this is basically the email i sent to a dear friend who, like me, just loves all things birth related—including all the gory details. i’m posting it here for myself—this blog is also a diary of sorts—and for any of you who may also enjoy this sort of thing (i’m lookin’ at you dmcL hehehe)
it’s not necessarily gory—but let’s face it—birth ain’t pretty. i mean, it’s glorious and magical in the whole “bringing a new life into the world” sort of way…but it’s also a very…what’s the word i’m looking for? animalistic process.
at least for me it is. i’m definitely not one of those calm and collected women who does her makeup, drips a single bead of sweat and makes a polite lady-like grunt as the head emerges.
i hate those women.
so i can guarantee you that if you read the following story you will hear about the following things: my cervix, pee, poop, the toilet, and stitches. and you will see some extremely unflattering photos of me. i’m not always the curled and pressed vixen you see there on my sidebar. (but nothing x-rated. i’m not sharing that much)
it may change your opinion of me, it may not. i’m taking the whole “blogger keepin’ it real yo” thing to a whole new level. you’ve seen my dirty laundry, you’ve read about my health issues. it’s really only fair that now you hear about my dilation.
should you chose not to continue, here’s the cliff notes short version: water broke, went to hospital, i’m a-ok…la de da, cracking jokes and hanging out. then, craziness and screaming and within an hour or two there’s a baby.
long version…well, don’t say i didn’t warn ya :0)
(as background: i use a midwife but deliver in a hospital. i also get no epidural, and try to keep it as natural and uncomplicated as possible. my last delivery (little bear) was induced with pitocin, but no epidural or pain meds. i managed okay, but desperately wanted to avoid another induction and/or pitocin with this delivery)
everything went fine. it went the way i was afraid it was going to go--given how this entire pregnancy had been, well, basically miserable long tiring and difficult. so it was no surprise that the labor was also miserable long tiring and difficult, even though it was #5. i guess you can kind of tell from the fact that my water broke around 10:30/11 am and she wasn't born until almost midnight. (actually, we all kind of think it was after midnight, but the nurses were just doing us a solid so we could leave on Saturday! hehehe)
thursday (5/26) i was kind of reaching a whole new level of miserable. wednesday (5/25)afternoon i started having cont about every 4 minutes, i was queasy and shaky and didn't feel good at all. went to bed, they didn't stop. woke up at 3am...still contracting.
jeremy (aka the googiedaddy) stayed home from work to come to my midwife appt./non-stress test with me, and we decided to take the bags and car seat and everything. kind of a premonition i guess? haha...maybe just mommy/daddy intuition. so the midwife could see i was miserable, i was crying—which we agreed was always a good sign.
she did the nonstress test...i was still contracting every 4 minutes. we decided to have a cervical check to see if anything was happening. she said "well, you're OH!" and my water broke--popped really--all over her, her feet, the floor...hehehe. She said she was just about to say "you're a good 3 cm now and the bag of water is bulging right here".
I just started crying because it was FINALLY HAPPENING, and because i wasn't being induced. Yay!
So we went to get some bagels and called everybody and headed to the hospital....everyone thinking this is going to be pretty quick. the nurses set the labor room up for delivery pretty much right after i got there.
about 2 hrs after my water broke, still 3 cm. 2 hrs after that, 4 cm. 2 hrs after that, still 4 cm. my contractions were piddly little things. definitely stronger than the ones i had before my water broke, but i knew i wasn't dilating.
at that point the midwife said it was maybe time for "a mere wisp of pit", just to get things moving. at that point the nurse was saying “ohh, this is all your body needs...you'll probably have this baby in an hour.”
i wasn’t feeling so sure.
i'm telling you, i was soooo exhausted and miserable and just...downhearted. i DIDN'T want pitocin, but at the same time, I WAS DONE. part of me just wanted to get an epidural, crank up the pit, take a nap and wake me when she's crowning. honestly...if they had started talking c-section i may have gone for it. (the blessings of a midwife...no talk of pain meds or c-section...it was all me hehehe)
they started the pitocin low, and kept it low...i only got to 9, whereas by the time i delivered little bear i think it was at 28 or something. high 20's, i know that.
it just took HOURS. every time i changed position contractions would space out or stop for a while. every time i had to pee they would unhook me, and the contractions would just completely stop for 20 minutes. i finally said don't unhook me--just let me take the bag into the bathroom! i felt like all i was doing was sitting there, watching hours tick by on the clock. i handle these contractions well. the pain wasn’t enormous, we watched tv and sat. i couldn’t visit my babies—they weren’t allowed into L&D and i wasn’t allowed out. i was miserable.
