Born This Way: Part One

First off, welcome to all the new followers of The Waiting! I really can’t believe I was Freshly Pressed only FOUR DAYS after giving birth. Not going to lie; I have fantasized about getting that WordPress distinction ever since I started blogging but I never really thought it would happen, much less during the most hectic/stressful/glorious/sleep-deprived week of my entire life.

But when it rains, it pours. And the WordPress gods don’t care if you’re operating on two hours of sleep.

And of course, thanks to my awesome, supportive, loving, thoughtful blogging family who sent all kinds of sweet comments on the arrival of Miss C. I’m not capable of expressing the gratitude I have for you all and how blessed I am to have found kindred spirits from all over the world through this wonderful blogging platform. I love you all like mad.

And that’s not the hormones talking.

I’m going to break from my general pattern of trying not to gross you out too much with body fluids, body matter, and the gory side of pregnancy simply because it’s impossible not to when you’re describing a person coming out of another person. I mean, she CAME OUT of me. They tell you babies come from storks, but they don’t. And quite frankly I’m glad because it’s really creepy to think about giant seabirds flying around with babies. Don’t even get me started on how utterly disturbing the phrase “stork bite” is.

This first chapter will cover the part before I went to the hospital. I confess that sometimes this part of birth stories can be a little boring because it’s before the fireworks begin at the hospital. So feel free to skip on through to Part Deux if you so choose. Or not.

So, without further ado, the story of how I popped Miss C out.

I woke around 3 AM Saturday morning covered in sweat and was initially confused because I thought that my water had broken. From what I’d read and from what I’d learned from childbirth class, your water doesn’t have to break in a torrent like in the movies, and there are only a few cases when it actually does, so I figured the moisture accumulated on my body could indicate seepage. I went and checked myself in the bathroom and concluded that no, my water had not broken and that I just needed to turn the heat down and drink some water. I got back in bed and went back to sleep.

Fast forward to 6:30. I stirred and turned over on my side. That movie gush that Hollywood has made such a thing of but in reality doesn’t always have to happen?

Well, it happened to me. Full-on tidal wave. No joke. I leapt out of bed (well, I was hugely preggo so maybe “leapt” is a bit extreme but I moved as quickly as I could). There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that things had started.

“B, my water just broke.”

“You sure?”

“YES. Get the book*.”

*”The book” being What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

I hobbled to the toilet, leaving a trail of amniotic fluid in my wake. Sitting on the toilet and leaking, I reread the section in the book about having your water break, and it said that when your water breaks you can expect to deliver in 12-24 hours. I called my OB and the nurse at their answering service asked me a couple of questions about the situation. I told her that I was positive that my water had just broken, that this hadn’t been a high-risk pregnancy, and that contractions hadn’t started yet. She asked me if I considered it to be an emergency situation and I said no, considering that the doctors at the practice had told me numerous times that staying at home during the first hours of labor would be best unless the water was tinged in brown and yellow or I was gushing blood. So she took my info and told me to sit tight, which I did.

Light contractions started about an hour later. I felt so alive as they pulsed through my body at timely intervals. Things were happening – squee! For the first couple of hours, they were coming about 10-20 minutes apart and mainly only when I shifted my position or walked around. But then they tapered off and would be absent for 45 minutes to an hour, which was disheartening because I really wanted to get this going. It wasn’t that I was in any serious pain or anything; I just wanted to have the baby THAT DAY and didn’t want to go through false labor.

The day passed by for B and me quietly and peacefully. It was Saturday – Pancake Day at our house – and around ten when the contractions had made a retreat, it occurred to me that there was no reason why we couldn’t enjoy our weekend ritual. When I suggested to B that I whip up a batch for him, he was really excited. So pumpkin pancakes he had, and all was happy. It was the least I could do for him since he was going to have a long day just like I was.

Mid-afternoon I got a lot of rest. When I was lying down, the contractions abated and I told B that I had a feeling I had gone into false labor and that we wouldn’t be delivering that day. It was massively disappointing to feel as though a sure thing had passed us by and that we’d have to wait until the next day to have her. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt that since my water had most definitely broken, I needed to call the answering service back and get a more personalized list of instructions on what we should do. I began to doubt the authority of the woman who I had spoken with earlier; even though I had given her a very accurate description of what was going on, it seemed as though she hadn’t notified the doctor on call to the situation or taken the necessary steps to ensure that we were kosher. The longer I went without delivering Miss C increased the risk of infection to her, so we decided that even if the contractions were still really far apart by 5 PM, we would call back.

