Corinne Nicole, Part 2

For those of you just joining us, this post is the birth story of my oldest daughter, Corinne.  She turns five years old today, and in honor of her birthday, I am commemorating her actual birth day!

The first part of this story can be found here.

So, there we were, in the delivery room, epidural working well, parents and siblings hanging out.  Weirdly enough, I remember watching Boy Meets World.  Mr. Feeny is pretty darn awesome, even in re-runs.

One thing they don’t tell you in childbirth class is that labor can be kind of boring.  After the epidural, I was just kind of chilling out.  I know my body was working super hard, but my brain really didn’t care.  They came in to check my progress and break my water (see?  didn’t happen on the furniture!) and I was just kind of like, “Yeppers!”  When they broke my water, there was meconium in the fluid.  Google it if you want details, but there would be a NICU team in the room when Corinne was born just so she wouldn’t accidentally inhale any.

A few times, Corinne’s heartbeat got a little low, but they had me shift position and it evened out.  Which was really funny, by the way-try shifting position once when you’re numb from the waist down!

Now mid-afternoon, at about 8-9 centimeters, the doctor noticed that her heart rate was seriously dropping with each contraction.  Shifting position didn’t help.  Things were starting to get hairy, and the word “C-section” was bandied about.  I did NOT want a c-section!!

Suddenly, I got the most serious urge to push.  Like “Right NOW, I need to push!”  It was just me, Kirk, and my mom in the room with a nurse, and the nurse was like “Oh, go ahead hun, first moms push forever.  It won’t be like you do anything productive.”  I hated that nurse.  One of the hardest things I ever did was look at her through the urge to push and say “NO.  I want my doctor, I want the NICU team that needs to be in here, and I want them now. Before I push.”  Best decision I ever made.

The doctor and team came in and I was ready to go.  The doctor told me I had to push and push hard and fast-her heart rate was low and we needed to get her out NOW!!  I pushed a few times and I remember saying “I can’t!”  I don’t think it was because pushing was hard-it was because the nurse would count to ten for each push and I usually ran out of breath at about 7!  But as soon as I said it, every single person in the room chorused: “Yes you can!!!”  (Kirk and my mom were helping me push, my younger sister was watching from a distance.)

We stopped for a second, and the doctor tried a vacuum.  No dice.  I had NO idea, but apparently at this point, our birth story became an emergency.  It wasn’t until later I learned that Corinne’s heart rate was so low they were fearing for her life.  It wasn’t until later that my dad (who was waiting in the hall) saw them flip an emergency switch and there were suddenly doctors and nurses waiting in line to get into my room.  It wasn’t until later that Kirk told me his dad called right in the middle of it all and he yelled “She’s pushing right now!” and hung up on him.

I was so involved in pushing that I knew none of this.  I only pushed for about 10 minutes.  As soon as her head started to emerge, the doctor (who was and remains my hero) simply yanked her out as fast as possible.  It tore me up like crazy down there (glad I had the epidural!!), but it probably saved Corinne’s life, and it definitely saved me from having the c-section we really should have had.

At 2:00pm exactly, on February 15, 2007, Corinne Nicole was born into the world, turning me into a Mommy for the first time.  She weighed 7lbs, 6oz, and she was 19 1/2 inches long. 

Her lungs were clear of meconium, and she was healthy and perfect in every way.  The complications in her delivery were probably due to an umbilical cord that was too short, but we’ll never really know.

My recovery wasn’t bad.  I had about a million stitches, and I was stuck in bed for two days and had to sit on a pillow for a few more.  They wanted me to stay an extra day, but I declined.  I was ready to take my baby home!  My husband’s grandpa asked me right after the birth if there would be more.  My answer was a resounding yes, I had loved being pregnant, and despite the craziness of the birth, it was so, so worth it to have that tiny girl placed in my arms.

So there you have it!  The story of how Corinne Nicole was born!

February 15, 2007

 

February 15, 2012 Still causin' trouble!

 

Top 10 Reasons It Is Awesome to Be a Parent

On Christmas Eve, after the kids were asleep and my husband and I had lugged all the presents from Santa’s Workshop (aka the closet upstairs) and laid them under the tree, I stood back and clapped my hands and squealed like a little girl.  Because I do things like that.  And I said “I can’t wait to see their faces in the morning!  This has to be one of the top ten best things about being a parent!”

And my husband looked at me and said: “I want to see that list.”

After asking for further explanation, he told me that he wanted to see the rest of the top ten list.  Obviously, playing Santa was on it, but what else?  What were the top ten things (or moments) that made parenting so incredibly worth it?  Well, my friends, that was just a blog post waiting to happen…but it took some serious thought on my part first.

Parenthood is the hardest, scariest, most frustrating, rewarding, awesomest job ever.  In no particular order, here’s why:

(May I add that at this point I had to stop typing this entry for 15 minutes while I cleaned up the juice my two-year old dumped all over our computer desk.  Ah, parenthood.)

