Thursday, September 17, 2009

How I Became a Mommy Again - Part 1

As the end of August neared I was beginning to feel like I might be pregnant until apes ruled the planet or Jesus came back. My back ached, my feet were swelling, and my energy levels were pretty much caput. It didn’t help that everyone around me, including the doctor, was incredulous that I hadn’t gone into labor early.

There was also that one false start: about a week and a half before the baby’s estimated arrival date, I was having regular contractions coupled with lots of pressure and was told to go to the hospital to be checked. I really didn’t think I was in labor, but the books (and my mom) all say it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even though my contractions continued at regular intervals during the three hours that I spent in the hospital, my cervix stubbornly stayed at 2cm dilated. I had the pleasure of being “that” person who goes into the hospital pregnant and leaves with the baby still snuggle swimming around in gobs of amniotic fluid.

At any rate, August 29th came and went, and I was still feeling some anxiety about recognizing real labor (which wasn’t helped by the events in the previous paragraph). Three days later, on September 1st, I arrived at the doctor’s office for what I desperately hoped to be my last OB appointment. As it turns out, he had scheduled me to have my water broken at the hospital on the 3rd: due to the size of my first baby and the ensuing difficult delivery, the doctor felt that it was unwise to persist in being pregnant for much longer. One way or the other, that baby was coming out in the next two days. I foolishly thought that being scheduled for induction would take the pressure off of me and that I could put away that annoying stopwatch.

That evening it was business as usual. I went to bed and had to get up around 2am to go to the bathroom. Nothing out of the ordinary. Then the contractions started. They were only coming every twenty minutes or so, but they were bad enough that I couldn’t get back to sleep. I propped myself up on the couch and dozed between them. After a few hours the sun came up and with it up came the kids. We had breakfast; they made a mess; I did a lot of sitting around trying to keep my eyes open.

Things were becoming pretty darn uncomfortable down there, but still the contractions persisted in being punctual every twenty minutes. Owing to the fact that I had been experiencing uncomfortable contractions for weeks at this point, I felt less than benevolent toward my current condition. I was sick of pointless pain that didn’t seem to be accomplishing anything. “Well,” I thought to myself, “the nurses make you walk to bring on labor in the hospital, so I may as well get off my butt and see if I can’t make this thing happen.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: why, oh why, do women look forward to going into labor? Especially those of us who have done it before. It hurts! But somehow we forget the caliber of ouchiness that can be reached and we go on our merry way, walking, and doing housework, eating spicy food, and any number of other things to get to that blessed place of mind-numbing pain faster. Even now as I type this and cradle my new little treasure I think, “is it really all that bad?”


TMCPhoto said...

I didn't have to go into labour I was scheduled for a C-section due to complications. I have to say that I don't think I missed out. I also have to say having delivery scheduled didn't really take the pressure off, I was a nervous wreck for two days and scared stiff.

I've heard it said that our memories dull the pain in order for us to continue to make babies and go through the pain again. In the end it's the amazing little person and that huge rush of love we feel towards him or her that dulls the pain.

fawndear said...

Labor pains? What's that? Oh yeah, they also say that you loose brain cells during pregnancy. Which would account for the fleeting memory of those nasty conctractions.
Your little angel is just begging to be snuggled! She is sooooo cute.