Labor (and Labor and Labor) and Delivery
After my nightmare of a pregnancy, you’d think that I’d catch a break with the delivery, right?
Let me just say that even if you had a great pregnancy, by your due date, you’re READY to get the kid out of you. You’re fat, tired, hungry, massively uncomfortable. There are all sorts of “home remedies” that they say will induce labor: walking, sex, eating spicy food, castor oil – to name a few. I wasn’t into trying any of these. Truth be told, I wasn’t ready for labor (not that anyone can ever be “ready”). I was actually in denial. The baby’s room was finished, her name picked out, clothes washed and put away. But, actually pushing a child out of my body, then taking that child home was more like some distant vision I saw someone else doing. I couldn’t “picture” myself giving birth, then taking care of a child. I didn’t read parenting or baby books. I figured God gave me sense and I would use that to make this thing work. I understood the basics of labor, but I really think I was hoping I wouldn’t actually have to do it. Like the stork was going to drop her off at my door step and I would have my pre-pregnancy body back. I didn’t even have a hospital bag packed.
By this time I had come to terms with the fact that I was having a child. I was in no way prepared for what was to come. I decided early in my pregnancy that I would get an epidural. I’m not a sucker for pain. In fact, I really wish they would have placed the epi around 5 months, make the whole thing easier.
I was due on Thursday, March 17th (2005). Thursday came and went, Friday came and went. Saturday we decided to go to the Zoo. We must have walked 3 miles. I was exhausted. I never believed the “story” that if you walked, you would go into labor. Now, I’ll never really know.
Saturday night/early Sunday, I woke up with contractions. They weren’t regular, only slightly painful. Not even a glimpse of what was to come. It’s like a snowflake compared to an avalanche in terms of the pain of early contractions vs. hard labor. They were far enough apart that I would just fall back to sleep when the next one would come tearing through my belly. So, needless to say, I didn’t sleep for shit. Sunday, the contractions still weren’t regular, so there was no point in calling the Dr. We decided the baby was probably coming the next day, so we would get out of the house and enjoy our last day of “freedom”. We took our dog and drove around through the country. In hindsight, this was a dumbass idea – what if I had actually gone into hard labor? We were no where near a freaking hospital………I could have been one of those girls that sped through labor. I could have had my baby on the side of the damn road. Idiots.
The contractions continued all day. I would sometimes get 6 an hour, sometimes I would go an hour without having one. It sucked. It was like “shit or get off the pot” for me. Either make me do this, or knock it the hell off.
We picked up some fast food and headed home. I think we may have watched a movie, to be honest, I don’t remember. I do remember that as soon as I lay down to sleep, the contractions started in harder. They were about 10 minutes apart, so I decided to let Abel sleep for a while. I, stayed up, walked around, peed. Around 1:00 in the morning, I couldn’t stand it anymore. It hurt and they were up to 6 minutes apart. I woke Abel up and we called the Dr. She said to head to the hospital. I then realized my dumbass hadn’t packed my bag yet. I now understand why everyone says to pack it before you go into labor. You don’t have a clear head when you’re in pain – there is no way you can remember everything. Luckily Abel maintained a cool head and got the shit together.
We got to the hospital around 2:00. I was beyond exhausted. Apparently all the babies in our city decided to come at once. They didn’t have room for me! I didn’t care at that point. Give me a chair and I’d be happy.
The stuck me in a triage room and the nurse was quick to tell me that I wasn’t dialated and I would probably be sent home. I asked her to please call the Dr. and get me some pain medicine. I desperately needed to sleep, and unless someone stopped my pain, I wasn’t going to sleep. If I didn’t get some sleep, it wasn’t going to be pretty. Several hours later, still no pain medicine. I sent Abel to find the damn nurse. She came in pretty quick and gave me something that took the edge off, and I was able to doze. Around 7:00, my parents showed up. This was shift changing time for the nurses, and I still hadn’t seen my Dr. yet. The nurse came in and checked me and said my contractions had slowed down and I wasn’t dialated at all. Not 10 minutes later, my OB showed up. She stuck her hand up there and announced that I was 3 cm and she was going to break my water. I really didn’t know what this entailed, but I wasn’t expecting the huge crochet needle she stuck up there or the niagra falls that proceeded to gush from my crotch. It was the grossest feeling (so far, more to come). My Dr. also started me on Pitocin, to speed up the contractions. I was officially being admitted. This kid was coming out. Because of the pain killer they had given me, I started to throw up. This begins my personal extended relationship with vomiting and labor.
