Monday, September 5, 2011

The Day of Labor

Since today is Labor Day, I thought it would be fitting if I chatted about my labor day. No, not the day I got to sleep in and not have to work, my actual labor.

I only got to experience it 1 time in my life. As you all know, Alex was breech and she was a scheduled c-section. Therefore, I never went into labor on my own. I'm extremely sad that I didn't get to go through what I did with Olivia. It was the most amazing experience I've ever had. Honestly, I loved being in labor. :)

When I found out we were expecting a baby for the first time, it was amazing. I was floating on air and I was so excited to be starting this new adventure in our lives. I had no idea what to expect. As the weeks and months scrambled by, I found myself in my last weeks of pregnancy. I was excited about the impending birth of our little Olivia. Little did I know that she was going to be just as stubborn as her mummy and decide to go past her due date. It made for some very long days.

I knew what labor looked like, you know, the sweaty lady, in pain, screaming at her husband and doctors. I always wondered if that would be me. I knew going into it that I was not even going to try to attempt a med-free birth. I was all about being in a hospital, hooked up to a pain pump, surrounded by blue sterile cloths everywhere. After 8 loooonng freaking days, 2 days before I was scheduled to evict my daughter from my uterus, I started labor on my own. It was very painless at first. I woke up that morning, feeling a very tight squeezing-like feeling in my belly. I figured since I never felt this before, and I was overdue, this had to be a real contraction. Hooray! The day went on, I was timing these not yet painful contractions. By 8pm, they were coming every 5 to 10 minutes. My doctor suggested I come to the hospital and get checked to see if this were the real deal. Turns out, you have to be nearly doubled over in pain, in labor, to get admitted. I was having real contractions, but they "weren't strong enough" to be admitted and I was sent home. I was livid, I cried. I cursed the stupid doctor who told me to go home and come back when I was in "much more pain".

So, I waddled my 8 day overdue butt back into our car and drove home. Little did I know that active labor was just around the corner. I came home to bleeding. Ew, really? After 10 long months of no period, mother nature makes me bleed? Come on.

I crawl into bed to get some sleep.....oh.....wait.....what....WHAT IS THIS?! Holy mother of Jupiter, that was painful! Then again. Again. Every 7 minutes.

This is painful.

Can I do this?

How long does this last?

Oh my God, I'm going to have a baby.

These were just thoughts that popped into my head within 30 seconds of having a real PAINFUL contraction. No, these were no period-like cramps. These felt like someone was sawing my pelvic in half with a hacksaw.

I had to get off the bed. It was entirely too uncomfortable to lay down like this. I propped myself up against the wall in my bedroom. I turned the lights out and just let it happen. I remember looking at the clock every time I would have a contraction, then I would doze off between them. Russ, like a typical man, fell asleep on the bed beside me. *He'll tell you otherwise, but I know what happened darn it!* 1am......2am.......3.......4am goes by. At this point, my contractions are nearly 4 minutes apart and I'm only getting a 2 minute break between them.

I wake Russ up. I told him we need to leave because this baby is coming today. She'd better be coming, or I'm going in after her.

I was not like those ladies on TV. I was calm. I never once screamed in pain as I was getting dressed to leave for the hospital. It was a cold December morning. The clock in the car said 4:58. I don't remember what was on the radio, because I turned it off. I needed silence in order to cope with this hacksaw-like pain. Russ was amazing. He got us safely to the hospital in record time for a Monday morning. He dropped me off in the lobby of the hospital while he went to park. Honestly, I think adrenaline kicked in because I don't remember feeling pain while I was waiting. Until of course, the on call nurse started asking me questions. Lady, I'm in labor, does it really matter when my last menstrual period was?!

I get into a triage room, it wasn't the same one I was in earlier that evening. This time, I didn't have to pee in a cup. I just had to get undressed and lay on the terribly uncomfortable table. I was hooked up to monitors, and wouldn't you know my contractions were measuring off the charts. Russ would kindly tell me I was getting ready to have another contraction when he saw the little line move upward. Thanks honey, I know this already. :)

Mr. Digging For Gold came in and check me. I screamed in his face. Dear Lord WHERE ARE THE DRUGS?! I was 5cms dilated. While I was being wheeled into my LDR room, I had a smile of accomplishment. I could not believe I made it 5cms without drugs. I seriously thought I would have caved at 2cms, begging for this pain to end.

In the end, I did get an epidural. It was fan-tab-ulous. Could I have pushed through the pain? I probably could have. Honestly, it wasn't THAT bad. Yes, it feels like your uterus is being split into two, but I dealt with it fine. I never took a class that taught me how to breathe or any kind of childbirth class. I just let my natural instinct take over and did it.

I'm sad I never got to experience that again with Alex. When I got pregnant with her, I told myself that I would try and go as long as I could without drugs to see if I could do it med-free. She had other plans. Stubborn just like her sister. I'm in trouble. :)

So, that's my labor day story. Hope you enjoyed yours. :)

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