5 PM rolled around and I called the answering service back. Again I described the situation and the lady at the other end asked me if I considered it to be an emergency situation. I said that I didn’t, but I’m not a doctor and this was my first baby and there was only so much credence I wanted to give to my opinion of the situation. I’m not the healthcare professional. So she said she would notify the doctor – Dr. Davis – and have him call me.

Dr. Davis.

Let me tell you a little bit about Dr. Davis. There are four practitioners at my OB office. One I got along really well with and had a fantastic rapport with; I hoped and prayed that he’d be on call the day we gave birth. Another was pleasant, extremely capable, and patient with our questions. The third was the head of the practice; brisk and professional. I wouldn’t say I’d like to go to a party hosted by him, but he’d do.

Then there was Dr. Davis. He poisoned me against him the first time I had a prenatal checkup with him during the second trimester when he essentially made fun of me for asking about alternative birthing strategies, such as water births, etc. In subsequent visits to the office, I would ask him other questions pertaining to the pregnancy and his attitude towards my questions always made me feel as if what I was asking was stupid or that I should already know the answer, and that his time was too valuable to be fielding my silly little questions. At the time I shrugged it off and figured that I only had a 25% chance of delivering with him and that I shouldn’t worry my pretty little head over his social ineptitude, arrogance, and poor bedside manor too much. Dude, I had a BLOG to write about fun and entertaining pregnancy things, not him :)

So about five minutes later, Dr. Davis returns my call. I tell him the situation (why the nurse didn’t relay all I had already said to her to him, I do not know.) My water broke around 6:30 AM, contractions have been irregular all day, I’m concerned about infection, what should I do, etc? His response:

“Why are you just now calling if your water broke early this morning?”

“I’m not ‘just now’ calling. I called this morning and never received any indication from your office that I should take a next step.”

“Well I never got your call. I didn’t hear from you. Your baby could get infected. If your water breaks you must take action. I can’t help you if YOU don’t take action.”

“OK WELL I DID CALL AND THERE’S NO POINT IN ARGUING NOW ABOUT THAT. I am WELL AWARE that my baby could get infected, as I just indicated to you. So rather than argue about whether I called or not, could you please give me instructions? Do I need to go to the hospital now?”*

*I know I get snarky and sarcastic on this blog sometimes, but what you have to understand is that I am a really amicable person in real life and I heartily dislike chewing anyone out. I rarely EVER do it. But yes, this exactly what I said to him and I felt completely entitled to.

“Uh, YEAH you do.”

“Fine. See you there.”

I then hung up the phone, threw it across the room, screamed at the top of my lungs a string of expletives that I only take out for special occasions, and started weeping.

B was alarmed. So was I. But we were in the car two minutes later, heading to the hospital.

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46 comments

  1. This is Feckin awesome and a grt piece of writing. And Congrats on the to ! And I must say that doc is a total douche, which I rarely ever call an obgyn for obvious reasons. I would’ve socked him. You’re a better person than I ! Anyway, looooved reading this !

    1. That’s supposed to say Congrats on the fp…ugh.

      1. Hahaha yeah, I hadn’t even thought of it that way, but he WAS a literal douche. I would have socked him had he been in the room with me. I honestly have no clue how clueless a doctor would have to be to sass off to a first-time laboring mom. I think there’s a special circle in hell for people like that.

  2. Agree with sweet mother. That doctor is an a-hole. But at least that’s all over with and you’re baby is here and healthy.

    Full disclosure: I used my patented PowerBrowse method for reading this post, which is my comment is more on the safe side. ;)

    1. Fully agree. Seriously, he was all I am really going to complain about for the whole experience and when I put it in perspective it’s a pretty good trade-off for now having a sweet little girl (LOL I say that because she’s sleeping now).

      1. More power to you. Neither of my kids slept through the night until they were 1. Lord knows what’s in our DNA.

        1. I’m kind of nervous about what’s in store for us tonight. She has slept all day so I think we will be pulling another all-nighter in return.

  3. Ugh what a douche. I hate how some doctors can get. I don’t understand going into a helping profession if you’re just going to be rude to everyone all the time.

    1. Yeah, me neither. Especially a helping position where dealing with scared, vulnerable people is part of your day-to-day activity.

  4. I would have kicked that doctor in the flippin’ kneecaps. I cannot abide people getting on their high horses.

    Congrats on FP! I know I read it, but I must have missed the FP excitement. Which post was it?