I’ve never been a modest person, but my immodesty reached a new level with childbirth. You have so many hands up in you, that a few hours into it, someone walks in the room, and you spread ’em and invite them in on the fun. I didn’t give a shit who saw my business.
It wasn’t until 10:30 that they had a room available for me. As soon as I got in there, the drug Dr. was waiting for me. HORRAY!! I now realize that the Epi wasn’t placed right. At the time it was such a relief, it was good enough. But later it wasn’t much fun. I continued to throw up every 30 minutes or so, and continued to dialate. I can’t tell you anything as it relates to time at this point because time ceased to exsit for me. I know at one point, my blood pressure went really high, so they gave me something to bring it down. Apparently, that worked a bit too well. My blood pressure was suddenly way too low. Then, I developed a fever. They said I was getting an infection because my water had been broken for a long time, so they put me on antibiotics and gave me tylenol. At one point, the epi ran out. I was still throwing up every 30 minutes. Sometimes just dry heaving, but to me, that’s just as bad. Poppy’s heartrate started to drop, so they put me on Oxygen, and made me lay on my left side. Unfortunately, my left side was the side that the Epi wasn’t working so hot on. I was in so much pain. I know that the Epi did give me some relief, so I don’t know how people do it au natural.
Around 5:30 (PM), my OB came in and checked me. I was at a 10 and ready to push. I honestly didn’t think I had it in me to push. I had been up for so long, in so much pain. Somewhere I found the strength and pushed like hell to get the kid out of me.
I was always afraid that I was going to shit during the delivery. People reassured me that that would be the furthest thing from my mind. Sorry, but they were wrong. It was in the front of my mind. I was convinced I shit myself, but everyone in the room, to this day reassures me that I didn’t.
Above all, I maintained my sense of humor. My sister was in the room with me, helping me push, keeping a cool rag on my head, being my cheerleader. She was fascinated with the monitor, which showed my contractions. At one point, I was pushing, business out there for everyone to see when she proclaimed, “Wow, it looks like the Grand Canyon!!”. I said, “EXCUSE ME??”. She started laughing and said she was talking about the monitor, that my contraction was a big one. I think informed her that that probably wasn’t the best thing to say when all God gave me was out there on display.
There was a problem. Everytime I would push, her heart-rate would drop. She would come down when I would push and suck right back up when I stopped. A little under two hours of pushing later, I got an AWFUL pain – you guessed it – my gallbladder decided then was a good time to fuck with me.
Side note: When I would watch Baby Story or something like that and the women would scream, I would roll my eyes and tell them (to myself) to buck up.
My OB came in and said that the baby’s heart rate was concerning her, and she felt that a C-Section was the way to go. As soon as I weakly nodded my head, they were rushing me out of there. I then realized that this was an emergency situation. They didn’t even unplug the bed and they were literally running me down the hall. I was screaming while they were pushing me. It was a mixture of pain and fear. The gallbladder pain was too high up for the Epi to help it. When I got to the OR, I was still screaming and now apologizing. The Dr. that was assisting my OB asked why I was apologizing. I told him I was sorry I was being a baby. He said, “do me just one favor”, I agreed. He said, “don’t apologize again. You’re doing a great job, you’re not being a baby. I’m really proud of you.”. He made it okay. Soon, they were pumping morphine into me and Abel was there, looking all cute with his sleepy eyes and scrubs. The drug Dr. was there, rubbing my forehead, cheering me on, keeping me full of the good stuff. I remember a lot of pressure, a little pain, and I fell asleep. I told them I had to throw up so they gave me a kidney shaped bowl which I put over my eyes and passed out. Went to the happy world of Morphine Land for a few minutes. Apparently I snored. The drug Dr. looked at Abel and asked if I was actually sleeping. He chuckled and said yes. Who sleeps during the delivery of their child? ME!!
My daughter was born at 6:53 pm on March 21st. She weighed 7 lbs 3 ozs and was 20 1/4″ long. She was slimy, small and kinda cute. I vaguely remember seeing Abel holding her before Morphine dreams took me away.