Labor and Delivery.
Bringing it back to when there were only two of us, but rrrright before we became three... Coming full circle here folks, last week was about my pregnancy story [clickski to readski], this week is about the labor and delivery of our tiny human child. Here goes.
The doer and the firefighter made a baby.
A beautiful, gray eyed- color tbd [this is still accurate, though they may be more brownish than before]- baby girl. She arrived after 12 hours of unmedicated, aside from gosh awful Pitocin, laboring, and 4 hours of labor with a glorious epidural, aka floating on the clouds. I literally had EVERY intention of going unmedicated for the entirety of ma labe, however, when the nurse came in during contraction number 9 million with zero seconds of rest, I caved. She got me, right square in the eyeball. Labor with Pitocin is. no. joke. As I'm sure labor without is. no. joke..
Since forever, I had always envisioned myself going through labor unmedicated. I do not know why, I just thought that since females, humans and animals alike, have always done it that way, why couldn’t I, it’s a mothers powaaaa. I even watched videos of animals giving birth to mentally prepare myself.
See, I was so ready. Fast forward to April 6th, when I was a 6 day overbaked preggo momma [remember, due date was April Fools]. I had just walked 5.5 miles on the bootimus San Antonio Riverwalk with my parentals, who were babysitting me while the hubby was at work, and i guessssss my water must have broken and i just thought, “oh it must be a leak”. To my defense, a few weeks prior I had felt a “leak” and asked my doctor to check and she said all looked good. I was clueless, my mom kept asking if I felt any contractions or if we needed to go to the hospital. I felt little cramps, but nothing that seemed alarming. Ya girl was a dumbo.
[Ya see, in my head, we had this whole labor thing planned out. We had the bouncy ball and the lavender scented diffuser thingy, and all the bells and whistles that would bring me blissfully to having contractions 2 minutes apart at home, theeeeen heading to the hospital so that I wouldn’t be pressured into being medicated until half the hard part was done. So I really didn’t want my waters to have broken because it was not in the “plan”, especially while hubby was working. Well boys and gals, God just had his own plan with little Ellie.]
Next Day,24 hours later, when hubby was home, after doing some goggling, we found it in our best interest to go into the hospital juuuust in case. [Also, when he called labor & delivery, based on the nurses tone of voice, I was el stupido, in the nicest way possible.] After showering up, and freshening the nether regions(which is unnecessary, hindsight is 20/20), we headed to the hospital with our bags, which stayed in the car because we were totally going to be sent home<insert eyeroll emoji> packed with all sorts of unnecessary things that we did not need, including a dress from pre pregnancy that I thought I would be able to fit into, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Note: we were still clueless if my water had broken at this point, or if I just peed a little on myself the day before, honestly both could have been very logical answers. Were we admitted, or sent home?! Read on [I want you to envision me over dramatically curtsy waving you guys through to the next part here. Close your eyes and do that now please. You didn't do it. COME ONNNNNN]
Dun Dun Dun
After finishing up with signing our life away, we were escorted into triage, where they weighed the whale like bod that encompassed me, and did all the work ups on my 6 day past DDay self.
As I was laying on the bed, the nurse said it was time to test the status of my waterzzzz. One swab and 10 minutes later, she let us know that we would indeed NOt be leaving the hospital, and that we would need to gatha our belongas, and make ourselves comfortable. That’s easy for her to say, she’s not about to endure what the momma in the next curtain over was going through (she was evidently very far into her labor process as we were hearing the ohhhhewwwwwooowwwww voice sequence…her babe was readyyyy).
But I don’t wannaaaaaa
Now, I’m obviously no expert, but I was pretty sure that when your waters break, contractions SHOULD naturally follow, all of my googling and class attending told me so, and now the poor nurse had to deal with the question vom that ensued. The jist of my questioning was basically this:
[What did this mean for my labor and is there any way that I could NOT be put on Pitocin, aka any chance that i’d naturally start having contractions in the next few hours… etc etc etc. I kinda knew the answer to the Pitocin question, but I was in denial, so I had to ask. She was super awesome and took the time to listen to me and my nutty questions, even when she said we seemed “Austin-y”, based on our “natural” wishes. I would type LOL, but it was more of a HA.HA.HE, super uncomfortable type of giggle when she said that.]
Our birth plan consisted of the following: No Pain Medication, wireless monitoring so I could be mobile, mommy guided push positions, skin to skin after delivery, Daddy to cut the cord, breastfeed
[ Aren’t I cute? Hindsight, this is hilarious. Carry on.]
Insert the cattle herding and a series of fails
We were headed to our delivery room around 7pm. I was immediately started on Pitocin after the doctor explained what would happen. We read the birth plan to our nurse, and she wrote everything down on the cute little whiteboard in front of my face. She funny.
We tried to do the whole wireless monitoring thing, but of course, it was malfunctioning. Not that it mattered since I had to be hooked up to an IV and contraction maker happener drugs, so me being “wireless” was a long shot already.Since Pitocin started out slow, I started contracting slowly, which was progress since my body had at that point, chosen to barely contract or dilate at all. Recovery was beautiful and long and I felt like a champ. Jeff coached me through my breathing as the contractions progressed and got worse- I swear I wouldn’t have made it as long as I did without an epi if it weren’t for him. He massaged me when I wanted and backed off with a smile when I became a monster and told him to stop. You know things are painful when you request to NOT be massaged. Nurse lady would come in every hour or so and ask what my pain level was, and to be honest, I had no idea how to answer that thing (finally Jeff clued me in that a 10 would be like dying). Nonetheless, I’m pretty sure she upped my pitocin after every response. you cool? we cool? nah. we not cool.
