Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
In my pain-beclouded state of mind all of the shouting seemed a bit panicky. Hello! People deliver babies in rice fields, in their bathrooms, and on the side of the highway! Of course, I’m sure, people die in rice fields all of the time giving birth. Sometimes a completely natural thing can be rife with complications and lots of blood as we found out during my first delivery. In hindsight it is likely that the poor nurses had taken a peek at my chart; plus they couldn’t track my contractions or the baby’s heart rate since the monitor was no longer attached to my bulging belly.
Even though I wasn’t bearing down I could feel my body forcing my tiny infant down the birth canal. The delivery room began to fill with people and doctors who had come to stand by in case my own doctor didn’t make it in time. As they walked through the door they were met with a not-so-flattering view of my behind stuck up in the air; my husband claims that every single one of them visibly started at the unexpected view. At that point I didn’t care what I looked like, or what I was exposing everyone to. These people are used to blood and guts, and I’m sure they’ve seen scarier things. At least I hope so.
I distinctly remember trying my darndest to be polite as I shouted at that I had to push at anyone who dared to tell me not to. I really had no intention or desire to be one of those raving women who are presented an Oscar upon discharge for “Outstanding Screamer of the Month.” But there is a limit to how much of that sort of hold-your-legs-together-and-don’t-push nonsense a woman in labor can take. (Please note that I did nothing that could be called screaming, and I even apologized to the nurse afterward.)
Everything seemed a blur. When my water broke I was coherent enough to double-check that it was clear. I was aware of pain, aware of the baby’s knees and elbows, and I remember a doctor with a strange sort of mustache briefly appearing in my field of vision and trying to introduce himself. And then the voice of my very own wonderful doctor was heard in the room. I’m pretty sure a collective joyous shout was raised heavenward by everyone except me: he had made the mistake of telling me not to push as he rushed in the door. Really, that was just too much, and for the last time I whined that I must be allowed to push- I was going to push, and that was just it, the final word, I’m sorry but I’m going to push!
He recanted and gave me the go-ahead and I went ahead and gave it all I had. The baby came out so fast that I’m positive she would have flown clear across the room had she not still been attached to my insides. The baby whom I had been so sure would come out a rugged little boy turned out to be a lovely little lady. It was 4:01pm, a mere fifty minutes since I had checked into the hospital, and only fifteen minutes after Daddy had arrived.
Now that she’s here it seems like she’s always been a part of our lives, and I couldn’t love her more if I tried.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The first question that I remember being asked when I checked into the hospital was, “do you want an epidural?” My wishy-washy response (which was something like a whiny I-don’t-know) turned into a slightly more positive refusal when I realized how quickly my labor was progressing. I really wanted to try it sans drugs, and, in between contractions, it didn’t seem like such a bad idea.
Daddy arrived at the hospital about half an hour after I checked in. By then I was already nine centimeters dilated and the pain from my back labor was quickly approaching the unbearable zone. Great was Sean’s agitation and incredulity at the fact that there was no catheter pushing mind-soothing juices through my spine; greater still did it become when I needed to be unhooked from the monitors in order to go to the bathroom and the floor between the bed and the bathroom door seemed to stretch on in endless miles of pain and suffering for those destined to walk them.
Well, I made it to the bathroom. I made it back to the bed. I got my hands on the bed. Somehow I even managed to get my knees on the bed. And then I was hit with what I now know to be absolute, this-is-the-end, hello-I’m-having-this-baby-now contractions. It was right about here that I blurted something like “I want drugs” (who said that?). Yes, I am ashamed to say that those very words popped right out of my mouth. It was a good thing that deep down I didn’t really want them because it was too late anyway; it was probably already too late when I had walked in the door. Something else I found out about myself at this point- my instincts kick in and I have no sense of decorum or self-respect whilst in the throes of labor.
In other words, I got stuck on my hands and knees. No, I wasn’t going to lie down, and now that you mention it I think I may just start to push. Just as I had gotten into bed the chief resident had come to check on my progress. She couldn’t convince me to lie down either, so she just peeked around my back end and said, “Oh, she’s full! There’s the head!” Generally when the head crowns that means the time to push has come, but since the doctor was still a mile or two down the road the order not to push was being given on all sides and I felt the nurse place her hand against the baby’s head.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
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