Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Labor Story (not for the faint of heart, or those about to have a baby... like danielle)

*i take no offense if you choose to skip this post, but since people keep asking me about it, here's the story!*

well you may recall my entry on february 18th about how i went to the doctor after having contractions all night and they sent me home at 4 cm dilated and i sat in the car in the parking lot and cried about it. that's how the day started. i went back home (rachel was at her friend abigail's house for the morning so i was free to lay on the couch and mope for a while). at about 11:30 the contractions started again. since this was the 4th time i was having contractions i knew better than to be getting excited. still, i started watching the clock just in case, b/c the doctor said that when the real thing started it would go fast.

he couldn't have been more right.

at about 12:30 or 1:00 i called the doctor and said i was having more contractions. the nurse told me to come on in and they'd check me again. i really just wanted the whole ordeal to get underway, but i knew i couldn't handle being sent home again. anyway, i told chuck to come on home and aunt melissa to head on up (she was going to watch rachel for us when we were in the hospital).

we headed on back to the doctor. all the nurses gave me sympathetic looks when they saw me come back in. the doctor checked me out again (the same doctor i saw that morning). he said i was 5 cm and i should head to the hospital (which was good for him b/c i was going to kick him in the face, otherwise).

so we did, making many a phone call along the way to family.

it was about 3:30 when we got into my own special delivery room and i got to don the lovely attire of a laboring mother... a shapeless, backless hospital gown.

the contractions kept on rolling and i was doing pretty well for a couple hours. they were definitely getting stronger and closer together so i was thinking i had to be at least 7 cm along. the doctor came back in to check me... i was a disappointing 5 1/2 cm... so the doctor wanted to break my water. this is exactly what i did not want to happen, b/c i remember fondly from rachel's labor that after they break the water, the s**t hits the fan.

so they broke it, gallons of water came out of me, and the s**t hit the fan.

now anyone who knows me knows that i have an extreme phobia of anything medical... like the IV that was currently stuck in my arm. it's this phobia that has made me want to go natural in my labors. only an absolutely blinding, excruciating, horrifying, violent pain would make me ask for a huge needle in my spine. well, let's just say that 30 minutes later i was asking for the huge needle in my spine.

my sweet sweet nurse who was sitting next to me and holding my hand said she'd be back in 5 minutes with the epidural guy. she told me to go sit on the edge of the bed so i'd be ready when he got there. i managed to get myself over there. chuck was standing in front of me and massaging my shoulders (which, unfortunately, offered me absolutely no relief at this point).

then i started screaming. i screamed and screamed and screamed. the pain was so incredibly intense, there was just nothing else to do... but scream.

then i had to push. the head was coming and there was no stopping it. chuck called for the nurse, who came running in and got me in position. i was pushing before the doctor was even there. i pushed and pushed and pushed. now at this point, i couldn't hear anything. my ability to understand english flew out the window. i didn't hear anyone counting and apparently the doctor was telling me to stop screaming. didn't hear that either. i just pushed. i pushed for 5 minutes. now, when i say that it makes it sound easy. i really thought this 5 minutes was more like an hour. i sort of wondered if i was going to die like the millions of laboring women throughout history. seriously.

but then i got to hold my son. my great big healthy son.

and so much for my epidural.

my labor lasted about 7 1/2 hours total, and we had only been at the hospital for 3 1/2 hours before lucas was born. rachel's labor was this wonderfully positive experience. i guess this time the newness and excitement just wasn't there, and i knew the kind of pain i was about to face, and i was not excited. thinking back on this experience makes me shudder and it will be a long time before i can ever think about going through it again. but i do know that if the Lord blesses me with another child, i'm asking for an epidural as soon as i get to the hospital.

but my son is an absolute joy and the perfect addition to our family. and there's nothing like the joy i feel when i see how much rachel loves him and how she interacts with him. of course, in the end, the pain is completely worth it.

but yikes. it was rough.


The Townleys said...

k, I skipped the story (for now) but I just wanted to say THANK YOU for feeling my pain on our passing due date. I'm so tired of people saying "Haven't you had that baby yet?!?!" only to follow up with preaching about being patient and how I'm selfish for wanting this to be over after 40 WEEKS! You're my new best friend. :-)

Caleb and Adrienne said...

they say the second one is faster....they weren't kidding in your case!!

The Townleys said...

Okay, so now that i'm on the other side, I read your story. We have commonalities! Although mine did end with the epidural, the rest of it is almost identical. I was the screaming, swearing lady down the hall who was strangling her poor husband while he counted through contractions.

Unknown said...

I just read this and wanted to say that anyone who says you are "lucky" to have a fast labor hasn't had a fast labor... they are a bit violent and mentally hard to handle, huh? Eden was 5 1/2 hours... I'm kinda scared to think how fast and furious a second labor would be!

Anyway, he's beautiful, and aren't they SO worth it!!!?