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The story of Sage's birth

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100_2588.JPGOur first photo

Jason has been telling me since the beginning that I was going to have this baby the day of the Baltimore Comic Con and he actually meant the twenty-eighth (the day he planned to go). Still, technically he wasn't wrong since the convention lasted two days!

My Braxton Hicks had been coming daily and increasing in severity for most of the week, but I knew it wasn't labor. Labor wasn't crampy feeling. It was more like a pinch. A few times on Friday my Braxton Hicks felt like that, but it soon went away.

Saturday morning Jason and Heather took River to the Comic Con and I had the entire morning to myself which was just plain odd. I worked out, ate like a pig (I'd been so so hungry the last few days. Mostly for sweets! The same things happened before my labor with River!), finished my book (was determined to do so before the baby was born as it was a new release from the library and I knew I wouldn't be able to renew it come Friday when it was due), wrote a bit, and then watched a movie. On one of my many bathroom breaks I noticed that my stomach had dropped even more. I texted Jason and told him that maybe today was the day.

Jason and River returned, River asleep. I went into the bedroom to take my own nap. Glad I went and listened to my body's needs because that extra hour would be one of the few I was able to sleep for the next 24!

I took River to the pool before dinner and watched him swim. Then we finished watching the series, Avatar: The Last Airbender (yet another thing I wanted to do before the baby arrived!). Before going to bed I did some extra chores. I had this feeling I might go into labor and wanted everything done. I went to bed early (9:00ish)  having some Braxton Hicks. Normal, so I didn't think a thing of it. The "contractions" were waking me up now and then. I was dozing. By 11:30, when River came into our bed, I was too uncomfortable to sleep. I told Jason I thought maybe I was in labor but to sleep and I'd wake him when I was sure. I told River that tonight might be the night mommy and daddy went to the hospital.

I got up and timed my contractions, read about early labor, packed last minute things, put the hospital bag by the door, and wrote a letter to River on his dry erase board for Heather to read to him in the morning. Even though I was afraid I'd be wrong, I knew in my gut that it was time to have the baby. The contractions were there laying down or standing up. Though the space between them was longer when I lay down. If I squatted they were more intense and I could "make" one come up sooner. They were the same "pinch" type feeling of my last labor in my lower belly, but this time I had back labor too. So the ache radiated in my lower back and my front. I would spend my contractions rubbing my lower back--that helped. I felt tired, but also restless.

Twenty minutes after Jason lay down to sleep, I woke him up. I was sure and I wanted company. I made sure to eat something and then paced around. I was most comfortable walking during the contractions at that point. If I laid down and then got up the contraction was more painful. Painful enough to stop me in my tracks and rock bent over whatever piece of furniture I was closest to. I tried to move during the pains to keep the baby moving down. If I was going to hurt, I wanted it all over fast!


Every time I peed I would have what I called 'a toilet contraction' caused by the position. My goal was to try to keep moving and an empty bladder to speed everything along. I had Jason download a labor ap on his phone so we could time my contractions that way.

At 1:00 I asked Jason to call Heather. The three of us hung out until around 3:30 timing my contractions which were never consistent--ever. (same as with River) They hurt enough that I had to bend over the back of the sofa and breathe through them and rock. It was the pain level that made me feel like it the shit was going to hit the fan soon and never the timing of the contractions (a big reason we stayed home way too long with River was my inconsistent contractions!) I knew I had to get to the hospital to get the antibiotics for strep b. So I debated going...or not. Should I? Was it time? Yes? But...the timing on the contractions...

I said I'd wait to 4:00 to see if my contractions would ever meet the 6-1-1 rule (six or less minutes apart, lasting one minute in duration for one hour) and then call the midwife whether they did or not. But by 3:45 my gut said I needed to call the midwife. Jason called and we waited for her to return the call. She did rather quickly, remembering how I said I'd only gotten to the hospital with 55 minutes to spare when River was born. I explained how everything was going and she told me to come in--she would call the hospital for us.

