Thursday, March 24, 2011

Siara: A Baby Story



26 years ago today, Siara came into the world. Second child, first daughter, pure joy.
 I had been in labor all day on a Saturday. We had invited some friends over for dinner on Sunday, so I spent the whole day cleaning and cooking in preparation for it. I remember rolling out rolls between contractions. I would grip the edge of the counter and bend my knees as the contraction pressed in upon me and then I would get back to rolling after it passed. My state of mind was: "If this is false labor, I will need to have dinner ready for tomorrow. If it's the real thing, I will need to have this food ready so Andy can still have our friends over and have something to feed them." Crazy yes?

 By evening, I was worn out and the contractions had not gotten any closer together so I decided to get some sleep.  Around 1:00 am I awakened from a dead sleep with a very sharp contraction. I got up and walked around and soon another one hit me. It was the real thing. I called the hospital and they said to take a warm bath and see if the contractions continued. I really didn't think I needed to wait around but I am a stickler for following instructions so I ran the bath water. This woke Andy up and he was a little groggy and confused as to why I was drawing a bath at 2:00 in the morning. I told him to get ready to go and I took a quick dip in the tub--in the interest of following instructions. Then we decided to head over to the hospital. My sister Julienne had come to stay with us and help me when I had the baby, so we had her there to take care of Scott.

As we were checking in, Andy and I were laughing and joking around. This gave the nurses the idea that I was probably not very far along in the process. They put us in an exam room and ignored us for awhile. The contractions were getting closer and lasting longer but nothing unbearable. Finally a nurse came in to check me.  "Oh! You are at 9!" Suddenly, things began to speed up amongst the staff. I was rushed onto a gurney and into the delivery room. They transferred me to the delivery bed right as transition began--not an easy time to be moving around. I have a clear memory of the delivery room nurse because she had a very New York accent--not something you expect to hear in Portland, Oregon. I don't even remember the doctor. It was just whoever was on call in the wee hours of the morning that day.He seemed put out that he didn't have time to get his gloves on properly. The nurse kept expressing surprise that I was birthing a baby when they thought I was just starting labor. I felt like I should apologize for giving them the wrong impression. Soon, Siara arrived. Kicking and screaming. Andy and the nurse both exclaimed: "It's a girl!" ...this was back in the olden days before technology allowed you to find out the gender five minutes after conception--we actually had no idea until she was born! The nurse wrapped her up and handed her to me. "I wish we had filmed this birth," she said. "You were so calm, it would be the perfect teaching film for childbirth classes."
Well, lady, someone had to be calm.

She weighed 7 lbs. 14 1/2 oz. A sweet little bundle of baby girl perfection. As they wheeled us into recovery, I kissed her soft little cheek and looked at her tiny hands. Her fingernails were long and perfectly shaped--as though she had them manicured for the occasion of her birth. We had decided on her name back before Scott was born--we had picked out a boy name and a girl name to cover all the possible outcomes. Andy liked the name Sierra and I decided to tweak the spelling. It kind of became a curse for her through the years as she had to correct the pronunciation--and her younger siblings all called her "See-ra" despite her efforts to teach them how to say her name. But I thought it looked pretty in writing with her middle name: Lynnae which I got from a girl I went to school with. That girl's last name was Pipkin--Siara can be glad I didn't take a liking to that name.

And that my friends, is the story of Siara Lynnae's birth day. The beginning of her life on earth. The beginning of my life as a mother to an amazing daughter and human being.
 Happy Birthday Siara!


1 comment:

Michael said...

I just discovered your blog. You've been holding out on us!

As you mentioned, thanks to Siara, and of course you and Andy :-), Julienne came to help at your house and we met a few weeks later when I returned from my mission. 25 years and 10 kids later...

Well... Happy Birthday, Siara!