I thought I was just constipated. I mean, 39 weeks pregnant, it's not unlikely, right? So, there I was on the toilet at 3 am....trying. Nothing...ugh...constipation sucks! I couldn't sleep because I swear I needed to GO. I mean, the urge was so strong. So I repeated this process every hour until about 8 am. By this time...the urge is painful. It felt like I needed to lay a dinosaur egg!! I'm guessing that would be Baby's head. It was so painful and insistent that I woke P up at 9 am. He was home because he had caught a nasty cold. Thank God!! he was sick. I wasn't sure if I was experiencing some really painful Braxton Hicks or if I was going through early labor. I just kept picturing that video from the birthing class of the lady squatting and breathing in all misery. Was this what I was about to go through for the next 12 hours? P thought I was just....I dunno what he was thinking. But we both thought it was nothing...only strange that it was so strong. We sure as hell didn't think I was in labor. I called the doctor to get some clarification. Are these BHs? Are these contractions? Doc said to come in for a stress test and so we went. By 11am, I was hooked up to a monitor.
Turns out, I was 4 cm dilated and having full contractions every 2 minutes!! LOL!! Every 2 minutes!!! So much for hightailing it to the hospital when your contractions are 5 minutes apart. I didn't think they were contractions because I didn't feel any cramps or pain in my belly area like you think you would. Every body is different I guess. Doctor said, I hope you're packed because next destination is the maternity ward. GOOOO!!!! Can you imagine if P was at work? All that nasty 405 traffic? It would take at least an hour for him to drive back! And what if I had hesitated to call the doctor? What if I was still sitting on the toilet trying to push out poo!? So many alternate endings!
We get to the hospital and there's a waiting list for rooms!!! You're kidding, right? (You're also not funny) So many women were in labor that I had to wait in triage for a few hours before I got into the delivery room. I remember registering at the hospital months before in that same area, with the entire triage area being empty! I guess Baby wanted to jump on the bandwagon and be born with half the San Gabriel Valley. As I lay there, P and I cannot believe this is happening. We're talking serious denial here. I lost count of how many times we each said "Oh my God!" I wasn't due for another 4 days! I'm not ready. We're not ready! I still need to vacuum! And my toes...I didn't paint my toenails!!
By the time the anesthesiologist arrived, I was dilated 6cm. The "urge" had transformed into something of the worst lower back pain ever imaginable. It hurt...BAD. Get that needle in my spine STAT!!! She paid me the nice compliment of saying I had a high pain tolerance, being 6 cm dilated and all. Little did she know that it wasn't really tolerance, but just plain ignorance and denial. I just thought I was super constipated. 39 weeks pregnant...it's not an unreasonable assumption, you know. Anyway, it turns out...my epidural was a good one. All night, I kept hearing from the staff how good my epidural was. You see, even though I was numb from the waist down...I could still move my legs. Remind me to buy that woman some chocolates. Ten minutes later, I was in epidural heaven. IT. WAS. WONDERFUL. I love that stuff. I wanna marry that stuff. I wanna buy stock in that stuff. I wanna get a safety deposit box at the bank and fill it with that stuff. I could no longer feel pain and was now looking forward to meeting my baby....painlessly.
But the contractions kind of stopped. They decreased in intensity....leaving me dilated 8 cm. Dammit!! So now I'm on Pitocin to get my contractions going again. The bigger I contract, the more dilated I get. We're looking for 10cm, folks. Although with the size of Baby's head, I wouldn't mind if I dilated 20cm, know what I'm saying? The Pitocin eventually worked after what felt like an eternity. And here's the thing...epidural is great for pain. But pain can come in all sorts of forms. I may not have been feeling contractions or back aches anymore, but the pressure was definitely intense. It's so hard to describe the pressure. You just want to push so bad and yet...you can't push hard enough. It's like shitting a football. Not my words, people. This old lady told me that that's what it felt like for her. She was sooooo right!
I pushed for about an hour and a half. It went like this....
(I wanna push...omg, I wanna push! I'm pushing!!!!)
"Okay Sandra, take a deep breath and PUSH!!!!! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10!"
(God help me! I'm so tired....I can't do this!)
"GOOOD! Just like that!!! Deep breath and PUSH!!!!! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10!!!!!"
(OMG...I can't catch my breath! Get out! Get out! Get out!!)
"One more time, Sandra!!! You can do it!!! PUUUUUSSSHHHH!!! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7.....okay...that's okay. "
(I can't push anymore!!! Make it stop!! Why isn't he coming out!?!? Why?! Why?!)
This went on for about an hour until my OB arrived. Then it was like the Superbowl and I was the quarterback about to throw the winning pass. P, my OB and the nurse were all cheering me on so hard! You couldn't buy this kind of a cheering squad. It's almost impossible not to want to push when you have them yelling at you like that. Now, before I continue, I have to go backward a little and tell you that I didn't eat anything since the night before. I went straight from sleep, to the doctor's and then the hospital. They wouldn't let me eat anything there, so my stomach was very emtpy. And I was very weak by the time I started pushing. I even threw up in the beginning. Ugh. All that pushing just brought it up, I guess.
So, an hour and a half later, I'm really really REALLY weak. I'm pretty sure I can't push much longer. He wasn't even crowning yet but was definitely knocking at the door. In my desperation to expel this baby, I opt for suctioning. In fact, I'm begging. And guess what? Suction goes on and in a few pushes....he's out!!! A whopping 8 lbs. and 10 oz!!! Oh and let's not forget the whole big head ordeal!! Even now when I look at his head, I can't believe I pushed THAT out. Incredible.
I wish I could say that I was blissfully emotional and that P and I were crying in each others' arms. But we weren't. I was so exhausted and still in shock that I was delivering early, I don't think I was mentally prepared for his arrival. P also thinks that since we were expecting that sort of reaction, we kind of psyched ourselves out by the time it actually happened. We were basically in shock. Plain and simple. It all happened so fast and we were so unprepared that our minds hadn't really caught up with the moment. Even the next day when we had friends and family over to visit, we were still dazed about it all. It wasn't until they were wheeling me out to the car, discharged and finally going home, that it hit us like a ton of bricks. We cried the whole way home.
We were at the hospital for about 2 days. It's all a blur of soreness, shock, happiness and fatigue all rolled into one. Poor P was still very sick, but he was amazing throughout the whole thing. He remained calm and encouraging throughout. And I'm sure it isn't easy to see your wife in so much pain and so....exposed like that. But never once did he make me feel embarrassed about it. If anything, he made me feel incredible, like I was doing some sort of amazing act for mankind or something. "You did it," he would repeat constantly. And once, when I was just getting out of bed, he felt compelled to come over and tell me how great I looked. We all know that I looked like crap. Swollen and in DIRE need of a shower. But I could tell he meant it. I'm so lucky and so is W. He's got the best daddy.
W is finally here. After all those months of ....well, you know if you've been reading, W is finally here. And he's so perfect and so beautiful. I just stare at him all day and fall in love over and over again with this little guy. I can study his every twitch and expression and trace his little hands and feet all day long. I wish I could take a picture with my eyes...just blink for the shots I want. There are so many and I want to capture them all!!! Never have I wanted to be able to freeze time so badly before. Yes, I'm tired. Really tired. I live by a clock and feel very much like a cow on a dairy farm. Actually, those cows have it made cuz breastfeeding hurts!!! Don't get me started on pumping. P is still a little sick and hasn't even gotten the chance to kiss his little boy yet...one week later!! I would die if I couldn't. We've already done the laundry twice and DAYAM! diapers are just flying into the trash can! But even still....I'm so happy! One look at his little face and it's all totally worth it.