Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Birth Story (without the graphic details- you're welcome)

I know, I suck. But I think I get a break since new baby +toddler+ 9-going-on-30-and-therefore-knows-everything= Whack-a-doodle with little time!

So... birth story. I think mine is more of a mild warning in listening to your instincts and not the nice nurse on the phone telling you that you are probably not in labor. Because when you listen to the nice nurse, it is only the fact that you have some neighbors that don't think you're totally nuts that saves you from having your baby on your bathroom floor or by the side of the road.

I couldn't even tell you when my contractions started because they didn't feel like contractions. Or at least not what I remembered contractions to feel like. It was all below my belly button and in my lower back. I tried to explain to the nurse that they were coming at regular intervals and that my labor with my first was less than 4 hours. She said I could come in but she didn't think it was necessary until they were 5 minutes apart.

That's where I went stupid and said ok.

Then I lost my damn mind and told my husband that he could go in to work. Work which was at least 45 minutes away but would likely take more than an hour by the time I needed him.

In fact, he had just reached his shop when I called and told him to come home. Fast.

At 5:30, I called my neighbors to see if they could watch David since our original people weren't home and our backup wasn't answering her phone.

When she came over to get him, she took one look at him and said she was taking me to the hospital.

I knew I was in labor by then, though the contractions were all still very low. I could feel her kicking my ribs through the contractions. And what was once 7-15 minutes apart, was suddenly 2 minutes apart.

We had to hurry.

Joe, naturally, went to the main hospital instead of the birth center (which is in the next building). The same birth center we had David at. I'll chalk it up to his nervousness. At least this time he didn't run up and down the hallway completely confused and asking me if I was sure that my water ruptured as he did with David (I was standing in a puddle and water was still coming in spurts- did he really need to ask?).

By the time he got there it was 6:15. The nurse checked me, and despite knowing I was in labor I still expected to be sent home.

"OK, you're at 8 cm!"

I think I started to cry. I knew that meant no epidural. No pain relief. I'd waited to long. I'd ignored my instincts and now I was going to pay.

I have to admit that this time was not as bad as it was with Bre. At least this time there was a break between contractions. With Bre it was just one on top of the other and I felt like I couldn't breath.

I used the labor ball and my darling husband decided that this was the perfect time to take a picture and there is not enough money in the world for me to be willing to share that picture with you Internet. I would sooner shave my head with a dull razor.

They tried to give my an IV- 3 times- but it didn't work. Instead I got large black bruises that lasted 2 weeks.

The doctor finally came in and decided to break my water. She warned me that once she did it, my contractions would get stronger. I tried to warn her that the second she did it, this baby would be out.

And I was right. I don't think that the water was done gushing before the baby's head crowned. I remember a lot of people talking and someone telling me to listen to the doctor, but then everything got muffled and all I could do was push. Her shoulders got stuck and I think that was probably the worst of it. Bre (did I forget to tell you she was in the room? Well, she was. By choice) couldn't look anymore. She later told me it was "the grossest thing I've ever seen in my entire life!". I think we've successfully deterred her from having children for a very long time. I've always said that a great way to lower teen pregnancy rates is to let teens witness a meds-free birth.

She came out screaming and I started to shake. Uncontrollably shake. This maybe wouldn't have been too big a deal, but I needed stitches. It's very unpleasant to get stitches. More so, I think, when you're shaking.

This is when the nurse lost her mind and asked if I'd like to hold my baby.

Hold my baby?

Lady, I can't hold myself!

But it passed, and so did worst of the pain (thanks to a little friend I'll call Vicodin) and nothing else mattered.

Josie was here. And I could finally hold her.

She scowls like her dad when he's thinking. She has impossibly long fingers and toes. She snorts.

This time I managed to not mix up my motrin with the bottle of colace they give you. With David I took 6 colace before I realized that it wasn't my motrin. The recovery was different. I had been told that recovery after the 3rd baby is harder, but I didn't really think about it until I realized that I couldn't walk. It was 2 weeks (and several Vicodin later) before I could walk without pain.

But it's all worth it.