I should have read more books on the subject. I read tons of info on pregnancy, but I got tired of reading, so I stopped just short of reading about the actual delivery. I think I figured that when the time came, the doctors and nurses would be there to guide me, and my body would just know what to do. And they did, and it did. Kinda. But my brain was sorely misinformed. Sorely. Misinformed. Let me elaborate…
See, I chose to be induced. I literally could not take one more day of being pregnant, so I coaxed my doctor into inducing me a few days before my due date. And for some reason, I equated induction with less labor work. See, this is where the reading would have come in REALLY handy. I went into the hospital on Monday night to start the first stage. First stage was the Cervidil, which is a medication-ish thingy that goes…up somewhere and softens things. After the Cervidil is in for 8-12 hours and the things are sufficiently soft (ewww, I know), it comes out, and another medication called Pitocin is started, which starts contractions and thus starts labor, but usually takes several hours to really get going. Easy-peasy, right? Well, my nurse on Monday night who did the Cervidil business informed me, as she’s doing the business btw, that SOME women, very, very FEW women, will actually go into labor with just the Cervidil. But it almost never happens, it’s really rare, don’t worry about, you won’t have a baby till tomorrow night at the earliest. So I was looking forward to getting some sleep while things softened, even took an Ambien to help with the plan. Goodnight, see you in the morning, then we’ll have a baby.
And then it started. At around 2:00 am, not even 4 hours after the first stage was implemented. At first, I felt what I thought were just some mild cramps (Nurse Don’t Worry About It said some mild cramping was to be expected, so not to worry about it). And then the mild cramps turned into more moderate cramps. And then moderate cramps turned into what the hell is happening to my stomach cramps. And then those turned into what can only be described as fiery knives trying to push their way through the inner wall of my uterus, better known as contractions. Now, this progression took all of about 30 minutes, so by the time the really bad ones hit, I was pretty freaked out. I was supposed to have at least another 8 hours before this part started, and here I was trying not to scream and trying to remember to breath, neither of which I practiced. Nurse DWAI then informed me that I was in labor, had in fact started to dilate (soften, ewww), and I was being moved to labor and delivery and did I want the epidural now? My responses: what? when?!? okaaaaaaay. YES!!!!!!!
This whole time, Tom is asleep on the couch in the room, and I’m trying not to wake him because I thought, well at least one of us should get some sleep, so I wait until Nurse DWAI gets me ready to move. I really regret not waking him earlier, I missed out on a solid 45 minutes of being able to cuss him out without recourse.
So I go to labor and delivery, and I’m waiting for the anesthesiologist to come in and save my life, and at the same time, I’m trying to jump off the bed during each contraction, which by then were around 3 minutes apart. And then my water broke. And then the real pain started. Things got pretty hazy after that, I’ll be honest. I remember telling Tom to call my sisters, because it was happening not according to our original plan and the new plan was a lot faster. I remember getting the epidural, which was almost as painful as the contractions because I was bent over like a Chinese contortionist and in the middle of a couple of those bitching contractions. I remember the initial feeling of relief once the epidural kicked in, and then the paralyzing fear once I realized that I could still feel stuff on my left side (apparently, it doesn’t always work at full capacity, did not know that, wish I had). Things got a little better after that, my sisters got there, I was 5 centimeters dilated, we settled in for a longish wait.
The longish wait turned into an hour. Apparently once my body got started, it was like a Mack truck, unstoppable. I was fully dilated, ready to push. Dylan had other plans. She was still all snuggly up there, not really ready to come on down. So I pushed. And I pushed. And I pushed some more. I pushed for an hour straight, 3 times every contraction. I was on the verge of quitting and begging for a c-section when tada! There she was. And she was on my chest and so small and warm and barely crying, and then she was gone. Things get REALLY hazy after that. The combination of pain and exhaustion and emotional overload brought me down. Tom went with the baby, he called out some numbers that it took me a minute to realize were her weight and length. There was some work being done down below, some stitching and such (all VERY unpleasant). Pictures and phone calls and tears and cheers and laughter. I remember feeling like this had all just happened to someone else, and I was just watching it. And then I’d feel a stitch, and it would bring me right back around.
And then, she was in my arms. And she was so pretty and perfect and pink. Her little face was so serene. Her fingers so elegant. Her head, COVERED in hair. And she looked at me. And I will remember that moment for the rest of my life. It was like she knew me, and I knew her, and we were talking to each other without words. And then she closed her eyes again. And we had peace.