Ella was born September 12, 2001, the day right after the terrorist attacks–a sad, horrible day in our nation's history. I was home alone, two days overdue, on maternity and the whole experience was scary and made a person wonder why bother bringing a child into this cruel world. I have since come to realize that experiences like this make it all the more important to grab onto hope and invest in the future. A precious sweet new baby that you will devote your life to is the best investment you can make.
The day after the tragedies in New York, I went for my weekly appointment and my doctor agreed to sweep my membranes to get things started. Well did he ever–he broke my water! I was dripping amniotic fluid everywhere but wasn't having any contractions when my husband and I headed to the hospital. At 5:30 p.m., since I still wasn't feeling anything and since I needed to get antibiotics since I was Hepatitis B Positive, they started me on Pitocin.
It was tough to relax in the hospital since the country was still in the throes of the events of the day before. I couldn't distract myself with television because every channel just had image after image of explosions, fear and destruction and I didn't want to focus on this as I brought my child into the world.
My husband and I played cards until 8:30 p.m. and then I demanded an epidural. Although the doctor said I was only at three centimeters, he agreed to the epidural and after that things were wonderful. I will never regret my decision to get the epidural as it allowed me to enjoy the experience and, because I was able to be pleasant, it allowed the people sharing the experience with me to also enjoy it.
A few hours went by and my doctor thought he should check me. When he did, he exclaimed, "The baby is right here! You need to start pushing!" The nurse grabbed a leg and my husband grabbed the other one and away I went. The baby's heart rate was dropping at every contraction so my doctor gave me an episiotomy to speed things up (which I do not regret as my recovery was quick and easy) and then, he used suction. As a result, things went quickly and at 11:26 p.m. Eleanore Rose was born kicking and squalling. Little Ella was six pounds, 15 ounces and healthy as could be.
The experience of having a baby come out of you and start screaming and living was about the most surreal thing that has ever happened to me. Ella was–and is–the first concrete proof of miracles that I have ever accepted. I will never accept that she is merely the product of a sperm and egg separating over and over. She is a human where there was not one before, and there is no explanation that I can understand outside of she being my miracle.