Over the years, I've often thought of having children. Well, not actually physically HAVING them, but like-after having them... when they are out of the womb, and out and about in the world. Usually my thoughts of having children include some kind of fantasy where I skip over the actual labor and delivery, and magically produce a child from myself without having to go to the hospital or push a person out my lady parts. I was always SURE that I would be able to skip over this part of life- being born.
The one good thing about pregnancy taking 9 months, is that by the time 9 months rolls around, you are so READY to not be pregnant that you (the pregnant elephant) are excited to give birth. I tried everything to induce labor after I passed my due date! I wanted to go to the hospital. I think if pregnancy only took one month, women would still be really freaked out about childbirth. Although, now that I think about it, some people are really down with birthing. They want natural births at home. They want the powerful,awesome experience of ...something. I actually don't know or care about what the natural birth people want. All I know is that to some people-their birth plan is super important, very specific, and the less medication the better. That is not me. I wanted to be in a hospital, drugged to the max, and not able to feel shit.
So anyway. My due date, March 15th comes and goes-I'm trying to remain calm, I'm trying to be nice to Chris who was really awesome throughout the entire process of me dealing with going past my due date. It's really a total mind fuck. You have this date in your head for 9 months and then it comes and goes...what a joke! It's nothing but a mean trick, and I just felt so angry-I mean I wanted to punch things every day. The last few weeks of pregnancy are really hard-well at least for me anyway. I could literally feel Georgia's head in my crotch ready to come out, her kicks were super hard, and I couldn't eat anything without it coming right back up, not to mention the fact that I could barely walk a block without getting all out of breath, and I hated how I looked.Yes-my mental state was pretty bad. I think I held it together rather well though if I do say so myself. I only had one temper tantrum that week. =)
(me at 40 weeks 3 days)
So, we had an induction scheduled for Friday, March 25th which I wasn't too happy about but whatever, least there was an end in sight. I had been having contractions all weekend-even went to labor and delivery once, only to be sent home, and by Monday, March 21st the contractions had stopped and I was really depressed. I went to sleep that night not really hoping for anything and just wishing that Friday would hurry up and come.
At about 11PM I feel water start trickling out of me. I jumped out of bed and stood there thinking " Okay is this pee or is my water breaking?!' I ran to the bathroom and all of a sudden a GUSH of water comes out. Like, somebody should have prepared me for this water breaking thing. I thought it just would gush out for a minute and then stop. Um...no. I went through three pairs of pregnant underwear and three pairs of sweatpants in about 3 minutes before I realized that the water gush wasn't going to stop. Chris was awake at this point,putting my bags in the car, and I'm thinking like how the hell am I going to sit in the car with all of this water coming out of me? I was totally annoyed. The only thing I could do was get some towels and hope it slowed down or something. So we're in the car and the water is flowing, I'm drenching towels, and shaking because all of a sudden this shit is REAL and I'm going to meet my daughter, and OMG I have to push her out of me,and I generally start to have a minor freak out.
We get to the hospital and go in through the emergency room. The ER people want no part of a woman in labor, so they sent me right upstairs to labor and delivery. Actually they wheeled me upstairs, and when I tell you there was a river flowing from the emergency room all the way to the 7th floor I am not kidding. There was water dripping from the wheelchair. It looked like it had just been through a car wash. I looked like I sat in a full bathtub wtih all of my clothes on-it was so mortifying. I figured this was only the beginning of the mortification I was going to have to endure over the next few hours, so I just took a few deep breaths and was relieved when we actually made it to L&D. I still wasn't having contractions at this point, which I thought was weird. The nurse checked my cervix and I was still at 1.5cm which I had been for about three weeks, and I'm still gushing water everywhere-OMG! I was getting so mad. I asked the nurse when did the water stop coming out, and she was like 'It doesn't." I'm really sorry,but how did I not know this about water breakage being so retarded? Can I stress again that this was absolutely the most annoying part of beginning labor? I was pretty much prepared for everything except that.
Anyway, the nurse came in again an hour later and checked my cervix again-still no change, and told me they were going to induce me because since my water broke there was a risk of infection if the baby did not come out within 24 hours.
In the meantime I called my mom (otherwise known as Ma Jojo) and told her that birth was imminent! I thought that when your water broke the baby was right behind the gush, so I didn't think it would be that long before delivery. Ma Jojo gets there around midnight-I get situated in my room on the delivery floor which I must say was AWESOME. It sort of looked like a hotel room and the view of Philly was sweeet!
I'm chillin in my room and they start me on Pitocen (for the induction) and I finally start having contractions. I can't remember how long after they started the pitocen that the contractions started-but it must have been soon, because my mom predicted that the baby would be born by 6AM. Well, 6AM rolls around and no baby. I wasn't even in that much pain really. I was mostly annoyed at the continuous gush of water coming out of me. My mom had now assigned herself the important job of "vagina cleaner" and was constantly wiping me down, and making sure I was comfortable. Oh- the other annoying thing was that the nurse put the IV in this really awkward place on my arm, and every time I moved this buzzer thing would go off, and she would have to come in and fix it. We finally figured out how to turn the buzzer off-I have no idea if that is legal or not but whatever.
