Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What they never tell you :aka: I had a baby

Wow, I could write a novel at this point.

BabyG was born on March 12th at 10:41am. I had thirty-five hours of labor, about three hours of it was in "active labor" the rest was in a marathon of chemicals trying to get my little uterus dweller evicted. I wanted a chemical free labor, instead I got pre-eclampsia and was told I would be induced at thirty-seven weeks. Devastated, I participated in all of the blood drawing, the peeing in a jug for 24hrs and being told once again that I do have pre-eclampsia. I had very little to no swelling (For even just being pregnant) and I felt that my blood pressure only correlated with my lack of patience as a very round pregnant lady... not scary levels that mean a possible seizure.

I wanted a tub birth. I wanted to use the tub with jets to ease contractions until I could push in the birthing tub. I wanted to go into labor at 40+ weeks and have my water break naturally. I wanted to be able to call Hubby and tell him the baby was coming on her terms-- no one else. I wanted relaxing music in the background as I eased myself into the pushing process. I wanted Hubby rubbing my back as he told me how awesome and womanly I am in between pushes. I wanted it to be a moment he and I would bond over and be able to relive every year during her birthday, embarrassing all of her friends with our gritty details of her birth.

Not to say I didn't get any of those things. I did not get a tub birth, I had managed to have my mom fly in before I had given birth so she was there for many of the contractions and helped me through pushing. There was no music playing as I pushed, I did not get to ease into pushing while sitting in a jetted tub. I did cave and get a shot of pain killer that is meant to induce sleep for an hour.... twice. I did get induced three weeks early. I had an IV hooked up and liquid induction pumped through my veins after a destructive drug in pill form was shoved against my cervix trying to force it to soften. I made decisions against my better judgement. I forced my baby out in the world three weeks early because I followed one doctor's opinion instead of getting a second opinion or switching hospitals like I had originally wanted.

Decisions were made and stuck by. I let the doctors win, in some people's opinion. I'm left with those decisions. Me. Those will be my burden when I recall the events that lead up to the birth of our daughter. In the moment, I felt strapped but never officially bullied. Well, except my first nurse. I hated that cunt, I'm very pleased I didn't give birth while she was on staff. Anyway, those were Hubby and I's decisions. We made uncomfortable decisions based on medical opinions that were never double checked. I will always remember my doctor asking me, "Do you want a balloon inserted to your vaginal area to compress against the cervix and coax it open or would you rather me just break your water and start you on the pitosin?" As I chose the latter I felt defeated and as I felt the gush of water run down my butt and flow around me on the hospital bed I felt the heaviest guilt I have ever felt in my entire life. I cried to myself when the doctor and nurse left the room. Hubby had gone home to shower and eat. I'm so glad he missed my water being broken. At that point we had been at the hospital over night and I had barely dilated at all. My contractions were so minimal and so far apart. BabyG's heartbeat was consistent and beautiful though. It seemed like all we did that first day was listen to her heartbeat. I cried and apologized to her, I didn't want her to enter the world this way: In a "rush" and not on her terms.

Twelve hours later I start having serious contractions, bouncing on a yoga ball was my main relief. After my water had broken I continuously leaked water. Bloody, gross water. It hurt to make even the most minimal movements. My pelvic area was widening and I could feel it in my bones. My only relief was making animalistic noises. Low ones at first, I tried not to sound too weird but after showing my butt to every nurse for the last day and basic strangers shoving their three or four fingers deep into my vagina counting the space in my cervix I decided it was too late for poise. At thirty hours of barely anything happening but a lot of pain my lower back and an endless stream of nasty water leaking from my vag, I was so over myself. The pain would swell from my bottom and wrap it's painful arms around my lower belly. They weren't like menstrual cramps, it was like a 'I totally lifted that very heavy item totally wrong' kind of pain. I had finally reached 4cm dilated after days of being on an IV drip and I remember them telling me I was almost to five and after five it should be quick and if I wanted the epidural that would be the time to get it. By the time I reached a "solid five" I was in unearthly pain. I couldn't be on the ball anymore and leaning into the contraction no longer helped to relieve the pain. Five is only halfway, most everyone knows ten is the magic pushing number. I was in so much pain my whole body trembled and crying through the contraction was the only way to get through it. I woke Hubby from sleep more than once yelling out in pain, both he and my mom would rub my back, my shoulders, my neck-- anything. I remember at one point my mom trying to rub my lower back through a contraction that had helped before just made the needles get deeper in my back. I described it as feeling like a pitchfork was being shoved through my lower-back and protruding through my front lower abdomen. I had a couple hours of this. I begged the nurse for another shot of pain medicine. I stressed that I didn't want an epidural, in my mind seven was my lucky number. If I could get to seven. If I could just sleep until I got to seven.

