Yes. It’s that time.
I know you’ve all been waiting on the edge of your seats with bated breath for this.
I shall now document online for friends (all two of you) and all posterity our second and last child’s birth story.
(Note: If this is totally not your thing, just skip ahead to the next blog post.
If there is one.)
How Judah Came to Be
When my May 1 due date came and went, I wasn’t too rattled since that’s exactly what Elliott (1 week overdue) did. I was comfortable with going a week overdue, but as the days ticked by on my calendar and I wasn’t getting any physical signals that this baby was coming soon, my OB decided to go ahead and schedule an induction for one week overdue.
Now I’m a good mix of “let’s let our bodies do things naturally” and “OMG I need every medical intervention” which is to say, I am a confused person (yay, Gemini). So I went back and forth on canceling this appointment and going the full two weeks overdue before doing anything. Which I ended up doing.
The doctor still wanted to see me, monitor the baby, and make sure everything was okay enough to keep going with the pregnancy. We discovered in the appointment that instead of having 8 (let’s call them) units of fluid around the baby (considered normal), I had only 3 units, so the doctor told us to go home, take showers, and head to the hospital. I was eleven days past my due date.
Last time, I had gone into labor, I did so naturally after waddling for thirty minutes to the stadium and sitting through an entire baseball game on a hard, metal bleacher while eating DipNDots and candy. So this whole induction thing was foreign territory.
We went home, took showers, kissed our almost two year-old–actually, I wept over him. Like a baby. Which probably confused the heck out of him. It felt strange that this would be the last time we would be a family of three.
We got to the hospital around 3:30 pm, and–
Can I get real honest here. Like real honest?
I was a bit–constipated. Like I hadn’t gone in probably four or five days. Which is normal for me in pregnancy. Pregnancy is already constipating in itself, but then when you add Zofran for the nausea on top of it, it gets really ugly, and you get desperate to try and get things moving and out. But seeing as this is the Internet, and anyone can read these thoughts, I’ll spare you the details. Which is rare for me. #whatfilter
So I needed to go before I got that baby out.
What to do?
One of the nurses suggested an enema. I had always heard of enemas in connection with grandmothers and general geriatricity (made up word), so I was unfamiliar with such things. Let’s just say that a) it felt like a public affair with two nurses in the room assisting. They kept talking about Facebook and things in the middle of the procedure which you might think would lighten the mood. It made it weirder. And b) it was explosive. Like forty-five minutes explosive. You know when you throw up, and your whole body gets involved with the action of spewing things out? It felt like that but just in the opposite direction.
After that trauma (literally), I invited my mom and husband to come back into the room (because that would have been humiliation x 1000), and some friends came by. At 6:00 pm, they needed to get the induction started, so they gave me the first round of Cytotec which was supposed to make my cervix “supple and ready” for a baby to cram his head through it. Some friends came by. We walked downstairs for dinner. I had one kind of painful contraction, around a 5 on a 10 scale of pain. We hung out some more. I was confortable.
Around midnight, they started the second round of Cytotec as I was now dilated to 4 cm and more effaced.
Our nurses were awesome.
We had three of them who had been working in labor and delivery for nearly 30 years. These gals knew what they were doing. Our main nurse during the delivery asked me how much pain I wanted to be in. I said I don’t know–NONE? The nurse mentioned that, although the doctors don’t like to do it this way, she could have the anesthesiologist give me an epidural PRIOR to the administration of Pitocin.
Now I know what labor feels like from my first experience–like someone cutting you open from the inside. And I know what labor with Pitocin feels like–like someone is cutting you open from the inside and chopping your uterus into tiny pieces at the same time. I had read two of Ina May Gaskin’s books. They sounded good. But not for me.
Seth and I both felt like a pain-free birth option sounded divine and too good to be true. My husband had been a little traumatized by my first birth experience–much more than I was actually. So we were both on board.
They gave me the epidural at 5 am and the Pitocin at 7 am. I slept until 9 am. I woke up, the doctor checked me, and told me I was ready to push. We called everyone to come down. I pushed 1.5 times, and Judah was out, crying, purple, and mad.
And that was it.
The whole thing, aside from that one “painful” contraction, was completely pain free. Now I know this sounds stupid to all the women out there who push for hours and hours, and I get that it sounds stupid, but I’m going to say it anyway. I was just the teensiest bit disappointed that the pushing didn’t last longer. Everything, aside from that enema, was easy.
And that’s when the hormones showed up.
After the birth, I thought I had escaped the hormone storm I had experienced last time with Elliott. Nope. The next day, I started crying and didn’t stop crying until probably three days afterwords. I’m telling you, nature ensures that you keep your child alive, and it does so by making you love this little crying/screaming helpless pile of human so much it actually physically hurts.
Now, I’m nearly four months postpartum, and I’m so glad I’m on the other side of all the child bearing. They’re so bittersweet. I listened to a voice recording I made this time last year; I was so incredibly sick and throwing up and hopeless feeling. I kept telling myself that one day, all that would be over and I would have my son and our family would be SET, and we would all just move on–away from Zofran and rib pain and swollen extremities and maternity clothes and Pitocin. And now, that day is here, and I have another beautiful person I get to share my days with.