I think I asked for the epidural around 8AMish...I was SO SCARED to get it. I have no idea why, but I started shaking when the anesthesiologist came in. HUP is a teaching hospital, so everyone has as student...including the anesthesia people so they were both there. They sent my mom out of the room, and instructed Chris to sit in front of me and not look at what they were doing. So it must look gross or something. Getting the epidural kind of feels like getting an electric shock in your leg-it was like BZZZZT and my leg went up and down and that was really the worst of it. I have no idea why I felt electricity in my leg since the line was in my back, but it kinda hurt. It really wasn't as bad as I had anticipated-took about 15 minutes for them to get to my room after I asked for the epi, and about 15 minutes to administer. This would be useful information for later on in my birth story.
After a while I couldn't feel my legs, AND I couldn't feel oh so annoying leakage of amniotic fluid-I was as happy as a clam! Labor is so easy! I laughed at the contractions I saw happening on the contraction screen! MUHAHAHAH! You are no match for THIS epidural you nasty bitches!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...after almost checking herself in to have a baby, BFF Kelly Downing comes in the delivery room around 10AM. My mom and Chris were exhausted, and it was great to have her in the room with me while they took naps or whatever. She is also one of the funniest people I know, so she kept me in high spirits while laboring. I guess I mostly slept for the next few hours. Chris, Kel, and my mom ate Mexican while I threw up cranberry juice. The nurse kept coming in to check my (slow) cervical progress, and there really isn't too much to write about regarding the next hours of labor.
So around 2:30PM I start to feel pressure down below . The midwife Michelle had already been in to check my progress and everything-I absolutely LOVED her-she oversaw most of my prenatal care and I was really happy she was on duty for my delivery. She came in and checked me for the second time, said i was at an 8, and they would be back in two hours.
"TWO HOURS?" I'm thinking to myself. I really felt like things were going on downstairs, and I was pretty sure I was going to deliver my baby before two hours were up. Not that I've ever had a baby or anything, but my body just felt really strange and READY. The other thing that was freaking me out was that all of a sudden I was starting to feel my legs..and...contractions. I was pressing the epidural button thing for more meds to be pumped in, but nothing was happening. I mentioned this to the nurse and she was like, "oh you are going to feel pressure-the epidural doesn't help with that." I'm thinking to myself that I'm feeling waaay more than, pressure, not to mention that I also I felt like I had to take the biggest crap of my life, and I all of a sudden knew everything was ready to go. I looked at my mom and said in a little, scared voice " Um..I have to push or something." She called for the nurse and yelled in her scary Joann-isn't- playin-voice " SHE'S READY!" and all of a sudden like 500 people come in the room all scrubbed in and official! Well, not really 500 but there were probably like 10 people besides my mom, Kel, and Chris ( as I mentioned before, everyone has a student with them) Earlier a few of the nursing students asked if they could watch and I told them no problem, so they were in the delivery room too.
"Let's have a baby!' someone yelled. I'm finally dilated to a ten, and it is at this point that I realize..."FUCK MY EPIDURAL ISN"T WORKING.'!" I'm feeling the contractions, I was feeling exactly when to push, I was feeling balls to the wall pain like I've never felt in my entire life. I panicked for a minute, but then told myself that there was no point in freaking out-anesthesia would take a half hour to get prepped anyway, and I hoped to be finished by that point so I was just like, " OKAY MAMA, LET'S DO THIS!" My thought drifted to my great-grandmother, Catherine, who had 16 natural child births. I thought to myself "If great grandma Catherine can have 16 kids back in the day, I can have one!" At some point during all of this organized chaos, someone asked me if I wanted a mirror to see everything and I was like "HELLZ NO!" I guess some people want to watch, but I was too traumatized, as we know I am not one of the natural birthing kind of women so the mirror was out.
I screamed, I panted, I asked for gas to knock me out, I told the midwife that I couldn't do it anymore, I cried, and I felt like I was being skinned alive while being set on fire. I could also feel Georgia moving down the birth canal, I could feel her crowning, I could feel her wiggling and twisting. I prayed and prayed that she would be safe and healthy and not too scared when she came out. Everyone in the room was cheering for me and telling me I was doing a great job. I think Chris was probably sweating more than I was, but he was right next to me, and totally into it the entire time. He was very scared too, I could tell, but he kept saying and doing everything exactly right. My mom was next to me cheering me on, and Kelly was watching with WIDE eyes, and her hands covering her mouth.
Finally, finally, finally, (after only a half hour of pushing) I felt her head come out, I felt her shoulders come out ( OW!) I felt Michelle pull her out and all of a sudden there she was laying on my tummy looking for a boob.
I really can't describe the feeling I had when she came out. It was actually like a full bag of emotions was dumped all over me, and I didn't know exactly which emotion to feel because they were all just dripping out of me and around me. I was so happy and relieved she was okay, I was so scared to be a mom, I was shocked that I delivered a baby, I wanted to put her back inside of me because I felt terrible that we had taken her from her home, I wanted to kiss and snuggle her until she was nice and warm and cozy in my arms. I really didn't want to breastfeed but she latched right away and looked like she loved it so I just went with that too.
My whole birth experience was nothing like I planned. I don' really like to get all corny and emotional, but it was really the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. I know that every mother feels this when she gives birth, and I am thrilled to now be included in that group of women who know how it feels to carry, deliver, and immediately love their child.
I was so proud of Georgia as soon as they put her on my belly. I was proud of me too. I was proud that we went through this unbelievable experience together, that we helped each other get through it, and proud that she did such a good job and did not let Mommy suffer for too long!
I was just so thankful that she did it! That we did it-together!