There were no cars on the road. No traffic. We got stuck at the long light and I unbuckled my seat belt to turn around on my knees and have a contraction. At the hospital we got a great spot and walked into the dead quite birthing center. It was so nice to be admitted without being in excruciating agony or rushed by the speed of my labor. I felt relaxed and very happy. We went to the triage room, I changed, peed in the cup, and was put in the bed to have my contractions and baby's heartbeat monitored, answer some more questions and have my IV put in. When the nurse checked to see how far I was dilated, we were both thrilled to hear I was 7cm, fully effaced, and -1 station. I had been 7cm when I arrived at the hospital with River and went from 7 to 10 in a matter of 10 minutes.

That wasn't happening this time. Maybe 7 is the spot my body gets stuck for a bit. I chose to walk to labor and delivery over taking the wheelchair. I hate sitting during labor. Moving helps. I wanted to move. I turned down sitting on the bed. I'd have to get in now and then to be monitored, but could move around the rest of the time. I had my IV hooked to antibiotics. They did burn and make my arm ache because of the speed at which they had to be put in to make sure I got the full dose--but overall--not bad.

Soon that was done. The midwife checked me during a contraction which was very uncomfortable. I was 8cm. I wanted to get in the tub. I spent the worse part of my labor before the end in this massive spa-like tub filling with water as hot as I could get it. The sound of the water was soothing and the heat, but being in there actually sped up my labor. The contractions were bad enough that I was starting to dread them and fear them. I would grip the pole above my head and sorta squat/kneel and rock through the contractions. I liked to tap my fingers or rub my face during the pain. I started thinking of Bryan to help me get through them. I was chilly and thirsty, but all I could have was ice chips. I would make deep humming/moan sounds during the pain and that helped too. I felt in control still.

I knew I was entering transition when I started to need to hold Jason's hand and I couldn't think because of the pain of the contractions. Between then I felt hot and groggy like I was a little tipsy. So when the midwife and nurse came to check, I agreed that it was time to get out. I was being toweled off and dressed in the hospital robe but my mind was really locked into my body and the pain and when the next pain would come. I needed Jason's hand.

I was put into bed for more monitoring and to check my dilation. I was still 8cm and my water had yet to break (It broke at home with River). The midwife informed me that she would break my water at 9cm and get things really moving. The contractions were bad enough that I would grip the bed, moan, and toss my head side to side during them. I was calling myself crazy for not getting drugs and stupid to do this again and swearing never to have more children. The nurse wiped my face with a cool cloth that felt wonderful. The midwife check me again (it was horrible because she would only do it during contractions). I was 9cm and she went about breaking my water. That in-itself was no more painful than her checking my dilation. Bad news, merconium (baby poop) was in the fluid so I would not be able to hold the baby right away. Not that I really cared at that point. The pain was horrible.

Soon, everyone told me. Soon. I was feeling some pressure, than more pressure, and then I was pushing against my will. Mind you, on my back. I was just too tired at that point to want to do anything else. Pushing on my own was sickening. I felt like I was going to vomit. Afterwards Jason reminded me that I looked at him and said, "This is horrible." At this point the midwife said I was ready to go. They could already see the baby's head.
 
The room filled with people, plastic was laid down, the midwife put on this long sleeved robe. My legs were yanked up, stirrups up, butt slid down. "I can't" I protested and the contraction was barreling over me and I was pushing hard, moaning, grunting,yelling out "It's hurts!" and "Get her out of me!" I hardly had a break, a breathe and the midwife telling me to hold my legs (check) and keep my chin to my chest. Later Jason told me he grabbed my left leg and pushed my head down with his other hand. Everyone is yelling "Push!" and "She's right there!" Jason told me I could have her out with one more push. I wanted it to end and gave it everything I had.

I can't explain pushing to you. It's a horrible, odd feeling. With River pushing didn't hurt and took forty minutes with spaced out contractions. My body stopped pushing as soon as they put me on my back. But with Sage pushing felt uncontrollable--like when you vomit. It couldn't be stopped. I had no break between contractions. Crowning didn't hurt nearly as much as it did with River. There was the burn, but it didn't stop me. I pushed through it and her head was out. A pause and here Jason said the cord was around her neck and removed. It all flowed very quickly. Out came her shoulders and then the hot gushing release of the rest of her body. She was crying, gone, waving arms and legs in the warmer with people all around her. I was so so tired and shocked, trembling and moaning through the massage and everything else that followed.

