(Warning – TMI alert – shocking, I’m sure.)
By the time I was pregnant with Michelle, my doctors had come to realize that my body does not know how to go into labor by itself. I was two weeks late with all of them. They had to start my labor with all of them. And Michelle was no different. As soon as I hit my due date, I had to go into the hospital every other day for some stress tests to make sure there was still plenty of fluid, that the baby was doing fine, that there was no stress on my body or on the baby. Wait a minute! You need a test to tell if pregnancy is causing stress on the MOM’S BODY!! What kind of moronic world did I live in, anyway!! I did NOT need a test to tell my doctor that it was indeed causing stress! My boobs hurt. My back hurt. My belly hurt. My ankles hurt. I was under stress!!
They scheduled me to go to the hospital at 7am on the exact “two weeks late” mark. And it couldn’t come soon enough. They put me on Pitocin to get the labor started. One thing that I didn’t know is that Pitocin started your labor off at “transition” strength. HARD labor. Right from the get-go. No building up to it, just BAM!! You’re in labor! Why, hello, Ridiculous Pain. How you doin’?
The nurses begged me to get an epidural because the labor was so intense, but after the truly HORRIBLE experience that I’d had with an epidural during Ann’s birth, I swore I would never have another one and I kept that promise. Epidurals are BAD!!! My dad said that I only had a bad experience with it because the anesthesiologist sucked. But what does he know, poor uterus-less man!! 🙂 Seven hours of labor. My shortest labor out of all the kids, but my most excruciating. At about 6 1/2 hours of labor they moved me into the delivery room. I could tell that it was getting to be about that time, but I had to pee. I told the nurse that I had to go to the bathroom and she got this whole little freaked out look on her face. I’m sure she’s had women say that and then start pushing while sitting on the toilet. I know that I’ve seen that happen. I was there when my aunt (who is one year older than me) had her third child. She was sitting on the toilet and started pushing. I had to literally drag her to the bed before she had the baby in the toilet. Not pretty. Anyway, getting off track. The nurse told me that she didn’t think it was a good idea. I told her that I only had to pee, and that I wasn’t going to start pushing in there. She seemed a little relieved that I seemed to know what her concern was and she let me go. Thank goodness because I really had to pee!! I got back into the bed and told her that I was going to need to start pushing. Do you like how rational I am? I totally was. The nurse commented more times that I was the most rational “in labor” pregnant woman she had ever seen. I’m sure my X wanted to give her the REAL story about my rationality. A couple of good pushes and she was ready to come out. Her head and neck were in the doctor’s hands when I saw “the look.” The nurses and doctor’s faces told a not so pretty story. The doctor very calmly said, “You need to stop pushing.” Anyone ever had bearing down pains only to be told NOT to push?? Let me tell you, it’s impossible! A little nurse got right in my face and started the “hee, hee, who, who” breathing to try and distract me. Amidst trying to breathe, and trying to NOT push I managed to ask the doctor what was wrong he said the cord was wrapped around her neck….twice! He was going to need to push her back in a little bit so he could untangle the cord. I can not tell you how long the process was. All I knew was that the baby was in a bad way, and that if I couldn’t control that urge…no, that NECESSITY to push, it was going to have dire effects on this child! I panted like a freaking labrador as nature tried pushing that baby out while the doctor was trying to push her back in. I don’t know how he did it, but he got the cord untangled from her neck. I caught a glimpse of this blue, unbreathing baby as they rushed her away from me. I had never NOT been able to hold one of my babies the second they popped out. Never! I had never NOT heard them cry the second they popped out. Come on, Little Baby! Breathe for Momma!! BREATHE!!!!
The deafening silence in that delivery room waiting for the little blue baby to breathe was literally nauseating. I was shaking uncontrollably. Anyone who’s ever delivered a baby knows what I’m talking about. Your body goes into convulsions because of the amount of stress that it has been under. It’s a weird, involuntary, shivering/shaking thing that the body does. The nurse put a warm blanket over me, which helped with all the others, but the shaking would not stop. The stress my body was under may have been at an end, but the stress was NOT done. Finally, after an eternity (although I’m sure it wasn’t more than a minute or two), she started crying. A whimper at first, but then growing in strength. Still they would not let me hold her. All I could do was look over and watch all these large grown ups hovering over this little blue baby. As I watched her body slowly turn pink with each holler she made, my body began to settle down. The convulsions started stopping. But the tears started flowing. Still they would not let me hold her. They took her away from me. Took her to the nursery. It was nearly an hour before they let me hold that sweet little baby. I thought I was going to die. Not knowing what kind of shape she would be in when I finally got to hold her. Before they brought her to me the pediatrician came in and sat down by me to give me the speech about the amount of time it took to get her breathing. You know the one. Maybe there will be brain damage, but we won’t know until she starts hitting the normal cycles of life. Yeh, yeh, yeh…I don’t care. Just bring me that baby!
She was the sweetest baby. She grew up to be the sweetest child. And to this day, she remains the sweetest adult. She has brought pure, unadulterated joy into my world. She’s technically not a baby. But she will always be MY baby! I’m grateful for her every day of my life.