Have you ever had an out-of-body experience? Not like deja vu, but the kind where you actually feel removed from your body and have the ability to ‘see’ yourself and your surroundings in that moment. I have and it was a nail-biting thriller, just like a roller coaster! When the doctor gives the green light, there is no turning back. Parenthood, here we come!
I can remember this like it just happened yesterday. My dutiful nurse and nursing student were scurrying around making sure all the monitors were set. They brought in the mirror (although I had adamantly said no). My husband was anxiously hovering over me asking if I was ready. My doctor was gloving-up and preparing and I was feeling intense!
I had this overwhelming sense that not only was I ready, I was fully capable and not scared at all! The monitor showed the beginning of a contraction and I began to push. I couldn’t feel anything so I was hoping that I really was doing something productive to get this baby out. The doc was very enthusiastic about my efforts and praised me throughout the first round of pushing. On the third push, his head was crowning. I still couldn’t feel anything. When the nurse wheeled the mirror in, I completely lost my temper. I did NOT have any desire to watch this miracle happen. I had seen and assisted with the birthing process many times in nursing school and I knew what was going on already.
As the contractions and pushing continued, I felt more strength and courage than ever. I do like a good challenge. Then a laboring hiccup presented itself. The baby’s shoulders were very broad and although his head was out, my efforts to push out those shoulders were falling short. Then another contraction wave began, with one more push, he was out!! Welcome to the world little dude!
Why wasn’t he making any noise? His eyes were wide open, he was ever so slightly blue-ish but he wasn’t crying. My nurses sprang into action but the doc held him and used her nails to gently scratch the bottom of his foot. He whimpered a bit but still wasn’t loud enough to suit her. She asked my permission to give him a tiny ‘spank’ and that did the trick!
He was moved to the warming table where he received oxygen and pinked up nicely. Nobody could believe how big he was! He weighed in at nine pounds and he was 22 inches long. Having had extra time to chill in his tiny apartment, (he was 10 days past his due date) his skin was wrinkled like an old man’s. His feet had grown so big that they didn’t fit on the footprint page in my baby book! He was perfect and we were instantly in love.
My sister-in-law happened to be on duty in the pediatric ward and came to see me. She came to visit and inspect her new nephew. Her expression was priceless: “That’s not a baby, that’s a turkey!” His arrival on November 19th (close to the Day of Thanks) coupled with his hefty weight made him comparable to a small-ish turkey. He will forever be our turkey. Do turkeys like roller coasters? I’m ready to get off of this coaster and go home with my new little (big) turkey.
Kimberly Fisher, RN/BSN is Healthcare Program Manager for JourneyLabs. A graduate of the University of Florida College of Nursing she brings nearly a decade of experience with a background in adult (ICU/CCU) and neonatal critical care (NICU), patient advocate work in the managed care space and in pharmacy tech.