Jason stayed with me the entire time which was such a comfort because at that point I just wanted to curl around my pain and be left alone. But the midwife had to deliver the placenta, I had to be massaged, and then there was the numbing needle and two little stitches. A superficial tear that didn't even need to be stitched but the midwife thought it would be more comfortable for me if she did it so I wouldn't pee into the cut. LOL
 
Finally, I could sit up and hold my baby. I put her on my breast right away and got her latched. She was so small! So much smaller than River and her head so round because she came out so quickly! I was so happy. So proud of Jason and I.

The birth was amazing. I didn't feel like I had a baby at all. I wasn't swollen. I could walk, sit, and get up and down by myself. I stopped using the ice packs the next day even though I had many left. I can't even compare it to how bad I hurt after River. It was so different this time. No hemorrhoids and I hadn't even shit myself during labor! Lucky me!

The worse pain was the cramps.. The midwife warned me that the cramping would be worse this time because my uterus isn't all strong from having River. It's true. The cramps were like contractions. Also, blood clots. I had huge gelatinous blood clots the day after. Not painful, just weird. Didn't have those with River. And the bleeding is so much lighter this time around. Also, my milk started coming in the next day which made Sage happy enough to sleep well the second night. 

When I saw the midwife twenty-four hours later, she complemented Jason and I. She said she had never had such an upbeat couple. We joked, laughed and spoke between contractions to the very end and kept such a positive attitude.

I feel blessed by this pregnancy, this labor, and my tiny peanut of a daughter.

100_2608.JPG

River's birth story

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Edited October 20, 2009.

I have been meaning to and forgetting to edit this story for nearly two years! Since it was written on lack of sleep, very late at night, when I was in a great deal of pain--the first version was disorganized and overrun with errors. I remember being afraid that time would quickly dull my memories of the moment and indeed it did. 

I will attempt to keep this new version as close to the old version as possible, while making it easier for a wider audience to read and understand. Originally it was meant only for close friends.

River's Birth Story--December 9, 2007

*Originally written as I sat on a foam dougnut, late at night, when I was very very short on sleep.

The story starts with me going to bed early and playfully telling Jason not to stay up all night playing World of Warcraft in case I went into labor. I didn't think this would happen. I had no inkling. In fact I was secretly convinced I would go over my due date and then some. 

A week earlier a high school friend of mine had delivered her son and three days earlier a local friend of mine, Ginny had also delivered her son, Josh, at the same hospital I was going to have my baby at. Only two days earlier I'd gone to meet him--holding him across my taunt, pregnant belly. I'd been having Brackston Hicks contraction off and on for the last couple of weeks.

Earlier in the day I had held the advent calendar out to Jason and said to close his eyes and touch somewhere on it. He touched the 10th. Close, but River had other ideas.

Jason came to bed around 2:00 and around 2:30 I woke with cramps which were in my front and back. I was still unsure if it was the real deal. I fought for sleep, got up for a bit, and went back to bed. The contractions were worse at this point and I would wake up from a light doze for each one. I got up early, ate breakfast, and resisted telling Jason the news as long as possible. I was waiting for that urge to empty my bowls or my bloody show.

I would have been happy to poop. More than happy to poop. I was on iron supplements my entire last semester and horribly constipated. 

I wanted something to convince me this was happening. My contractions had felt just like this on Friday, but I stopped after a few hours.  So I tried to poop but just ended up having my show. I told Jason, "This is really happening. Let's take care of things at the LAN (the business my husband and I once owned/ran) and do laundry, NOW"

And that is what we did. I was moving around cleaning at the LAN. At the laundry mat we timed the contractions which were hardly consistent AT ALL. I started to get more uncomfortable there and had to breath through the contractions. I was in the rush to get home at this point and had Jason help me to the car and then go back in and grab our laundry. I remember that the urge to get home was sudden and overpowering. I just knew it was time to be home as soon as possible which was a complete 180 to how I had been earlier in the day. 

