Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday Morning Memories #2

(It's morning somewhere isn't it? I've been trying to post this all day with technical difficulties so suck it up people.)

How the Bun Came Out of the Oven

Well it seems that my new MMM has coincided in its second week with your 6 month birthday.
What better way to celebrate it than with my clouded memories of your birth. Way back in November I promised a birth story to my 15 readers & never came through with it. I did actually write one with every single gory detail I could remember but it ran about 6 pages long so I figured no one in their right mind would want to read it. So now I will attempt to recount what happened without the running on & on about crap. (It seems I am finding it near impossible to shrink this down any more plus some of you already know the story so apologies if you get bored. If you want to keep reading click on the word tempted.)

Let’s see, it’s 17 days past your due date & everyone is raring to go. Except me. I could keep going like this. The feeling of you inside my belly is nice & it makes me feel pretty badass to be the world’s longest gestating woman. But… of course no one will let me keep you safe (disputable) & warm inside any longer so its off to the hospital we go to get you out one way or another. Over the past week I’ve had 3 stretch ‘n sweeps, a castor oil & root beer milkshake, nipple stimulation via the breast pump, spicy food, long walks, some other stuff & an attempt to break the amniotic sac all in an effort to coax you out. I must have one hell of a nice oven for you to want to stick around after all that poking at your head & some major indigestion showing up as non-stop hiccups.

Once Josée the midwife arrives at the hospital & we are checked into our labour room it’s time for a yet another peek at the ol’ cervix to see if you are ready to bust out of the joint. Nope & nope again. The attending OB & her cute intern come in for a consult since I’m post dates & we all decide to break my water to try & get things started before having to resort to the heavy-duty drugs. This had been attempted twice before with no luck because the sac had been pressed right up close to your head. The doctor was confident she could do it so off comes the wrapper on the crochet hook of pain. Really it wouldn’t have been bad but somehow she scratched me with the hook when she put it up the va-j-j despite me squealing in protest & scrambling back as far as I could up the bed. It’s done & first the trickling starts & then the hysterical laughing because it tickled & felt like I was peeing myself. The laughing of course makes everything come gushing out even more which brings on more laughter which brings on more fluid. You get the drift – a never-ending circle of leaking & laughing. I’m told I can put on a diaper & go walk around for an hour. Great, a diaper, I feel so feminine. So I get helped out of bed as I am not so mobile at the moment & splash! All over the floor goes what must be about a 2 litres of fluid. Oh what fun! Somehow, giggling & dripping I make it to the toilet so I can let the waters run a bit before I attempt to get dressed again. Finally I pull on the adult diaper & my pants, get someone to tie my shoes & away we go to walk until I have some good contractions or my feet fall off. At 42+3 weeks it heads or tails as to which happens first.

So we walk, and walk and walk. We walked the halls, the lovely path near the hospital, the nearby mall

& finally we did the stairs. Turns out my feet gave out before the uterus. Prior to this I’d had contractions but they were all manageable so I thought I was some kind of super-human labour machine. Not. The walking did bring them on a bit stronger which appeared promising but when I was checked again the powers that be were not satisfied so out came the big guns. Throughout the pregnancy I’d of course Googled everything & anything I could about labour so I was not looking forward to what the Ocytocin (Pitocin) was going to do. Anyway, I’m hooked up after 3 attempts to puncture my “twirly” veins & settle in for a long while of waiting, walking the halls & chatting via webcam & Instant Messenger to my sisters & mother out West. Oh & Calvin brought in a dvd player so we could watch Garden State. I think it was a good movie but halfway through I started zoning out on the yoga ball while Calvin & the midwife ate Chinese food so between the food jealousy & the increasing pain I really can’t remember what happened at the end. After one last pee I make it to the bed because I just can’t bounce any longer. What used to be small hills on the contraction print-out has now turned into mountainous jagged spikes & then these turn into a vast range of never-ending peaks.

What I was worried about is happening. There is no break in between the peaks & my mantra of “relax, relax, relax” & deep breaths is no longer working. I guess I’m in the zone but the zone fucking hurts like hell. So much for that high pain threshold of mine. I’m desperate for some relief so I beg to go in the tub & am finally allowed after another internal lets us know I’m at 7.5 cm. It takes probably 10 minutes to walk the 10 feet to the tub & get in to what should be oh so soothing warm bubbly water. It totally sucks ass & my hopes of being able to cope through this intense pain without drugs are completely crushed. Somehow I get the words “I want a fucking epidural” out of my mouth & Josée immediately goes into action to get a nurse to page the anesthesiologist which surprises me because I thought she’d try & talk me out of it. Not that I am not grateful (oh so grateful). Anyway the dude is doing a c-section & can’t come for another half an hour so I’m left to my own devices which involve a lot of moaning & wailing like a wounded animal. Finally the anesthesiologist arrives and asks if I’m the one who wanted an epidural. Calvin tells him no, I’m the one who wants “the fucking epidural” to which he replies “I think I got that stuff right here”. Yay good doctor man. He takes my pulse & asks if I’m an athlete because he’s never seen such a low heart-rate for someone in labour. Calvin tells him I’m just kind of weird and that my normal resting heart-rate is around 40, which is true but hasn’t been like that since I got knocked up. Who knows what the hell was going on but the guy was impressed. (Wow, I am super-human after all. Just not when it comes to pain obviously.) Then a nurse comes in and asks if I would mind having some paramedics come watch the epidural.

