Born This Way: Part Deux

As a reminder, 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….

So we booked it to the hospital. The ride was only about 15 or 20 minutes and I cried about half of it because I was so shaken at the tone the doctor had taken with me. B was a real trooper though and did his absolute best to console me and to get me in a place where I was relaxed and ready to push Miss C out.

We arrived and checked in. I really like the LD ward because it was newly remodeled, quiet, and stocked full of great nurses! I had my doubts prior to the baby’s birth whether the nurses would really have my best interests in mind. The reason for this is because when we went to the express childbirth class a month or so ago, the nurses who conducted it (affiliated with the hospital) kept on saying that they will be our advocates throughout our deliveries but then they repeatedly joked that if we became mommyzillas they would make fun of us behind our backs. Yeah, that may be funny to some people, but not so much to me. Near the end of my pregnancy I tended to take any jab at pregnant women really seriously and had a hard time finding humor in even the most innocent jokes like this. But we were more than pleasantly surprised with how wonderful the nurses staffing L&D ended up being.

I apparently decided some ridiculous faces were in order.

We arrived around 5:20 and checked in. I was quickly ushered into the triage area, asked to give a urine sample which I had no trouble with*, and change into a gown. The whole time I was still thinking that there was still a chance they would send me home because my contractions were still very erratic and no more than 10 minutes apart. However, at the end of the initial exam when I ask the sweet nurse who was taking care of me in triage what the chances were of me being officially admitted, she said, “When your water broke you bought yourself a first-class ticket to one of our suites! You’re not going anywhere!” Needless to say, I was SO HAPPY. Miss C was coming that day!

*Pretty much no one was following my blog when I wrote a post early in the pregnancy detailing my inability to go in a cup, but if you want a laugh you should check it out.

Of course, I still was only about 3 cm dilated which meant a nice portion of pitocin was served up to get things going.

They wheeled me into the huge delivery suite and multiple nurses told us about a thousand times the guidelines about having guests in the room during the delivery. Seriously, about 20 people could fit in that room.
Luckily it was just going to be B and me since we have no family in town and no friends in Fayetteville who we would want to include during the delivery, so all the space just ended up being luxurious for us.

Then the whole question of pain medication arose. I knew the question of what I was going to do as far as pain management was coming. I had put it off until the eleventh hour. I have never been able to gauge my pain threshold. I’ve been through some super painful ordeals in my life, but childbirth is kind of in a realm all to itself and you can’t compare a severe backache to the sensation of a human coming out of you. So the plan all throughout the pregnancy was to just wait and see and go as long as I could without meds or an epidural. The nurses attending me asked me what my preferences were and were extremely respectful of my decisions, offering kind guidance and reminders of how to breathe and focus through the contractions. There was one older nurse whose name I can’t remember now who spoke to me in the most soothing tones, almost like I was a child. In any other situation I would have resented her tone but in this situation I needed to be babied. Having a baby is scary; you’re as vulnerable as the little person you’re attempting to push out.

But yeah, lemme just tell you that once that pitocin got in my bloodstream and started doing its thang on my cervix, I was feeling it. I concentrated on my breathing and focused on certain points in the room, trying my hardest not to cry during the contractions that had started coming pretty hard and heavy within an hour of the administering of the pitocin. But within an hour or so I was DONE. B and I had been working on a crossword puzzle during the early stages and at some point he was reading one of the clues to me and it just occurred to me that I didn’t need to prove myself to anyone by putting myself through the intense pain I was feeling during the contractions at that point (oh and BTW I was 7 cm by then.)

So at that point I just looked straight at him and said, “We’re doing the epidural ASAP. Tell them.”

And he did.

I had tested positive for strep C about two weeks prior which meant that antibiotics were being administered to me at the delivery so the baby wouldn’t contract anything during the birth. When B told the nurses that I wanted an epidural, they said that all we’d have to do was wait until the bag of antibiotics was emptied and then I could get my meds. This took about 45 minutes. Now in the past, when you’re in pain, time drags pretty mercilessly or just straight-up stands still. But I was trying so hard to just focus on the task at hand and the impending epidural that those 45 minutes went by pretty quickly. I don’t know if that is an indication that I could have delivered Miss C sans drugs at all, but in retrospect I’m glad I opted for the drugs.

