A Birth Story

 Wednesday, November 3rd 2010

11 a.m. – I wake up (Don’t judge me. In my defense I had been up for a full hour in the wee hours of the morning with false labor pains). I wake up feeling fine but I have a stinking suspicion that my water may have broken or at least leaked at some point during the night.

12 p.m. – Call my doctor. She asks me what time in the morning I think my water broke. I explain that I just woke up an hour ago and couldn’t be sure but probably sometime between 5 a.m. (when I was up with the false labor) and 11 a.m. when I woke up.  “So, you just woke up?” *awkward silence while I consider lying about what time I woke up but then decide that she’s my doctor and not my father so, whatever* YES. She tells me that she believes me, my water has probably broken but since I’m not having any contractions I should hang out at home. If after 12 hours, I haven’t gone into full labor, I am to report straight to the hospital.

3 p.m. – My efforts to initiate contractions are beginning to get desperate – I’ve done it all: walked around the neighborhood, bounced on a bouncy ball, eaten a WHOLE pineapple, everything! In a last ditch effort to coax my body into labor, I decide that I’m going to dance the afternoon away. I turn on the TV and begin to get down with my pregnant self to some dancehall music. WOOSH! Right in the middle of a spectacular getting-low move (you should have seen me people, I was shaking di dam ting!) the rest of my water broke. No question about it this time. This was really happening. I braced myself for the contractions that were sure to be starting any moment.

9 p.m. – No contractions! Not a single one! My body had just refused to cooperate. Induction was looking like my only option. Crap! I’d been told that induction increases the chances of a c-section. Crappity crap crap. My body officially sucked. Oh well. I decided to groom myself and pack my bags for the hospital. What kind of grooming, you ask? Well. For starters, I shaved my legs so that the doctor wouldn’t be distracted by bear-like legs during delivery. Hubs and I packed our bags and hailed a cab.

11 p.m. – I check into the hospital. They confirm that yes, my water had definitely broken and the nurse giddily informs us that we’re gonna have a baby. No sh*t lady. They start me on pitocin (labor induction drug) to bring on those elusive contractions. I braced myself for the contractions that were sure to be starting any moment.

Thursday, November 4th 2010

8:15 a.m. – No contractions! Ok, let me re-phrase that: no intense contractions! I had mild cramping sensations but that was all. On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain was at a 2. Crappity crap crap! They called my doctor in to discuss my situation and she decided to break the rest of my water (apparently, I had a never-ending supply of water) to see if that would move things along. Having lost all confidence in my body to labor properly, I braced myself for more of nothing.

8:16 a.m. – HOLY CRAP MOTHER OF ALL CONTRACTIONS! The horrrrrorrrrrrr! On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain was most definitely at 100. It felt like I was having the worst cramps in the history of cramps but at the same time, someone was torching my lower back and uterus from the inside. Aching, burning, piercing PAIN. It was so shocking that I couldn’t even scream or cry. All I could do was make low guttural sounds reminiscent of a scene from The Exorcist.  After a grand total of 15 minutes breathing, walking and kumbayaaing through non-stop contractions I demanded to see the anesthesiologist. STAT!

8:50 a.m. – It took 20 minutes of sitting still through some excruciating contractions but they finally administered the epidural. WOW. I think the epidural was laced with weed because I felt AMAAAAAZING. I was so happy (or high) that I couldn’t stop smiling. Where had this drug been all my life? I told the anesthesiologists that I loved them. They didn’t seem surprised.

2:00 p.m. – The epidural was still making my life very easy…it had taken the pain down to about a 3 so although I could feel the contractions, they felt like mild cramps. I was so relaxed that the doctor had to come and check on me if only to remind me that I still had a baby to birth.  To our surprise, when she checked, she found that I was ready to push. (Imagine that, my body had finally decided to get with the program!). She went to call the nurse and together they began to prep the room for delivery. We really were gonna have a baby after all!

2:32 p.m. – After less than 20 minutes of nearly effortless pushing, my daughter slipped out of me and into the world.

What followed next were several hours of indescribable joy…I laughed and cried hysterically. Hands down, those were the best moments of my life.

Too bad the sheer ecstasy of those first couple of days did nothing to prepare us for the sheer dreadfulness characteristic of life with a newborn.

 To be continued. (Cue dramatic music)

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Dear Baby

Dear Baby, 

Hi. It’s me, your mother. I don’t think we’ve been formerly introduced yet which I think is totally weird, given that you’re inside of me and everything. I won’t take up too much of your time…I just have a few things that I wanted to run by you, if that’s ok? 

I’m fully aware that you’re cramped in there. I appreciate the fact that you need to stretch from time to time. But seriously. Is all the kicking really necessary? One kick I can deal with, maybe even two…but the barrage of kicks at 3 o’clock in the morning is getting to be a major problem. And then there’s this thing you recently started doing that feels like you’re tickling or poking me with your fingers. That’s really cute and I’m happy that your fingers are in proper working condition but it feels really, really weird because your hands are directly above a very delicate area of mine (in about 10 years we’ll have a discussion about girl parts. ‘Delicate area’ or some other lame term will have to suffice until I find something else because this woman called Oprah who may or may not be relevant in your time, officially ruined the word Vajayjay for all of us). 