Back at home I got on my hands and knees for the pain. I was hungry and only wanted pasta with sausage. So Jason cooked as my contractions increased in intensity. I did manage to eat, pausing between each contraction to breath and sometimes getting up to lean over the kitchen counter to take some of the pressure off my back. I tried to limit my serving of food, but instead I pigged out! I ate two entire heaping bowls stopping to breath through my contractions the entire time. In hindsight I was amazingly clear-headed and calm. I must have been listening to my body. It needed those carbs and proteins for the task ahead. I must have know I wouldn't be one of those laboring moms who throw up. 

After this I was pretty restless. I got down on all fours in the living room because that felt more comfortable. At one point, I crawled to the bedroom and leaned over pillows. I'd get up to pace, hop of my yoga ball, or lay down in child's pose. Nothing quite relieved the discomfort anymore. It was edging into pain. My mind turned inward focusing on my body and the sensations. 

I don't know why, in hindsight, we did not take into consideration that time that had passed since my labor started. If we had, we might have packed up and left for the hospital right then. I wasn't worried. I wasn't in a rush. I was still in a bit of shock that this was it and it was happening. Time had begun to loose hold over me. I just was doing, not really thinking as I normally would.

At one point the contractions rolled one after another and I felt my first tickle of concern. Worried but still sorta convinced that this wasn't going to happen this soon. We debated calling the birthing center. I did There was doubt in my voice. "I'm...in labor?"

The nurse on call said I could come in if I wanted, but it would be better just to keep hydrated or try a warm bath for pain. Jason went to run a bath and I yelled "I don't want a bath! Eat your food. Clean up. JASON COME HERE. IT HURTS! IT HURTS! Eat your food. Jason I want a bath now!"

In the bathroom I was on the rug rocking on all fours in the nude as the tub filled. Jason helped me in. The heat really did help and I felt more in control of my contractions. I had 2 or 3 and on the final one I felt a pop like my kooch was a campaign bottle and the cork had just flown across the room. It was a strange sensation. The pop seemed to echo through my body up onto the back on my tongue. It couldn't believe Jason hadn't heard it too. Hadn't felt it shake the walls. 

This pop was followed by a gush of liquid. I shot out of the water convinced I would kill my baby because my water broke and I was in the tub. Jason was fluttering around like a trapped bird. Wanting to help me as I demanded he call the birthing center and pack out stuff. NOW RIGHT NOW.

I gushed fluid all over the floor, squatted over the toilet and had more bloody show that ran down the outside of the bowl like a string of snot. I yelled for Jason to get me paper towels but not to come in because he might freak out. I managed to get my underwear on and a pad. I hobbled to the bedroom and between contractions, I dressed myself very very slowly. 
I suspect I was edging into transition even then because everything was foggy. I can only compare it to being high or drunk. It felt like a large chunk of my brain was not working correctly. 

Jason was getting things ready, rushing around and coming back to me at my demands for items and to hear my reminders. The contractions killed. KILLED. So much so that I couldn't wait for Jason. I climbed  down the stairs alone which seemed an act of super human will. I tried to breath through the pain. I put on my shoes between each contraction. 

We got in the car and it was like torture. I don't know why I didn't go in the backseat so I could change positions. As I said, I couldn't think right. The contractions were more intense sitting up and coming about every 2 minutes. On the highway I started moaning, yelling, cursing, pounding the arm rest, howling at the ceiling. That isn't how I thought it would be. I didn't think I'd be a screamer. I thought all my yoga training would allow me to breath through the pain or at least, remain calm. I was perfectly calm between contractions. I could feel them starting and give warning, "Here it goes again!". But while a contraction raged it felt like I was being tortured at this intense, pinnacle of agony. That in those few brief moments of pain, I lost my mind. I went crazy with it. So I yelled. 

I tried to relax and Jason said some encouraging things and gave me his hand. There was freezing rain, so sometimes he couldn't hold my hand. Eventually he gave up and said "Scream if you have to" and I begged him to talk me through them. If it was okay to scream, I might never stop.

"You can do this. This is getting us River" and I was nodding and gulping "I know. I know. Okay. I know" We got stuck behind a plow and at first I cautioned him to go slow, but then I was  screaming "PASS THE PLOW. GET ME TO THE HOSPITAL" It was all getting worse so fast. 

