Kitty turned 9 months old yesterday. So, nine months later I have decided to write down her birth story.
Saturday, May 31st 2008
8:30 a.m.- I have the first painful non-pitocin contractions I have ever experienced. I am so excited I could cartwheel.
10:00- After an hour and a half of painful contractions coming every 4-6 minutes, I call my doula to let her know I might be in labor. She agrees and says to call her back when I’m getting ready to go to the hospital.
10:05- They’re gone. Seriously, the minute I hung up the phone with the doula, they went away. I have a weak contraction maybe every 15 minutes.
11:00- Call the doula to tell her never mind.
1:00- They’re back. Same frequency as before and sometimes so painful that I have to really breathe through them. But, I don’t want to cry wolf again, so I wait a couple hours before calling my doula.
3:30- Finally call her back and give her a uterus update. She thinks I’m going to have a baby today.
3:45- They’re gone. You have got to be kidding me! Why are they messing with my barely functioning brain??!
4:30- Make my fourth phone call that day to my doula to tell her to never mind. Feelin’ like a Beavis.
6:00- MIL takes the kids to sleep over at her house in case something happens during the middle of the night. Contractions come regularly while I’m up and moving, but stop the minute I sit down.
9:00- Decide to go to Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull to get my mind off the contractions. I also figured it was my last time to eat movie popcorn in a long, long time. I would like to think that the painful contractions were what made the movie a bit underwhelming, but I’m afraid that it might actually have been kind of a sucky movie.
11:00 p.m.- We decide to stop by the hospital on the way home from the movie… just to see if I’d dilated at all from the 2 cm I was at my last appointment. I figured they would check me quickly and most likely send me home.
11:30 p.m.- Checked into the hospital. The nurse straps a fetal monitor around my tummy and checks my dilation. After 15 hours of contractions I’m dilated to???? 2.5 cm. RARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
Midnight- The baby isn’t moving as much as they think she should be. They decide to do a non-stress test and have me drink a glass of ice water to see if that wakes her up.
12:15 a.m.- Still not moving enough. They bring me a tall cup of juice to drink.
12:30 a.m.- Baby has officially failed the non-stress test, so they do a stress test. The nurse brings in a buzzing thing that reminds me of the buzzer for Taboo. She puts the buzzer right on top of the baby and buzz my belly. Baby makes a few feeble movements, but really doesn’t seem to care. Another buzz and not much reaction. Fail.
12:45 a.m.- They inform me that I am not in labor, but I cannot go home because the baby is non-responsive. They tell me that I have to be induced right away. I beg them to break my water first instead of hooking me up to pitocin. They call my midwife and eventually agree.
2:00 a.m.- My midwife comes in to break my water. She reaches in but can’t get to it. Oh, mercy… Oh, murder… This hurts. HUUUURTS. This is the third time I’ve had my water broken but I’ve never had pain like this. Oh, Moses! She can’t reach and I think her entire arm is up my hooha. I want to cry.
2:01 a.m. *POP!* Tidal wave. But, I see the doula and the midwife give each other a concerned look. They think the baby already had a bowel movement because the amniotic fluid doesn’t smell right.
2:05 a.m.- AND we’re off. My uterus seems to have suddenly woken up and is holding a grudge against me. Hard contractions start hitting me every few minutes. I’m equal parts happy (never gone into labor without pitocin before) and terrified because these contractions HURT and I’ve got 7.5 cm to go.
3:00 a.m.- I knew I was going to have back labor because I could tell Kitty was face up, but this isn’t funny and I am going to ground her for the rest of her life if she doesn’t turn around… RIGHT NOW. I think I was somewhere around 4 or 5 cm at this point, but it’s just a fog of searing pain and pitiful moaning.
4:00 a.m.- All those childbirth books I read about getting into a mental place where I can moan and growl like an animal while I deliver my baby are full of crap. I can think about nothing except the pain that keeps coming harder and harder and closer together. And I’m crying and begging for the epidural. Doula reminds me I don’t want one and helps me breathe.
4:30 a.m.- That goofy Lamaze breathing that I always made fun of actually does work. At least it distracts me from the burning, aching pain in my back and the splitting, angry pain in my belly. Then I get the pukes… Hello, movie popcorn. I feel much better once my stomach is empty. Well, I still want to die but at least I’m not dry heaving anymore.
5:15- I’m dilated to an 8, and I can’t do this anymore. I beg for an epidural but I’ve progressed too far to get one. My doula reminds me again that I don’t want one. Somewhere deep in my brain I know that she’s right, but I still want to flip her off. We decide to start pushing.
5:20 a.m.- No. No no NO! I take it back. I do not want to push. It feels like I’m trying to poop a bowling ball. NOOOOOOOOO. No more pushing. Please, I’m going to die. I’M GOING TO DIEEEEEEEEEE! Why don’t they care that I’m going to die?! Shut up about pushing, already!! I CAN’T DO IT. (When I was pregnant I asked several women how bad pushing was without an epidural, and they all changed the subject and now I know why. I try to remember to throw flaming bags of turd on their porch as soon as I get out of the hospital.)
5:50 a.m.- The head is crowning and SWEET FANCY MOSES PLEASE KILL ME NOW!! As far as I can tell, my butthole is being torn apart by metal hooks. My midwife (who I actually adore) tells me that the head is out and I need to push one more time. It takes every ounce of self control for me not to scream F words at her. “PULL THE FREAKIN’ THING OUT YOURSELF IF IT’S ALREADY HALFWAY OUT, YOU @$^$%$#*& @$%^&* #$%^%** WOMAN!!” But since all my strength is being spent on not swearing, none of it was going towards actual pushing. They keep telling me to push. I keep mentally telling them to go to Hell. We are at an impasse.
5:55 a.m.- I realize they are not going to SHUT UP about pushing one more time until I actually PUSH ONE MORE TIME. So, fine! I’ll do it… and OH MY GOSH I’M GOING TO DIE, I’M GOING TO DIE PLEASE KILL ME RIGHT NOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!”
6:00 a.m.- It’s out. It’s allsortsa tangled up in the cord. Once around the neck, once around the tummy, once around the arm/shoulder. They don’t plop it down on me like they have with all the others. My eyes are still clenched shut so I weakly mumble, “What is it? What is it?” Mr. Darcy says, “I don’t know. Oh… It’s a… Girl?” It’s a girl? It’s a girl.
6:05 a.m. They finally bring her over. She’s very blue but she looks just like all my other babies, only with more massive cheeks. And she has failed her third test in 7 hours (Apgar). Mr. Darcy is sobbing next to me. I figure he is overwhelmed with either happiness or concern for the baby, but when I ask him afterwards why he was crying he mimicked my screaming, “I’M GOING TO DIE!!! I’M GOING TO DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Whoops. Sorry about that.
Baby ends up in the NICU for observation for a day because she has water in her lungs and is breathing too quickly. She is by far the biggest baby in the NICU (8 lbs 9 oz) and the nurses are fascinated by her chubby cheeks and rolls. She was able to leave after a day, and I felt so bad for all the tiny babies that were going to be in there for a long time after we were home.