Finally it was time for the epidural. B was ushered away (I asked why he wasn’t allowed to be in there for it but now I can’t remember the reasoning behind it; I wasn’t annoyed or anything, though.) and the anesthesiologist was ushered in.

And oh my goodness what an awesome anesthesiologist. First off, he totally reminded me of Bill Murray. He was late middle-aged, gregarious, and very soothing and supportive. I  felt very at ease with him. Once he had given me my epidural I was very willing to notify him of my thought that he looked like Bill Murray. Yeah, so he had never been told that before. The nurses didn’t see it either. Oh well.

The drugs kicked in pretty quickly. Not being able to feel your legs and your nether regions is indeed a bizarre thing. I didn’t have any feeling whatsoever. I was also getting pretty coo coo pigeon sister in my brain at that point too, just wanting to talk to everyone within a 20 foot radius about any and everything. The nurse in charge of everything came back in and was checking something and I ended up confiding in her how wonderful the entire nursing staff had been thus far and how displeased I was about my OB and what he had said to me hours earlier on the phone. She was awesome and totally understanding; she urged me to notify the practice and other powers-that-be that he had spoken extremely inappropriately. She was very well-aware of some doctors’ inclinations to get uppity and pompous.

And guess who walked in just then? Dr. Davis. Wa-hoo. So glad he could make it.

To his credit, he DID apologize for speaking abruptly on the phone with me, even though his apology was pretty weak. He said he was in the middle of a testy conversation with his seventeen-year-old. Couldn’t say that I cared at all. It was almost insulting that he tried to explain his behavior away to any extent at all, but I chose not to really dignify it with a response. I had more important matters at hand, ie, having Miss C.

Things kind of get blurry after that. The contractions got more intense, even though I couldn’t feel them and I became really nauseated. I never threw up, but I thought I would several times.

Around 10:50 PM, I was again chatting with any and everyone in the room about any and everything when the head nurse abruptly told me it was time to start PUSHING.

WHAH! The excitement begins!

So here’s the thing: I couldn’t feel squat. Absolutely nada. Like I said, I had one amazing anesthesiologist. Therefore, it was difficult for me to gauge whether or not the pushing I was doing was effective at all. In the end the only indication I had to go by that I was pushing hard enough was that I was also crapping all over the table.

Yeah, hi, I pooped. Like, a lot. And I could smell it. That’s how I knew. Fun.

So we pushed and we pushed and we pushed.

And finally the doctor came in. It is apparently kind of normal for the OB to only really attend the birth when the baby is crowning and about ready to actually come. Considering how famously my doctor and I got along, this was absolutely fine by me.

I wish this whole part of the story was more exciting and drawn out, but it was just so fast and easy. I kind of feel like a cheated death when I got that epidural.

After only 45 minutes of pushing, we had A GIRL! MISS C!

I saw my girl and she was a-screaming, the most beautiful sound in the world! I looked at the girl and was simply amazed that SHE was the one I had been thinking about all this time. Finally, a face to go with a name. It’s a very, very strange and beautiful moment when you realize that that’s not just a baby; it’s your baby. And you’ll know her forever. She’s yours.

The instant the baby popped out, my stomach just deflated. It was kind of awesome. Like, one minute you’re pregnant and can’t breathe and the next you’re just not pregnant anymore. It’s strange and comparable to getting your braces off after you’ve worn them for a long time.

They took Miss C to get wiped off but then I got her back within a minute and she immediately latched on and got her nursing on. B and I were both so proud of her! Nursing like a pro within five minutes of life! She also had quite a set of lungs on her as she continued crying for what seemed like an hour.

After a nice long cuddle and nursing time, the nurses whisked her off to the side again to clean her up further and for me to get stitched up.

I asked Dr. Davis if I had torn and in his slippery fashion he replied “Well we had to make a bit of a cut but I’m sewing it up now.”

WHA?! An episiotomy?! Are you freaking kidding me? OK, so I admit that it was kind of my fault for not letting this guy know ahead of time that I would have preferred to tear naturally. The onus is on me. But I kind of assumed that since Dr. Davis wasn’t 75 years old and appeared to be up on some of the more modern (ie, not using forceps) birthing techniques, an episiotomy was never a possibility. I guess I was wrong. Well then, I’ll know for next time. Whatever. Good thing I then had a baby and was less inclined to get worked up over something I couldn’t change.

