Most of the events in my life that I expected to feel surreal--stepping off the plane as a missionary, stepping off again as a returned missionary, getting married etc--never really did. Having a baby, on the other hand, did feel surreal, every single time.
I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday (it was actually 4:00 am or so) when my water broke. It was a slow but unmistakable leak. I can't remember seeing Brigham so nervous. He was tearing around the house rather incoherantly while I sat and waited for my mom to arrive to stay with the boys. The timing was a little bit bad since the kids were leaving Monday with my parents, sisters and kids for Florida and this would mean that I would not be able to spend the morning with them, but I was also glad to not have to be induced later in the week.
I usually describe having a baby as simply going to the hospital and watching tv while eating popsicles for a few hours. Not so this time. Despite getting an epidural in fairly short order, I continued to experience a lot of pain. Even the epidural placement did not go smoothly and easily as in the past. The woman possessed none of that confidence bordering on supreme indifference that I find so attractive in a doctor. She had to try a couple of times before it was all in place, and even then I had to keep rolling from side to side to evenly distribute the feeling of numb paralysis. The paralysis affect was even more pronounced, too, than I had remembered. I truly could not move my legs and my irrational fears of permanent paralysis only intensified when the nurses and doctors informed me with furrowed brows that they supposed it was not utterly unheard of to be so numb.
My contractions slowed in frequency, though not in intensity, and Brigham thought he had a now or never moment to grab something to eat. In the 15 minutes he was gone, the nurses gave me pitocin and I began experiencing contractions so unrelentinga nd painful that I cried. Suddenly a few nurses came rushing into my room and starting adjusting things while one of them plunged a syringe into my thigh. The doctor called out, in a back-fired attempt to reassure me: "Don't worry, the baby has recovered!" Recovered from what, lady? The doctor checked to see how far I had progressed and remarked in surprise, "Wow, he has a lot of hair!" Apparently, I went from 4 cm to ready to push a baby that was already visible in about 15 minutes. The nurses paged Brigham and two pushes later, I was holding my newest little boy.
He looked so much like Will and Andrew that it was startling. He even sounded like them. He has long eyelashes just like Andrew did. He has a loud, strong cry. I felt so worried when they first handed him to me because he was wheezing and purple, but he quickly pinkened up and began really yelling. He is so sweet and cuddly and I feel already that he belongs with us forever. Now we just need to figure out what to call him.