Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How the Princess Got Borned.

Back in 'ought-seven, I calved for the second time in my life, and this time the fruit of my labor had a vagina of her own.

Just to back up a bit, when I found out we were having a girl, my first feeling was one of panic. A girl? What am I going to do with a girl? I don't know about girls. I'm not a girly-girl. What if she wants to get a mani/pedi or something? Ohmygod, whatamIgonnado? Because, yes, newborn baby girls frequently want to go get mani/pedis with their mothers - practically seconds after they come shooting out, they want to go visit a nail salon. Definitely a top priority for babies who still smell like vagina.

This labor was my introduction to induced labor. It was also the shittiest experience of my life. I love my kid, I would do it all again, blah blah, so on and so forth, but COME ON. SURELY modern medicine has a better way to git 'er done than an evil, evil thing known only as the insert.

Sidenote: I am not afraid of needles. I am deathly afraid of epidurals. Don't be messing with my back, yo. I don't want to end up wheeling my baby around because some cracked out doctor zigged when he should have zagged while inserting the epidural needle.

At my 39 week check up, the nurse scheduled me for an induction, "Only if you don't go on your own, which you probably will!! Most women do!!" Back all up offa me, crazy bitch, I'm 10 months jacked on pregnancy hormones and you definitely do not want to piss off this water buffalo. Of course there was no natural labor start for me; I end up going into the hospital on my scheduled day and get the insert. It looks like a tiny piece of paper on a string. And, it gets inserted. Let me interject some truth here. The insert, although it appears innocuous, is really a tiny scrap of paper that has been soaked in gasoline and prune juice, and rolled in jagged shards of glass. The jagged shards of glass actually turn into tiny creatures once it is inserted, and the tiny creatures run throughout your uterus repeatedly stabbing at the walls with their little homemade shivs. Then it gets worse.

After the insert was placed, I went home and walked. And tried to sleep. And walked some more. I walked along a dirt road that borders a field in front of our house; 2km down the road and back. That was the most excruciating walk I have ever done. I stayed at home until about 4pm, at which time I returned to the hospital feeling extremely uncomfortable and contracting every 3 or 4 minutes. They checked me in and I pretty much hung around until my doctor came to see me at 10-ish. When I first arrived at the hospital, I was about 2cm. When the doctor arrived, I was still 2cm. In order that I might start progressing, the doctor broke my water.

At midnight, I was still not progressing; the next step in this zany misadventure was to be hooked up to a Pitocin drip. Pitocin is the "common" name of the drug, the "trade" name (actual chemical name) is: Cocktail of Liquefied Splinters, Evil Ghosts, and A Giant's Hand Reaching Into Your Body and Squeezing Your Uterus And Punching Your Lungs.

Thankfully, I was in great hands. I had a senior nurse and a student nurse. Sr. Nurse was an old-timer with 24 years in maternity nursing; she didn't take any shit, and she didn't wanna hear no whining. Student Nurse was a 25 year old girl with some relevant life experience; she was pregnant with her 4th child at the time.

A night of sheer misery ensued. Being on the Pitocin meant being constantly hooked up to the fetal heart monitor. (I'm not sure why. Now they just hook you up for a certain amount of time every hour, don't they?) Being on constant fetal heart monitoring meant strict bedrest. I cannot begin to describe how awful it is to be in active back labor and stuck in bed. I could not walk. I could not bounce. I could not even pee. Every two hours I could be disconnected from the monitor and allowed to roll onto my other side. Since Demerol worked okay for me with the Hurricane, I assumed it would work again this time. WRONG. Demerol didn't even take the edge off.

At just after 5 in the morning, the senior nurse came in and checked me. Nothing. Hanging around at 4cm. She asked me if I was having pushing pains. At that exact second, I was not, and so advised her. Six seconds later, I was having pushing pains. Hot Stuff noticed the cords and veins standing out on my neck as I tried to breathe through a pushing-pain contraction, and called the nurse back in. Have you ever had a catheter inserted? For your first time, do not pick the exact moment your cervix decides to pop open like a meth-addicted jack-in-the-box.

Sidenote: Hot Stuff actually had the nerve to catnap during the night. I am surprised he didn't die in his sleep from all the Death Glares I was shooting at him during the two hours at a time that I was facing him.

Some words of comfort from my senior nurse during this hardest part of labor: "There is no way in hell your doctor is going to make it before this kid is born. You mind if I just go ahead and deliver you?" You mean, I have a choice? Like, if I want, I can keep going through the torture that is back labor? Well, hell yeah. Sign me up!

After about fifteen minutes of pushing, the Princess arrived and began ruling over her fiefdom at 5: 36am. We cooed. I cried, a little bit. No Korean women came bursting in the room to push back our cuticles or buff off the dead skin of our feet.

The doctor, who indeed did not make it to the party in time, arrived just after the Big Event to weigh the baby, check her over, etc. After baby was declared awesome (I have seen the actual Apgar sheets for my girl, and yes, the boxed marked 'Awesome' is checked), the doctor dragged the senior nurse outside of the room and started yelling at her about not paging him soon enough. Like I said, that senior nurse did not take shit. From anyone. Not even the doctor. She handed him his ass verbally and walked back in, smiling. Hearing two medical professionals duke it out really made up for my shitty night.

I mean, having a baby was good, too, though.


  1. It is my humble opinion that nurses should be receiving doctor's pay and the doctor's should be receiving- oh about 1/4 that amount. They do NONE of the work. Nurses are my heroes.

    Glad you ended up with such a prize after all the hell you went through.

    What exactly did the nurse say? I'd love to know!

  2. That sounds a great deal like Rosebud's birth story. Only they didn't insert anything - my doc just rummaged around enough to get things going. But I was also left strapped to the bed thanks to the PURE EVIL DRIP that is pitocin.

  3. the doctor said something like, "why the hell didn't you page me sooner? you knew she was going to deliver, YOU should have let me know."

    then the nurse said, "i DID page you as soon as i could, she only started dilating half an hour before delivery. YOUR patients are YOUR responsibility; if you wanted to be here for the delivery, YOU should have stayed at the hospital."

  4. Crikey. Hell of a fun time you had there, hun. HELL of a fun time you had!

    I was induced with all three of my boys. Apparently my body loves creating these beings but is a little hesitant to let them go. I can only imagine what it will take to get #4 out if we ever decide to have another kid. After listening to all the fighting and yelling for 9 months, she (and yes, it would be a SHE wouldn't it) will probably end up stuck in my throat as she backs AWAY FROM THE EXIT!

    I'm loving you Stone Fox....will catch up on more after I, you know, make dinner, feed children, wipe asses, bathe asses, enforce bedtime...and all that stuff.

  5. hmmm. thanks for that,lol. Im just glad ive never pooed on the table:)

  6. Loved your blog and O-M-G YES Pitocin is the very Devil's brew!!!!!
    First daughter was in a hurry & pratically FELL out in a total 4/12 hours from start to "it's a girl", but the second daughter made up for it!! After Pitocin, 14+ hours, and attempting every birth position ever thought of; they almost had to do an emergency C section. They were conferring about it in the corner when I managed my final, successful HEAVE HO!! Maybe we should start an "I survived Pitocin" club! LOL

  7. I found you from the link at Ren's, and just want to make sympathetic winces at the concept of stalled back labor, because yeah. Ow.


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