Stitching complete and baby all cleaned up, I was wheeled into our recovery room with Miss C. I still couldn’t believe I had done it. I couldn’t believe how beautiful and perfect my sweet baby girl was. I couldn’t believe that B and I were parents.

My two loves

I still can’t.

The last week and a half has been full of wonderful, difficult, blissful, scary, and priceless moments. Sometimes all at the same time.

We’re all growing together. It’s pretty great.

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72 comments

  1. I’ve done one birth with pitocin and no epidural. I promise that you had a better experience than I did. Sometimes pain meds are a very, very, very good thing! You made a wise choice.

    1. I certainly think so too. Even though I kind of wish I could have trucked thru and done it with no meds, I don’t feel too much remorse about it.

  2. That’s beautiful and I can’t help thinking how much it’s worth it when you have a beautiful baby at the end of it all :) I already think about pain relief even though having a baby is ideally years away, and unfortunately Italy kind of freaks me out in that they’re not very pro pain relief and prefer for mothers to ‘be strong and do what women always have done’! It’s nice to read a positive experience of an epidural, it’s so true that you don’t know what childbirth’s going to feel like until you get there so all options must be considered.

    Congratulations again!

    Daisy

    1. Hopefully one day if you give birth in Italy you’ll be able to find a doctor who is open to epidurals, if you decide you want one. But you’re right, no matter what you choose it’s so wonderful to just have your baby at the end. Words really can’t express it. Thanks or your sweet comment!

  3. I agree. Very wise choice on the epidural. I loved my hospital birth/epidural experience, probably more than any home-birthing advocate would ever want me to admit.

    I’m so glad she got here safe and sound, and that you guys seem to be adjusting so well. She is absolutely beautiful. I hope the episiotomy isn’t giving you too much trouble. Super ouch!

    1. I remember that you had an epidural too! When I read your birth story and you were so pleased with your epidural, I remember thinking that it was something I shouldn’t rule out. So glad I didn’t.

  4. Congrats! I appreciate all the gory details. Man, I hate hospitals and doctors, especially when they judge, are rude, and do things to your body without telling you or asking your permission. I am so glad you had an overall good experience.

    1. The gory details CAN be fun :) Just in small dosages. I am DONE with doctors for awhile. Luckily the baby’s pediatrician makes up for in awesomeness what my delivering OB lacked.

  5. Yay!!! I’m so happy for you. It sounds like everything is going really well. The first month is pretty surreal mostly due to sleep deprivation! haha! – but all in all, there’s nothing like bringing a beautiful life into this world. Congratulations!

    1. The first month is shaping up to be the most challenging yet rewarding time I’ve ever known. I’m pretty sure she’s decided she won’t sleep tonight, but for some reason I know I will function. It’s amazing what love will make you do :)

  6. Uughh I want to punch your doctor. But I’m glad Miss C is here and wonderful!

    1. Me too. She’s pretty awesome (even when she’s screaming and refusing to sleep, which is often.)

  7. Congratulations! Your doctor sounded like a turd but at least you know for next time (if you want a next time) to not go with him. I felt your joy and pride while reading this.

    1. Thank you! You’re right…I completely learned my lesson! Next time I will prob want to have a midwife or doula too.

      1. I’ve been thinking about having a midwife or a doula but I don’t know anyone who has personally had one. So if you start on your next one before I start, I can’t wait to read what your experiences.

        1. I have heard great things about them. No one I know who’s had one has regretted it in the slightest.

  8. I am glad you had an overall good experience. What a lovely family !

    1. Thanks! They are pretty freaking adorable together.

  9. You captured this beautifully! It is such a great moment when you see their face for the first time. I didn’t know they cut me either until my best friend told me weeks later, and I love the epidural. It was like a NASCAR pit stop in the delivery room. Great, great story, and congratulations again!

    1. Thank you. I love that analogy! It really does give you a new lease on life, err, labor.

      Her little face was so familiar yet foreign. I loved it.

  10. Loved this post. We would never have said it before, but my parents are evangelists for epidurals. My mum’s done it both ways and the pain-free way is the best! congratulations again, and now I’m going to read your pee-in-a-cup post because, strangely enough, I just posted on that very subject today ;)

    1. Once again we are on the same wavelength! So glad my peeing in cup days are over for now!

  11. Sweet pics! Loved the blow-by-blow – so very accurate of the ordeal, the challenges and joys. This is why we had four. This is also be why my college roommate later warned me not to eat corn for two weeks prior to delivery. :D

    1. You had one wise roommate :) ah, the things you think of after-the-fact….

  12. Whoops, delete this and that “be” up there…

  13. I love oyur crazy-face picture at the top!! you look so cute!! Congrats on the baby!! She is ADORABLE!!! :)

    1. Thank you! I always seem to want to do silly faces…I think I lived in Korea too long where it is totally normal to pose ridiculously for all manner of photos.