I was whining and whimpering. We passed the plow. At one point Jason said "This too shall pass" and I sorta laughed and snapped "You shut up. Don't try to be poetic with a woman in labor!"

He called people as he drove and at one point I was yelling "Get off the phone!" because I didn't want people to hear me scream. I called my family between contractions. I didn't want to and I didn't want him on the phone. 

At the hospital I managed to give Jason directions to the entrance (He'd never seen it). I staggered out of the car and tried to compose myself for the people smoking outside and staring at me. I walked inside in a daze, terrified I would scream and carry on right there in the ER waiting room. It took an immense amount of will to move and hold in my pain. At this point I felt so out of it. I doubt I was fooling anyone. I asked someone if I could have a wheel chair. I knew I won't be able to walk, that my legs might fold under me during the next contraction. 

Jason got me in a wheel chair. We were at an impasse. Should he leave me to moan there alone or go to park the car? Just then Mike (Ginny's husband) walked in. Ginny was about to check out. Mike wheeled me into the elevator where I had a contraction and he asked me "Do you need to hold my hand?" and I said " Yes, please". I am not a touchy person but at that moment--my senses swimming, my mind changed by the pain, I needed to latch onto someone warm--to feel like I was still in reality. I tried to swallow my pain and be silent. I was so embarrassed to carry on in front of others. I think Mike was an angel sent to save me. I was that grateful.

At the nurses station I got the 3rd degree. Meanwhile, I was so out of it I wasn't seeing clearly. Mike is still there? Gone? I have no idea. I don't care. I just want someone to help me and care for me.

"Can you stand up? Are you sure your water broke?" and everyone sounds doubtful and annoyed like I am a big fucking baby at 3cm and I have no reason to be so out of it and whimpering.

I managed to stand leaning at an angle. I was writhing. "I think my water broke. I feel gushes of fluid." I basically felt like I pissed myself twice over.

"Here pee in this cup. There is the bathroom" In the bathroom I was confronted with a red pad and a toilet that quickly blushed up with blood. I tried to pee. I did. A contraction ripped through me and I was in a panic alone in the bathroom with a cup filled with bloody fluid, clutching at the wall, groaning and trying not to scream. I staggered out. "I can't pee. Someone help me." I say it to the wall. To the air. Later Jason said he found me there, dazed and frightened in hall. He took me into a room. I don't remember any of this. I was in transition. I functioned from one direction to another like a puppet. 

I was told to leave out my pad for examination, given a belly band to hold the fetal monitors in place and a robe. I was only too happy to remove my clothing. Jason helped me into the band and gown. I went to the bed, squatted  backwards on it and whined for the nurses, someone to show up and help me. Jason went in and out of the room. Finally the nurse came in and put on the monitors. After each horrible contraction, I checked out the spiked mountains and commented  "Oh, that was a good one" I was now yanking on the mattress and/or gnawing on the sheet. The nurse asked me if I thought I wanted pain relief. They will put in an IV just in case. I thought they weren't supposed to tempt me and but I think she felt bad. She was the first person to take my labor seriously. Maybe she was thinking, this woman has to be far along

I debated pain relief. I didn't want to wuss out. My friends had managed it earlier in the week after all. I decided to wait until I saw how dilated I was. If this was 3cm, I was getting an epidural. Fuck,  natural birth. I felt like dying.

The midwife came in and was not amused by my carrying on. I was apologizing for being cowardly. She checked me and was amazed "You are 6, almost 7 cm dilated and 100% effaced. I can feel your baby's head. You are a quick one"

Finally, I had earned some respect! They began taking me seriously! The midwife talked about how she will have to tell the nurse on call how far I am because when I called I was so polite and calm that they all assumed my labor had just started. 

Having a high pain tolerance is not advantageous! If I had screamed and whined and carried on, I would have been in the hospital much earlier!

Things started getting wheeled in. I was now the center of attention. I had to answer all these questions and I was completely confused as to why they were bothering me when I was obviously in agony. Sign this. When did you water break? When is you birthday? I wanted them to leave me alone.

