after birthing oliver, i had kind of regretted not having a camera present. i had thought i would be too squeamish. turns out i'm not.
brian had set up the new flip camera on the on the IV stand and it was a fraction of an inch away from capturing the money shot. then, a nurse was doing something with the IV and decided to lay it down so that all we got were money shots of ceiling tiles for awhile until i asked brian to move it.
for some reason, dr clark had handed brian the surgical scissors for cutting the cord before i had even gotten into position to push. which seems kind of unsanitary. after reviewing the video, i think i was pushing somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 minutes. and a large majority of that time, you see what appears to be brian threatening me with a large pair of scissors. i know i mentioned to him at least three times to watch it with those things. he says dr clark mentioned something along the lines of him likely having used scissors before. obviously, she does not know brian's penchant for absent-mindedness and mild klutziness. and she's not the one who had scissors up in her face every time she moved her head forward to push babies out. it was a little distracting, to say the least.
at this point, i'd been in the hospital maybe three hours and it felt like it was flying right by. even the 40 minutes of pushing seemed much shorter. they kept telling me what a stellar job i was doing, but i wasn't sure i was believing it. i had made the mistake of panicking when everyone was clearing out of the room for the big show and i hit the epidural button once or twice for good measure. this deadened the crap out of me and made my pushing abilities diminish a little, in addition to calming the contractions. toward the end, dr clark said she wanted to do an episiotomy and i declined, thank you very much. i'm a little annoyed that it wasn't until days later, and only when brian mentioned it, that it didn't occur to me to say something when she gave the order to administer pitocin right at the end. i think my mind felt guilty because i had pushed that epidural button and i was thinking there were probably only 10 minutes left. which is what later made the pitocin seem completely ridiculous and unnecessary. AND she didn't even ask me. she just told the nurse to shove it in there. irritated. maybe it was her way of getting back at me for the episiotomy burn.
in order to show her what's what about heads being too big and because enough of the epidural was wearing off that i could feel a little more about where to concentrate the pushing, it only took two more contractions for me to shoot that baby straight into her face. with oliver, i remember his head coming out and i think his body shot right out after without even pushing. maybe i'm forgetting. but, i did have two separate pushes for violet. fortunately, no poop ever came out. of me, at least. violet pooped immediately while i was holding her.
it turns out that i wasn't even considering anything could be wrong with her at all. did not occur to me for a second. that's why i failed to notice she didn't start crying immediately. brian did. i mean, it didn't take her long or anything, but it was a handful of tenuous seconds when i watched the playback.
she was pulled out and vigorously rubbed with cloths and flopped on my belly while brian deftly scissored through the umbilical cord. she was then taken over to the little table for more rubbing and a bracelet attaching and general checking out. i barely noticed the purported 6-7 stitches dr clark was busy lacing up because i was trying to watch violet. i only caught glimpses of a small tube coming out of her throat, which was used to clear fluid from her lungs. i saw it in playback detail a week later and couldn't help but cry. poor baby.
just prior to oliver's birth, i had googled photos and was surprised by the massive, organ-like, two pounded girth of your average placenta and i wanted to see that business up close. but somehow, they had managed to cart mine away before i had even known it had come out. this time, we made sure to tell suann that we wanted to see it. true to her word, while they were busy checking out violet, suann totally schooled us in my placenta. and of course we got it on video.
and, once again, i had somehow completely missed this hunk of flesh exiting my body. seriously. how is that possible?
violet was returned to me during placentas 101 and latched on like a pro. suann was shining with awesomeness again by taking photos and video for us. all the photos suck because our camera sucks in low light, but i think i can get some stills from the video.
the family came back in and, this time, included brian's mother, who must've driven like a bat out of hell to get there. violet was passed around and then it was time for a short separation. when i had arrived at the hospital, i told suann i didn't want violet taken away. she was very agreeable and said they would just need to weigh her in the nursery, which i could handle.
i sent all the troops with her and suann was awesome again for taking our camera in and photographing violet's height and weight. turns out they also did the eye drops and vitK shot (i ended up going ahead with it because i couldn't make heads or tails out of which option would be better or worse). in the meantime, i sat in my bed alone and looking stoned and trying to take naps sitting up. the anesthesiologist came back to remove the tape and it was much less sticky painful than it had been with oliver. i tried to show i'm not really a nutcase for the brief time he was in there.
everyone returned and suann gave violet a bath in the sink in the delivery room. did i mention how fantastic she was? there was no ridiculous heat lamp for two or three hours while she wailed all on her own. i was very grateful i didn't have to fight anyone.
everyone headed out around this time. it was something crazy like 3am. i'm not sure where all the hours had gone. violet and i were wheeled to our room and it was 4am before the nurses left us alone for an appreciable amount of time so that i could try to take a little nap. which meant one hour.
one problem with delivering in the middle of the night is the fact that restaurants and room service have closed their shutters and left you with a packet of graham crackers from the complimentary cracker, juice, and coffee station. so unsatisfying.