Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Lack of Preparation Paid Off (The Birth Story: Part II)

(Part I can be found here)

You know the powers that be have a strange sense of humor when they allow you to confuse something as important as giving birth with needing to go to the bathroom.

Perhaps attending a childbirth class would have clued me in...a thought I found myself contemplating once or three thousand times throughout the labor.

My birth plan was wildly elaborate: get baby out of me.

Secretly in the back of my mind, I had lofty visions of being able to laugh in the face of contractions and birth pains. If only so I could write a post about how I totally made labor my bitch and everyone can reverently laud me. Which is what pregnancy and labor should be all about.

Being in labor is reminiscent of being in a cartoon. You know the scene: Wile E. Coyote runs off the side of the cliff, but doesn't fall until he looks down to see there is no ground underneath him.

Once I realized that I was going to pass a child and not a giant poop, I went from dealing with the pain and annoyance to "make this pain and annoyance stop. NOW. Because I know you can!" It didn't help that it was awful o'clock in the morning and the doctors were predicting a late afternoon delivery time--you know, FIFTEEN HOURS away. A few pain pills to help me get some sleep seemed in order.

And now I see how people become drug addicts.

They gave me a sleeping pill and some uber-strength Tylenol and I felt awesome and slept. But then I woke up and was in pain again because it turns out I didn't give birth in my sleep like I had hoped.

Everything was a bit hazy over the next billion hours. Michael went home and earned rockstar status by cleaning the house, dealing with the dogs, grabbing the 800 important things I left at home because I only packed completely useless items (childbirth class comes to mind again) and getting himself some shut eye so he wouldn't pass out from exhaustion during the actual birth.

Since I was on the road to junkie hell by having taken drugs already during the labor, we opted to go ahead and get the epidural at some point.

Then I divorced Michael and married the anesthesiologist.

Suddenly (like fifteen hours later), it was time to start pushing.

Let me back up for a moment.

Throughout my time of lying in a drug-induced cloud the doctor would frequently "check my progression" (read: shove her arm up inside me, tickle my tonsils and rattle off a random number that was never ten--the only number pregnant women want to hear).

From her very first tour of my insides, the doctor was skeptical about my ability to have a vaginal (sorry no way around using that word) birth. Despite my hips being about as wide as a football field, my pelvic bones are narrow and were showing no signs of separating.

Driven by the fear of being judged by every woman to ever walk the earth (whether they've given birth or not), I was determined to at least try the whole pushing a baby out through my loins thing. So the doctor respected my wishes and we pushed.

For one and a half hours.

And nothing happened.

The only thing I gave birth to was my own asshole (Hi Mr. Hemorrhoid, how I missed you).

By this point I was secretly cursing everyone in the room and was wondering why the hell no one was talking about a c-section. I knew things weren't progressing and I didn't feel like having my entire rectum end up on the labor table.

But instead I continued to contort into bizarre positions, hang from the monkey bars they installed on the bed and push.

By hour two the doctor gently suggested that we might need to go to "option 2."

I think I stunned the hell out of her when I was all "let's go, wheel me to the OR, let's get this baby thing out and move on." Clearly I should have been a little more vocal about my willingness to have a c-section. My butt would have been spared.

My one shining moment of pride came when they were prepping me for the OR. My impeccable grooming skills meant they didn't have to prep me for the surgery.

These are the things you latch on to with absurd pride after you have been beached in a bed for fifteen hours with only a hemorrhoid to show for all your troubles.

OK...disco baby is squawking at me which means the milk factory is needed. We'll wrap this story up before the end of the week. I think.

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