I am a bit of a not so crunchy hippie. I like natural things, although I have a love of junk food. I like to avoid medicine, although I always have Benadryl just in case. I don’t like the icky ingredients in health and beauty products, but I have colored my hair. You get the point, I am a walking conundrum. Anyway all that to say I fully intended to give birth naturally in a birthing center. Notice I say intended. That is not the way things went down. During labor I went through a lot of guilt like feelings and lots of moments of being terrified. Briefly after it made me a mix of angry and sad that it didn’t go as I had planned. Now I feel more at peace with it. It wasn’t a great experience, but the beautiful little boy sleeping near me is wonderful none the less.
My labor began with my water breaking. My birthing class assured us that the water breaking before contractions begin rarely happens, but alas it happened. They also said it would really gush out as we were walking, the carpet in my apartment disagrees. It was 9ish in the morning so I called my midwife and told her what happened. She agreed to meet me within 30 minutes at the midwifery to make sure I didn’t just pee my pants and oh she asked me to bring my amniotic fluid soaked panties with me in a ziplock. Pregnancy and childbirth really has a way of making you feel like an awkward kid again.
Needless to say I didn’t pee myself. With my water breaking that meant I had 24 hours to deliver the baby or I would need to be transferred to the hospital. I do not like the hospital. So they told me to try doing some natural methods to get things going and come back at 4. At 4 nothing had happened so I was told to give castor oil a shot. If you’re wondering castor oil does its job of acting as a laxative, but it did not send me in to labor. I was still having the occasional contraction but nothing too serious. My mom came over and told funny stories and the contractions started up more regularly. At 11ish we were headed to the birth center. The car ride was downright painful. I was barely dilated at my 4 o’clock visit and at my 11 o’clock visit she didn’t think I progressed enough. Mind you I was actively laboring. The contractions came on so quickly and so intensely they literally had me on the floor writing in pain at one point. My midwife said we could wait and see if I got to 6 cm by 3 or 4 AM or we could just go to the hospital now. It was abundantly clear which one she thought I should do, especially when she added “You really aren’t coping well with labor.” So off we went to the hospital to meet a doctor.
I won’t lie. I was not tough. They shoved me into an elevator, of which I am terrified, and sent me off to labor and delivery. They were expecting me but were trying to find a nurse to escort me to a room, I writhed in pain to the point that eventually someone volunteered to take me. I was supposed to put a gown on. i vaguely remember apologizing to my mother for mooning her. Mostly I collapsed onto the floor hand and knees, mind you I am a germaphobe, sure that I was going to pass out from the stabbing pain in my back. I was ready for the drugs. I cried and screamed. I had to be held down by a group of nurses, all of whom were so sweet. One nurse in a yellow jacket was my favorite she had a kind face and held my hand, she spoke to me in such a motherly way. It took a team of people to keep me still for them to stick in the epidural. The pain subsided within a few minutes and I apologized for my behavior to every person that came in the room. I remember one nurse even noted that in the middle of my screaming and writhing I still said “Yes ma’am”. Politeness is a big deal to me.
My midwife had said she doubted I’d make progress quick enough. But at the hospital I was 6 centimeters after less than an hour from being 2cm at the birth center. I signed a waiver that if necessary I would have a c-section, after being assured that it was a worst case scenario thing. Well, funny thing is at 6AM I was 8 cm dialated but the baby’s heart rate kept deceleratng so the doctor told them to send me to the OR. Apparently they were prepping for someone else’s c-section, but the doctor had them push hers back as baby G and I needed to go back first.
I cried. A lot. I was all alone and scared. They kept testing to see if I was numb enough to begin, but I wasn’t. They pinched me to determine how well I was feeling things, it hurt. So even though I begged not be put to sleep– I drifted off all alone and scared. I had weird dreams about being dead. I briefly recall being back in the OR and seeing a bundled up baby to my left. It is a haze but I recall the room spinning and my vision being blurry. I could begin making out people and objects but it all felt weird. Then a man began speaking to me. He stood on my left and was talking about what I was doing for a job. I was confused but rattled on about education. He asked me questions about assessments, I answered him but then expressed my uncertainty about who he was. He introduced himself and his intern. I asked them if I was in fact alive and then about how my heart rate and such were. I feel bad that my first question wasn’t about my baby. I did ask and they assured me he was healthy. They told me I had people waiting to see me. I was still being stitched up at this point. I asked lots of questions and was eventually rolled out of the OR. There in the hall I saw Daddy G waiting on me. “I know that guy” is all I remember saying. I then went to a recovery room where my mother was holding Baby G. Someone passed him to me and he eagerly began eating. I was still talking a bit crazy from the drugs but my kid was healthy and cite and in my arms.
Side note my midwife had assumed Baby G would be in the 6lb range. He was nearly 9.9 lbs and over 21 inches long.
I make big babies.