Y’all. It has literally been a kazillion years since I actually sat down and took some time to write.
I’ve missed you. Seriously. I kind of feel like that Taylor Swift song where she goes back to December and regrets leaving and turning her man down, but with a blog. Stay with me, I’m rusty.
Anyway, here’s Remy’s birth story because I wrote it down like six months ago when he was actually born and never published it because I’m a whacko. This is the fog that is my sad brain.
I never really know how to start these, but I guess I’ll start two days before the little guy was born and I was randomly contracting, on and off and off and on again for-ev-errrr. Every time I was convinced that I was truly in labor, things would peter out and I’d get all discouraged. Usually I am a total champ the entire way through pregnancy, but this one was just a lot harder for some reason. Suffice it to say, the closer I got to our due date (the 27th), the more I was feeling it. I was just so huge, and so tired. Also, everyone in the family (except me) was just getting over a horrible stomach bug…because if there’s a stomach bug within the tri-state area my family will get it. And as my wise friend, Katy, says, we’ll probably get it twice. She knows us.
So, the day before Remy was born I had an appointment with my midwife, Genny. I think I was at 2 cm, not great but not completely horrible, I guess. She “stretched me out a little” (sidenote: why do all things obstetrics have to sound so horrifying?) and sent me on my way. We were both hoping to get things started because we really wanted to have a water birth this time and the hospital doesn’t allow water births if they think your baby will be over 9 pounds…and guess who always has “gigantic” babies? (I need you all to know that I just jumped on my mental soapbox about how my body grows babies that are the right damn size for it thankyouverymuch, so don’t even talk to me about “big” babies…but then I realized that don’t nobody want to hear that soapbox, and down I hopped. And I curtsyed in front of my mental soapbox because in my mind I curtsy and it’s cute, the end.)
So, I left and felt completely overcome by anxiety. Everything in me was stressed and wigging out and wishing, wishing, wishing that this baby would be born that night. But he wasn’t. Not even close. So I just had to get it into my mind that I had to surrender to the fact that I couldn’t be in control (and if any of you want to know the secret to natural childbirth, that’s it. Just surrender and let it be. [Easier said than done, obvs. Brackets!]) I gave myself a little pep talk and resigned myself to the fact that I never have babies early and that I might as well enjoy the time we had before Remy got here and just not stress over things we can’t change. Babies come when they’re ready.
And I totally bought my own speech! I woke up the next morning feeling nary a contraction but very much better emotionally and spiritually. I really thought that it might actually happen that day, but I definitely didn’t let that thought stress me out. Vin had the day off, so we took the kids to the zoo so I could walk around and they could blow off some steam. It was just a gorgeous day. We saw all of our favorite animals, fed the giraffes some lettuce, Ev inexplicably freaked out in the elephant house, it was wonderful. And I didn’t have a single contraction the whole time. We all got home and took naps before Maggie’s last t-ball game of the season and I started feeling crampy on the walk to the field.
About halfway through her game I started having definite contractions. My dear, dear friend Amy was there and I told her I thought this was the night and we squealed and got super-excited and it was lovely because Amy is lovely and wonderful and good. I love Amy…but I digress. After the game, we headed home and Vin ordered pizza just to tide the troops over and so I could have something to look forward to throwing up later. (I’m sure you recall the Ole Burger Incident of ’12 or the Salisbury Steak of ’13…no? Just me and the hospital staff, huh?)
So, an hour or so later, we decided it was probably a good time to call in reinforcements. Vin’s parents headed our way and I let my friend, Lauren, know that we were heading to the hospital since she was going to be at the birth, too. We got to the hospital around 10 or 10:30 and did all of the miserable triage junk…may I just say I hate answering questions when I’m in labor? I also hate the stress that comes before that very first check when you’re secretly afraid that you’re not dilated past a 2 and they’ll send you home and you’ll have to be like, “Oh sorry…I’ve only done this, like, three times before, so…yeah.” Shudder. But I was a 4 or 5, so I got to stay and they moved the birthing tub into my room and I got super excited about the fact that I was really going to get to have a water birth this time!!!
The house doctor confirmed that my last baby was almost a 10 pounder. She got that shady look in her eyes that means hopes are about to get crushed and said she was going to call the OB that Genny practices with just to get his opinion. That guy is seriously a fun sucker, so I knew right then that there was no way they’d let me do it. I was, however, promised that I could labor in the tub, which I figured was the next best thing and in the meantime, I negotiated for no effing monitors once I was in the room. Boom.