Playing Santa

Obviously!  There are few things more magical than seeing your children’s eyes light up when they walk into the living rom Christmas morning and see that, at long last, Santa has come!  I do (and will continue to do) everything I can to perpetuate the Santa myth to my kids.  Christmas takes on a whole new meaning when you literally become Santa for someone!

Snuggles and Cuddles

They happen at random, and most of the time when you need them most.  When your child is on your last nerve and you are about to explode and then they just come running up to you and give you the biggest hug possible.  Nothing beats hugs and kisses for stress relief, ya know.  I personally enjoy early morning, just-got-out-of-bed, tousled hair cuddles the most.  But they’re all good.  Oh yes, all good 🙂

Sleeping on Your Lap

Oh, the absolute trust these kids have in you.  They curl right up and fall asleep on you without thinking twice.  And you will do anything..put a stop to your day..let vital appendages fall aslep…just to make sure you don’t have to move and wake them.  As my kids get older, they do this less and less…I really miss it!  (So now we have slumber parties and crash on the floor together as a substitute!)

Singing Happy Birthday

This is up there with playing Santa.  Nothing beats the joy that lights up a child’s face while the whole room focuses on them and sings happy birthday before that big moment of blowing the candles out.  And to know that you orchestrated this, set up a party, bought a cake, and made that moment happen?  Whoa.  Just whoa.

Being Born

Birth is special.  Ok, there are a lot of things about childbirth that suck, especially for the mom, of course, but this quote about sums it up:

“God may be hard to find in this world, but seeing your baby born is as close to a burning bush as you get.”

In that instant when two people in the room become three, when you go from being a husband and a pregnant woman to a family.  There’s no other magic like that.  None on this earth.

Laughing Together

My children crack me UP.  They say the funniest things, usually completely out of the blue.  They keep me rolling.  For example, the other day we were driving down the road, when just completely offhandedly my four-year old asked “Hey Mom, is it okay if I say shit?”  I about drove off the road from laughing so hard.

Watching Them Sleep

This obsession starts at birth and apparently never stops.  There is something incredibly peaceful about watching your child sleep. (For more reasons than just one…I mean, now Mommy can break out the wine.)  You watch them breathe, tuck the covers around them, smooth back their hair, give a gentle kiss…sigh…contentment.

Listening to Them Pretend

Sometimes my daughters decide they hate our dog, and they choose one of their rooms to go into and shut the door.  Then they proceed to play together in there with relatively little fighting (mostly).  Listening through the door is one of the best things ever.  My thoughts generally go down one of three paths: where did they get that?! … OMG they sound exactly like me/their dad … rolling on the floor laughing.  As a teacher we find it extremely informative to watch how a child plays pretend.  It says a lot about their home life, etc.  It’s no less interesting as a parent, and definitely eye-opening!

Re-experiencing Things Through Their Eyes

There’s a reason kids make Christmas so magical.  They have a fresh newness and adoration for it that you haven’t experienced since you were a kid.  You get to re-experience it vicariously through them, and it is awesome.  Watching my kids brings back all the magic and good memories from my own childhood.  First time at the beach, building a sandcastle, catching fireflies, it’s all so much more awesome because you are sharing it.  Sometimes it’s an old family tradition, sometimes it’s something you forgot you ever did until they ask, but it’s always amazing.

Explaining Things

This goes hand-in-hand with re-experiencing things.  Your kid asks you a question and you have to answer it, but you have to tone it down in a way that they can understand.  It makes you think about things in a whole new way, and gives you some pretty cool insights.  This happens to me a lot in traffic:

Ashlynn:  Mommy!  Go!  Go now!  I want to go to the store!

Me: I can’t.  We’re at a stoplight.

Ashlynn: Why?  Go!  There’s no cars! 

Me: I can’t.  The light is red.  Mommy would get in trouble.

Ashlynn: Why?

And since I really can’t explain traffic tickets and fines to my two-year old, I have to talk about rules and being safe and policemen and it makes me see the situation in a completely different light.  Also, sometimes it makes me learn new things, like when Corinne asked me if spiders sleep standing up or lying down the other day…

Okay, so there are more than 10.  Sue me.

You Totally have an Awesome Excuse

Oh come on.  Don’t tell me as a parent you haven’t used your kid(s) at one time or another to get out of something you didn’t want to do.  Or call off work.  Or at least get off a boring phone call because oh no Billy is crying and I really have to go now bye!  Sometimes the excuse is honest to God real, and sometimes it’s not.  But no one knows, and I’ll never tell.  Promise.

Free to Act Like a Kid

I freaking love play dough and coloring.  But if I sat around and did it all day as a single 20-year-old (or a married any year old, or whatever) people would look at me funny.  Kids give you license to do fun stuff and people just say “Awwwww, look at her/him playing with their kids!  What a great parent!”  So now I can play in the sand, roll down a hill, sled ride, have a slumber party, play in piles of leaves…the list goes on and on-and it’s a GREAT list!

I’ve loved sharing this list with you, and thanks for reading, it truly made me be really introspective about parenting!  But now I want to know…what would you add?  I know I missed some, there are thousands of reasons parenting is awesome.  Please share!