May 2, 2009

The Birth Story

I will be one of those moms who remind their offspring, during moments of frustration and exasperation, that they carried their kids for almost 10 months, was put through the most brutal of labors and had to walk up hill – both ways – to the hospital. And except for the walking part, it’s all sorta true.

It was Thursday morning – almost five days past my due date – when the contractions started to become that very special kind of unbearable that means the baby’s coming, the baby’s coming! Considering that I was having contractions for over a week, with no progress, I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions. Out came the stopwatch. We tried to determine if this was the real deal.

By about 2:30 am in the morning, the time was going by slowly and the pain was coming on forcefully, and the contractions were a steady five minutes apart. We headed to the hospital, but disappointedly after getting prodded, I was send home for being just a little bit dilated.

I was upset, angry, disappointed when we returned home. I was also still contracting, in pain and exhausted. I tried to go back to sleep. But it wasn’t over. Not more than half an hour later the hold of the contractions started to get stronger. Why didn’t anyone tell me it would feel like this? I liken it to someone taking a pitchfork to my stomach and torturing me slowly. No matter what I did the pain kept intensifying. By 5:30 am I was breaking out the phone number for the hospital. So what if I was there just over an hour ago. We needed to determine what my options were.

The options - I could come back to be reassessed, and potentially be given pain medication if I couldn’t handle natural “coping techniques” and labor still wasn’t progressing. We labored at home for the next few hours, trying those “coping techniques” that the nurses suggested – another shower, a bath, different positions. I was still spending a whole lot of time curled up on the bathroom floor screaming bloody murder. We were at back in the hospital triage by 9:00 am.

This time I was 2, nearly 3 cm, dilated. “I told you this was real!!” I was going to be admitted, but they didn’t have a free bed at the time. And there were 2 other moms, ahead of me. I was asked to walk the floor and check back every 30 minutes to have the baby’s heart rate monitored. They would do what they could to get me in, but there was no telling how long the current deliveries would take.

Half an hour, turned into hours. Lunch and dinner came and passed. I was in excruciating back labor that wouldn’t give me a break. The two moms ahead of me were settled into their rooms and every time I felt that I was closer to getting in, and importantly getting the epidural, a mom was whisked in, in full blown labor that was further progressed than I was, and I was put on the backburner. My favourite example was a mom who came into triage in a flurry and put in the bed beside me. We were separated by the flimsy curtain. She was in labor for an hour, with her fourth child. Oh boy! She was over 7 cms dilated!! After one hour. "Sure you can have my room."

I was finally settled into my room around 8:00 pm, nearly 12 hours after coming into the hospital for the second time. Despite the walking I was only 4 cm – the gravity wasn’t really doing the trick and I was exhausted. The epidural followed. My water was broken soon after that. I was also given Pitocin when the contractions started to slow down. I used the next few, relatively pain free hours to get some rest – taking naps, doing Sudoku on Nintendo DS. I was so happy with the epidural that I was going to name my first born child after it. Epi for a girl, Dural for a boy. :)

I woke up just after 1:00 am when I started to feel the contractions and pressure. I was almost 10 cm dilated and it was time to do the hard work. Pushing wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I attribute that to my birth preparation – lots of episodes of the Baby Story on TLC. I was apparently a text book pusher. I knew that I had a hidden talent. Baby was born after less then 20 minutes of pushing.

She was born with a head full of silky, curly hair. She laid on my chest after 24 hours of labor and seemed so serene and calm. We were in love with her. She was perfect.

To protect the innocent, and avoid future psychiatric bills, I won’t reveal her name on this blog. She will be referred from here on out as “Baby”. See how simple I make it for all of you.

It’s been a week of pure baby-loving! I just can’t get enough of our little girl. She has completely melted our hearts. I am overwhelmed with how much I love her. Is this feeling normal??


Tatiana @ on 3:55:00 PM said...

I feel weird saying it's normal, because it is the most extraordinary and overwhelming type of love... but I think we all experience it.

Your labour sounds like it was pretty brutal. I have heard back labour is just excruciating. How was your man dealing with seeing you in pain?

Are you recovering well? The first week was so tough for me physically. I wanted to be up & on the go, but my body was just like SIT DOWN GIRL!

Also, although you (understandably) may refer to her as Baby here, she's totally Curry in my mind ;)

Myg on 12:20:00 PM said...

Nothing is normal after having a baby, I've decided. That overwhelming "I'm soooo in love" feeling? I have it too. Still do.

And STANDING OVATION for enduring that amount of labor. Oh. God! I had an epidural in the minute I started to feel pain. My doctors were like, here! Have drugs! Want more?! And I was all like, YES! I WANT MORE DRUGS PLEEEZEEE. And it did make pushing harder, but overall, the pain of labor wasn't as bad as I'd feared.

C on 8:30:00 PM said...

I hear ya! It's such an overwhelming feeling being a mom and having your baby in your arms. I remember (and I still do this sometimes) looking at Hubby and practically in tears saying, "We MADE this! We MADE a human being!" It's definitely not the same as making a cake, is it!? :)

Thank you for sharing Baby's birth story! You know, if you hadn't posted this, I was going to CALL you!!!

Hope to see you and Baby soon!!
C and Little One

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