Once Genny got to the hospital, she checked me and I was already at an 8, so we agreed that it probably wasn’t a great idea to get me into the tub because I’d never get back out in time. Le sigh. But at that point, I had been yacking my lungs out (oh, haaaay there, pizza!) and didn’t really care. I will say that my guilt complex was still quite strong because I felt (and still feel) horrible that they filled that entire damn tub up with water only to immediately drain it again. I’m pretty sure I apologized to the state of California while in labor. And I’ll say it again, sorry I wasted all that water, California. I am so. sorry.
At some point Lauren showed up and she was gorgeous and soothing and jumped right in with Vinnie. That man was on point with this labor, y’all. He was so calm and in control. Lauren was a seamless addition, despite the fact that she had never been to a birth before. They kept me happy with cool cloths for my eyes and Lauren fanned me with one of those cervix dilation charts (cause we’re classy is why) and they caught my vomit and were all around the most fantastic team ever of all time. Seriously, you should hire them!
Around midnight I started feeling really pushy. I can honestly say, this is the first time in labor that I’ve really felt like it was all my show. I don’t know if this makes sense, but usually I feel like I almost have to wait for permission to start pushing, like I want validation that it’s okay maybe? (And herein lies the metaphor for my entire life…so many asides in this post, geez!) Regardless, this time was different.
A lot of women say that they can feel their baby moving down. Usually I just feel a lot of pain…it’s like Madeleine Khan in Clue or something. But this time, I could really feel Remy making progress down the birth canal. I had just been checked and was almost complete, had thrown up yet again, and then really felt like I needed to push. I knew that the baby was low and I just kept saying, “I need to push!” Genny came in, told me to go ahead and push, and started suiting up. I think they thought there would be a bit more pushing because Genny was still getting her apron thingy tied, the bed hadn’t been transformed into a space station yet, and everyone just seemed generally a bit laissez faire about the whole thing.
Vinnie, on the other hand, stepped it up. He must have somehow known that it was really, really, really go time because that man was on point. He went into full commander mode and told Lauren to grab my leg while he grabbed the other. I gave a push and that baby’s glorious head was born!! I was shocked that it was that fast; I believe my exact quote was, “Is that a head??!” because that’s what smart people say. Anyway, another little push and we had a baby! It all happened so fast that Genny raced to catch him in time and we were all in shock. Also, I went all evangelical and I’m pretty sure I kept repeating, “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!! Praise God!!!” over and over again in a very Southern way. You are welcome, little Northern nurses.
We kept Remy’s gender a surprise this time, so I was super anxious to know if I was getting the boy I desperately wanted. Vinnie got to be the one to tell me that it was indeed a boy, which was just magical. Honestly, it wasn’t that surprising because Vin had dreamed that it was another boy. That guy is 4 for 4 on gender predicting dreams. 4 for 4. 100%. Take him to Vegas, somebody, because that man is a winner!
Anyway, we had sweet Remy Vincent in our arms at 12:14 am, 8 lbs 10 oz and 21 inches long. The entire time we were in the hospital people kept saying he was such a big baby, which cracked us up because Everett was over a pound heavier. Remy nursed right away and snuggled and peed on me and he was just perfect from the start. That boy had/has so much dark hair, which is amazing since we’re so used to bald babies around here. He looked like a perfectly grouchy old gentleman, as all newborn babies should.
After he was born, Lauren headed home and Vin promptly got a resurgence of the stomach flu. Because why not?? Poor guy. He was miserable. And we ended up being dropped off at the hospital, so he couldn’t even go home and had to “sleep” on the world’s most pathetic cot. It was the worst, even for hospital cot standards. But he was a trooper and got me a glorious bagel with cream cheese and I love him forever and for always, duh.
And honestly, life’s been kind of a whirlwind since then. The kids fell in love immediately. Lily immediately forgave Remy for not being a girl and she is seriously his number one fan. Gosh, she loves that kid. Ev had one rough night and then decided it was whatever. Maggie is genuinely my right hand man and I really couldn’t get by without her.
So, almost six months later, Remy’s teething and here we are. Here you are. Happy to see you again, friend. I missed ya.