My due date was originally 8/5/13 but Parker had other ideas.
Around 1:30am on 7/22/13 my water broke. I was up watching TV until about 11:30 so I had only gotten 2 hours of sleep. When I awoke to an odd trickling feeling I laid still, seeing if it would pass. “Ok, am I peeing? WTF is going on down there? Big gush of discharge maybe? Why does it keep starting and stopping? Why is it so warm? Ugh is my water breaking? ::liquid keeps squirting out intermittently:: Yep”.
I turned to my husband and shook his shoulder until he woke up. “Hubby, HUBBY, my water broke, at least I’m pretty sure, can you get me a towel?” We laid awake for a little talking, wondering what we should do now. Besides the water faucet between my legs, nothing else was happening. I decided I couldn’t sleep and would hang out, as did my husband. For a little while we watched some TV and I had him assemble the pack n play and get our bedroom ready for baby. Around 3-4am we got bored of waiting and decided to try to sleep. I got impatient and told him we should leave for the hospital by 6:30.
We stopped at McDonald’s on the way there so I could get some food. I knew as soon as I got to the hospital I would be starved so I wanted to fill up before hand. We parked at the top of the parking garage and made our way to L&D. We had been on a maternity tour within the past week or so so we knew right where to go. The woman at the check in window asked what I needed. I told her I was pretty sure my water broke. She brought me around to triage to determine if this was the case.
Once I got a bed my contractions started kicking in. Not terribly regular, but they did hurt quite a bit. I was in triage for about 2 hours or so before they determined that my water had in fact broken and I could get a room in L&D. Yippie!
I was paired with an old school nurse named Shelly, who lamented that she normally was not an L&D nurse despite loving it, but was usually assigned to a different area of post partum care. She said she might get taken away from me, but hoped not. Around this time my pain became terrible and I would throw up with some of my harder contractions. Suddenly that McDonald’s breakfast was not a good idea. Shelly would force me to get out of bed and go pee every hour or 2. I hated it. Getting out of bed, walking to the bathroom, and peeing was just excruciating.
At some point a doctor came to check me and advise that I start pitocin to regulate my contractions. I was only 2cm and my water had been broken 9 hours or so. I was starting to find contractions simply unbearable and could do nothing but whine and writhe through them. Shelly would yell at me to breathe through them but it did no good. If I couldn’t handle natural labor, how in the world could I handle pitocin labor? I asked for an epidural. At 2 cm. The air in the room stank of “what a failure”, from the doctor to the anesthesiologist. Way to make me feel good guys.
So the epidural was placed around 12 and the pitocin started. Oh that sweet sweet epi. At first I had a “keyhole” of pain that felt like my ovary was been squeezed, but it wasn’t terrible, and went away on it’s own as the epi flowed. I had moderate control over my right leg, but my left was too numb to move. I started to feel much calmer and happier. I may have even taken a nap, I forget. I spent time watching TV and biding my time. At some point around 3 maybe the doctor came back to place an internal contraction monitor, only to find that I had already dilated to 8cm!
I was pretty ecstatic at this finding because it meant I could push soon. After another hour or so I was given the go ahead to push. The only feeling I got that I was having a contraction was a random butt cheek pain that would come on.
I pushed and pushed but wasn’t seeing any progress. At some point my doctor arrived, and brought with her med students, one male and one female. The male seemed like this was his first time in L&D. He held one leg while my husband held the other. Having an epi means you can’t really tell if you’re pushing the “right” way, but because I was constantly shitting myself I was told I was doing it right. They had a big mirror positioned at the foot of my bed so I could see my pushing. I saw a wet mass of dark hair hanging out at my vaginal opening, and poop coming out of my butt. Lovely view, really.
They determined that Parker’s heart rate would drop after a contraction, which worried them. Baby was getting tired from labor. My doctor said I was going to get some help in the form of a vaccume extraction, since he was RIGHT THERE and ready to be born, but couldn’t get past the final pop under my pelvis. Go for it, I told her.
She positioned the small sucker on his head and told me to push, and I felt a difference. I finally felt him pop under my pelvis and felt his whole body coming out. At 6:33pm, Parker was born. 2 weeks early, 7lbs 1.5oz, 20 inches long and perfect as can be. They plopped him on my chest and he just chilled out, He wasn’t much of a screamer. I cried a soft cry and demanded my husband follow him around to take precious pictures. I saw my doctor instructing her female med student in stitching me up. Apparently I had a very minor second degree tear in the area where an episiotomy would have been.
The next few hours of having the baby in my arms were a blur. I was still riding my epi wave and felt no pain. It wasn’t until I was put in my mother/baby suite and after my family visited that I began to feel horrible. The pushing had given me 2 ridiculous sized hemorrhoids that were thrombosed. I was in a lot of pain and fairly nauseous the entire time I was in the hospital and for a while after being discharged.
It took me 2 weeks to finally get in the swing of things and shake most of my baby blues away. I cried constantly, was exhausted, wanted to quit breastfeeding, and wanted surgery to remove my hemorrhoids. Almost a month later the hemorrhoids have shrunk to almost nothing and don’t bother me, and breastfeeding still has it’s challenges but we’re doing ok so far.
I find myself saying I can’t wait until he can smile, giggle, walk, talk, all that and more, instead of just enjoying the newborn phase. It’s hard though, babies are HARD WORK. Even harder for someone used to doing whatever they want and getting their way. Not anymore, baby calls the shots and my life has to revolve around his needs.
My mother now comes over 3x a week to visit, and I look forward to it. She’s such a help and enjoys seeing her grandson. Having a baby certainly seemed to heal our relationship. I still have a lot of anxiety about our lives and our house. During my bluesy period I begged my husband to get us out of this house because it was making me feel trapped. He promises we can be out by Christmas of next year, but I doubt it. I’m coping better with it, but still can’t wait until we get a different house. I don’t feel safe raising a baby here. He has no where to play that I feel OK with. Besides his room, that my husband redid from the ground up with carpet, trim and everything, everything in the house feels “gross”.
Motherhood is a ridiculous life change, one I craved for so long. I’m only about a month in and make advancements every day in “learning” my son and his needs. I wish I knew more about babies and had some experience with them. It’s like being thrown in the deep end of the pool and told you better learn to swim. You panic, you drown. You keep calm and keep moving your legs, you keep your head above water just enough to live. Eventually you’ll learn to swim because you have no choice. That’s what motherhood feels like right now. But I know I’ll eventually learn to swim.