She’s finally here!
[click on the pick to go to her album]
I started getting contractions June 30 around 9pm during dinner time with my parents. They felt like strong consistent cramps that timed about 3 min. apart. I called perze, who was in Budd Lake at that time because he went to work earlier that day. He was so excited that this could be it, and we didn’t want to take that chance that he’d be late for my labor, so he decided to come back down to SJ.
It was a thursday before 4th of july so my siblings were also coming back to SJ, even kristie who went back to Boston earlier that week. So baby Ninja Emma really timed it well. Everyone was coming home for her arrival.
Perze came home around 11:30pm and we waited and recorded my contractions until they were 5 min. apart with more intensity because we didn’t want to call the doctor too early for them to have sent us home again from the hospital if i wasn’t too far dilated. So we waited until I couldn’t stand some of the discomfort. I was admitted to Cooper Hospital through the emergency door to Dorrance Building where they assessed my condition. True enough, i was already 4 cm dilated, just passing the mark to be admitted for labor.
So they transferred me to the labor unit with my Mama Ruth and Perze. We waited a while. This was when my epidural took place, my meds, and emma’s heartbeat and contractions were recorded.
I believe one of the scariest times was when i was getting my epidural, witnessing my husband and mother leave to get a tube placed in my back. The needle did hurt a bit and the pressure in adjusting it in place was the worst part although i have to admit looking back in retrospect, didn’t really hurt. The anesthesiologist was a bit on the quirky side but my nurses really were friendly and assuring.
From waist down, the most power I had was to wiggle my toes, not even having the luxury to control my own “bathroom facilities.” This always posed tons of discomfort, added to the fact that I couldn’t eat or drink. My only source of oral intake was crushed ice. This didn’t suffice a bit, esp. since a good portion of my thoughts wandered to the ice cooler my brother sent me with a hoagie and 2 bottles of lemonade inside.
Doctor Salvatore finally came in and recommended Petocin be administered because my contractions weren’t increasing, also i was only 5 cm dilated and needed to get past that stagnant hump. After the necessary meds were given, after a few hours, i was at 6 cm, gradually getting to 10cm. The doctor checked me again for Emma’s position in my cervix, informing me that she was still a little high, so I was recommended to sit up so she could somehow drop.
After a few hours of sitting, i finally grew very uncomfortable around my bottom area, so much so that no matter how i tried to reposition myself, I couldn’t ease it. Finally, I called in the nurse and complained of the pain as well as the dwindling epidural. They finally increased my dose but the contractions came stronger. Having been a trooper through all the pain, I couldn’t handle it any longer and finally involuntarily shed some tears through some of the contractions until Dr. Salvatore came in for the second phase of labor- the pushing.
This must have been the worst part that I can remember because it seemed as if the whole town of Camden was there to witness it. There were two doctors- 1 being a student, 2 nurses, Perze, and my mom. when it came to push, I tried to remember everyones’ comments about not pushing from the throat, pretending i’m pooping, push down from my abs and not my chest…blah blahs…
But when it all came down to it, all I kept thinking was push hard, as if you were pooping…and it worked. i was pooping something huge for 30 minutes, and it hurt like nobody’s business. They told perze to count to 10 every time I pushed, in groups of three. so when every contraction came, perze counted to 10 while he helped position me. The doctors and nurses ended up snickering at him and told him to count slower since I guess his anxiety and nervousness for me made him count extremely fast. hahahah…they had to keep reminding him to slow down. Through it all, I tried to remind myself that i’d finally get to see her face, and through it all I was also foolishly thinking about the hoagie and lemonade.
Towards the end, I could feel such pain because her head was almost out, and when they told me last push, I really pushed hard that i screamed afterwards. The doctor told me that the head was already out and to cease any more pushes until they told me so. In the end, I pushed once more and the rest of her came out. All i remember feelings were my legs- violently shaking, and all these voices and bodies just come in to assess the baby while my doctor tended to me.
I just remember Perze’s smile of amazement, almost crying but not. he was so happy and in my mind, that was enough. I looked around the room to get a glimpse of my awaited Emma. All i remember thinking when i saw her was, “who is that? she doesn’t look at all familiar to me and she just doesn’t look like me or perze…” but i wanted to hold her and let her know i was her mom.
Perze was the first to hold her. His smile was so huge, with such pride and humility all at once. My mom was the next to hold her since i was still being tended to. Finally, I got to hold her…and it was as if I’ve always known how to hold her. Her face was so fragile and vulnerable- looking with wide eyes already, motioning with her mouth that she was hungry. She smelled like new life- pure and untouched. And I already loved her.
The first thing we did when the doctor/nurses left us to bond with Emma, was read to her her life verses (Psalm 91) that we picked out for her months ago, and then pray for her life and thank God for His creation and blessing.
That was it…july 1, 2005, 4:57pm…we were a family. To God be the glory.