something, but then, there it was. No push. No nothin. The baby was there. It had come shooting out of me without a push.
"What is it?" I asked, relieved and ecstatic and all trembly and buzzed.
"It's a girl!" Someone said.
"Really?" I was genuinely surprised.
"Yeah, dude. And as soon as she came out she put her fist up in the air. Power fist, dude." This was B. I was so glad she was there.
"Any idea on a name?" Someone asked.
I had planned to name her Lily if she was fair skinned and Leila if she was dark. I looked over at her, crying and shuddering as they swaddled her and saw that she was as white as a calla petal. Her hair (that would fall out and grow back at least three times before being permanent) was pure snow.
"Lily or Leila. Lily? Or Leila?" I asked the room in general to see if they saw what I did.
"Lily. Definitely," one nurse said.
I nodded. "Yeah."
Lily Eliotte Leason Tissot, in all her fatness, was not born on Cinco de Mayo, but only missed it by three minutes. The doctor came in, threw up his hands and said, "Well, looks like all I'm here for is the sewing" and did his thing (nice tip for such a cheap table if you ask me *wink*).
Miss Lily is our girl. Both Ryan and Laurel are boisterous and reckless, sensitive and snuggly. Lily is independent and headstrong. But she is the one who wants to wear dresses. Her face is a flower, her smile springtime morning sunshine, her voice birdsong.
Happy third birthday, my sweet Lily Flower!
The next day (I call this one "The Baby Blues" cuz she looks like she's singing):
First beach trip:
First studio shots:
One of many bad hair days:
Catching some tubage:
Chillin' with the bro:
First pigtails *sniff*:
Smaller pix, but still cute:
And I think that's quite MORE THAN ENOUGH!!!!
Happy Birthday YeeYee!!