TALIA RENAE BORN
Born at 11:37 pm on November 6th, 2012
Weight: 8 lbs 1 oz
Name explanation: Talia means “dew from heaven” in Hebrew, and Renae comes from “born again” in Latin. When we first found out we were pregnant again, we were shocked. Both of us thought of the story in the Bible of Isaac, and of the laughter of Sarah on being told that she would conceive and bear a child at 90, and then her laughter of joy when he arrived. We had been pretty sure that we wouldn’t be having any more kids, so this pregnancy was a total surprise. After experiencing “empty arms syndrome” after our fifth pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, I was totally overjoyed to be given another one. We looked for names that meant “praise” or “hope” or “rejoice” but none that we found sounded quite right. At 20 weeks we knew she was a girl. During the name search we found Talia and liked the meaning, as the Hebrew for “dew” doesn’t just signify water, but can also be referring to the blessing of God (for food – manna, or salvation). Renae came up in the last few weeks and we both liked its meaning and sound for a middle name. Talia Renae is our renewed, newborn, blessing of God from heaven. 🙂
In short? “Long, hard and painful.” LOL.
After Amara’s birth, my first birth without drugs, I had a totally new perspective on epidurals. I had an epidural with my first and third births (both vaginal), and had felt like it was a failure, or giving in. After experiencing the full pain of birth, I realized what a gift it could be since there is very little effect on the baby! However, I still wanted to have a natural childbirth this time around…but with the knowledge of how painful it could get, I was a lot more open to the possibility of getting an epidural. I still wanted to avoid other drugs as they do have an effect on the baby. Here is a copy of my birth plan, if you’re curious – I had been volunteering on the birth floor at this hospital for months so it is written with that experience in mind. I specifically asked that they not start an IV on me (a “saline lock” because they just put the needle in but don’t attach it to anything – just in case for later), and that was the only real sticking point. The doctor tried to convince me to get it, saying that they would have to use the vein in my neck if they couldn’t get my arm in an emergency, but I said that would be fine…so after signing a paper they let me stay needle-free. I had two reasons for being stubborn on that; one: I have a tape allergy and having an IV taped down would give me a rash wherever the tape is; two: I was injected against my will during my third birth and didn’t want that to happen again.
My water broke at 4 am the morning of Talia’s due date. This made me laugh, because that is exactly what happened with Amara and I had gone to bed thinking “Well, since every birth is different, I know I won’t be going into labor tomorrow!” Ha! So when it broke (trickled), I went back to sleep. In the morning we arranged for a friend to come over, but as she couldn’t arrive til lunch I decided to eat a little and rest more in the morning (Amara came quickly once labor started so I wanted to be more careful). Once my friend arrived, I started gardening and walking around to get labor going. It wasn’t really doing much after a couple of hours, so Nathan and I went shopping. When we got back from that, I laid down. I had been experiencing Braxton-Hicks, or “practice” contractions for months, and during my lay-down they got to be about 3-4 min apart and about a minute duration, but not really painful yet….so more walking. At 5 we left for the hospital, but stopped to get Nathan some dinner. When we got to the hospital labor had slowed again so we walked the parking garage until I was having to stop every few cars for the contraction intensity. We got upstairs and all checked in, and on the baby monitor. However, the doctor said I was only 3 cm dialated with a posterior cervix…! 😦 So after they had me on the monitor long enough to get their happy strip, we walked the halls again for 30 min. When I got back on the monitor, the strip wasn’t showing what they wanted so I stood and labored with Nathan for a while. This got contractions very regular and more painful, and finally I felt some work going on down there. But…the doctor checked and said I was only 6-7 cm! She was trying to be encouraging, saying that the cervix was forward at least, and once things got going she was sure they would go quickly. I tried kneeling on the bed for a while, but they couldn’t get the baby heart monitor to stay on so they asked if they could put an internal monitor on her head. I wasn’t too coherent so I told Nathan to make a decision, and he said yes (he didn’t realize that they were actually attaching it to her skull, so he was