Reader beware: Content has not been rated. You may think I've gone too far and said to much, and I probably have. I'm giving you all the details of this event. But having a baby completely abolishes your care for G-rated material. Modesty is no longer in my vocabulary, and I apologize for any "vivid" pictures I've painted in your mind. I only hope that one day you can forget them! Unfortunately you can't unread something, so proceed with caution...
It was Friday April 13th. I was in no mood to make supper so, we made a quick trip to town for some Runza. Little did I know, it would be our last meal together without a baby. On the way home, it was about 8:00, I started having a few contractions. Very mild and somewhat random, so I didn't get too excited...we'd been through this once already. We got home and got ready for bed and they were still coming fairly regularly. I was certainly anxious to have this baby in our arms, so I got up and tried walking, hoping that it would bring on stronger and more consistent contractions. These contractions were different from the ones of the last experience. These were rather inconsistent. One would be 5 min, the next would be 7, then 4, then 6... I was assuming it was false labor. But they continued all night, and never got more painful or unbearable. I did more walking, and lots and lots of thinking. I never fell asleep though. At about 3:30 we decided we should go in and get checked. So we packed up our things and left the house at 4. The nice thing about going into labor in the night, is that you don't have to fight traffic! There was no one on the road. James and I enjoyed a nice conversation on the way to the hospital and tried to prepare ourselves for what may be ahead.
|This was at 4:30 when we checked in. This was the temporary room, |
and obviously spirits were high!
My account of the events that followed may not be completely accurate. Please do not hold me liable for anything written that is false information, haha. As I sit here, there is no one to remind me of the order of events or the details. I honestly can't recall everything that happened, I felt like I was in a daze. Almost like I'm trying to remember the details of a dream... It's hard.
I know I had a few more contractions in the new room, and I do remember asking my nurse how soon I could have something for pain. She smiled at me and said I could have something now, if I wanted. That was the greatest thing I could have heard at that point! Now, generally I'm a wimp. I don't like pain, and I don't tolerate it very well. But that, my friend, was not pain. It was, for lack of a better word, hell. (Now, for all of you women that have experienced childbirth, the "natural way," I GREATLY applaud you. You are my hero. But modern medicine is a Godsend!) A few minutes later, she either gave me a shot or something through the IV... I know those were the options, but I don't know which one she did. haha This is bad. Anywho, how wonderful! It made me sleepy, but the best part was that it allowed me to sleep! Because if you remember, I hadn't slept at all that night and now we were starting a new day. Sleep was essential. I conked out for an hour and a half. It was much needed sleep and much appreciated! I have no idea what time this was...
Next, I remember contractions starting back up a little. I was pretty positive and felt rested, but the medication quickly was unable to help take care of the contractions. I think she gave me some more, but told me that it works best the first time and may not do much with stronger contractions. They came on really strong at this point. So many times I wanted to just cave in and bawl my eyes out. It was the worst thing I've ever experienced. I believe that at this point, I told James that we couldn't do this again. :) It was a weak moment. I was very vulnerable and desperate and I think I would have told anyone anything. It's just a good thing there was no one around! Although it was terrible, there was no screaming or cursing, like in all the movies. It was really pretty calm, but intense. -- The nurse offered the jacuzzi tub to help with relaxation. I thought that it sounded pretty awesome, so I agreed. It took a few minutes for the tub to fill, and then I got in. I'm not positive but I think I only lasted 3-5 contractions in the tub before we called the nurse in and told her we decided we wanted an epidural. We'd been open to the idea, but I really didn't know if I'd need it... Well I did. So she called the anesthesiologist. I knew in my mind that it would take a while for him to be able to get there and then a little while before it would kick in. I knew that I could try to fight through another 1/2 hour of these contractions, but I didn't want to wait 1/2 hour and then decide I can't take it and then have to wait another 1/2 hour for the epidural to actually work. I felt completely exhausted and desperately longed for a break. So after maybe 10 minutes in the tub, I was back out. Hospital gown back on, and back to the bed for me. My mind was more at ease, knowing that relief was on it's way. More strong contractions and finally the doctor came in to give the epidural. Now, the anesthesiologist is a funny guy. He tells you mid-contraction to hold still or it won't work. HA! He's a comedian at night. I remember thinking in my head with a very sarcastic tone, "Yeah right buddy. Why don't we swap places and see if you ever try to tell a laboring woman that again!" Once again, I was miserable and do not take responsibility for my thoughts in those long hours. Somehow I managed to stay still long enough for him. Now they make you sign a paper before they give you an epidural, stating risks and liability. I saw this paper after the delivery and my signature made me laugh out loud. It looked as awful as I felt! haha. And once again, I have no idea what time this was, close to lunchtime maybe. I'm going to let you in on a little secret, epidurals help, but it's not happy faces either! Childbirth is still childbirth. You can still feel pain. I think I had a little bit of relief, maybe a 1/2 hour before I had dilated to 10cm. This gave James enough time to run for a quick lunch, and yogurt apparently. I told him I wanted some... haha.