  14. I’ll be back tomorrow to give a real comment. Too sleepy now, but I had to check before bed to see if you put the other half of the birth story up. Yay! Nighty night.

    1. Nighty-night, Mrs. Jells! Get some rest for all of us :)

      1. Ok, my first memory was that you got a sneaky episiotomy! Not cool. How many stitches did you end up with? And secondly, I’m so fascinated about this pushing business while not being able to feel anything. And yes, the poop. That’s so true. It’s the exact same sensation, except bigger and more stubborn. But cuter! I pushed for about 3 hours. Great job on that one! Man, I really could talk about giving birth all day. So so so happy for you! What a healthy girl. Wait, did you give her stats yet? Size, time of day born, that sort of thing?

        1. You know, I don’t think I even asked how many stitches I got. One of those things I didn’t even think to ask! However, I do know the rest of the stats: 7 lbs. 3 oz, 21 inches, 11:45 PM.

          1. That is the most perfectly sized baby to squeeze out of a cooter. EB was almost 9 lbs. That’s why my midwife says we don’t know until they come out. Otherwise we’d freak about trying to make them fit!

  15. krugthethinker · · Reply

    Hurray! You are a complete and total champion, and I am so intensely proud of you! Thank you for posting this–it’s the next best thing to being there:) I am so glad that you had such great nurses and that everything went so smoothly. And Miss C, oh my goodness, she is perfect. I will never ever forget the moment when I heard her cry over the phone–definitely going down in history as one of the happiest moments ever. Love you!

    1. Awww I love you. Im so grateful I could talk to you right after her birth. It was indeed a special moment that will go down in the annals of our history :) Love you and cannot wait for you to meet our friend in person.

  16. What adorable pictures! I’m not sure my hubby will be of any mind to take pictures. Miss C is beautiful and I’m glad that the nurses were a great team for you. It’s better to have that support I think. :) Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. LOL my husband got a bit queasy at times too and thought he wouldn’t be able to snap photos (I knew this would happen…he has a weak stomach). But it’s true that once things get going and pushing begins men tend to divert their attention 100% to you and forget about their qualms; at least that was the case with us.

      Thank you for your kind words! Those nurses were indeed a dream team!

      1. I’m hoping he won’t forget about the camera completely because I’m not sure I’ll remember during labor. :P My prenatal teacher stressed the fact that the men need feeding before active labor to prevent fainting so I’m going to make sure there is food for mine. Seems you did too, kudos! :)

        1. Yes, food for the menfolk is absolutely essential. I got B a huge box of Cliff bars that he ate throughout our entire stay at the hospital. He said he’ll prolly never be able to eat one again.

  17. It is amazing. Isn’t it insane to think ‘I DID THAT’. Me. Little old me. I DID it. (well, YOU did it, but you know what I mean). Birth changed my entire life. I felt more capable than I ever had. I am so pleased that you had a great experience, it really is a wonderful thing. How is the breastfeeding going? I think at day 8 I was like WTF am I doing? My nipples, my pretty little nipples, are bleeeeeding! Then I got over it and those puppies toughened up. But it did take a while.

    1. Breastfeeding was hard at first because it took a really long time for my milk to come in (almost six days!) She lost more weight than she should have at first and we had to start supplementing the colostrum with formula with a tiny syringe. Coupled with my raging hormones, it was kind of traumatizing. But now that I’m finally producing milk it’s going A LOT better, thanks for asking :)

      1. That sounds very difficuly. Seriously awesome that you were able to stick it out, though!

  18. Well, ma’am, thanks for making me cry AT WORK. I’m so happy things went (relatively) smoothly and your baby girl is healthy! So many congrats again to your new little family!!

    I love that birth stories include poop 75% of the time. Like it’s never appropriate…unless the pooper is delivering a baby. And it rarely fails to get mentioned, whether it’s in your context (I pooped!) or like a friend of mines (I didn’t poop!! I was so excited!!). Poop is fricking funny, people.