[Fast Forward through the night, and holy mother mary and moofafa , contractions continued to grow and come on quicker with basically nada recovery. At around 7 am, after a night of exactly zero hours of sleep, and about the same time my parents got there with a bouquet of blue and pink balloons since we were gender clueless (this will be important later), the nurse came in. I was having a big bad stinky contraction, dang her, and she asked where my pain level was… who does that, A, and B, obviously I’m at a 10 lady, do ya see the face?! In the nicest way possible, while gritting my teeth and somehow keeping my composure so I didn’t explode like a volcano, I responded with the famous last words ” is it too late to get an epiduraaaaaaaaaaaaaaal?!?!??!!!!!”. Anddddd to my surprise, she responded with “its never too late” all casual like [insert grawr face].]
Almost immediately, thank tha lord, the man with the drugs came in. It was almost like he knew. He had a sixth sense. Our nurse told him that I was concerned about getting an epidural and I really wanted to have a drug free labor. He asked me why. I told him. He basically said I could choose to do this birth thing miserably, or I could be a normal person, and blissfully bring our baby human into this world. He was very convincing at the moment and I totally forgot about all of my labor desires. I caved and agreed to the drugs.
In Comes the Doctor, In Comes the Nurse, In Comes the Lady with the Alligator PurseThe. doc brought in his fancy needle and told Jeff to sit on the other side of the room, preeeetty sure it was so that he didn’t squirm therefore making me squirm and causing paralyzation, so thanks doc.
Since another contraction was coming on literally as I was getting into position to have a 9 cm needle injected into my spine, the nurse lady had me grab ahold of her and told me not to move- easy for her to say. I didn’t question any bit of the placement of my head as it was nestled perfectly in between her boobs. I do believe I might have squeezed one of her vertebrae out of place in my attempts at not moving, shawwwy.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1… NO MORE PAIN. It was literally glorious. They even inserted a catheter thingy without me realizing it- bowlinnnnn-, which made me question all of my choices going into this whole labor sitch. The catheter in itself would be comparable to walking into a chocolate store that sold calorie free chocolate. THAT GOOD. Now I didn’t have to get up and pee every 10 minutes. Magical. Beautiful. Happiness.
[From then on, labor was all groovy. Until I realized it had only been two hours since I had entered epidural heaven, and I was already ready to push. My thinking of course was that I could have totally made it another two hours!!!!! But c’est la vie.]
Push It, Push It Real Hord…
Here’s the problem with pushing when you have an epidural pumping epidural things into your body… you can’t. The delivery doctor (who was on call for my doctor, again, c’est la vie) asked if I worked out. I said, “well I did before I got preggo, and slackerishly now”, and she replied “oh, well this should be fast since you’re fit”. Jokes on you lady.
I felt like the doc and the nurse (now a new nurse who I liked much better) were the surfer guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Do more, now do less, over and over again.
I’m just over here trying not to poo on myself, not that I could actually control any part of what was happening down there since I was completely numb(for the record, Jeff told me I successfully did not poop on myself). I literally had to be taken off of my epidural because whatever epi doctor man gave me was too good and made me incapable of doing what the good Lord intended, getting this baby out.
Almost two hours later, when I could finally feel my vahooha and understand the pushing sensation I was trying to replicate (also after the doc threatened to use the vacuum thingy and said that she wasn’t going to suit up until I made progress- she was scary, but also adorable), I was able to push out our beautiful, 7 lb 19.5 inch, cone headed baby lady… I immediately exclaimed in the middle of ugly crying, “is she okay, what’s wrong with her head?!?!”
And I couldn’t comprehend that I could touch her when she was placed on my tummy. So much for immediate skin to skin. My brain must have fluttered away for at least 5 minutes after she was born. It was probably the giant placenta that they pulled out of me that I was mesmerized by, or the lack of oxygen going to my brain after the last push. Thank goodness Jeff was there to see our Ellie come out and coach me through functioning again.
Little Tiny Baby Humans
Making a littl’n is an amazing feat, no matter how you look at it. A human baby that started as a tiny speck, a thought really, and then continues to grow into a huge, semi functioning being (fully functioning with our help, obvi) that comes out of you. I applaud all of us women who go through it every day, whichever way you choose to make it happen, or however the cookie crumbles once it’s go time.
To be completely transparent, I had feelings of regret afterwards. Jeff, earning brownie points as per usual, talked sense into me about how proud he was, and it didn’t matter if I chose to get an epidural, she was here, she was healthy, and she was beautiful. So boomshackalaka. Be proud.
Up Up and Away
Now for the balloons [remember, I told you to remember]. We really paid no attention to the balloons. A whole 24 hours, and a room transition passed until we noticed the balloons. They were now perfectly perfect. Somehow, when we looked at them the next morning, with Ellie sleeping next to us in her little bassinet thingy, all of the blue balloons had lost enough helium that they deflated to the ground (pinky promise, nobody tampered with them). The pink ones stayed nice and perky, the opposite of what my tatas shall do once our little lady is done with them.
CRAY ZEE. [Picture or it didn’t happen.]