View from hospital window while in labor
I gave birth to a tiny baby girl. She was 6lbs 13oz, 19.5 inches. It was a hard labor mostly because of the hospital messing with me. The Pitocin drip, the antibiotics (that hurt more then having contractions!!!). The constant “medical” interventions that were mostly unnecessary and last but not least, the constant annoying monitoring of me and baby. I had a goddamn blood pressure cuff attached to my arm the whole time that would check every 15 minutes. If that doesn’t raise your blood pressure I don’t know what will. I was yelled at several times for taking it off. I hated being poked and prodded. The IV hurt. Really. Fucking. Bad. I couldn’t eat anything other then popsicles. I was really hungry.
So OMFG labor. It was… well, horrible and incredible at the same time. I’ll say now that I’d do it ALL again— once you see your baby, you don’t give a shit about how long it took or how much it hurt. After all the prep and choices I wanted to make regarding labor, my lil’ bebe had other plans for me!!!
My water started to break while shopping at Best Buy with my husbands’ brother. UGH. Exactly the thing I was scared of!!! So, called the doc, they of course told me to rush to the hospital. The trip down was nice, I wasn’t in excruciating pain with contractions yet. I knew I’d be induced but there was NO other way. I wasn’t going to risk infection. It all went down hill from there. I’m sure anyone who’s had their waters break before labor would know…
I sat around for 5 goddamn hours waiting for the body to go into labor on its own. Of course it didn’t, I was scared and excited in a hospital, the one place I truly hate. I told the nurses I was trying to keep it all natural, they respected that but did urge me to start the pitocin soon. I was so upset, I really didn’t want too. My husband and I talked and fussed about it till we were blue in the face— we finally caved. They started me on a drip slowly, there were no crazy contractions like I’ve heard. I was extremely upset that I was not allow to eat or drink or labor on my own at home. But, with my water breaking, I had NO choice. I was only 4 centimeters dilated and this was hours and hours later. I was starving and tired.
Then the contractions came and I was managing. Pretty sure I had back labor, it was not pleasant but not something I couldn’t cope with. I made it drug-free up till about 6 centimeters! I walked and bounced on the ball, I did the best I could! Had a dose of Nubain, it was OK, I wouldn’t have it again. It made me very dippy and nauseous. But, I was trying to avoid the epidural! Then my labor stalled. Oh and we ALL know this was probably due to the goddamn pitocin! Babies heart rate was getting bad readings so they had to put in the stupid probe. This sent me over the edge. There was ANOTHER intervention I was forced to have! Found out later that the cord was wrapped around her neck, silly girl. They then put me on oxygen. My labor was going no where and I was in A LOT of pain, starving, hooked up to a million goddamn machines and just miserable.
Then my nurse leveled with me. While my husband was dealing with his ANNOYING family who wouldn’t leave the waiting room and was dying to see me. Ugh! So the nurse said, you know, if you got the epidural, you’d be progressing. You are too stressed out and your body knows it. If you can’t relax, you can’t get this labor progressing. I was probably around 6-7 centimeters then, fully effaced. My husband wasn’t in the room, I feel like she persuaded me knowing that I’d cave. I was so miserable, I said fine, give it to me. The anesthesiologist was awesome, he was know for very “light” epi’s meaning you’d still feel your legs. I loved it. It allowed me to relax, it was flipping amazing. I can’t even believe I’m typing this. Haha. So, yeah, I was pumped FULL of drugs, oh well. That epidural was SO worth it. My labor progressed SO fast then, my contractions were a steady 5 minutes apart and building. Being on the oxygen helped this as well, I was told I’d be ready to push and have this baby naturally in an hour or so. I really thought I’d get the epi, then have to get a c-section. Nope, they said my body just needed to relax… I was so relieved.
It came time to push and damn was that fast. She was freaking crowning when they went to start. Ha! She was so ready. This was about 18 hours later. I pushed her out in 5 or 6 tries! I got compliments on my effective pushing, even. Saw her little hairy head in the mirror and just about died! My husband again went to bat for me and made sure they didn’t give me an episiotomy. Oh yes, they wanted too. He was like “Um, her head is already out, why would you cut her now? Just let her be!!!”. Holy crap how I love that man!