What?! Here I am making freak show noises with my butt exposed (along with old fuzzy tattoo that no one needs to see) & 4 or 5 people in the hallway want to come watch me get a huge needle in my spine? Oh sure, that would be great. I’d love to have them all in for tea & crumpets too. I think Calvin noticed the look of incredulousness on my face & told them no. Finally they get me to bend over & not move while the doc tells me blah blah blah something about adrenalin… mistake…. You feel it…. Blah blah blah. Apparently he put in some adrenalin first to make sure he got the right spot and I would feel it if it was wrong. All I could feel was the next contraction bearing down on me & then I was told it was over & could expect to feel better within a half an hour. What?! I though it would be instantaneous or at least sooner than that. So I continue to moan for about 25 minutes before the good stuff kicks in. Oh sweet, sweet drugs. A wave of relief washed over me finally & I could rest a while.

Hours go by. I think I sleep. I know Calvin does while poor Josée pries her eyes open with toothpicks or something. At one point we do a check & she tells me I can try pushing if I want. Not much happens so its back to resting. Oh & I’m starving so I take a few sips of watered down Gatorade & suck on a homemade popsicle. It tasted like heaven but soon I noticed the familiar burning sensation in my esophagus that I’d experienced the entire pregnancy. Hello heartburn hell. Plus the epidural was wearing off by this time & because I hadn’t been able to feel the contractions while I was on it they had turned up the ocytocin full blast. So I am burning in so many places that shouldn’t be burning & its really pissing me off. To top it all off I can’t get into any position other than lying down because my legs are too numb to hold me up.

The other midwife arrives after an hour of pushing & burning & vomiting & she is surprised to see me making no progress. Finally someone turns down the ocytocin & gets another bag of epi drugs so I can finally get some strength back. It’s sometime around now that they tell Calvin (not me) that if something doesn’t start happening soon they’re going to have to get the doctor & probably pull out the vacuum, the forceps or go in for a c-section. They try to get me into some other positions but nothing works so I’m flipped up on my back like a turtle & Theresa (the other midwife) pries my hip bones apart from the inside (!!!) which is apparently the magic trick because things finally began to happen. Calvin tells me he can see the head, someone else ask me if I want to touch it. I tentatively reached down & felt a weird spongy, slimy mass & then to my horror, what was my horribly stretched & swollen girly parts. So freaky. Calvin said afterwards that the head looked like some weird animal trophy mounted on the strangest plaque ever. Nice dude, nice.

So the rest of labour was pretty much breathe, then push, then burp, then breath, push , burp & so on. The heartburn never stopped, I never could really tell when I was having a contraction & kegels apparently do nothing for you when you have an epidural. But hey, I didn’t tear & for that I am ever grateful because I can’t imagine it being worse to pee afterwards than it was. Oh ya, the baby. Someone finally told me the head was out & to give one more push. I didn’t know that that had done it because I told them all I had a few more pushed in me ready to go. Of course they all laughed at me, told me it was out & that they were just suctioning out some meconium. They put the babe on my stomach & I looked down in wonder at this weird looking creature for what seemed like forever. Calvin cut the cord & got it out of the way so he wouldn’t mistake it for anything else. Josee asked him if he recognized what the parts were & he said that he hoped so as he’d been looking at them all night. It was 18 hours or so since I’d had my water broken & I finally had a little 7lb 14 oz girl in my arms 18 days after her due date.


I remember little dark eyes staring up at me. I remember the sliminess of her skin after they put her on my belly & I remember being told she was a girl. I remember the hospital room and the soothing coolness of the floor. I remember the burning heartburn & the animal instinct to moan in pain. I remember when I felt the stirring in my soul that this creature was mine & what an enormous responsibility I now had to see her grow up. I remember the love wash over me like a sunshower & fill my heart with a smile that now grows larger every day as she smiles back at me.

Freyja daya doodle bug I love you more than you’ll ever know & so much more than I can ever explain. You are my everything.


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