introducing djuna sulise + birth story

Stella meets Djuna
Djuna, 7 days old
Meet Djuna Sulise! We named her Djuna (pronounced JOON-uh) after writer Djuna Barnes. It's a name I've loved ever since reading Nightwood in college, and Jordan and I agreed after we had Stella that if we ever had another girl we would call her Djuna. We wanted to capture the love and admiration we have for both our mothers; Sulise is an homage to them, Suellen and Malise.

Djuna made a speedy entrance into the world early last Thursday morning. After days of pre-labor contractions that left us wondering "is this it?," I never imagined I'd have such a different birth experience from the one I had with Stella. With Djuna, there was no doubt when I actually went into labor. Going to bed Wednesday night she was very active and I kept feeling her head moving and turning against my cervix. At 1 a.m. her movement broke my bag of waters and I woke Jordan up and called my Mom who was at our door in 20 minutes. Because I tested positive for Group B strep this pregnancy, my OB requested that we head to the hospital sooner rather than later if my waters broke so that I could be given a dose or two of antibiotics. I had my first serious contraction, one that stopped me in my tracks, right before leaving our house.

We arrived at the hospital and were admitted into the labor and delivery department. At this point I was excited and chatty with the nurse and with Jordan. After weeks of waiting, I was ready to be past the labor and meet our girl. I felt so happy and not at all scared or apprehensive. At around 2:15 a.m. they checked me and I was 3-4 cm dilated. They moved me into a room and we met and talked with our attending nurse. I was still smiling and laughing, easily breathing through the contractions with Jordan rubbing my back and offering encouragement, and eating fruit popsicles.

The nurse drew some blood to run tests and ended up poking through the other side of my vein, which, I learned as the blood started to pool in my arm and Jordan almost fainted, is called a blown vein. I started shaking after that from the rush of adrenaline and was light-headed from having my blood drawn badly. Another nurse came in to insert the IV drip into my other arm.

By 3:40 a.m. I felt the urge to pee and afterwards found I couldn't sit comfortably on my birthing ball anymore. Our nurse had left the room and as I leaned over the bed I told Jordan to go get her because I could feel Djuna moving down the birth passage. At 3:50 a.m. the doctor checked me and was astonished that I was already 9 cm dilated. The attending nurse was surprised as well because I was managing the contractions without much discomfort. At that point, however, I started moaning, open-mouthed (thank you Ina May!), through the contractions because I could feel the urge to push coming on and I was told to wait so they could quickly prep the room for the delivery.

The nurse hurried to get the antibiotics in the IV for the Group B Strep prevention (much too late), and at around this point I looked at Jordan and told him I didn't want to do it anymore. I quickly stopped myself from saying it again, and started repeating "I can do this." 

I started pushing at 4 a.m., and after 3 intense pushes, Djuna was born. I felt ecstatic. And relieved. As they put her on my chest I said with great joy "I did it, Sweets! I did good..." 
He agreed.


MamaBree said...

Love her so much already! Can't wait to meet her. xoxoxoxoxo BB

Mary said...

Love this post Hannah and welcome to the world Djuna..xoxo.

Hannah said...

Thanks B and Mar! xoxo

Aralena said...

Hank, you did VERY good! Djuna is glorious. Love to you all.

Ana de Kreutz said...

Aw Hannacita! You did it! Your girl is lovely! Now really can't wait to see you all!!!