    1. Thank you! It was the one I wrote awhile back about my history with glasses. Haha I feel kind of bad for the people who subscribed who didn’t know that I rarely write about things that have nothing to do with pregnancy and parenthood.

  5. T Pate · · Reply

    Can’t wait to meet my GRAND daughter . Life is what it is. We are quite fortunate to be born at this time in history. There were a few Pilgrim ladies who gave birth on that miserable voyage. Bet they wished for a sterile delivery room. Who cares if the doctor was a …….
    I’ve met a few myself. So what?

    1. I have thought this so MANY times. I read a book back in November about the history of childbirth (I wrote a post on it if u want to read; I will link to it) and how grizzly it was back in the day. I am beyond blessed to live when I do and to at least have the modern conveniences of sterility in the delivery room…not to mention the option of an epidural.

  6. One, I am on pins and needles with suspense about part two. Two, I cannot believe the nurse told you to stay home after your water broke. That is like rule one no no. Doctor should have been yelling at her, probably did. Three, My water never broke. Wish I had a cool birth story. Although the drugs they gave me made me hallucinate flying bunnies.

    1. I know, right?! I think the hallucinations are worth a post of their own. (Spoiler: I did get meds and I did hallucinate, albeit mildly. You have that to look forward to in part 2.)

  7. That doctor is a dick! My parents had to deal with a jerk as well. He wouldn’t let them into hospital, even after three days of labor. He told my mum to take Atavan and stay home! OMG, I was so scared I would end up witnessing a home birth.

    1. Apparently the doc who delivered me to my parents was a tool too. We all just have a special knack for picking out the good ones. And I am so glad for your mom’s sake as well as yours that no home birth took place! Horrifying if that’s not the original plan!

  8. Way to go, Mrs. Ems! Since I never had water breakage with any of ours, I enjoyed your account. I HATE answering services. I just hope part deux doesn’t involve what my doctor’s partner told me as he poked his head in the room: “Don’t push, whatever you do…I know he’s crowning, just don’t push…let me get down to the cafeteria and tell your doctor – he can’t hear the page, it’s the peak of lunch hour. Be right back – DON’T PUSH!!!” :) So good to hear all about it – still prayin’!

    1. Have to say that the whole dramatic water breaking thing was kind of fun! Until we both realized we’d be doing another load of laundry that day. B thought I was kind of crazy when he saw me stripping the bed and changing the sheets between contractions.

      I cannot believe they told you not to push!!!!! Telling that to a crowning woman is like telling a scuba diver not to breathe.

      Thank you for your prayers! There have been moments in the last week when they are all I have to retain my sanity and grip on reality.

      1. Sleep deprivation is like living in another dimension altogether. It often struck me as ironic when older people would tell us to “savor these precious moments when they’re so tiny!” I always thought, “How can I savor them when I can’t even stay awake, and I’m in such a fog on this feeding schedule?!” But one day soon you’ll wake up in a panic when you think you slept through a feeding, only to discover she’s still sleeping soundly! Hang in there, dear friend…

  9. How did I miss you getting pressed? I’m gonna have to go back and check this out. And, congratulations! Enjoy the ride.

    1. Thank you! It has been a ride, for sure, the whole nursing on one side and replying to 250 comments on the other at 3 am.

  10. Congrats again on your little lovely! :) I’m sorry you had such a douche of a doctor but I’m glad everything turned out OK. I’m lucky and have a good obgyn but the story that got me to him is a hard road. I look forward to your post on meds I’m not sure about taking them myself and would like to hear a fresh persepective.

    1. Thank you so much. We have indeed been blessed. I don’t know if I can impart any real wisdom on meds, but I’m positive I made the right decision for myself and hopefully that will be helpful for anyone trying to decide what they want to do.

  11. I CANNOT believe you had to deal with that D-bag on this day of all days. You are supposed to be reassured and soothed because it’s pretty darn scary otherwise. You had every right to be snarky and I hope it put him in his place! I am so excited to read the rest of this! I could literally read birth stories every day of my life. Goop, fluid, and all.

