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Sunday, April 10, 2011


Tuesday morning I woke up feeling fine and called Pamela. She thought I should go into the office to test whether the fluid was amniotic fluid. And I can't even remember in what order I did things. At some point, I dropped Baby T off with my neighbor, who took him every Tuesday anyway, and explained to her that I thought my water had broken and maybe today was the day. At some point I also rushed into the office to see one of the other midwives who was meeting me between births at the hospital.

She checked me. It was amniotic fluid for sure. A slow leak. She called Pamela. They wanted me to come to the hospital at 4 PM for an induction if contractions didn't start on their own before that. But they would probably start on their own. I was 5 cm dilated. I was ready to go. I didn't feel a thing.

I cried. Induction was my worst nightmare. At least my body was halfway ready for this birth. I wasn't starting from scratch. But I really, really, really didn't want to be induced.

I stopped by work and told them my maternity leave was starting. They looked at me like I was crazy and kept asking me why I wasn't at home or at the hospital. "Because I'm not in labor," I would respond (over and over again). It got a little annoying. But now I was afraid I would start having contractions while I was driving, so I did go home.

It turns out I had nothing to worry about. No contractions yet. At home, I did everything I could to get things going. I pumped. I took homeopathics. I played Wii. Four o'clock came and still nothing. I called Pamela. I had hesitated to take the final, horrifying step--the castor oil. But finally it came to that. The last resort. I gulped it down in some root beer and chased it with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (midwife's orders--a foolproof recipe).

Still nothing.

Seriously? Big T and I talked all day about why things couldn't just go normally. Why wasn't this baby wanting to come out? How hilarious is it that in movies, when a woman's water breaks, all hell breaks loose and, panicked, they can't get to the hospital in time? The farce of it all.

Of course I have to do things a little abnormally. So when the castor oil brought on no contractions--not even intestinal cramping--I knew I had to go. I was a little sad and a little excited. I was glad that the car ride was comfortable and I wasn't on my hands and knees in the backseat, writhing in pain with every bump. But I still didn't want to be induced. It was about 8 PM on Tuesday night. I had gone to the hospital with Baby T at just about this time on a Tuesday night as well.

At the hospital, Big T asked if I wanted him to drop me off. "Uh, no... just park. I can walk. I feel fine." We got up to labor and delivery and I hesitantly told the nurse that I was there for an induction. We were shown to our room. We waited for Pamela to arrive. I was nervous, but still felt fine.

When Pamela arrived, the routine began. The IV drip, the monitor... I was hooked up. They pressed the button and the pitocin began. It was kind of nice, at first. Pamela and I chatted. We hadn't seen each other in a while and were able to catch up with each other. Every half hour or so, the pitocin was increased. I was given a telemetry unit so I could walk around. Big T and I walked. We did the loop around the labor and delivery floor about 10 times. It was boring. I was bored. I really didn't feel anything.

I did lunges. I squatted. I bounced on the exercise ball. I stood up a lot. I figured gravity would help. Still nothing. Around 11 PM, I was starting to get tired. Since I wasn't feeling any contractions yet, I told everyone that I wanted to take a nap and get ready. I fell asleep.

Around midnight, I woke up. BAM!! A contraction so strong I had to vocalize through it. Just like that. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had forgotten what this felt like. This was so much more intense than with Baby T. With Baby T, I wanted silence. This time, I had to moan through every single contraction. It was the only way I could get through them.

I immediately got the shakes. This had happened with Baby T, too. I couldn't help but keep comparing the two births. I was shaking so hard I was afraid I would bite my tongue. It was uncontrollable and it freaked me out more than anything else. Then Big T put his hand on my head and the shaking stopped. It was like instant calm. It was all I wanted. I spent the next half hour standing next to the bed. Big T had to be touching me the whole time or I would shake. He kept me sane. Between contractions, I would bend over and put my head down on the bed. But during contractions, I had to be upright. It hurt too much for my torso to be bent.

During the next half hour, things were even more intense, and I was getting tired. I sat on the rocking chair to rest. By this time, the contractions were coming on top of one another. I would moan through until the peak, expecting it to subside, and it would just peak and peak and peak. I remember saying (moaning) something like, "Why is it not stopping?"

And my body started to heave. I never felt the urge to push with Baby T, so I really didn't know what it felt like. This time, it felt like I was about to vomit, but in the wrong direction. My stomach was heaving uncontrollably, like giant vomitous hiccups. It was insane.

It was about that time that I figured I should take my pants off. I had never changed out of the clothes I came in. And I figured if a baby was going to come out, I probably shouldn't have my pants on. It was hard to get out of them since the contractions weren't giving me a chance to rest, but I had help. I got up on the bed in a semi-sitting position. I was exhausted. I really hoped this feeling was a pushing feeling, because I couldn't stay up all night. I'm no party animal anymore.

Pamela encouraged me and told me I was doing great. Big T told me I was doing great, the whole time keeping his hand on my forehead. Things were getting more intense. I was definitely yelling profanities. (What's new?) During one strong push, I felt the baby drop, water gushed out, and I felt an intense burning in my cervix. This was happening. My body was doing it!

A blur of profanity as he crowned. There was a lot of motherf*cker going on. I held back for a moment. Then I pushed the baby out at about 1:30 AM.

I remember thinking that it was over so quickly, and I was relieved that I wouldn't have to be up all night. I remember asking if he was breathing, because he wasn't crying. I remember Big T saying, "He looks like a Mason." And I agreed. And I held Little M to my chest and kissed his head. I noticed that he didn't have as much hair as Baby T, and it was lighter. His umbilical cord was thick, and there was a loose knot in it.

Pamela and Little M

They had to take him to the warmer for a minute or two because his temperature dropped, but he came back to me and found my breast. He nursed for a long, long time. My baby was here, and I was in love again.


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great birth story. Loved it!

Elyssa said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing. :-)

Jet's Journey said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great story! I have goosebumps! Way to go with a natural birth even with induction! And there are so many similarities to mine!

I, too, went a long time from my water breaking to my first contraction, but luckily I avoided the castor oil cocktail and pitocin. The only profanities that came out of my mouth (and really the only talking I'd done the entire time) was when he was crowning. I don't remember saying it, but I've been told I shouted, "F*ing Sh*t."


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