    1. If you’re anything like me, better get used to that crying because it will become a daily activity once your little Andy Bernard makes an appearance. Seriously, though, thank you :) We are very happy…and sleep-deprived. But more the former than the latter.

      Poop IS funny. I mean, four-year-old boys can’t be wrong! :;D

  19. Woah,i almst felt like I ws th 1 delivering th kid…and am a DUDE!!! Bt i liike!
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    1. LOL what a complement! Thanks!

  20. Congrats! So very happy for you!

    Miss D

    PS-Saw the “Pressed” feature, but this is so much more monumental!

    1. MISS D!!!! So happy to see you! Thank you for your sweet words!

  21. Ahahaha. I’m making sure my husband reads this in preparation for the “wonders” of child birth. We are trying to conceive, so I must prepare him. Thanks for the honest and, as always, humorous insight into your experience.

    1. Best of luck conceiving! Lemme tell you, that’s the most fun!

  22. I love your story! Thanks for sharing it. She is such a beauty!

    You and I had a different epidural experience for sure. Mine made me sooo sleepy. It was horrible. I was falling asleep during my c-section and when they gave me the baby to nurse for the first time I was so knocked out that the nurses had to hold him for me. I wish mine went as well as yours!

    1. Thank you! We are very proud of her. Yours is adorable too :)

      I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience with your epidural. I didn’t include it in the post, but mine made me pretty sleepy too, although not nearly as sleepy as yours made you. I guess itstrue that they just affect everyone differently. Do you think you’d go naturally if you have another baby?

  23. Your powerful pushes kept Miss C from being an April Fool with 15 minutes to spare! So happy for you and your hubby!

    1. Forgot to ask – what is the Fall Risk bracelet about?

      1. Haha B just lies to take pics of arbitrary things like that. After the epi B got kind of obsessed with the bracelets and just took a bunch of pics of the thm..

    2. Thank you so much! It’s amazingbwhat a strong desire will make you do.

  24. Written in the most hilarious way! Loved reading it! And yes…giggled a lot too :-)

    1. Thanks! I’ll have to admit that it was a labor of love to find the time to hammer this one out so I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  25. This post was so great! Being that I am nearing the end, myself, I have started to have this intense anxiety about the actual delivery and what is to come, you managed to calm me so much! Congrats again!!!
    AND I AM STILL SOOOOO JEALOUS!!! Hugs!

    1. You are going to do awesome. Don’t believe the hype. Our bodies were built for this. :) So excited for your impending Bebe.

  26. [...] Born This Way: Part Deux (epa82.wordpress.com) Rate this: Psssst…Pass it on!FacebookStumbleUponEmailDiggRedditTwitterPinterestLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  27. such a fantastic story! Thank you so much for sharing! Miss C is beautiful… congrats on mommy-dom!

    1. Thank you! It’s been quite an adventure so far!

  28. Thanks so much for sharing your birth story! I had to have a c-section but definitely going to try for a VBAC next time and erm your post confirms my worst fears are true – pooping on the delivery bed. Oh dear… Your OB sounds like a real piece of work but the perfect Miss C more than makes up for anything you had to go through to have her I’m sure.

    1. My pleasure! Thank YOU for reading! He was a piece of work but you are absolutely correct about the trade-off :) Thanks for commenting.

  29. This was fascinating to read- I can’t get over the doctor still, but congratulations again and well done! :)

    1. Thank you! We are so happy, despite the doc :)

  30. Samantha · · Reply

    Im a little late on congratulations. I’ve been out of the blogsphere lately. Having babies is hard work, good job mom. Having as many kids as I do I’ve gone with and without the drugs. Without a doubt with the drugs much nicer experience.

  31. I know that this is probably incredibly rude to ask, but what does Miss C stand for? And is her first name C?

    ~Signed…A very Inquisitive 13 yr old writer/anime watcher/manga and book reader/ and blogger. :D

    1. It’s OK to ask! : D The initial to her first name is C. When she gets older I might start referring to her by her real name on this blog, but for now her moniker is short and sweet, just like her.

  32. [...] Born This Way: Part Deux (epa82.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  33. Oh geez, I am a terrible follower! I was reading your blog months ago, but it turns out, never actually hit ‘follow’ and now the waiting is over, congratulations! She is super cute!

    1. Haha! I can’t tell you how many times the same thing has happened to me! Thanks!

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