Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Post About Birthing #1

Since I like to think of this blog as my journal (only it's read by thousands hundreds tens ones of people), I am going to write stuff here that I don't want to forget. When I am older and the Some-timers (part-time Alzheimer's) sets in, I want be able to look back and read and laugh at what a jackass I was remember. Hopefully. Unless I become so doddering I forget how to use a laptop. Or even what a laptop is. (OAP Me: "Jesus, what kind of a waffle iron is this?!")

So now, I write the story of the Hurricane's birth. Walk with me, as we meander through the extended, make-a-short-story-long, gory journey of the first time my vagina morphed from Fun Tunnel to a scene straight from an Alien movie.

I went into labor in the early afternoon on February 3, 2005. Hot Stuff, my mother, and I went into town and hung out at D's house because my contractions were not too bad. I was not nervous or scared, really (only because I had no f*cking idea what was about to happen), but my mom and hubby were both very antsy. We decided to go to the hospital shortly after 5pm because my contractions were 5 minutes apart and getting stronger (HA!!). After a quick exam, the nurse said that I was only 2cm dilated but because my membranes were bulging through the opening, I was going to be admitted.

Then followed a very, very long night of my mom, Hot Stuff, and D taking turns sitting with me as I progressed very slowly. I cried some. And I said, "I'm sorry, I can't help it," a lot during my crying jags. I don't really know why I kept apologizing for crying, except that I was in labor and there is no rationale for labor behaviour.

I had a shot of Demerol at about 2:30am, and then again at around 7am the following morning, February 4th. (I am still, after 3 kids, more scared of a needle in my back than giving birth.) I remember the nurses getting me out of bed and one of them saying to my darling husband, "Take your wife into the shower, it's very relaxing. We're going to tidy up in here and then we'll check her." I would like to meet the person who first thought of this brilliant idea of "showering as relaxation during labor." Then I would like to give that individual a 30-second head start. It was, by far, the most un-relaxing thing, ever. Because I am not already the size of a whale, I should get in a coffin-sized shower. Because I am not uncomfortable enough, I should be soaking wet so that the exact spot where the shower is hitting my skin is warm, but the rest of my wet self is f*cking hypothermic. Of course, my loving husband is the one holding the shower nozzle, and is hosing me off like he is pressure-washing his truck. Top to bottom. Side to side. Top to bottom. Diagonally. "No, please, honey, get in close with that nozzle to really get those dried-on stubborn bugs off my headlights." That shower was over, el pronto. I was freezing cold, shaking, and cursing: all of which make labor so much more enjoyable.

After I dried off, a nurse (not the one who suggested the "relaxing" shower, I believe that girl hit the bricks while I was still in the bathroom. She obviously has excellent survival instincts), checked me out and pronounced me 9.5cm dilated. So the doctor was called and I was given a birthing ball to bounce on. Now THAT was heaven. Oh, the bouncing, glorious bouncing. That movement produces a bit of anti-gravity in the Ut'R'Us so that the baby and fluid are shifted up for nanoseconds at a time, relieving pressure on the pelvic floor. I didn't want to stop. But they made me. My doctor arrived, checked me out, and pronounced me ready to go sometime before noon. I was up on the birthing bed and he said to me, "This is going to feel so f*cking good to have this pressure relieved that you will think I shot you up with heroin." I might have misunderstood, as he could have easily said, "I am going to break your water now."

I will not go into the play-by-play for hard labor as most of it is a haze. What I do remember: being sweaty. Being in pain. A nitrous tank was wheeled in, because by that point it was too late for me to have another shot in the ass. I took one inhale and almost threw up. "No nitrous for me," I said. So my husband grabbed the mask from my hand and hauled back on that sucker like it was oxygen and he was a drowning man. At some point, I pooped on the table and then said, "Oh my God, did I just poop on the table?" It took until 3:36pm for the Hurricane to be born. I pushed and pushed and pushed, but his forehead was stuck up on my pubic bone. There was an intern assisting my doctor, and he let her use the vacuum sucker to try to dislodge my baby, but it slid off baby's head. Three times. Finally, my doctor said, "You really have to jam it on," and boy, did he. I think he pushed the baby right back up. Into my esophagus. Whatever, it worked. The doctor was able to pull my stubborn child out of my exhausted body. (I later found out that as baby was coming out, a pediatrician/surgeon was coming into my room to take me to OR for an emergency C-section.)

When my son was finally born, he was not breathing and the cord was wrapped around his neck. The doctor grabbed the baby and brought him over to the warming table. I stared, in a daze, not processing that my baby wasn't crying. I was just.. staring. I can still see my doctor grab the baby, hold him upside down, and start rubbing the sides of baby's chest to get him to breathe. Then the doctor put my baby down and stuck the oxygen on him while rubbing baby's chest. Then back up in the air, upside down. Then back to oxygen. And me, still staring, not comprehending that my baby isn't fucking breathing. Know what I was thinking while watching this? 'Huh, just like you do for puppies. Like 101 Dalmations.' It seemed like I watched this for half an hour; it was less than 1 minute. My husband is standing next to my bed, holding my hand, completely engrossed. All of a sudden, I hear my husband say, "I can't do this," and he starts walking out of the room. Just exactly as he got to the door, our little baby finally cried. A big, huge, I am really, really fucking pissed off at you people and I am gonna give you hell for this cry. And then, I cried. And magically, Hot Stuff was back at my side. Crying tears of relief. I have never, ever before or since seen my husband scared like that. Once my Hurricane was cleaned up, I got to hold him. Then my waterworks really started.

Every mother thinks her child is the most beautiful, perfect, breathless piece of beauty to ever exist on Earth. Until a few years later you look back at pictures and see that your l'il slice o' heaven looks more like Mr. Magoo than anything else. Or, in our case, Mr. Magoo after he got attacked by a vacuum cleaner that also punched him in the forehead, thus giving him an open wound on his head and facial swelling.

Now, he is a healthy, happy, exuberant 4 year old Hurricane. I would do it all over again.


  1. You are a HOOT! I come to your Post to get cheered up. You make me laugh and feel like all the crazy stuff that happens to me is ok because someone else gets to deal with crazy stuff sometime too! :o)

  2. Lovely story. I think my heart stopped for a moment there. Even being pretty sure I knew how it turned out!

  3. I guffawed all the way through this and stopped to reread parts aloud to my hubby. So glad Hurricane is alive and well and with you today!

    When my doctor used the bleepin' vacuum it felt like fire from the pits of hell. I sat up and screamed and almost fell off the table because of course my butt wasn't actually on the table. More pain medicine was called in immediately. Such nice memories. :)


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