Oh my god Lovelies,
I had a baby. I shit you not. Like, right now, there is a baby in the other room! But you all knew that was coming. At least you did if you follow this blog. What you don’t know is HOW that little creature got here. That’s what I’m going to tell you now. The birth story of “Baby Bean Sprout”- I won’t be disclosing baby’s name on the blog, at this time.
Let me tell you, friends, giving birth is a fucking trip. It’s straight up the craziest thing I have ever, ever done and I can hardly believe I made it through. It’s going to be painful, they tell you, the most painful thing you’ve ever experienced… Well, wasn’t that the fucking understatement of the century. I have never gone through anything like that in my life, and I have an incredibly high tolerance for pain.
Going into this I was all, “I’m a warrior, I can definitely do this naturally.” Because “I mean, guys… I use meditation at the dentist so, like, I should be fine.” Holy balls was I wrong. So beyond dead wrong.
Now, it should be said that my labour lasted 48 hours and 17 of that was heavy, active labour. If my labour had lasted any less than 36 hours I could have done it sans drugs… I think that because I lasted until hour 36 before opting for pain medication. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Grab yourselves a nice beverage and settle in… this is a long post.
Here’s the story:
To start off I was placed on bed rest at 34 weeks because I kept losing my plug and I have an “irritable uterus” that was giving me daily contractions. So, in the interest of keeping everything right where it needed to be to develop further I was put on limited activity. I tell you this because no one really expected me to make it much past 37 weeks, especially me. But I did. Then I started dilating and effacing at my 37 week check and so we REALLY thought it would happen soon. But then it didn’t. I made it to 39 weeks and 2 days before delivering. I suppose I should at least be happy that I went spontaneously. At least I didn’t go over and need to be induced!
So, at the week 38 and 39 appointments I chose to have my cervix rimmed. I did this mainly because 1) my induction date was set for the 24th… um, no thank you and 2) I was getting very impatient. Both times it made me crampy but the second time it got labour going. I got rimmed at 10 am and started cramping pretty much by noon but real contractions didn’t kick in until midnight that night. Now, everyone will tell you to sleep in early labour, I had heard it all already and believed it was a good idea… but I, like an idiot, didn’t follow that advice. I was so worried that if I went to sleep the contractions would stop! So I stayed up. This was my first mistake and definitely contributed to the deterioration of my will power and coping abilities later on.
So, I stayed up labouring at home until about noon the next day when I finally asked my doula to come over. 12 hours into labour and I was still in early labour she declared. Brutal, but I was still able to talk through most of them and so I went with it. My doula hung out with me off and on that whole day and then finally in the late night things started to change. My contractions got much, much stronger and I started to feel some pressure. We decided to go to the hospital to get checked out at that point. It was now 4 am- 28 hours into labour.
At the hospital they checked me and I was only at 4 cm but my waters were bulging (that’s the pressure I felt). Since I was borderline for being admitted they told me to go walk the stairs and halls for an hour and then get checked again so we could decide what to do. So walk the stairs we did! Let me tell you, there are 15 flights of stairs at our hospital and I went up and down all of them like a woman on a mission that entire hour. At this point my doula, my husband and I had a discussion. I knew my waters still hadn’t broken, that I was only just starting to enter the active stage of labour and that I hadn’t slept in a day and a half. Knowing all that we made the decision to skip the second check and go home. We did this hoping I’d be able to catch a nap and eat some food so that I would be better able to cope with the coming task of, you know, pushing a baby out of my vag! So we declined the second check, said good bye to our doula (she needed sleep too) and headed home.
Honestly, it was a hard decision for me to leave the hospital. I was becoming really impatient and wanted things to progress faster and I felt like going home was admitting that nothing much was happening, yet (it wasn’t lol). I begrudgingly accepted that I was very tired and could use the rest, it really was best to go home. On the way home we stopped at Tim Horton’s to pick up some breakfast (how Canadian of us) and I had to bite my hand through some bad contractions so as not to terrify the ladies working the drive through. I was feeling a little better about my decision to go home holding my yummy breakfast sandwich in my hand and thinking about my nice warm bed when, all of a sudden, I was hit by a particularly strong contraction and… my water broke.
Now, when I say broke I don’t mean a gush, it was more of an exaggerated trickle. But, I knew I didn’t piss myself so there was really only one thing it could be. I was so beyond angry, you guys. After all of my deliberating about staying at the hospital or not and finally deciding to go home I was going to have to go back now?! With my yummy breakfast sandwich uneaten? In actual view of my front steps where my comfy bed was? Damn it!