I had dilated to 10 and could tell because with each contraction I started feeling all sorts of pressure on my pelvis. Pushing time was coming! The nurse said she could feel his head already. This gave me a boost of motivation. I felt more rested and ready to take on this last scene. I started pushing laying down, and that felt pretty good...but there's something about it feeling good that means you're not getting anywhere. :( So the nurse instructed me to try my hand hands and knees for a while. That was not comfortable at all. But I was making progress so I was encouraged to stay there. At this point, pushing helped each contraction pass. Unfortunately, the baby's heart rate would drop after every contraction that I pushed. So I had to sit every other contraction out and just try to breath through it. This gave the baby time to get his heart rate back up. Man alive, it's a terrible feeling, wanting to push, but not being able to! This went on for a while...I have no idea how long. I had made enough progress, that it was time to call in the doctor. (Now a side note: It was a Saturday, meaning I got the on-call doctor, not MY doctor. Thankfully, the on-call doctor was a sweet gal named Dr. Haake. She did a marvelous job and I couldn't have been happier with her.) At this point I started using the bar thing to assist in pushing. This uses gravity to my advantage helping the baby advance down farther. The doctor came in and started coaching me through each push. 3 sets of 10 second pushes with each contraction. Pushing is a three steps forward, two steps back type of process. You make a lot of progress with a push and then when you stop, that little head backs up. In that moment, I felt good. Don't get me wrong, it hurt like the dickens, but I felt really strong. I believe that I owe that to the epidural. It took the intensity of the contractions so that I could really focus on the task at hand. It gave me the strength to really finish strong. Funny story that happened at this point: James had been up by my head for the majority of the pushing. We had talked weeks before and it seemed like he just wanted to be at my head and not have to be "involved" down below. Well, after a really successful push, the doctor exclaimed, "We see the head!" James took the cue and said to my mom, "Do you want to be up here with Megan?" My mom replied, "No, that's okay, you can." His response, "No, I want to watch." :) I couldn't smile on the outside, but on the inside I giggled. Suddenly this was real, and a miraculous event was about to occur. A few contractions later, the I heard those words that to this day make me tear up thinking about it. "One more good push, and you'll have your baby in your arms." Oh man. Time stopped. I knew that a new life was about to enter this world. There's no words that can describe that feeling in that moment. The anxiousness is overwhelming, but you realize how much you have to be thankful for. I felt so broken before the Lord in that moment. He was about to perform a miracle and I felt his smile. This was the moment that we'd waited for, 9 months of the unknown was about to become known. Love was about to be born.
I gave everything I had in those last 30 seconds. I heard her say, "We have the head, one push for the shoulders." This part of the story, to be continued.......
|Daddy cutting the cord!|
One thought that's occurred to me: When Eve experienced the first labor of the entire universe, I bet all she could think about was, "Man, I really regret that bite of fruit." What a curse we have on us!
I haven't mentioned much about my coaches. My mom was with me every minute. She helped me remember that I needed to breathe. Yeah, sometimes I forgot and would hold my breath, not the greatest idea. After giving birth, you realize how much you are truly loved by your mom. She went through that for you. It was great having her there, she understood what I was going through and could truly support me. She helped answer questions from the nurses when I felt like I would punch anyone that tried talking to me. She ran the cameras after the birth, to make sure we had the event well documented. I was so grateful that she was there.
My other coach was my best friend. James was so crucial to my success. He dealt with the details when I wasn't able to. He's been such a helpmate and I couldn't have imagined trying to do it without him. Some of the moments I can recall the best are when he took my face during a rough contraction and stared me dead in the eyes and gave me the assurance that I desperately needed. I'll never forget those moments. They are tender memories, having made it that far together and knowing that our future was about to change. He was strong for me. I know he would have taken my pain in a heartbeat if given the chance. He's such a blessing. Experiencing this with him has only made my love for him grow more and more.
What a day, growing on the farm...