When you have a new baby, even though you’re exhausted and feel like there’s no time for anything, there is A LOT of time to be filled during the 8+ nursing sessions you will be doing each day. So, keep your phone nearby to mindlessly scroll Facebook, Instagram, Zulily (dangerous), etc. You will find yourself googling all kinds of things too and will land on plenty of mommy blogs as a result. One thing I read to do was to chronicle the birth story, so here’s mine.
Going into Labor
The last 2 weeks of pregnancy, I wanted nothing more than to get the baby OUT. I was so uncomfortable, and wanted to just be out of my misery. I wish I would have enjoyed the last days of freedom a little more! I was so “busy”, I totally took these last moments of no responsibility for granted. Funny thing about adulthood, you always think you have it so rough and tough, until life moves on and you realize you don’t. Anyway, me being the “make it happen” kinda gal I am, I took the doctor’s okay to take castor oil to induce labor and immediately had my husband drive me to Whole Foods to get some, because of course Whole Foods would have the BEST castor oil. NOT. They were completely out of stock. So, to CVS we went…we couldn’t find it there either! Oh! There it was, just kidding, we found it. And boy, was that an interesting afternoon. I created a yummy chocolate, castor oil smoothie and my husband made the mistake of saying he’d have a bit too, because he loves my chocolate smoothies. I drank my huge smoothie and immediately had to put myself to bed because I was about to HURL. I woke up a couple of hours later and had to use the restroom immediately, and then several times later in the day. I’ll just leave it at that. Also, I did have some contractions, I did not go into labor. My husband had a more mild case of the “bathrooms”, but luckily for him, it passed pretty fast. I swore I was through with castor oil, because who purposely gives themselves diarrhea and induces vomiting? Apparently this girl right here, because I drank another castor oil smoothie the next night. This time, after a huge dinner. I immediately vomited it all up. No labor that night either..not even any contractions. I was REALLY not drinking anymore this time. Well…..maybe just one more time. The following day, Saturday, we stopped at CVS to get some more castor oil and everyone was just like, okayyyy Cortney, not taking my (for real) final attempt seriously. This time, I made the smoothie with frozen pineapples, bananas and OJ this time, for a much lighter castor oil smoothie and to my surprise, experienced no nausea, no diarrhea and went right to sleep that night. IT WORKED! Well, I say it was the castor oil, my husband thinks it was his stellar “pressure point” massage, but whatever. I woke up at midnight thinking I had diarrhea..but when it wasn’t, I had an inkling I was in labor, WOOOHOOOO! Rocky started googling “how to tell you’re really in labor” and I jumped in the shower to start getting ready to head to the hospital. While I was blow drying my hair, Rocky was taking note of how far apart my contractions were. After about an hour of recording, we finally decided it was time to go to the hospital when my contractions quickly got more intense, doubling me over in pain.
Since it was 1:30am, we checked into the ER. I felt so odd just strolling into the emergency room, checking in and patiently sitting down. The clerk asked me while I was filling out paperwork, “Mrs. Brown, can you walk?”. I thought it was a silly question since she had CLEARLY just seen me walk into the emergency room (I have a little patience for “silly” questions and just in general – to be discussed in a later post). I smiled and told her, “Yes”. Duh. Well, about 10 minutes passed while I was filling out paperwork, and the contractions started to get WAY stronger, forcing me to stop and take deep breaths to bear them. The “silly” clerk saw me and said, “oh honey, you don’t need to be walking”, and immediately called someone for a wheelchair. My bad…I was wrong. They wheeled me up to L&D and I smoothly checked in, changed into the hospital garb and they hooked me up to the monitors. It all seems like a blur now, but about 30 minutes in, I felt a sudden gush of fluid, like I peed myself…”I think my water just broke…”. This was probably one of the most anti-climactic moments of labor. I had high hopes for a dramatic water-breaking moment, and how it actually happened was SO not a great story. The nurse told me, “okay, your contractions are going to get more painful now that your water has broken”….wait…what? More painful? It hurts pretty dang bad right now. Shortly after that, I was officially admitted because I had dilated from a 2.5cm to 3cm. The nurse had asked me about an epidural pretty early and on and I was like, “Uh, yes I’ll take one please”, like I was ordering fries with my burger. I thought I could “tough it out”, but the contractions got real painful, real fast. A new nurse took over when I got in the delivery room and she didn’t get the memo about my epidural request. Luckily she did mention to let her know when I think I’m ready for one, and I was like, “yeah, I’m ready NOW”. It was about 2 hours or so before I got the epidural – 1000ml of fluids to be exact. That was the longest drip EVER. I beared through the contractions though, which were SUPER painful. My husband had to escort me back and forth from the restroom with the fluid bag that was hooked up to my IV and let’s just describe these 2 hours as MESSY. I finally got the epidural and it was the most surreal experience. I went from extreme pain to a mobile numbness. It was GREAT! Safe to say I’m a fan of the epidural. I was dilated to 5cm at 5am, so the nurse dimmed the lights and left my husband and I to sleep. I was so tired, but had a hard time sleeping, knowing that delivery was imminently near. My husband had no trouble sleeping – he hadn’t slept a wink that night! 7am/Nurse shift change rolled around and the new nurse on duty came to introduce herself. I was glad I spoke up about checking my most current dilation, because I was at 9cm! She had a bit of a panic that she was trying to hide, and came back for “practice pushing” within 45 mins. We were a little nervous because the doctor’s status was unknown at this point because the nurse hadn’t been able to reach her. After the practice pushing, which only the nurse and my husband were there, she had me stop to go call the doctor. The doctor waltzed in, almost on cue with a gaggle of nurses and within 5 minutes at 8:26am, Rex made his debut. The doctor had been summoned during my “real pushing” for another woman who came into the L&D, very near giving birth. Immediately after I was finished pushing, and mid-stitching, Dr. Robinson had to fling out of my room into another delivery, because it was happening NOW. I sat there, unphased by pain because of my amazing epidural and watched the nurses work on cleaning up my son. I remember thinking when I looked at him, “He doesn’t look like either one of us; what the heck?” Not exactly the first thoughts I expected, but hey, I didn’t know what to expect. I had no idea what I was in for, but I can definitely say that as extremely hard as labor, post partum and our huge life changes were, it is extremely worth it! Because, look at this cutie.
I don’t want to write a lot about Post Partum, except, next time (if there is one) I will thoroughly discuss a birth plan with my doctor. An episiotomy is something I would request to avoid if possible because I suffered a painful hematoma from this and after speaking with friends, vaginal delivery is do-able, even with a baby of mine’s size, without one.