July 30, 2010

At Least I Don't Mention Mucus Plugs or Meconium

So look, I had a kid. And in having a kid, I had to go through the whole labor process. And I am told that it is all crazy life-changing, big deal hoopla. So I have written this down so I don't forget the cute little details of how my husband left me high and dry while I was screaming in labor. Or how Johnny Cash welcomed my sweet little one into this world. Or how I leaked amniotic fluid in a fancy rental car. So you may want to skip this one although I am pretty sure I could have been a LOT more graphic. Cuz childbirth is not for the faint of heart.

I had my last prenatal appointment on Wednesday, where I was 2-3 cms dilated. She was in position or “locked and loaded” as I called it. I felt really good still so I figured there was no way I was going to have her for some time. On Saturday morning, when Not Craig and I woke up, he poked my belly and said, “It is time, baby.” In response, I laughed and said, “No way!” I still had nearly 2 weeks until my due date! I played around the house for a bit, playing on my computer and doing a bit of light cleaning. My car had an issue so Not Craig took it to a repair place, where they told him that it was definitely a warranty issue and we needed it towed to a dealership. This, of course, is the vehicle we planned on bringing the little one home in, seeing that daddy's work truck was not the best choice and well, his fancy car definitely was a bad choice as we would have to strap her car seat to the roof.

I contacted the dealership and lined up a tow truck. We would need to drive about 45 minutes away to the dealership in order to pick up the rental car they would provide. We had to wait a bit for the tow truck so I started doing a bit more picking up around the house, when all of a sudden at approximately 1:30 PM, my water broke. I ran for the bathroom, laughing. Not Craig didn't believe me at first and I had to convince myself a bit that I hadn't just peed myself! I finally convinced both of us what had just happened and tried to figure out what to do next. I called my midwife, Janet, and we decided that I was fine to stay home for a while, and of course, figure out the car situation. I quickly got changed, and Not Craig and I set out to meet the tow truck driver and then drive across town to get the rental car. I felt fine the entire way to the dealership, where I insisted that Not Craig not say a word about my water breaking, what if they freaked and wouldn't let us have the car due to potential amniotic fluid damage!

When we got home a couple hours later, Not Craig and I just laid down to rest a bit. I don't know if I actually fell asleep, or just rested, but a few hours later, I got up and Not Craig remained asleep. I started cleaning the house while my contractions got a bit stronger. Walking helped me through the contractions, as did swaying my hips. I pulled out my ab ball, and sat on that for awhile as well, but as the contractions got stronger, I was more comfortable standing through them.

Around 6:30 PM, I started vocalizing through the contractions as they got stronger and more painful. I woke Not Craig up with one of my cries, and he anxiously asked if we needed to go to the birthing center. I had spoke with Janet a few times throughout the day and knew that I wanted to be pretty far along before I went to the birth center, but I was also fearful of the 30 minute drive. The last place I wanted to be when contracting every 3-5 minutes was in a car where I couldn't move. I went ahead and called Janet and said that I thought it was time to start heading to the birth center. She asked how I was doing, if I was drinking plenty of fluids, if I had ate. I told her I was a bit hungry, but didn't have much food in the house and we might stop on the way in and grab something small. I continued talking to her, answering her questions and coming to a decision about what do when Not Craig vanished. After I got off the phone with her, I pulled the remaining items I wanted for my bag, and was ready to leave. I locked up the dogs, and went looking for my husband. He was gone, along with the rental car and car seat!! He came back about 15 minutes and several contractions later, with McDonald's and Pop-tarts, my go-to meal of the last few weeks! I hurriedly asked if we could just go and eat on the way. I never ended up eating that meal that he so desperately went in search of...

On the way to the birth center, my contractions remained about 5 minutes apart. The pain wasn't unbearable, but I vocalized my way through them along with breathing. We got to the birth center around 7:40 PM. Janet was there and began filling the tub for me. She checked me and I was at 7 cms already. Polly, the other midwife, arrived a little bit later. I continued to labor while swaying my hips and bending over the side of the bed. The tub was filled, but I couldn't imagine standing up and crawling in to the tub at that point. One of the midwives placed some lavender oil and massaged my lower back through the contractions. Some time later, one of the midwives brought in the birthing stool, which helped take some of the pressure off of my horribly swollen feet, much to my relief. I then felt sick and said that I thought I was going to throw up. I was given a wastebasket, and Janet quietly said, “Welcome to transition.” I crawled up on the bed on all fours, not happy with the birthing stool. I leaned on Not Craig for several contractions. A short time later, I was asked to lay down and I did so. After several contractions, I started to feel the ring of fire and knew I was very close. The strangest thing for me during labor, was how in between contractions, I was completely conscious of what was going on around me, that I wasn't completely out of my head. When I was feeling the ring of fire, I kept thinking of the Johnny Cash song, and laughed to myself. I held on to Not Craig, breathing through what I knew were the final steps to getting my baby out. At 9:38 PM, my sweet baby entered this world.

All in all, my “labor” was 8 hours long from water breaking to birth. I would estimate only 4 hours of that consisted of any pain at all. I am actually amazed at how easy it all was.

I chose to have my baby at a birth center with midwives instead of a hospital because, well, hospitals scare the crap out of me. And I do not believe that doctors are all-knowing. When a pregnant woman goes to a hospital in labor, she is on a time clock to a c-section, with lots of interventions along the way. Despite the baby and mom being fine, hospitals are, thanks to my own sue-happy profession, overly cautious and would rather trust modern medicine and scalpels, over a woman's body doing something women have been doing unassisted since Eve. Instead, I had a wonderful experience with women who have really gotten to know me over the past 7 months, supported my decisions without question and did everything they could to ensure that I got the type of childbirth I felt was right for my little family.

And now, I will step off my high horse and get back to cuddling my sweet baby girl.


Kaytabug said...

She is just too cute and is a little mini version of you!! When in doubt pinky out!

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