The Birth Story (Round 2)

MIQL0241I’ve been putting off writing this in fear that I will traumatize a pregnant woman somewhere. Yes, the story does sound traumatic–take heed pregnant women!–but I assure you that it was actually (in retrospect) a good experience (as far as pushing a human through a peep hole can be).

So let me jump right in. With my daughter, I went into labor naturally 6 days before my due date. With my son, I got induced 4 days before my due date. There are many reasons I opted for induction–the baby was measuring big, my doctor was going out of town that weekend, my Bishop score was an 8 and I was already 2cm dilated, my husband could only be away from work for those couple days–but the biggest reason is that I was just DONE with being mother-loving pregnant. I’d been pregnant since November 2015 and by December 2017 I’d had enough. I wanted it to be over so when my doctor suggested induction I jumped at it.

Altogether I found that being induced had a much more civilized start. I was told to check in at the hospital at 5:30AM. No drama and crying like the last time. Calmly, my husband and I filled out the paperwork and were shown to our birthing suite. I was given a hospital gown and my husband was given a TV remote. We opted to play some Bob Marley instead, and sat companionably in the room while the nurses hooked me up to the IV and started my piton drip. Shortly after, my epidural arrived, followed by my doctor who had just dropped her kids off at school. She broke my water and headed across the street to her office to see patients.

“So what is it looking like, doc? Noon?” I asked before she headed out. “Yeah, around noon if not before.” I was surprised to hear that when she checked me I was already 3cm dilated at 8:00AM.

Up until about 10:30AM I would describe my experience as spa-like. We chose to keep the lights off as we played music. My husband replied to work emails quietly on the couch. My daughter was safely at home with my parents and brother. I was able to spend the day before enjoying her for her last day as an only child. If you’d asked me at 10:30AM how I was enjoying this birth experience to my last, I’d have told you ten out of ten.

Well, at 10:31AM that began to change.

“I’m feeling something in my back,” I said to the nurse when she came to check on me.

“Pain or pressure?” She asked. “Pressure,” I said. “Ok well that’s normal. You may feel pressure if the baby is positioned in your back which it looks like he is.”

I felt comforted by this news. Everything was fine. Pressure was normal.

Over the next fifteen minutes that pressure took a turn for the worst. It moved from a little distracting to all-consuming. The nurse called for the anesthetist who informed me that there was nothing they could do about it. Some babies are in positions that an epidural will not help. Further more, it seemed like all the epidural had gone into my left leg which was completely numb (and stayed completely numb and un-useable until 3AM the next morning). My right leg I could move somewhat, but not enough to allow me to adjust for the pressure. It was my right hip and the right side of my back where I felt everything….and I couldn’t move. I had to just lay there, paralyzed, giving birth like I was in prison.

That’s when I started screaming. Screaming and cursing. That’s also when a very annoying woman started hounding me to donate my chord blood and fill out paperwork. I think I cursed her the worst (poor annoying woman!). My husband just looked at me speechless. I had gone from spa-like tranquility to a raving lunatic in a half an hour span. Then as the contractions subsided it was as if I totally fell asleep, only to be awaken again by a new, even greater pressure. Sometimes one contraction went right into another.

“I need someone to check me!” I told the nurse. “We just checked you thirty minutes ago,” she said, but looking at my face decided not to argue. She checked me and announced I was 7cm.

“You need to call my doctor, okay? I dilate fast and she’s at her office seeing patients. She needs to come now.” I begged her. In my last birth I went from 3cm to 10cm in 3 hours and I’d heard you dilate even quicker the second time around.

It felt like a lifetime passed before the doctor arrived. I cursed my husband to sickness. To this day he has not recovered. (I don’t remember any of it). At one point he was allegedly holding my hand and I told him not to touch me, so he ran across the room. Then in the next breath (again, allegedly), I started saying: Matthew? Where are you? Why have you abandoned me? The nurse told me after that she’d never heard Jesus’ name called amongst so many F bombs. I have nothing to say for myself. I was giving birth in prison, remember?

When my doctor finally arrived I was 10cm dilated. On my first push, I pushed out the baby’s heart rate monitor that was floating inside my body. The next couple pushes I felt absolutely drained. I said: Just kill me and cut me open! I can’t do this anymore! (And I meant it). Then my doctor snapped me out of it.

“Listen,” she said, “You’re going to do this! One more push and the head will be out. Two pushes and it’s over. You can do it! You’re already there!” And somehow this gave me the boost I needed. Two pushes later my son was laying across my chest, covered head to toe in goop. I looked at him up and down in disbelief. He was 7lbs 13ounces and 19.5inches long. A giant! I couldn’t believe he was so huge. Then I locked eyes with him, my Benjamin, and he smiled up at me. I couldn’t believe it. My daughter hadn’t smiled until she was 6 weeks old but here was my son and he was smiling. It was as if he was proud of me. Like he knew the pain I was in and how I worked to get him here. I burst into tears. It was the most magical moment.

I can say now that it’s in the past and I am far enough away to asses the situation, that when my daughter was born something changed in me. I had the baby blues. Luckily it wasn’t worse (postpartum depression) but I was really sad and depressed. When I found out I was pregnant again when my daughter was just 8 months old, I was even more depressed. Worse–I was panicked. I didn’t think that I could cope with two babies. I’d had a really tough time with the breastfeeding and adjusting to life with a newborn. However, that moment when Benjamin smiled at me–after feeling all the pressure and emmense, stomach-churning pain–I felt an equally intense relief. I felt like I was me again. Somehow in that same hospital, on August 10th, 2016, I had lost something about myself, and on December 6, 2017 I got it back.

It occurred to me that night the coincidence. I had found out I was pregnant with my daughter on December 6, 2015 and now, exactly two years later, I was holding my son. The efficiency was awe-inspiring. It was damn near magical. Yes, the pressure was intense, but I’d have to say if I had to do it again, I would’ve done it without an epidural (and not because mine failed) but because I felt like myself afterwards. I felt the pain and my brain realized I was having a baby in a way that it never did when I had my daughter, and it left me feeling at peace.





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