Saturday, September 4, 2010
As I write this, it is 3 weeks and 3 days after the birth of my daughter, Cara. She was born on August 11, 2010, 8 lbs 9 oz and 22 inches long at 6:45 in the morning.
It wasn't an easy delivery. In addition to all of the usual monitoring devices and the epidural, Debby had to endure an IV of mercury flowing into her, being restricted from drinking water, and at one point even wearing an oxygen mask. I was standing beside her in the hospital room the entire time, helping as best I could. After 3 hours of pushing with the contractions (we had been told the normal max was around 2 hours), Cara had dropped far enough for the doctor to deliver with forceps.
With the final push, the doctor cut the cord and had the nurses whisk the baby away (I had been going to cut the cord, but due to the fact that Cara had already had a bowel movement inside Debby, they needed to clean her off as soon as possible. They still had me cut a piece of the cord later, I guess as a ceremonial gesture) and soon after, as the doctor continued his work to stitch up Debby from her new injuries, they called me over to where they had cleaned and measured the baby and started asking me questions, none of which I remember at this point. I was too busy staring at my new daughter. They had me put on her first diaper in my dumbfounded state, very clumsily and with much assistance. I couldn't resist taking out my blackberry and taking a video of Cara, which I then brought to the new Mommy as soon as I could. I felt it was unfair that it took so long for Debby to see Cara up close, but eventually the doctor finished, and they swaddled up Cara and put her in Debby's arms. Happiness.
I was completely exhausted after, so I can only imagine what Debby felt like. The delivery left her with injuries that she is still recovering from, and will be for some time. She was simply amazing in that delivery room, and fought as hard as I've ever seen anyone fight in my life to deliver the baby and avoid a C-section.
The weeks that followed have been sort of a blur, a period of getting used to feeding the baby every 3 hours (even the middle of the night, of course) and changing diapers (you start to get good at it after the first 30 or 40 or so). Cara has already been to Debby's school, our favorite pancake restaurant (4 or 5 times!), the new Target that opened a few blocks from us, , a Chinese restaurant, and her first gaming store, Chicagoland Games (sure, she slept through most of these trips, but hey...) Cara Jade is healthy, eating and sleeping well, and we couldn't be more happy.
Incidentally, my position on abortion rights has never been stronger at this point; I'm more pro-choice than ever. The idea that anyone would want the government to force a woman that doesn't want to have a baby to go through what Debby went through over the last 9 months, and force her to face having the same injuries or worse is monstrous. The decision to go through that must be the woman's alone, and some would have the government force underage girls, and women with no way to support a child, and women that had been raped...
No. For anyone that wants to live in a country that abuses their women that badly, I hear Saudi Arabia is a lovely spot for it. Not in the United States of America, as long as I have anything to say about it.