That was a long break. Obviously I haven’t written in a long time. For those of you who actually seek me out, you probably noticed my blog was completely down because of some fishy Ukrainian business going on. There’s really nothing to elaborate on about that, just I was getting a lot of spam. I’m assuming those of you who come here are interested to know what we’ve been up to. Maybe not, but I feel like that’s a safe assumption to make. I suppose I should just start off where I left.
As I get older I’m getting less and less concerned about avoiding some topics and labor is definitely one of them. Most women go through it, it sucks, and we all love to talk about it. So in a “for posterity” fashion, I’ll share my labor story with you. When I was sitting around with a 9 month child inside of me I was frantically reading other women’s experiences, hoping to find solace in the fact that pregnancy will in fact end and end well.
I’m somewhat ambivalent about the experience of having Baby. I spent so much time reading about positive drug-free birth experiences and I was really looking forward to having one. I was petrified when my midwife said we should induce, especially because I was pretty sure I had gotten my due date wrong. Even an ultrasound had suggested that my due date was likely around the 19th, not the 13th. Unfortunately, the 19th is a week away….which would put me at 41 weeks. I wish I could have been a strong enough person to insist, “No we’re fine, I want to wait.” But I wasn’t sure I could stand the additional week of worry. I was already so full of anxiety about the baby being born. Not because I was afraid of labor but just because I really didn’t feel like my luck would hold out into my third child. Something is going to go wrong. I constantly poked her, encouraging her to get up so I could feel her kicking. I was constantly, CONSTANTLY, online looking up my symptoms because I was so convinced both of us were going to die. I could hardly sleep because anytime I got contractions I had to sit and count them….in short, I was turning into a wreck.
I see those mothers who are calm and pleasant and will wait and wait patiently for their baby to be born. Maybe next time, if there is a next time, I will ask to not know my due date. I also wish I could have a homebirth. Unfortunately they aren’t legal in Ohio, and I couldn’t afford a Doula, which I think could have prevented me from getting another epidural. I needed someone who knew what they were doing to help me calm down and stay above the pain.
Instead I follow the Bradley Method and my husband was a terrific trooper. He absolutely helped keep me calm up until the very end and even now thinking back on him sitting there holding me or clutching my hands…it all has a very romantic and rosey air about it. I absolutely loved him at that moment. However, I still would have liked a Doula there to help remind us what we should be doing because although I know what I needed, I couldn’t speak a word. I brought all these things to help me, like my essential oils which I desperately wanted, but I couldn’t let my husband’s hand go long enough for him to go over to my bag and get them. I’m “lucky” because my labor goes so quickly but to be honest it isn’t that great because every thing is moving so quickly it’s almost impossible to stay ahead of it. You lose your concentration for half a second and it’s all over. I don’t know, can labor ever be great? They say it can but I suspect most women who say that just have memory trouble.
I was supposed to go in to the hospital at 630 in the morning. We got an early call that too many women had come in during the night and there was no room for me. I know what youre thinking and yes, it was just like Jesus. Go ahead and call me Mary because at this point in the story we were basically the same person.
My mother in law came over and all of us spent the morning waiting to get the call telling us to come in for my induction. The hours absolutely dragged by. I tripled checked things, the kids watched Star Wars, although I had them turn it off when I realized Queen Amidala dies in childbirth at the end of the movie, and finally my husband and I headed into town to wait there. We went to the Maxx where I bought another pair of PJs for the baby, my husband bought a full pizza for himself and ate most of it, and I checked out a co-op grocery store I had been wanting to go to. We even went to Wildberry and got incense and a Star Wars poster for my son, you know, just to remind ourselves that despite being parents we’re still fun and hip and can hang with the college crowd. Finally I called and was told there was one lady pushing and one lady about to go in for a c-section so I could come in soon, as if it was a restaurant and I was just waiting for a table.
At 3 I was induced and got 4 milliunits of pitocin after they broke my water. It hardly hurt and I walked around for an hour before the nurse turned up my dosage to 6 milliunits. My dad came in to visit me and in the short time he was there my contractions jumped from mild to painful. I hunkered down and focused, practicing my relaxation techniques. I had been walking for a long time though and that plus the pain made me want to sit down….just for a bit (yeah I never got back up. Word of advice, never sit down.) I laid down and the contractions became very painful. The nurse checked me and I hadn’t dilated a bit! The pitocin contractions had a sharpness to them that I could hardly stand and they weren’t consistent at all. Anytime someone touched me or I moved it would create a contraction but if I stayed still I was fine. I realized this wasn’t going to be a birth like the others and decided I would probably want an epidural.
The guy came up right away and gave it to me but could only get half of my body numb. By this time the pain was incredible, although only on one side. The baby was being pushed right into my hip (on the side that I could feel everything of course) and the nurse couldn’t get her to adjust. I was crying out and stretching my arms out blindly trying to clutch at…something, I’m not sure what. I think I may have been trying to climb out of my own body. At that point I had lost my concentration and the contractions had gotten the higher ground. I couldn’t get my focus back and just had to let the pain whip me around. I was so focused on working through the pain until they could get the left side to become numb. As soon as I got a good breath the doctor asked if I was ready. Ready? The baby’s head was right there, I needed to push. Four pushes later she was born.
I was so overwhelmed. I really don’t think I really thought she was coming. After all those weeks of false contractions and going in to be induced instead of having a “she’s coming!” moment, plus not dilating for the first two hours I was there, and the second two hours going so quickly….it just didn’t seem real. And then I heard her cry. I burst out in tears. I was in absolute shock that shes here. That she’s real.
I had waited and waited for another baby. I had waited through being pregnant. And here she was. It was incredible, an overwhelming feeling. So you can see why I feel ambivalent about it. It didn’t go at all how I wanted. It was a lot more painful than my other two. But it was so fast and I had such a surge of emotion afterwards, which is the point of going med-free, that I wonder if it really matters?
If I learned one thing though, it is that you cannot induce your own labor. I tried just about as hard as a person can to get things started and it did nada. I suppose all that prep work did help the labor go so fast and prevented tearing or other damage but still. It can’t be done ladies.
My sister gave me this clever care package with Lily, Evelyn Rose, and Maxwell in it. I had been wanting to buy the rose and lily perfume for a long time. Yet another time that waiting pays off.
My son was so worried about me. He didn’t want to visit me in the hospital and after being forced there, he wouldn’t come closer to me than to give me a kiss. When he went home with my mom he laid his head down in he couch and started crying. She asked him what was wrong and he said nothing, and when she asked if it was because I was in the hospital he got angry and said no, he was fine.
Even after the Baby was born he took a week before he would touch her. He seems to love her…he always wants to look at her and laughs when she’s being silly…but he wouldn’t touch her for 2 months. It’s funny.
After the birth the kids made me a groaning cake. I helped of course, but it was super good, like a mix between wheat bread and carrot cake. I loved it and ate it all. It has just about everything that is good for you in it.
We were really hesitant about having Baby on 4/20. The poor thing will have people asking her if she’s getting high for her birthday or pointing out that it’s also Hitler’s birthday for the rest of her life. But I didn’t want to make a fuss about changing it so we found it’s also the birthday of St. Rose, who was a Spainish woman born in Lima Peru. How perfect that our Baby Rose would be born on the same day as Peruvian St. Rose!