I asked her to check me again before she gave me the shot though. The nurse before her told me she wouldn't give me the shot at five centimeters because it could slow labor. This nurse said if I didn't budge from five from the last time she had checked me, she wouldn't mind easing my pain for a little while and felt I deserved a nap. When she told me I was still at five my mom said she could see how defeated I was. When the nurse left to get the pain killer shot I sobbed to Hubby and my mom that I couldn't do it. I didn't have it in me. Hubby looked me in the eye and told me how good I was doing and that he knew I could do it. My mom told me I wouldn't be any less of a person if I took the epidural and that I was a warrior for wanting to go without an epidural. I had decided that if I woke up in the hour or two the shot gave me without dilating at all, I would take the epidural.

Thirty minutes later I feel the pain swell in my bottom and wrap around to my belly. I hear myself moan in pain but I'm not sure if I'm awake or not. My mind was organizing colors and shapes. This mechanical claw was coming from heaven and organizing items similar to chess pieces on this square board. Not quite checkerboard square but a grid none-the-less. All of the colors were the same. The claw would hover and snatch the one in the middle away and place the wrong color and wrong shape in the pattern and it would make the pain swell in my bottom, I had disrupted the pattern and had to pay. The pain would wrap around my belly. Still in the dream I would rush to correct the pattern. The pain would subside. Again, the claw would chase across the board and snatch up a piece and replace it out of order. I opened my eyes to see a nurse checking the computer next to me. I was bent forward and clutching the railing of the bed. Trembling I ask her why I was still in pain. It hadn't been an hour, it didn't feel like an hour. Why was I still in pain? Please, dear baby Jesus tell me why I was still in pain. O, and I need to pee. I need to pee BAD!

Both Hubby and Mom had settled down to nap while I napped, they were as emotionally checked out as I was physically. My mom stirred, the nurse left to retrieve another nurse. I tried to lean into the contraction and an immense pain shot up my spine and I gripped the opposite railing on the bed facing my mom and Hubby. I heard the railing shake as I screamed that I couldn't escape the pain anymore. I sobbed that I couldn't do it. I gave up. Just kill me. Mom jumped to my side as if to catch the pain I was trying to discard. I had never seen Hubby jump up so fast from the couch and look at me completely lost on how to approach helping me. I didn't have any idea on how to tell him to help me other than put me out of my misery. I apologized, I told him I'd have to get the epidural. I was done. I couldn't do it.

The two nurses hustled back in and in a blink I was laying on my back and my nurse checked me as I pulled away from her, "I can't feel a cervix, maybe a little on this side?" The other nurse went opposite of me, "I need to check her." I whimpered and told her no, I think. "No, I'm going to check you." She forced my legs open and shoved what felt like her entire arm up there. "She's ready. She's nine, maybe ten. She's ready." She looked at me, "Sorry, sweetie, but I had to check you. You're ready. Your body is trying to push." I told her I wasn't ready to push, I just had to pee. We argued about it. She got me a bed pan and when I tried to pee nothing came out. "Thought so." she said and they disappeared out the door. I was still very high from the shot.