But I digress… We made it home from the hospital 3 days later and were scared shitless. Sadly, my dumbass didn’t really do enough research on how to care for a newborn. I took a class. It was pretty useless. I was too worried about taking care of myself while prego. That I did very well. But newborns, that was a WHOLE new set of crap to deal with. Do I put her down when she’s sleeping so sweetly on me? Ugh. I don’t WANT to put her down, but, don’t I have to? Wont she fall off me and die if I fall asleep with her on the couch? Why do I feel like a crazy person and get sweaty when anyone else tries to hold her? Why am I obsessed with this stupid pacifier, it’s not going to replace nursing, duh? Why is everyone coming over at 9 ‘oclock at night? I have a screaming newborn after 5pm, please, LEAVE ME ALONE. Holy crap my husband only has 3 weeks off (and that’s a lot, most men DON’T do that) and I’m going to be all by my self with this sweet tiny person who doesn’t talk. Aaaahhh!
My milk supply came in less then a week later. I took a shower and boom, big, full boobs. I actually remember having a lactation consultation on Christmas Eve. Thank Jesus H. Christ those women were at the hospital that day. I don’t know what I would have done without that consultation. It was the only way I knew I could figure out how to breastfeed my baby, correctly. With colostrum, it takes a lot of sucking for bebe to get anything. With normal milk supply? Your boobs are freaking HUGE so it doesn’t take much but WOW there is a lot. I was so fucking clueless. Even though I took the class and read extensively about breastfeeding. She fell asleep like 3 sucks in, every time. I just thought “Oh, ok, she’s done”. Uh, NO. She’s not even close. She’s a “sleepy baby” GREAT!!! Now I have to do all these stupid things to keep her awake and suckling. This feels so wrong… I have to tickle her feet? Wha? I have to take her out of her swaddle and let her squirm around? Ugh no, she’s so warm I don’t want her to get cold!!! The lactation consultant was a dike-ish (sorry, no other way to describe her) who had nursed 6 children. She was weird but knew how to nurse, let me tell you. She pushed the formula a BIT more then I liked but I knew I would never give bebe a drop of formula. She saw the pain and anguish on my face from sore nipples and gave me a nipple guard. She didn’t explain much about how to phase it out, luckily I read everything that was given to me. She was sort of weird about scheduling feedings which was annoying since I wanted to let my baby sleep so I could too. But no, I woke her up every 2-3 hours and fed her. Sleeping or not.
The first feeding at the consultation was incredible! I was *high* on the drive home. I swear I felt like I was ON DRUGS. Weird right? Hormones, hahahahah! Bebe was fast asleep (a full belly!!!) so we went to Marie Calendars for lunch. On Christmas Eve! An amazing day that I’ll never forget.
Breastfeeding is an amazing thing and women who don’t are just plain missing out. However, breastfeeding HURTS. At first. Really? Why? WHY? It was so unfair. Baby was an avid sucker fish, and still is. She really nursed well, too well even. She made me bleed her suction was so good. I wasn’t prepared for that. It was toe-curling pain every time I nursed. And this is what? 12-18 times in a 24 hour period. I cried a lot in the first few weeks. I had to use a nipple gaurd to get some relief. I had to take tylenol just to get through the day. I felt dizzy and naucious after a big feeding. Hormones are CRAZY people, just in case you didn’t know that. I didn’t feel the “let down” reflex like other women I talked to did. I was too afraid to go outside to go to a LLL meeting and too broke to get a lactation consultant to come to my house. It was late December, early January and raining like crazy, from what I remember. So what did I do? I googled. And my beloved KellyMom.com came up time and time again.
So only 5 days after my beautiful, perfect daughter was born it was Xmas. My wonderful, kind and generous sister and her fiancee came over and made us dinner. It was bangers and mash. I will never forget that, it was really one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for me. I was a total wreck. Husband was too, lack of sleep with do that. We needed to eat! She also went to target and got me little things I needed like receiving blankets and lanolin. She’s an angel. My other sister up north called her and told her “you better get your ass over there and help her, even if she says no!”. This I found out later. Haha. My family was great… the husbands on the other hand… oh wait, I’ve bitched PLENTY about that already… where was I?
It was such a beautiful and downright SCARY time. I really didn’t have a clue. And when I have another one, I wont have a clue then either. I heard you forget how painful labor was when you go to have your second baby. No. You don’t give a shit about the “pain” when you get to meet someone you made for 9 months. Who cares about labor?!?!?! My daughter is the coolest little thing. I really didn’t think kids would be this interesting, fun and most excellent. I see a lot of parents who act like their child is this crazy burden and are “annoyed” having to take care of them. Ah. I will never feel that way. I hope.
(I should stick the foot in my mouth. She’s not walking or talking yet. She’s only 13 months)