    1. I’ve become kind of a birth story junkie too! They are always just rife with drama but almost always have a happy ending. Mine does, at least :)

  12. That doesn’t sound like the most calming of people and definitely not someone you want around when you need to be at ease and reassured! Looking forward to part 2 :)

    Daisy

    1. Thanks for commenting. I will give you a bit of a teaser for part two…things get better :)

      1. That is a relief! :)

        Daisy

      2. T Pate · · Reply

        Many “would be” doctors avoid O.B. because of the lawsuits. The ?nurse? is the more dangerous of the two. Pregnant women don’t need to be given a ‘choice’ about an emergency. Especially the first baby! There is no point of reference. That doctor needs to know what type of ‘advice’ was conveyed.
        This grandmother would love to see a looooooong letter written to the practice and state medical board about the ?nurse? May be time for he or she to go someplace else.

        1. Funny you should say that, because when I was doped up on the epidural, I was confiding in the nurse who was in charge of the delivery about the whole situation (she was exceptional and truly gifted at her job). She recommended that I do the exact same thing that you just suggested. There’s no excuse for this kind of “miscommunication”, if one would even call it that.

  13. Oh my gosh what a story! I am glad you got snarky with that SOB doctor – what a jerk! I never had a full term birth so I truly enjoyed this and am looking forward the the next installment

    I hope Miss C is letting you get a moment of sleep between nursing and diapers and nursing and diapers and trying to take care of yourself too.

    And congratulations on the whole FB thang – whoot, whoot!!

    1. Thank you! These birth stories are kind of fun to write! Its kind of like an online baby book.

      She is giving me a little reprieve every now and again. I learned my lesson writing this post, though. She was super sleepy all day the day I wrote it and I totally took advantage of it and didn’t wake her. So of course she stayed up all night, screaming bloody murder. Lesson learned, Miss C!

  14. Dang it – I mean FP not FB – it has been a long day, forgive me.

  15. I haven’t met a whole lot of non-douche doctors, so I can’t say I’m surprised at that bit. But I’m looking forward to finding out what happens.It’s like in Titanic where you didn’t know if the boat would sink or they’d get it fixed in time to save everyone. Only I’m hoping for a happier ending out of this one. If you tell us that you let B’s hand go because you couldn’t MOVE OVER ON THE DAMN DOOR, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. But I’ll still read the blog.

    I’m pretty sure when I relate Squatch’s birth story, there will be cyborgs, pirates, and time travel. I’m already writing it, in fact.

    1. Your comment got diverted to spam….so weird since you’ve commented so many times before.

      Anywho, Squatch’s birth story sounds riveting :) Maybe James Cameron can direct the film version too? I wonder who they’d get to play Squatch.

  16. Hello! This post is too funny and too close to home for me. I detested my delivering OB, and begged my nurse to just deliver the baby herself without telling him. And she really came very close to doing it, thank god. . It is awful how they can make you feel. I am glad you let him have it- those assholes should know that birth IS NOT an every day experience for most women and that they can’t be dickheads at the most crucial point in a woman’s life. (PS, not as amazingly awesome as your new baby girl, but Freshly Pressed is freaking great!!!!! CONGRATS!).

    1. The nurses do all the work anyway, right!? I would have been fine with them delivering her on their own since they were certainly more pleasant and informative.

      FP was fun, but I’m really glad it’s over! I’d rather have a handful of awesome bloggy friends like yourself than a million subscribers. Quality over quantity.

  17. Ugh. That guy sounds AWFUL. I can’t wait to hear the rest of this crazy adventure.

    1. Coming soon! The last few days have been hard (i know i dont have to explain to u) so I dunno when I’m gonna get around to finishing the second installment, but it is coming.

  18. Your post reminded me of the weirdness of the time between knowing you are in labor and the big event – the mundane things like making pancakes and getting things picked up so that you don’t go back home to a dirty house. Now on to reading part 2…
    Congrats on a well deserved FP! You are a wonderful, funny, warm writer.

    1. Awww, thanks! I love writing so much and I’m very blessed to occasionally strike a chord with people.

  19. Oh my goodness- I can’t believe this doctor! I’m catching up on these blogs but wow- what a story! Congratulations, too!

  20. I’m just catching up on reading the blogs I follow, since I’ve been traveling a lot lately. I knew Miss C was born, however, I wanted to sit down and read your experiences fully focused. Wow! What a goon this doctor was. Sorry you had to go through that. But I trust you set him straight later. Can’t wait to find out how when I read the next blog. And BTW, Congrats on being freshly pressed! That’s awesome! How timely that it happened right when your baby was born when your blog is about being pregnant, and now about being a new mom. Pretty cool.

  21. Wow! I’m on the edge of my seat for part deux! And I’m not a fan of Dr. Davis at this point either.

    1. Haha I’m not either and that’s why I think I keep on canceling and postponing my postpartum visit ; )

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