It's probably wildly inappropriate that I titled this post after a Britney Spears song about a threesome but the dang song has been stuck in my head all day so I couldn't resist. Plus, you know, sleep deprivation. And... three kids OMG.

Realistically I do not have time to blog but I'm letting the art project mess sit right over there on the table so I can record the latest news from casa de crazy before it all slips away in a postpartum fog, never to be remembered. And it should also be noted that this post will probably take days to complete, as I'm doing much of my typing one-handed, between feedings.

First, the birth story for all of you birth story junkies, like myself. Ruby Carroll arrived on April 29 at 12:13pm. Eight pounds, ten ounces and 21 inches long. Sounds straight-forward, right?


My due date was April 20, so already I felt awesome as you can imagine. Contractions started at 2am on the 28th (full moon!) and things started moving at about 4am. I called my parents at 5 and they came over. Then everything slowed down. I was still having 60-second contractions but they were only coming every 4 minutes instead of every 2. Things started picking up again at about 9am and I called the midwife who suggested I come in and get checked. Long story short, I was at 2cm and not at all effaced so we went home to rest and eat. By the time we got home everything had stopped. I ate, we went for a walk and I took a nap. It was about two hours later that my contractions started up again and I had to get serious about them. At 10pm I knew it was time to go in and sure enough I was 6cm.

I decided a few weeks ago that I have suffered enough over the last couple of years and I didn't really feel like bearing any more crosses so the anesthesiologist was called and I got a spinal/epidural combo which took care of that pesky back labor as well as all of the sensation in my legs. I did listen to my Hypnobabies "Come Out Baby" CD and just as it finished, my water broke. I thought for sure things would move quickly from there but seven hours later I was still at 7cm and Ruby still had not made any type of move. Her heart rate also kept dipping pretty low at the top of contractions and the midwife let us know that the cord was probably around her neck but it happens a lot and they would take care of it quickly once she was born.

Fast forward to 11:30am. I was propped up in a squat, sobbing my eyes out from exhaustion and hunger and aaaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh. The spinal had worn off twice (it's really disconcerting to suddenly feel every bit of transition when you've been blissfully unaware of such things for the last umpteen hours) and I was ready to be the crazy lady screaming, "Just cut me open!" It had been 31 hours since that first real contraction and I kinda felt duped, this being my third baby and all. I seriously thought she would just march on out flashing a peace sign at 39 weeks.

My wonderful, beautiful midwife came in at noon and checked me, then suggested I push the baby out. Excellent idea. Ten minutes later, Ruby was born. She did have the cord around her neck, and she was blue and not breathing. They took her to the incubator and tried to get her to cry but she was limp and unresponsive. Zillions of people came rushing into the room and started working to get her to breathe. When she finally took a breath and cried she was wheezing, so they decided to take her to the NICU for observation. Just before they left they asked if I wanted to hold her and I said of course, but only if it's in her best interest. They thought it was and so she and I got to cuddle. Almost immediately her color improved, the wheezing started to subside and her breathing got more regular. The white coats decided not to take her to the NICU, but would continue to observe her breathing to make sure she was okay. It was scary, but she is fine and I am so, so thankful.

Oh and also she had a belly full of amniotic fluid which she later projectiled all over a nurse at 4am. What a delicate little flower. See?

I know... I have no idea where the brown hair came from either but it makes me feel like this one might actually be mine.

Now for the name.

Our kids all have significance behind their names. Ocean's name comes from Amos 5:7-9 in The Message:
Do you realize where you are? You're in a cosmos star-flung with constellations by God,
A world God wakes up each morning and puts to bed each night.
God dips water from the ocean and gives the land a drink.
God, God-revealed, does all this.

Iris is Greek for rainbow and comes from Genesis 9:13-16.
I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.

And Ruby comes from Isaiah 54:10-13.
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
"O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace."

And her middle name, Carroll, is my dad's middle name, and was his dad's middle name also.

Now a few quick notes related to babies and birthing and pregnancy. First of all, I have a new law. Never say anything to a pregnant or postpartum woman that you wouldn't say to a non-pregnant or non-postpartum person. That means no comments about her body or her shape. I'm small-framed and short-waisted so I carry my babies right out front and yes, my stomach gets quite large. For some reason people feel that they can make comments. RUDE comments. It's not okay. I have belabored the point on Facebook so that's all I'll say about that, except for two stories which illustrate the point. The first is when I was in labor and thought, Finally. No more ass-hat comments about how huge I am or how I'm carrying. I had just checked in to the hospital and we were walking to my room from triage with the nurse when we passed another woman in labor, with her family. Her mom looked at me and said, "See, honey? She's a LOT bigger than you are! And it's definitely a boy!" Second story. At Ruby's one week appointment the nurse took us back to the exam room and asked how old Ruby was. I said one week. She looked at my stomach and, I kid you not, said, "You're not pregnant again, are you?" There are so many things wrong with this that I don't even know where to begin.

