Tomorrow they are letting us take home a human that came out of my body at 10:24 Saturday morning. We are responsible for this human’s well-being. That’s too much for one blog post to address.
But first, let me hastily get this birth story down before I forget it.
Molly did everything I asked her to, and she even came up with a few of her own tricks to make labor and delivery easier for me. I’m never going to be able to have another baby because the way this one came out was too perfect.
Friday night around 10 p.m., about a week before my due date and after one long day of shopping, throwing a couple coats of paint on a bookshelf or two and otherwise wearing myself out for the day, I looked forward to going to bed. Just as I was walking down the stairs, my water broke. Except I wasn’t 100 percent sure that was what happened.
Everybody knows that pregnancy is weird. You’re never confident that you know what is going on inside your body. There is a LOT of Goggle involved. I wasn’t having any contractions, and I could not convince my husband to offer a solid second opinion on what he thought was happening. He said he’d rather drive to Utah than attempt to discern between his wife’s urine and amniotic fluid. Looking back, I can’t say I blame him.
Let’s just say that by 11 p.m., I was convinced we were on our way to the hospital so they could tell me that I peed myself and send me back home. We stopped at Kroger to get some snacks!
When we got to the Dublin triage, they informed me that I was, in fact, in labor (surprise!) and would be having a baby probably in about 8 or 12 hours. I started having some very mild contractions at that point, according to the things they taped on my belly.
Things started to get fun once we got settled in our 1,200 square foot delivery room. (Thanks, Dublin Methodist!)
I should mention that the words “pitocin” and “epidural” were mentioned within 20 seconds of my checking into the triage. Doctors love this evil combination, it seems.
For the first five hours of labor, I pleasantly surprised my nurse by progressing on my own, about a centimeter every hour. She kept reminding me that if I slowed down, she’d get out the pitocin–the devil’s drug that makes your contractions unnaturally strong. I felt like something was chasing me, but it was enough motivation apparently, because I kept dilating.
I could not stop swaying through the contractions, but other than that, the pain was tolerable. I was mostly mad that I hadn’t gotten a nap in and that I was tired before I started. The thought of pushing through a long labor weighed heavy on me, and I started to kind of daydream about the epidural I kept saying I didn’t want for nine months. Seth fell asleep on the couch through this, which was actually a huge relief. I had assumed I’d want him waiting on me hand and foot, rubbing my back and whispering sweet nothings like a good and faithful servant. Turns out all I wanted was to sit there in the dark alone without anyone talking or touching me. I may have hollered at him for massaging my back. Sorry, honey. Funny how things works out. Seth came in handy later on during the process.
At about 5 a.m., my mom and sister arrived, and their presence really calmed me down. My labor slowed down and the nurse said she was going to kick things off with a little pitocin. I was scared to death about this, and for good reason.
From about 6 until, say, 9, I moaned through those evil contractions, and I’d say that was the worst part of the whole deal. The pain had me thinking crazy thoughts about diving into the pattern of my hospital nightgown to escape. I totally blame dooce.com for this. Mom was a true champ during this hour. And apologies to Seth’s parents for some impolite behavior at that point.
It’s funny how each tiny centimeter becomes an important milestone. I decided at some point that the next time they checked me, if I was anything less than 8 cm, I would epidural it up in style. I was 7, so I said “uncle,” at which point my husband grabbed my hands and looked me in the eye and asked if I’d like to try to IV drugs first. When the nurse asked what I wanted, we answered “epidural” and “IV meds” at the same time, only he was louder, and he didn’t say “epidural.”
She asked if IV drugs were indeed what I wanted, and I said “yes.”
Nice save, husband! I feel like a needle in my spine would’ve been more of a hassle than it was worth at that point.
It turns out that Nubain, the drug of the Gods, was administered just in time to get me over the hump. You could still feel all the contractions, but you didn’t care as much. I tell everyone that difference between natural labor and labor on Nubain is that you can can lean back in the bed instead of perched on the side of it.
I love Nubain.
I want it to be the father of my next child.
After that, I dilated lickety-split, and I really got into a good rhythm. I had this tone, this sound that I used through each ungodly contraction while Seth, my mom, my sister and sometimes Seth’s mom stood attentively at my side in total silence. Just having them there, just knowing they were in the room made a huge difference. It was a terrible thing of me to ask them to sit there in silence for hours while I “toned” through each contraction. They are rock stars.
For the last bit, I couldn’t resist the urge to push and the nurse told me to go with what my body was telling me to do. So I sort of grunted and pushed until I was fully dilated, and they threw my legs up in the stirrups and told me it was time to get to work.
At that point, I was like, “There is no way I am going to be able to push for the next hour because I am exhausted and probably actually dead and watching all this from heaven.”
Knowing first time moms usually push for at least an hour, I decided I had made a huge mistake by avoiding a nap and and epidural, but Molly had other plans. I pushed through two contractions, and about the time I was thinking, “I’m dead. It’s over. No way. No way. No way,” I heard Seth say, “here she comes!” and they were pulling a baby out of me and plopping her up on my chest.
Ummm … Mindfreak.
Everybody said the moments after they had me in stirrups were really rushed and chaotic and that the nurse was having trouble getting the doctor in the room in time and that everything was pretty up in the air for a few seconds because Molly was coming a little faster than expected. I have no real recollection of that. I just remember Seth had one leg, my sister had the other, and that there was a lot of pressure everywhere. And that I had totally lost my voice from “toning.”
So. In conclusion, six-pound babies and 12-hour labors with about 8 minutes of pushing are the way to go, if you have the option.
And props to Molly for coming up with the whole “water breaking” scenario. I didn’t have to endure a single contraction in the long car ride to Dublin.
Afterward, things got a little weird when my uterus didn’t contract all the placenta and there was blood loss and passing out and barfing on my baby and MORE pitocin. I was out of commission for a bit, but I didn’t die and my nurse told me a few hours ago that my blood count came back a bit higher than this morning and that I won’t need a blood transfusion, which is good news.
However, I regret to inform you that this will be my last blog entry because our baby is way too cute to ever use the laptop ever again.
Theteet.com had a good run, don’t you think? Pictures are on Facebook.
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