Five years ago this week, I was miserable. I mean, I was carrying around a big baby. We didn't know how big, but we could tell she was big. She was so big, I had told the doctor, "This baby feels big."
My due date was February 26, but the doctor stripped my membranes at my February 21st appointment and scheduled me to arrive at the hospital the night of February 22nd to begin preparing for induction.
We arrived late on the 22nd. We had taken the time to go out to eat with Sarah and Dani, and tuck them in at their Grandma's house. So we arrived around 9:30. Well, the nurses had expected me to arrive at 7:00. Oops.
They checked me and I was already dilated to 4 cm, so they couldn't do what they were scheduled to do that night. And seeing how hospitals are not hotels, they sent me home. We went back to Craig's mom's house and he slept on the couch next to me in a chair. I was miserable, but we weren't going to drive all the way home (the hospital was about 45 minutes away from our house) when I just had to be back at the hospital at 7:00 a.m. next morning.
We showed up at 7:00 a.m. after a big breakfast and they got things rolling. Doctor broke my water around 8:45 a.m. and by 10:30, I asked for an epidural. Something I have always done is labored as long as I possibly could without an epidural, hoping to avoid the stalling in labor I have always heard about with epidurals. Well, the anesthesiologist took his sweet time...I think at 12:00, he still had not shown up to put it in. Even the nurse was angry with him! I had stalled at about 6 cm and was in a lot of pain. Finally, I got the epidural (amid lots of shouts of, "this is my 3rd kid, don't explain it to me, just put the **** thing in!") Within 30 minutes of getting the epidural, I was to a 9, and by 1:45 p.m., I was ready to push. Epidurals speed my labor like nothing else.
And at 2:06 p.m. on February 23, 2006, my Helen Olivia was born. All Nine pounds Eight ounces of her! She screamed from the get-go and had one-month-old's thighs (as the nurses kept saying). A side note: I absolutely intend, should she ever complain about her thighs to be sure and tell her she came into the world with those thighs...God gave 'em to her so she better be nice! :)
Helen is a family name. My paternal grandmother's name is Helen. My father's only sister claims Helen as her middle name. My first given name is Helen (my parents always called me by my middle name). Helen is the perfect name for my third-born daughter.
Helen is my "mini-me." I have often said that there are times when I just don't know what to do with Helen because I don't always know what to do with myself. I want to scream at Helen sometimes and try to make her see that she is so stubborn she's really going to blow it and nothing is going to save her. And that's because I know from experience.
And then there are the times that I am amazed at how smart and kind and self-aware Helen is and I think...maybe she's not that much like me. Of course, she's my cuddle-bug. She is a "mama's girl" through and through. She has been from the day she was born. She was the child I held all the time wondering if she would be my last baby. She's the only one I had the wherewithal and the courage and the perseverance to nurse for any length of time (5 months). One of these days, I'll have to scan in some pics I have of myself at age 5 and you all can see that she is the one of my children that looks the most like me (the others favor their father much more).
Helen is sweet...
happy and funny...
beautiful and eccentric...
sometimes loud, assertive, but mostly cool and collected...
Happy birthday to my beautiful brown-eyed blondie.