We pulled into our driveway because I thought I might be able to eat between contractions and was hoping to rest anyways. Ha. One can dream. Once my water broke my body thought it was go time and my contractions doubled in speed and intensity. Within 10 min I was howling in pain and pretty frantic. There wasn’t much break time between to eat or do anything. Hubby was insistent that we go back to the hospital… immediately. I’m pretty sure I told him where to stick it and that I would NOT be getting back in the car to sit through contractions. He told me then the other option would be an ambulance ride where maybe they would let me stand in the back. I laughed in his face. They wouldn’t let me stand!
…Yeah, I got in the car and we headed back. The 15 min ride there I focused on not dying every time the contractions hit.It truely felt like dying.
It was now about 3 hours since I was first checked. The new check told us that I was dilated to 5 and my water did in fact break. Hooray. I was then put in triage to wait on a labour room and that’s that. We waited about 2 hours for a room. Triage rooms are little gowned off sections and not private at all. I could not sit. I could just dip and rock and moan/scream in pain. I tried to keep it down … tried.
We got into our room finally and I decided to try the gas and air. I was starting to really consider myself crazy to want to do this naturally. The gas was good and I used it for a while. I also tried being in the shower. That was less good and just made me wet and slippery.
I will take this time to own my reaction to my contractions. I did not handle them well. Like, really not well. Groan deep and guttural is the recommendation because that focuses energy and contracts your abdomen in a way that helps the contractions. Yeah. I didn’t do that for like 90% of the time. I mostly howled and actually screamed. I’m fairly certain my nurse was WAY over me and my “natural” birth ideas and really wanted me to shut the fuck up. She was a pretty big cunt for most of the birth but, in her defense, I also really wanted me to shut the fuck up. I so did not want to be that woman, the one screaming so loud that the others checking in are given nightmares. Too bad for me, that’s apparently how I labour. It was embarrassing and humbling.
So, anyways, this continues for a long time and finally around hour 36 I was checked again and… you guessed it… still only 5 cm. Fuck. I mean, really and truly, “Fuck”, you guys. I basically asked what the hell we could do about the pain then because I did not have another 36 unmedicated hours left in me. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t progressed at all! They told me I was too far into labour to take morphine as it is a risk to the baby after a certain point but that I could still have Fentanyl or an epidural. Fentanyl only lasts in the body around an hour and so if I hated it we could basically opt out of further doses… epidurals not so much … I also still really wanted a mostly natural birth and so decided Fentanyl was best because I would at least still be able to feel everything and push. Yet, I was pretty terrified because, well, isn’t Fentanyl what everyone is OD-ing on?! I mean, every night on the news they are screaming about Fentanyl deaths! So I panicked a little and had a discussion with my nurse and my husband about how if could possibly be safe if everyone is dying on it?! In the end I opted to do it. Good choice! While I could still definitely feel everything it really takes the edge off and you don’t care as much (read: you are high as fuck). Still it allowed me to keep it up for a few more hours.
Around hour 40 my obstetrician made her way to my room to check me out. I was so pleased that I was in the hospital when it was my actual Dr. to deliver. This is rare: In our practice there is one of 12 Dr.’s on call each night and you get whichever one is there, you don’t always get your personal Dr. I was fortunate that baby decided to come on a day that mine was on call. But, I digress. So she comes in and we banter a bit and finally she checks me and announces happily “ Ok, you’re 4.5-maybe 5 cm dilated!” Wait…
What the actual fuck?!
No!!! I was 5 when I walked in over 15 hours ago!
This CANNOT BE HAPPENING!!!
I mean. Worst news ever. EVER! And then I lost it… I lost my ever loving shit. There was a lot of crying and screaming. Then she told me what I’d been dreading. I needed the Pitocin. Because my waters had broken we were on the clock and I was not progressing enough. She also told me she would not put me on the Pitocin unless I had an Epidural as well. Fuck. There goes my natural birth plan, you guys.
I mean… FUCK!
Have I said yet that the entire 40 hours prior to this I had been thinking in my head “This is the worst day of my life.”…? No? Well. I was. The whole freaking time. And now, 40 hours in, you’re telling me that I basically can’t do a natural birth and the past 40 hours of HELL were for nothing? Oh. My. God.
I was beyond distressed! This is not even mentioning my major fear of needles or hatred of being numb. But, really, there was no choice left. Pitocin it is then… numb me the hell up. At this point I would like to pause in my tale of woe and praise the hell out of whatever the anesthetist’s name was. He was amazing. He worked super quickly and gave me the best god damned “walking epidural” you can imagine… I doubt money could have bought me a better one. I could feel everything all the way to my tippy toes and wiggle them, move my legs really well, but could not feel pain or cold. It was awesome. The only downside to the epidural was that it ended at my diaphragm and really made me feel like I couldn’t breathe.