The doctor says that you weigh 4 lbs now. Congratulations! I must admit that I was secretly hoping for a ridiculous figure, say, upwards of 10 lbs to account for the 16 lbs that I’ve gained so far. Oh well.

I hear that you take occasional gulps of amniotic fluid (Euuwww) and can taste some of the food I eat. I hope you know that the ONLY reason that I’m currently eating my second strawberry filled donut and drinking hot chocolate at 11 pm is out of my deep, unfailing love for you.  Steamed broccoli would have been my preferred choice. *cough*

That’s all for now. Thanks for listening. You can go back to…to doing whatever you do in there when you’re not attacking my internal organs. 

See you soon,

Mommy

PS -> I know that I b*tch a lot about stuff, but in all honesty kiddo, you are TOTALLY worth it. And I mean that.

Great Expectations

This past weekend we spent our entire Saturday attending an 8 hour pre-natal seminar for first time parents. Yes, you read that correctly – 8 hour seminar. The length of the class is a direct representation of how thoroughly dense we are about the process of childbirth. Not wanting to offend us, they named the seminar Great Expectations instead of something more appropriate like, You Have No Idea What Kind of Sh*t Storm is Coming Your Way – which would have been my suggestion.

God bless our instructor, she really did try to be reassuring even as she assaulted us with image upon gory image of birthing scenes. It’s the most natural process in the world. Just remember to keep breathing, it helps with the pain. Trust your body, it knows exactly what to do. Umm, I’m sorry lady but after 25 years of experience with this body, I’m pretty sure that it’s clueless 99.9% of the time. Believe me, I’ve given this body plenty of chances to prove its prowess and self-control – at the gym, at all-you-can-eat buffets, the list goes on and on. Bottom line is that so far I’ve seen nothing from my body that would make me trust in it with such reckless abandon. Also, I see nothing natural about an 8 pound mini-human coming out of the itsy bitsy opening of another human…that sounds like the most unnatural thing in the world to me. And breathing? Really, you’re going to tell me that breathing helps with the pain? Breathing is also something that I’ve had a lifetime of experience with. I breathe every day, all the time in fact and it has never EVER taken away any type of physical pain. Nope, I think you’re just blowing smoke up our backsides missy, but thanks for trying. 

Basically, the take home message for me was this: Ladies, this baby is coming out one way or the other. So put on your big girl panties and quit whining because there’s no turning back now. Gents, you’re pretty much useless after conception and when the big day arrives, you’ll only be allowed to respond to the tirade of abuse from your angel-turned-monster wife in one of two ways: “Yes, Ma’am” or preferably “Should I massage this side now honey?”

PS – The seminar was strongly recommended to us by my doctor. Clearly, we’ve made a great impression on her.

PPS – Next Saturday we’ll be attending a breastfeeding seminar. Surely, is there any part of this whole child rearing thing that doesn’t require the assistance of an expert with a PhD and 20 years of experience?

Making Room for Baby

This weekend we finally got around to buying a crib and holy crap are those things gigantic or what?! A ten year old can fit in that freaking thing. It has completely and utterly taken over our bedroom. So now, we’re mourning the loss of our lusty love shack, our steamy sex cove, our…who am I kidding? That room has always been as unexciting as a monk’s library. But at least before it didn’t look like a daycare center! Nothing says romance like a heap of pink onesies piled onto a stroller, sitting in the middle of your bedroom. 

In any case, this got me thinking about all the other changes we’ll need to make in the apartment over the next few months: this place is a DEATH TRAP. Between the electric cables lining every wall, the tall unstable lamps, the razor sharp corners on our furniture and my husband’s 100 pound golf bag balanced precariously beside the bathroom door, I wonder if we might have to lock the baby in our bedroom for the first few years of her life.

AND THEN my wardrobe will also have to undergo a makeover since as a nursing mother I’ll be obligated to whip out a boob at any given moment to breastfeed. So, I’m on the hunt for suitable shirts because can you imagine the commotion that I would cause at Target if I had to strip off an entire sweater dress to gain access to a boob? No, thanks. I’m uncomfortable enough with the notion of breastfeeding in public without adding complete indecent exposure to the mix. In fact, I’ve become so obsessed with this issue that I recently bought this thing that’s supposed to cover your bosom while you breastfeed but do you know what the brand is called? UDDER COVERS. I mean, really? REALLY?  

What have I gotten myself into?

(Well, technically I didn’t get into this all by myself, I had some help. And when I say “some” it’s just as a manner of speaking, I don’t mean that the amount of help was negligible. Because it wasn’t negligible, it was significantly large. The amount of help, that is. You know what I mean. Crap. I’ll stop talking now.)