Everyone left at one point and I started bearing down and gurgling horribly. I would explain it to the midwife as feeling as if my ass had to vomit. It was out of my control and such a horrible feeling. Like I was trying to take the hugest dump and it was beyond my control. Basically like all my organs wanted to shoot out my bottom. I was kneeling again at this point. That position felt best to me, most natural. It was in the this positon that my body pushed for me. The midwife would have me move and because I was in pain and not thinking clearly, I would listen. On my side/back my body would NOT push for me. It would all be on me and take much longer than I think it would have if I had remained upright. 

I yelled for Jason to get help because I was pushing against my control and had read that it was bad bad bad to push when I was not fully dilated. I got there what... ten minutes ago? No way was it time to push!

The midwife came in, annoyed, and simply said "Push if you want to." I was horrified. She took pity of me  and checked me. "Wow you move very fast! You are one of those women that has to come back here and have more babies."

"No!"

"Next time you have to come to us right away"

"No, next time!"

"You have fully dilated and the babies head is at zero station" 

Yes, all that in about ten minutes!

She convinced me to do something she reserved mainly for second mothers to slow down their labor: she had me lay on my side. My knees were yanked up to my ears, my chin pushed into my chest. It was an uncomfortable, unnatural position. If I had been in my right mind, I would have refused it. I would have stayed in the position I returned to time and time again--my knees.

The clock was my focal point. It was 5:30 and I started pushing for real. I called the shots. In sad resignation I'd say, "Ok. Here is a contraction. Let's do this." I pushed in 3s. My third push was always weak because I was out of air and tired. I panted at the ceiling. I twitched because I was in transition. My hands waved around my face. Jason was on my left. He held my hand, my leg, at one point I gently grabbed the hair at the back of his neck, at another I wrung his shirt in my fist. I was told not to yell and to put that energy into the push. The midwife's fingers were in me, stretching. The nurse guessed 6:00 because they could see the head at each push. I just needed to get it under my pelvic bone. I touched the head at one point because the midwife asked if I wanted to. "Ew," I said. "It's squishy" I begged for water and managed sips. Jason wiped the sweat off my face. 
 
It seemed to take forever. It seemed to pass in a instant.

Predator had been playing on the TV the entire time because I was delivering in the examination room. They had no time to put me in a real delivery room.  In my foggy state of mind, I heard everyone commenting on the movie and talking admist themselves. The nurse suggested they should turn it off, doubting I want my baby born while that movie was on. They laughed. 

My mind ran a little commentary during all this. Is the midwife wiping my butt? Yes. Now they are all commenting on my hemorrhoid. Amusing. Is that me moaning? Silly, girl. At one point I heard the midwife say, "Don't be concern Dad. That's isn't the baby's blood. That's mom's blood." I thought, is that supposed to comfort him? 

I functioned within a ball of pain and effort inside while I was also outside myself at the same time. It was the oddest sensation. In hindsight, I recall that pushing did not hurt in the same way as contractions. Pushing was awkward and strange and took a lot of effort but the contractions did not hurt while I pushed. 

At one point, I started wussing out. "I can't do this"

"It's too late to say that." The midwife explained. "You're doing it"

At one horrible point the midwife asked me to turn to another side. It was agony. Turning with the baby's head right there and being so tired was beyond me. I think I screamed. I couldn't drop my legs either because that hurt. They thought my legs would cramp, but go Yoga and my very open, very flexible hips! It hurt more to put them down than to keep them up. I ended up flat on my back.

Again I said I couldn't do this and again was told it's too late and I was doing it!

The nurse was my angel. She rubbed my hand, my back, and apologized each time she had to pull up my belly to listen for the baby's heartbeat. 

Long ago my robe came off and the belly band was cut away. I was completely naked.   I prefered it that way, actually asking, "Can I take off the robe?"

The midwife started telling me I should feel burning. No burn. She was a liar. I thought they all were liars. Telling me it was almost over to keep me going.

I trusted Jason. When he said he could see the head I believed him. He was in awe. I could hear it in his voice. He raved about all the hair, the brown hair. He didn't sound disgusted or faint. He sounded enthralled. 