early labor. still (sort of) smiling.
around 10 pm i asked to be checked because it was getting so late and we weren't sure what to do with the kids, if they should stay or go. (i could only have 4 people in the room for the actual delivery, so it was jeremy, the moms and girlfriend girl. everyone else could come in right after the birth, and i really wanted the other kids to be able to do that rather than wait until the next day) At that point I was still only 5-6 cm, -2 station. and there wasn't even any forewaters or anything that she could maybe break to get the baby to move down a bit more.
we decided to have them wait another hour, and if it still wasn't moving they'd get going for the night.
this is about where i turn the corner—my last 3 labors (including this one) have had a similar pattern. lots of waiting around—but suddenly it’s as if my body goes WHOA! let’s get this thing movin’! within a 1/2 hour or so the cont really picked up some steam. i said i wanted to go to the bathroom, and she said i could, but NO PUSHING. I had about 3 good strong transition contractions (which i did push a little bit through haha) sitting on the potty. it's amazing the difference though--i did about the same thing with little bear--a couple good strong transition cont sitting on the toilet pushed me from like 5-6 to 9 with a lip. but the INTENSITY of the contractions on full-on pitocin vs. just a tiny bit (and even vs. no pit at all if i think back to transition with the boy & tiny tim who were completely natural births—not so much as an iv)--seriously--like night and day. i was even saying to jeremy that they couldn't be transition because they weren't as bad as with little bear (despite my shaking uncontrollably, feeling like i needed to poop and starting to grunt and feel pushy haha)
we walked back out to the room, and I did 2 or 3 contractions standing up, and on the last one i said "I'M PUSHING!!!" (haha..."said"...right. more like yelled/cried/whined)
they got me on the bed and i'm not sure how far i was, but not 10. she said i could do some little pushes, just to get her head down. I asked for the squat bar, because i swear this child was sitting right on my tail bone and I couldn't take it.
I was pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing....everyone was doing the old "you're doing great! she's right there!" and I was all "YOU'RE A BUNCH OF BIG FAT STUPID LIARS I"VE HAD 4 OTHER BABIES AND I KNOW SHE'S STILL HIGH I CAN FEEL IT ALL I'M DOING IS POOPING ON THE BED"
to which they replied “but that has to get out of the way first for the babies head to come down.” yeah, thanks. jerks.
then the midwife got rid of the squat bar because she was coming down pretty quickly in that position and had me go back to the classic pushing position. but I couldn't take the pressure on my tailbone. so she told me to try pushing on my side. i did that for one contraction and i HATED it. I said as much and they said I could lay back again.
sidebar: any of my natural birthin’ mommas out there—do you ever find, even in the midst of the hard core craziness of pushing, when you’re nothing but pain and muscle—there’s a rational little voice inside your head that’s fully aware of what’s happening around you? seeing what’s going on? to the others you’re yelling “GET IT OUT!” but your inside person is saying to you “uh—dummy, only YOU can get it out. so chillax and push dude.” anyone? cause i totally have that. anyway…back to my story…
so then Rational Voice In My Head said "you hate it because it hurts. it hurts because it's working. you can feel her moving down finally. no position is going to be comfortable...just do it. Nike."
kidding...my inner voice isn't really sponsored by Nike.
so it was a couple more minutes of pushing at that point. i gave up waiting for contractions and just pushed like a woman possessed until she came out. they kept telling me to breath and i kept saying no...haha. i'll breath when I'm done.
seriously, when she finally came out i thought to myself "i should turn over and see my baby" and then right after that i thought "i don't even care. i just want to lay here and be NOT PREGNANT and NOT PUSHING and NOT IN PAIN for a minute and know that' it’s finally O.V.E.R.".
so i laid there until they made me turn over...ha :o) i basically had jeremy in a headlock the whole time, so i'm sure he appreciated that. :o)
anyway, 45 minutes of pushing--which i haven't pushed that long since I had #1—and only 8 lbs 7 oz--my smallest since #2 who was 8 lbs. 5 oz...both things completely unexpected.
BUTTTTT....NO STITCHES! Pretty much the last coherant thing I said before pushing really got moving was "c---- (my mw), I've never ever had stitches. GOT IT?" After that I degenerated into lots of "why didn't I get an epidural?" "i wish i had an epidural" "i'm never doing this again" "help me" and "get her OUUUUUTTTTT"....
that’s a tired lady. and a tired little bear who really didn’t understand or care when everyone kept saying “look! baby sister is here!”
so there it is, in as much graphic detail as I can remember for you. and for me. an epic reminder of just why it is that i never, ever, EVER want to do this again.