Advisory: If you don’t like reading about other people’s birth stories in detail…just skip this post!
I know I have several girlfriends out there that DO like to know, so here it goes. Plus, I need to record it all before I forget!
Ready to Pop!
First of all, my little man was very punctual – he arrived on his due date! I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for several weeks and thought, “It could be any moment” for days. But, even with all of the anticipation, I was surprised when I got out of bed on January 20th and my water broke. (With my second son, my water broke too, but this time it gushed! I was slightly alarmed at the amount of fluid that was coming out.) I had scheduled an induction for the next day, so I figured I had time to pack up for the hospital that day. Nope. I was ungracefully waddling around the house trying to get my stuff together.
I called Bryan, who had already left for work, to tell him that this was THE day. He hurried home and then we rushed to the hospital. I loved the moment when I walked into the ER and the receptionist asked, “Why are you here?” and I responded, “To have baby.” It made me feel like was in a TV sitcom. Anyway, the hospital personnel gave me a wheelchair to sit in and said that it would be a few minutes because all of the rooms were full. Seriously? As I waited I started to feel the need to push and told the receptionist about it. Well, that sped things up a bit. She called up to the maternity ward and a nurse came down and retrieved me. This lady was a character! She told me that she had her fourth child in her husband’s lap on the way to the hospital. I made to my birthing room and another nurse quickly put an IV in my wrist. Another nurse checked me to see how far along I was dialated….only 4 centimeters! This was at about 8:30 am. Oops, I guess I didn’t really need to push after all. In my defense, I think it was the angle of the wheelchair that made me feel that way! The IV that they put in quickly wasn’t done well and I started collecting fluid in my forearm making it look all puffy and gross. The nurse decided that since the baby wasn’t coming right away that it should be redone in the other arm. (I don’t know why, but I dread the IV more than anything else involved with childbirth. I just want to rip it out the entire time it’s in my arm!)
Fresh from the Womb
My ob/gyn, Dr. Dykes, requested that I be given pitocin to get my labor underway. Let me just say here that I hate pitocin. I had my second and third children without drugs or pitocin. I was undecided going into this labor/delivery whether or not to get an epidural, but once I experienced pitocin contractions I knew that I might not make it to the end without some pain relief. I managed the pain okay until I reached 8 centimeters. The pain level was the same for me at 8 cm that I had experienced during the final pushing stage with my natural births which I call “the crazy pain”. I literally feel like I’m insane. Bryan, who had been with me through the previous three deliveries, agreed that I was in much more pain this go around. So, at 8 centimeters, I decided to get an epidural. The nurse was unsure that this was the right move. She explained that I would probably have the baby before the drug took effect. At that moment, the anesthesiologist poked her head into my room and asked, “Well, what’s the decision?” “Yes, please go ahead and give me the epidural.” was my answer. (Okay, I wasn’t that polite.) By the time the epidural was in place, I was at 10 centimeters and ready to push for real this time. And then I cried. Some of you might not understand my reaction to having zero pain. I cried because I couldn’t feel what was going on anymore. I felt suddenly disconnected from my own body, my hard work to birth my son. The anesthesiologist gave me so much drug to “catch me up” that I was numb from my armpits down. It scared me not to feel. It took much longer to push my son out for two reasons. One, his head was traveling down the birth canal crooked; the boney skull plates weren’t compressing like they normally do to squeeze through. Two, I wasn’t pushing very effectively because I couldn’t feel anything! Lochlan finally made his arrival at 2:13 pm.
For a few hours after Lochlan’s birth, I felt a little sad that I didn’t have him naturally, but in the end a healthy baby is what is really important. (Besides, it would’ve been an extra challenge to push a 9 lbs. 2 oz baby out!) I was certainly blessed with an amazing, healthy little baby boy!