Sweet Sixteen

16 years ago today my oldest daughter was born. It was a pretty typical day if I remember correctly. I had been having early labor for a few weeks and I was still 5 weeks from my due date. They had me taking some awful drug to make my contractions stop – which made me shaky and nervous which apparently were not working very well. Sometime in the early morning my water broke and off to the hospital we went.

I was hooked up to monitors which didn’t really show any contractions, and then given pitocin. I actually remember telling the nurse that the contractions didn’t hurt that much and I was not sure what all of the complaining was by other laboring women. Oh my, that is funny now! I was so stupid. So very, very stupid.

Within 2 hours my contractions were so horrible that I couldn’t breathe through them. I could only lay on my side curled into a ball and cry. I felt like I was dying. The contractions were at least 2 minutes long and there was less than a minute in between them – I felt like I never got a break. DYING, I tell you. All of my dreams of natural childbirth went flying out the window – and I demanded an epidural. It was the most wonderful relief I have ever felt…and I swore to send my anesthesiologist a Christmas present every year because I loved him so very, very much. No – I never actually did. I should have though.

From 1-4pm we hung out and talked like nothing was going on. By 5pm it was time to push. (I still can’t believe the difference that epidural made. LOVED IT. LOVE, I tell you. LOVE). Pushing only took about 15-20 minutes, and then there she was. A perfect 4lb, 9oz baby girl. She was tiny, tiny, tiny and perfect. She didn’t need any help breathing and held her body temp all by herself – and went home with me 24 hours later.

She continues to be an amazing person. She is strong-willed and funny and a joy to be around. I am so lucky to be part of her life– and have known it from the first moment I saw her tiny, beautiful face.