Married to Medicine

Married to Medicine

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Claire, Your Birth Story...

Dearest Little Claire,

Having already documented your brother Matthew's harrowing birth story here, I know you'll want to read about your own.  Here goes...

About five weeks before you were due, I started to sense that you were going to be early.  I had Braxton-Hicks contractions with both you and your brother throughout, but with you they started feeling stronger and, for lack of a better description, more "cervical."  These stronger "practice" contractions would happen mainly in the evenings and especially if I'd been on my feet all day - which I usually had been, chasing your brother!  I called your Nonna to make sure she'd be able to change her ticket should I go into labor early, and had her plan to arrive at 39 weeks.

Right around this same time I started sensing that you were going to be smaller than your brother was.  I found it strange that I could tie my shoes all through pregnancy, and didn't need 5 pillows to sleep at night.  As the end grew near, I actually started worrying that you weren't growing.  At 38 weeks they did an Estimated Fetal Weight on you that "confirmed" (as much as these notoriously inaccurate ultrasounds could confirm) that you were about 6.5 lbs.  You ended up delivered 10 days after the ultrasound, weighing just 2 ounces more than predicted.  Exactly three pounds less than your brother had been, you - and I - were indeed much smaller this time around!  

Picking your Nonna up at the airport the Wednesday I turned 39 weeks with you, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I really wanted your brother to be cared for by someone he knew well and who loved him while your father and I were away at the hospital; I didn't want it to be a baby-sitter he'd never met, and I didn't want to impose on any of my busy mommy friends.  The timing ended up perfect.  For two full days Nonna and I got things done and had fun with "just one kid" while we still could.  She watched your brother while I had a dentist appointment in the nick of time - the day before you arrived!  We also hit the sales rack at "Janie and Jack" and got you an adorable pumpkin outfit for next year.  Finally, Friday night we took Matthew to Cabot's Diner for one last fun restaurant outing, and stuffed ourselves full of a Reuben, turkey dinner, and malted waffle sundae.  Back at home that night, Nonna and I noticed that my nose looked swollen and my face flush.  The time was growing near for you to enter the world.  She predicted that night...

The next morning I awoke in early labor.  My friend Sarah and I had plans to hit up one last yard sale, advertising high-quality toddler girl clothing.  She picked me up and while out and about I started feeling a few of those "stronger than Braxton-Hicks" contractions - this was the first time I'd felt them at morning instead of at night.  Still, I managed to score 3 pairs of shoes for you for just $5 total for all three, two of which were like-new Stride Rites!  Haha.  By the time I got home, it was just a question of how long labor would take.  With your brother it took 15 hours before I reached a 4 and they admitted me, but I knew that second births usually went faster.

I called your father at work to give him a heads up.  He had someone who could cover the rest of the weekend for him but he'd have to make the time up... I really wanted to maximize having Nonna here while he was getting a weekend in.  So we waited just about as long as we reasonably could.  As the contractions became really debilitatingly painful I called him again and told him he'd better go.  He called his friend to cover him and biked from Dana-Farber to MGH, while Nonna drove me in the car.

One of my "worst pregnancy nightmares" came somewhat true as we encountered significant traffic heading into downtown Boston.  This wasn't supposed to happen on a Saturday!!  As we sat there my contractions picked up quickly and I think I begged Nonna to put her hazard lights on and drive in the emergency lane!  After what seemed like the longest trip ever, we arrived at the hospital.  Your father was waiting for me out front and things were very intense.  This was at about 6:30 pm.  Upon admission I was already somewhere between a 5 and 6.  From there, they must have been a bit busy that night because it took a good hour to get my epidural in.  By the time it was in, I had progressed to above a 9 (10 is the max, and the you start pushing) with no pain meds.  An experience I never, ever want to live through again, but one that still wasn't as bad as taking 15 hours to reach a 4 with my first baby.  Once the epidural worked its magic I was able to have a delivery I could only have dreamed of after how traumatic my first experience had been.  I was at peace with your daddy, just waiting for you to be ready to come into the world, when they came in to tell me it was time to start pushing.  After just 5 easy pushes they told me to look down and I watched you come right out!  You were all purple and crying and shiny as they put you on my belly and I have to say, it was a miracle.  There you were:  My daughter.

Born at 8:51 p.m. on October 13th, weighing 6 lbs, 10 ounces - three full pounds less than your brother!
Claire Annelise Murakami
Sweet Little Claire
Baby Claire
From there we spent that night and the two following in the hospital.  Your father brought me a sushi feast the next day - he knew I'd been missing it!  He also brought my two favorite cheeses, bread, fruit, cider donuts, and two fancy chocolate bars from Wilson Farm and Whole Foods - what a treat, and what an amazing father you have!!  He stayed with me in the hospital other than brief stints home during the days to shower and take care of other things. 

Family of Four!

Snuggles with Mommy

Head Over Heels
Your Nonna stayed a few days longer to help us get up on our feet, but then headed home.  By the time she left she'd braved 8 nights in the living room of our two-bedroom apartment, on an air mattress!  She did no end of cooking, cleaning, and taking Matthew to the park when we couldn't... I hope you'll always know and appreciate what a help she was bringing you into the world, and I hope I can return the favor to you someday.

Nonna and You
In the hospital I experienced many strong emotions but none stronger than feeling as if I'd won the lottery in terms of having both your brother and you as my children.  Matthew was the dream come true that I couldn't have dreamed up myself, and you were my dream come true from childhood.  You are equally my most intense, amazing, vivid, ongoing, miraculous, and amazing dreams.  As I sit here with him 25 months old and you a full week, I am painfully aware that the time passes so quickly and neither of you is mine to keep forever.  But for the time being you are my children and I am, for all the hard and stressful times, blown away and mystified that twice in my life I've been blessed beyond any other possible Earthly blessing.   

Precious Pumpkin

Big Brother Matthew

First Kiss.

Matthew Shares His Shape Sorter Toys.

With Mommy.

Just the Beginning of the Rest of Your Childhood!

1 comment:

  1. Such a beautiful story. So happy for all of you :)