surprised when I showed him the cut on her head later). I laid on the bed after getting checked and the contractions went to 3 min apart, although I was still having to moan through them. I told Nathan that after the next contraction, we would try standing up again….but the next contraction went straight into transition – it went from hard to bear to stratospherically different and long. The worst part was that my whole body began to shake/convulse and didn’t stop. I felt like I was having some kind of seizure! After several minutes of this, I asked if an epidural was still a possibility because while the pain was bad, the shaking was terrible and I wanted to be able to relax as everyone kept telling me to! So the nurse went and tried to get the anesthesiologist, but he was doing another epidural down the hall. She started an IV on me in the meantime (I have easy veins so it wasn’t hard for her even with the shaking). I don’t know how long this went on. It seemed very long. I felt like an animal trying to escape half of its body. In reality it was probably about 10-15 minutes? There was time for them to call the doctor in from her C-section. About when she arrived I started feeling like pushing (ah…so no epidural obviously…;) ). So they got me into position and told me to push when the urge came next. I pushed….a lot…and on the second push the baby’s head came out. They suctioned her and she started crying! (according to Nathan) The doctor told me to push again but the contraction wasn’t as strong so while I tried, she wasn’t coming. So the doctor told someone to push down on the top of my uterus (my belly). She did and the baby came out. I got to hold her right away, and wouldn’t give her up for a little while. About 20 minutes later the placenta finally came out, after some more pushing by the doctor on my tummy – ouch. They had given me the oxytocin (I think?) via the IV after the birth to slow bleeding, and also gave me a pain-reliever shot to help with the pain of getting the placenta out which was fine since baby wasn’t attached to my blood supply anymore.
We found out the next day that Talia’s left clavicle – collarbone – was broken during delivery. I am pretty sure it’s because the doctor had me push her body out on the contraction after the head, and because they shoved down from my tummy. She just came out too quickly. But retrospect never helps at the time, and I am sure that the doctor was not trying to hurt her. One other thing we found out afterwards was that where the umbilical cord was attached to the placenta was on the edge, not the middle (don’t ask me to explain what that means) but apparently that is the position that can cause the cord to get in the way cutting off air to the baby and necessitating a real emergency C-section. Praise God that didn’t happen to us!! I was also happy (and the nurse was happy for me too) that I had refused to get the saline lock at first, because it would have been on for 6 hours before being needed and while having it on at the end was helpful – the saline rehydrated me quickly, and I didn’t need separate injections for the two drugs I got – the tape had my arm in a rash from just a couple of hours of being on before they took it off. (PS – 10 weeks later, I can still see where the tape was on my arm. Apparently the reaction to the tape actually damaged my skin coloring permanently! Kind of creepy…keep tape away!!)
All in all…labor took waay longer than I had expected or hoped. Talia got hurt, and that sucked. And it was really really hard at the end. Nathan was great, helping me stand and doing the water brigade for a while (they wouldn’t let me in the shower so he spent a while putting hot water on two towels and rotating them on my lower back while I was kneeling in the bed…so now we know why boiling water is such a hubby thing…;) ). What I missed/wished for most of all during the labor was someone to tell me what stage I was at, and to encourage me and help me change positions. The nurse was great but she mostly just kept an eye on the strips when she was in the room, and Nathan and I were alone most of the time. I really, really wish I could have had a doula or midwife or even an experienced mom. I don’t think it would have changed anything, but I wouldn’t have felt so discouraged for so much of the time. I am grateful God allowed everything only to a point: transition hit like a train right before my “deadline” to move from the bed; the urge to push came right when the epidural couldn’t. But I am feeling like I finally understand what I have heard many women say – that they are “done” with having kids. Unless some serious amnesia hits, I feel DONE with giving birth!! 😛 (I still have a desire to adopt some day so we will see….:) )
Here is a list of some of the things we are grateful for with Talia.