Which really freaked me out.
I like to think that if I wasn’t so afraid and overtired at this point that I would have handled this all better. As it was, I was running on no sleep and no food and I was pretty crazy. I started to really panic that something was horribly wrong. I knew I was still breathing but it truly felt like I couldn’t. I know they said that the baby was handling it all ok but I was not so sure when 6 medical people kept running into the room every half hour because baby’s heart rate was decelling. I basically felt like everything was going to hell in a hand basket and I wanted out- BADLY.
I think it was at this point that I started asking about an elective c-section.
Me. The natural birth lady.
Yeah… That’s how things were at that point. I just wanted someone to cut the baby out of me.
Luckily, I had my own dr. on call and she knew that wasn’t what I would want or be happy with in the end and so she talked me down. More than once. I really was panicking and knew I was falling apart. So I asked for something to relieve my anxiety ( I should note that anxiety is not new to me but I typically don’t need meds to deal with it. This was the first time that I felt I was so far past what I could handle that I knew I truly needed something, no shame). I asked my nurse a few times but she put it off just as many. Finally, I snapped and was much harsher than I needed to be to her and told her that I NEEDED an anti-anxiety med or I needed a C section… NOW. She said she’d get the Dr and skuttled out. Smart woman.
My Dr. came back pretty quickly and I told her point blank that I was freaking out and really didn’t have a good handle on my emotions anymore and needed something to help calm me down. I think I then pleaded with her that it was time to do a c-section and that if she wasn’t going to help me then I was going home.
…Not that I was going to labour at home, mind you, just that I was done. I was super finished with this labour business and I wanted to go home and NOT do this anymore. So she could cut him out or I was going home. I don’t know if you know much about labour stories but that basically describes how women in transition act. Transition is the time right before you start to push when a lot of women break down. My Dr. obviously thought so too because she said that she would be happy to get me anti-anxiety medication and discuss a c-section, but, could she just check me one more time first? Ok, sure. Whatever she wanted to do as long as this was going to end. She rolled up her sleeve and…
I was 9 cm. HALLELUJAH!! I was immediately excited. I told her it was ok, that I didn’t need a c-section and that I would totally push this baby out right now if she wanted. She told me better to wait to be fully dilated but that we were almost there. It wound up taking another 2-3 hours to reach full dilation but because I knew I was almost there, and probably also because of the Ativan she brought me, I was happy to wait.
I have to say that up to this point labour was pretty much my worst nightmare of what labour might be like. I wasn’t handling it as well as I had hoped, I had needed Pitocin and an epidural, I took drugs… It wasn’t the experience I had thought it would be. But let me tell you… none of that mattered when it finally came time to push. The pushing stage was a fucking, mind-blowing, awesome-sauce party. It was perfect.
First off, because of my awesome anesthetist and the bad ass walking epidural I was able to give birth in a full on squat. This is exactly how I pictured pushing a baby out and so was very reassuring to someone who had had all their other hopes dashed in labour. Secondly, I was able to push effectively despite not feeling the pushing. I had been so worried that if I got an epidural I wouldn’t push well and it would go on forever. This was not the case for me. I pushed like a boss, from the first one to the last one. That was more validating than anything I had done up to that point. And thirdly, everyone was wildly encouraging. Telling me how good a job I was doing, that he was almost here, that I could do this. They probably say that to everyone but it truly made me feel like superwoman.
And then he was born! After almost 48 hours of labour and 45 min of pushing, my son entered the world with his hand on his cheek and the cord around his neck. Despite both of those things he cried right away and latched like a champ within the first hour. And that was that.
We had a baby- 7lbs 2 oz and 20.5 inches long! He also has a crazy “stork bite” birth mark on the back of his neck. Proof, if ever there was one, that the asshole stork was just flying around holding onto him for the last 3 years! I knew it was the fucking stork’s issue all along!
My labour was crazy and intense… in fact motherhood in general has continued to be both crazy and intense from that very first moment. But that’s a story for another day. Lord knows I have typed till I’m blue in the face on this one. But I wanted to be real and I know some of you were curious. Also, if nothing else, now I will never be able to smugly state that the years wipe away all recollections of the pain of childbirth. Not now, it’s all written down in black and white and will NEVER be expunged… oh goody.
P.S. Want to see photos of the pip squeak? Of COURSE you do! I will share… In a separate post as per usual. Check him out-here-