Still No Baby (the birth of my first born, cont.)

As far as I am concerned labor for my first born started on Sunday. The hospital didn't start the count until Monday night, when I was finally admitted at about 10pm and only 4 cm dilated. If you don't know, the baby doesn't actually start to come out until a woman is dilated to a full 10. But I finally got to be in the tub. What heaven that was.
The hospital likes to do hear beat monitoring of baby and blood pressure for the mom. Wearing two hospital gowns, one for the front and one for the back, I had to endure some torture first. They put this wide scratchy, horribly unfashionable belt around the widest part of your belly and search for the baby's heartbeat. I couldn't stand it. My feet hurt, the belt hurt. I wanted in the tub, by God.
Drugs were offered, but I had a BIRTH PLAN. It is the all important plan a mother to be joyfully obsesses over for five months. Once it is completed five copies are made. My husband was subjected to three pop quizzes, and one essay test. "List reasons why not to allow the doctor to give me an episiotomy." And "Which birth positions do we want to try and which ones do we want to avoid and why..."
I know I haven't mentioned him much, but my husband was a huge part of the birth of each of our children. He was there from beginning to end for every one. We had practiced breathing together, leaning on each other, and all the necessary stuff. When I broke all the rules about breathing, he tried to help me set a rhythm. He was patient, persistent, and loving.
Because I was not hooked up to a pole for drugs or saline, or anything, I could eat whenever I wanted. This was very helpful to my husband. When out of the bath for the belt torture, I would ask for a sandwich. She would bring it. I would eat a bite. My husband would finish it. Cranberry juice with Sprite is also fabulous. My husband's favorite hospital drink.
I have a picture in Number One Son's baby book taken of me at after midnight early Tuesday morning . I am in the bed, with the belt on, barely holding still, barely aware. Only dilated to a 6. My whole body hurts, epically, strangely the tops of my thighs and the pit of my back. The muscles are knotted and I can't relax between contractions. I've heard rumors of blessed women actually cat-napping between contractions. Not me. In between the waves of pain there was a constant muscle agony I found no relief from. The weightlessness of the tub helped more than anything else. Believe me, we tried every natural childbirth position known to woman kind. I even had a huge birth ball with me. This type of hurting is called back labor, I believe, when the baby is facing the wrong way and hitting his mother's tail bone with each contraction. (I had back labor with all three boys.)
At 6 a.m. or so the nurses start talking "options." I haven't seen much of my midwife. We were with Kaiser then, and your stuck with the stranger on staff at the time, so the doctor assigned to me might have been one of the people popping in every hour to check on me.
I consent to "something to take the edge off." I am so exhausted now. My husband is looking pale, tired, and worried. It is TUESDAY and I haven't slept since SATURDAY. The books say a first time mother may experience a protracted labor and delivery, but this was ridiculous. What ever they give me helps with the in between pain. I finally understand what it means to relax in between the contractions. Relax, heck, I floated in a blissful haze of joy and tranquility. Ohhh, look at all the pretty colors. I am a mermaid....! Wheee. I felt every contraction, they still hurt a ton, but the lack of pain in between-- It makes me understand how a torture victim can feel grateful to his torturers.
The second dose of medication two hours later didn't help as much as the first. When the drug wore off they pulled me out of the tub and forced me back into the torture device known as a maternity bed. I was contorted into position, and checked. Being generous, the nurse, midwife, whoever was down there said, "Your dilated to a loose 7 and 60% effaced." This would have been great if labor was just starting. But being it was a Tuesday morning...not so great. At some point my water had broken and I didn't even know it. Even though the baby was showing no distress, (he must have thought he was on a roller coaster ride, or in a great massage machine, some pleasant fun thing,) because my water had broken, the powers that be in the hospital were getting nervous. It is a no return point for them: they expect to see a baby in 24 hours or else.
The big C word was thrown around a couple of times.
Husband and I were still looking for other options. Instead of a cesarean section we opted for a temporary epidural. One shot in the back. At least with the full-body-numbing I could sleep. I had a list of reasons why no epidural. My biggest personal reason being it takes away control the situation, not only the body of the person who receives the drug. I hate that.
It was done. This is the first time ever in my life I fell asleep with the lights on, my legs elevated, on my back sunny side up. I drifted away after testing the reality of the epidural. No, I couldn't even wiggle my toes. So weird.
I slept almost two hours. Waves of pressure in my hips woke me. Not pain, but a warning of pain. My worn out husband was asleep on a the window seat. It amazes me how easily he can sleep when he is tired enough. I buzzed the nurse.

Don't you think this is getting long? I am going to stop here, and start another post.

On another subject: My heart and prayers go out to the families and friends of those killed at Virgina Tec. I am so sorry this awful thing happened to you.



  1. You are so mean to draw this out another day. Oh well, something to look forward to tomorrow.

  2. Anonymous5:49 PM

    well, at least you've got us all coming back like a soap opera here

  3. Hey, If I put it all in one post, it would take forever to read. This is 40 hours of labor people!

  4. After 40 hours of labor, you have earned the right to take as long as you want to post about it!

  5. After yesterday's "Smarty-poppins" comment on my blog, it is somewhat gratifying to read about your pain ;) No, not really. It just made me feel better to say.

    So what are the reasons to not get an episiotomy? This is one I want to know.

  6. I also hate losing control of the situation, which is what happens in most hospital births. Still, I sure can't begrudge a woman looking for relief from that pain!

  7. My first delivery, I "tore" and I wished that I had had an episiotomy - either way would have been painful but I think maybe they would have been able to stitch it better. It was so painful for weeks...

    And to answer your question, Jared and I aren't blood related but we have "adopted" each other as brother and sister; we've always had such a strong kinship and we have found that we have a lot in common. Plus the fact that we are brother and sister in Christ - that's good enough for me.


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