On the subject of postpartum bellies, I have been doing this belly-binding thing and it's amazing how much faster things are going back to normal. I still looked 7 months pregnant a month after Iris was born and now, at least according to one nurse, I apparently only look a week pregnant. I do have a significant diastasis which I plan to start working on in a week or two. And aside from re-injuring my tailbone during delivery I feel pretty good now. (And may I just say Benefit's Lemon-Aid helps with the emotional side of feeling good, and it should be given out in labor and delivery units along with those coffee table-sized pads and peri bottles. I'm not being paid to say that, I just really think it needs to happen.)

I have one final thought for today: 36D. So breastfeeding is going well.

Stay tuned to find out about Iris's first (and hopefully only) plastic surgery. She is fine; I still haven't quite recovered.


Lorna said...

Reading your post brought back a lot of memories, ouch indeed. Glad to hear the breast feeding is going well, (I loved the feeling of my babies next to me.) I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again, Ruby is beautiful. I have to say I was a bit surprised about the hair, all mine were born bald, and for some reason I imagined she would be sporting a look like her daddy. ;D

Meliss said...

Some nurses are absolute idiots. I can't/can believe that story.

Most importantly, congrats on Ruby!

Ellen Colberg said...

Thanks for sharing Cassie! You are awesome and I love the honesty in your posts. People are ridiculous and say the dumbest things.
I need to know more about the belly binding...can you share with me what have you been using?
Ruby is beautiful!!! I am so excited for you all.

Jodi said...

Cassie, she's beautiful and definitely resembles you. So sorry you had to labor so long, but it was truly worth it. I love how you chose the kids' names. What an inspiration.

Don't worry about the art project mess. Enjoy the kids, its more fun than cleaning. Hope Iris is ok.


Morgan said...

You are a total rock star, especially with your 36D's, hehe! Thanks for going through all that craziness...and for your willingness to write about it!

Becky said...

OMG the nurse asking you if you were pregnant! What an idiot! I remember being amazed at what people thought they could say to me. I thought at the time that I was the only pregnant woman who they'd ever seen, apparently.

I loved reading this story. Were you scared when they were trying to get her to cry or did you know she would be okay? I am so thankful that she is and how amazing that your holding her had such an instant effect on her.

Rock those 36D's, woman.

Amy said...

Wow--what a story! I, too, would've been lulled into thinking the 3rd time around would be easy...this girl had a few surprises up her sleeve! Soooo glad that all is well--she is a realy beauty!

And so are you...I can't believe the nerve of some people! Seriously.

Oh, and love the names! And the scriptures for each of them. :)

Cassie said...

Lorna, we were shocked too. The other two were bald except for a little blonde peach fuzz... a full head of dark hair was NOT what we expected!

Ellen, I'm using this:
I initially tried a more expensive product but I like this better. I started binding the day I came home from the hospital and I pretty much only take it off to shower and sleep. (I wear it under my shirt so I don't have to take it off to nurse.) After the baby is born it kinda feels like your guts are gonna fall out and this helps a ton, plus it helps everything to go back where it belongs a little more quickly.

Becky, I didn't know if she would be okay and I was pretty much terrified. Even after I heard her cry it was still frightening because of her wheezing... I was so thankful to be in a hospital with so many competent medical people taking care of her and comforting me.

{(C)} said...

Bible significant names rule coz I have one. Also, the astrological implications surrounding the day and time of my birth make it even more awesomer. I think mom realized that and then she totally dropped the ball with the rest of you guys, Cassie. ;)

Joy said...

congratulations, cassie. loved reading the details and significance of your kids' names. we are so thrilled for you and keep you and phil in our thoughts!

Preferred Customer/ Janice said...

Thanks for letting us know how hard you worked. With an ill husband much of the focus is on him but you are the star. Yes Phil I am sure you know it. Brought back days of working labor and delivery. I never had the joy of childbirth but that was a choice.
All I can say is the most ignorant ask those dumb questions, and she was not much of a nurse to know that a week after delivery you would have a bit of a "belly" obviously not trained in the arts of birthing or much else.
It is sad that you struggle to maintain and there are such clueless comments. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" or say.. Take care and keep on blogging we love to know how you are doing on the "other side of illnes". Take care!