I blink. 
I could hear stirring in the room, I can hear myself yell from the pain. I can hear my mom sniffling from crying.
I blink.
"If you feel the need to push, you go ahead and push." The other nurse tells me. I don't even know if I look at her.
I blink.
"Come over here, she's ready to push. Go over there, Mom. Get on the other side." I can feel Mom taking my other hand as Hubby squeezes my right hand.
Contraction, I push. I can't help it, I push.
"Wait, wait! We need a doctor!" I hear. "No we don't! We got this!" The other nurse says, holding my leg. Then I notice her and the original nurse are both holding a leg. When did that happen? They talk briefly about some other doctor that isn't mine that is suppose to stop by. I scream again and push again. I push because it makes the pain stop.
I blink.
My doctor is in my face, everything around her is blurry. "Just hold on, Beth. Let me change into scrubs. You're doing great. Just let me change and you're all set." She taps me on my shoulder and I remember trying to recall what she was wearing. Wasn't she wearing scrubs already? The pain swells, I hear a nurse tell me it's okay to push so I push through the pain. I don't feel like I'm doing anything but it helps the pain.
I blink.
I look up to Hubby and his eyes are red and he tries to smile at me. I try to focus, I tell myself I need to remember what he looks like. I need to remember this. Pain, I push.
I blink. 
My mom is telling me how awesome I am and how great I'm doing. Hubby is squeezing my arm reassuringly. I look down and notice the room has easily ten nurses in it. Didn't my birthing plan say less people as possible? Pain, I push.
I blink.
My doctor is already between my legs casually sitting sideways on the bed, "Am I helping you? Do you need guidance when pushing?" Yes, I tell her. I don't know what I'm doing. Help, I need help. "You're doing great." She says.

I'm kind of awake by now. I can feel pressure from my doctor pushing fingers inside of me trying to help me open up while I push. I keep telling everyone, "I can't!" when they want me to pull my legs back and do a crunch into the contraction while I push. That seemed like way too much work. I kept exclaiming how tired I am, Hubby keeps telling me to push. I didn't want to let go of him. I was so tired. After thirty minutes of pushing I can tell the difference between a bowel push and a vaginal push. I would mentally tell myself which type of push I needed. I kept trying to push even when there wasn't a contraction. I wanted it all over. I wanted BabyG  here already. I knew if I could get some of her out, all of her would come out.

Pain comes and I push. Pushing felt so nice. I could feel wider. "Your baby has hair!" The other nurse exclaimed.
"She has lots of hair!" Hubby says.
"She's going to be beautiful!" Mom says.

Pain comes and I push, I push with all my might. "That was a perfect push!" my doctor says, "I need two more just like that."

Pain. Push. Pain. Push. "O no. She's stuck. I need the bed broken down. Now. Do it." my doctor says. Pain, I push. As I'm pushing the bed suddenly gives way under my butt and after some instruction I don't understand the other nurse leans into my stomach. "Got it!" my doctor exclaims, "One more push, Beth! Some on She-rah! You can do this!" I push again and it was a burning gush and relief all at once. It felt like I had pushed a slimy turkey out. I could feel her arms and legs all folded together come out of me. I could feel as the doctor gently tugged on her little body to help her come out. I look up at Hubby and he is looking at the doctor with tears running down his face, my mom is cheering me on and telling me I had done it. I had done something she had never been able to do. I had given birth without an epidural. She knew I could do it. I don't hear crying so I'm panicking on the inside. They place BabyG on my chest, she cocks her little head up and opens one eye wide. We make eye contact, "Oh. my. god. You're real." Is all I manage to say. "You're here. Lia, you're here." With her one eye wide open she gives me a weak smile. Hubby is squeezing my arm. They begin to wipe her off and BabyG begins to cry. I can feel the whole room relax with each cry BabyG belts out.

Obviously some of this might not be 100% accurate since I was in a great deal of pain and I only kind of remember some of it while other moments are so clear to me it's almost like I can walk right back into that moment. I also left some of it out and possibly skewed some of the timeline. Again, pain. I do remember my doctor asking very sternly why my birthing plan wasn't being followed and why I didn't have a tub out and she made the nurses feel kind of shitty for not giving me my tub birth-- but honestly, I jumped from five to ten so fast I don't blame them and I was screaming to get the baby out as fast as possible. Things don't always go as planned. Going into this I had the mindset of all of my ideas of childbirth being a loose rendition of what may actually happen. I knew the common goal was to have a breathing baby. I accepted that for the sake of my offspring, my desires would have to take the sidelines or simply-- there wasn't enough time.

What could I change if I could? The unchangeable.

I wouldn't have hemorrhoids. I wouldn't have Hubby seen me like he did, but I would have been terribly sad if he wasn't there during the process like he was. I wouldn't have pre-eclampsia. I would have changed hospitals at twenty-five weeks like I had wanted to. (But honestly, whos to say it wouldn't have happened exactly like this over there too?) I wouldn't have bled so much after. I wouldn't have a baby with jaundice. I wouldn't have to use a squirt bottle on my junk after I pee... and so on.

During my very painful contractions I kept telling myself, "Three days from now I'm going to feel like a total badass."

I was right.

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