Then I felt he burn and I just screamed, gurgled, yelled, panted at the ceiling, and screamed some more. It was worse than all the contractions. It felt like my clit (Oh my, did I just write about my clit on the internet?!) was going to rip in half. The midwife's hands were supporting me down there, surrounding my baby's head.

The pain was too much. I couldn't push anymore. I held the baby in and waited. I knew I needed to finish it the next push or I would just die. I was caught between contractions with the baby's head crowned. I lied my way through a contraction and waited more--getting myself ready for the pain.

There it was, a contraction. I pushed. I pushed so hard--past the point of exhaustion. I didn't want to look or feel. I wanted it done, damn it! His head was out and then the midwife pulled him and his shoulders moved out of me. I was horrified by the sensation and making noises like I was drowning. Then relief. It was over.

There he was  hanging over the midwife's hand, crying, and then on my chest, warm and slick and smelling like fresh meat. (that is seriously what he smelled like to me). Crying and crying--a wide open mouth by my cheek  and being suctioned. I was numb. Numb. I held him there, dazed. My main emotion was relief that the pain was over. The cord was cut. The placenta wasn't coming out. I gave the baby to Jason who got pooed on.

I had to squat. I did and out plopped the placenta right into a bowl. Down again and the worse of the worse: the massage. The torture. I was moaning as my belly was  kneaded. I begged the nurse to stop hurting me, please. Just let me bleed. Two shots to my thigh to get my uterus to contract. Jason later told me that blood was spraying out of me. Because of my anemia my bleeding took longer to stop and my uterus would not remain hard and I would begin to bleed again. I kept having to tell the nurse, "I'm bleeding again" and the massage would begin. Imagine someone pressing hard on a open wound. Yes, it hurt so bad.

The midwife rubbed gauze down there: killed!  I had 3 tears and she numbed me up with a needle and went to stitch two. My first stitches ever and they are going on my vagina... Who would have thought..

I only felt the very last stitches like a little pinch. Bleeding again, more massage. A different nurse triedan IV, no go. The other arm, no go. Another nurse came in and we get River to nurse. They were going to put me on pitocn but River helps me stop my bleeding by nursing. My uterus finally stayed hard and my bleeding stopped. 

Now I did cry. I had my baby. For the first time I could marvel at him. My little boy!

After labor I was helped to dress and walked down the hall pushing River in the bassinet. It is amazing to me that I could walk after all that. He had been born so quickly we didn't have the camera or any of our stuff with us. I immediately got into the shower, but could only bathe from the belly up. My belly was all round still and sagging. I dripped blood all over the floor, all over the toilet, all over my feet. Jason had to come help me clean up. 

A full day I wore the hospital's mesh panties, a huge pad and over that a very bulky ice pack smothered in gel! My parts were very very sore and very very swollen after labor. Grotesquely swollen. Also, I bled...a lot. The hospital bed was covered in an absorbent pad to bleed onto when the pad leaks. And it did leak. Nothing could prepare me for the after pains--the cramps, the swollen tissue, the enraged, mega hemorrhoids. 

Peeing was a feat. I had no problem peeing, but squatting over the toilet...having to spray water instead of wipe. It was...unique.

The next day I got put in the tub to relieve some swelling. That's how bad I was deformed down there. It would take weeks for me to sit down comfortably.

The hospital staff was wonderful. I got dried off by a nurse after my bath and it was so tender and sweet I could have cried. Everyone was nice down to the guy that delivered my trays. My whole body had been poked, seen, touched by so many people. My modesty had fled and I felt so blessed for the women who worked with me during and after my son's birth. Especially that nurse who helped me out of the tub, held those silly mesh panties open for me to put my feet into and pulled them up my body. Dressed me like I was a little girl and then put her arm around me and said, "Usually, I don't get to work the maternity ward. I love it. I love working with you new mothers." I think I could have kissed her and cried onto her shoulder. I was so sore and so tired and she was so gentle. 

I should mention that post labor hunger was extreme. I ate, standing up, food that had been sitting out for two hours and then I drank gallons of ice water. 

It was an amazing experience. I just wish I had gotten to the hospital a bit earlier so things weren't so hectic!

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the birth story category.

Adventures in potty training is the previous category.

breastfeeding is the next category.

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