Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Momma said there would be days like this!

Imagine a cold day in hell and you can imagine what the birth of my first child was like. I decided to do it naturally. (Hey, I was young ok!) From the beginning I knew that Jon's birth would not be uneventful. Call it a soon to be mother's intuition.

On the last day of February I went into labor. It started gentle, and went quicker then I expected. The weather was a balmy forty degrees outside, but inside it felt like it was eighty. I called my mom, and told her it was time. She started the 2 to 3 hour trip to get to me. I decided in the mean time that I would just relax and play the pain down to my husband while I waited. To this day, I am not even sure he realized I was in active labor at home until my mom got there and I finally lost it. We daughters sometimes tend to whine to our mothers at times like these. I was no different. I called my father as we were leaving, saying that we were headed to the hospital, and that he had better head out to us.

As we got into the car with my mother, I remember one song playing on the radio. A song by Chumbawumba in titled "You are never going to get me down." How appropriate I thought. Getting into the hospital was a blur, but I remember the nurse saying you are six and a half cm dilated and fully effaced. Lucky for me. Yeah, right. With every contraction my legs would go stiff and I repeated to myself, it will all be over soon. Even through the pain I still managed to say the words that would shock both my mother and my husband. “This isn't so bad, I want another one soon!" They certainly thought I was crazy, and maybe at that moment I was. It was shortly after that they ganged up on me and insisted I get drugs. (I will never admit that I was begging!) I now hate Staidol .It makes you way to groggy, and puts you to sleep. During one such episode, my mother quietly stated that I must be asleep. Not willing to admit I had be snoozing right through, I stated in no uncertain terms that indeed I was awake, and that they should quit talking behind my back. Ok, so I was touchy. Who wouldn't be right? RIGHT?

By this time, one of my labor nurses had been in to inform us that my doctor was on vacation, the on call doctor sixty miles away in a dinner meeting, and that they would have to call in to another city for a doctor. Did I forget to mention that I was in a small town hospital? Oops! I was eight cm along and I had no doctor.

By that time I had the need, not urge, but desperate need, to push Jon out. I knew instinctively that he was pressing too hard on the cervix, and my water had not even broken yet. I was yelling at my mom to get my labor nurse, who, in her infinite wisdom assured me that I was wrong. After the third call to her, she finally checked me. Without a word to us she practically ran out of the room. We never saw her again. It wasn’t until later that we discovered she had handed me off during the shift change.

The doctor from the other city arrived, and in his official tone, informed me that he would now break my water. Five minutes later there was still no gush of fluids. His conclusion, Jon was pressed so hard against my cervix that he couldn't break anything. I could have told him that!

Soon they cleared me to push, and push I did. An hour later, I still couldn't get Jon out. He was right there the doctor kept telling me. Look in the mirror the labor nurse said. I did try, and try, and try! Finally, two hours in, the doctor suggested a c-section, but I was opposed. I stated I can push him out! The doctor suggested we try a vacuum pump. Nasty business. Needless to say it didn’t work. He just would not budge. So, I agreed to surgery.

The doctor went off to prep his surgical suite, and I turned to my husband. I felt like a failure. I had known all along that it would come to that, but admitting defeat was never an easy thing for me. I was stubborn like my father and strong willed like my mother. I was crying rather hysterically. At a moment when I thought I could not go on, my father walked in. Now, it is important to tell you that like me, my father has mood eyes. The kind that change with your emotions. He walked right over onto the left side of my bed and held my hand. No words were exchanged, but his eyes spoke of deep caring and empathy. They were the clearest shade of green I had ever seen. It was my father that got me through those last few moments of waiting for the anesthesiologist.

Soon, I had my epidural in and was whisked off to the operating room. If you haven’t figured it out by now, mine was an unusually strange birth; what follows might shock you. As the nurses and I were rolling into the operating room, I noticed my husband putting on his paper scrubs, and being told to wait in the hall until they were ready for him. They were getting me onto the table when I discovered that I still had a lot of pain on my left side. I mentioned it to the anesthesia nurse, who simply started to put me under general anesthesia. She didn't even tell me that she was putting me under until I started to fall asleep. That feeling of drifting off scared me so bad I was screaming for my husband at the top of my lungs. I was so scared I was going to die that I needed him with me. My grandmother had died after surgery, and I was afraid I would be next.The anesthesia nurse kept saying my husband was not allowed into the room, but by then my labor nurse had arrived, and did some yelling of her own. He made it in just in time to hold my hand for the barest of seconds before I finally drifted off.

When I woke, my labor nurse was with me, saying I had a darling little boy. He must have been just as upset as I was she said. Jon came into this world yelling and had pooped on the neonatal nurse to boot. Jonathan was born with my husband in the room a mere two minutes after I was asleep.

Most of the following hours after that are a blur for me. I didn't hold my son till the next day. On that day, I walked with my parents to the nursery window. Inside was a tiny little angel getting his first bath. Remember I said earlier it was important to remember that my father had mood eyes? My parents were standing by the window, gazing in at Jon, when they turned to each other. My father’s eyes were a clear proud shade of the strongest blue; my mothers normally hazel eyes a shining green. All of the bad feelings between them had been left in the past. For a moment in time they were in complete accord. What followed was something I will never forget. My father said Jon was beautiful, and my mother agreed, holding his hand as they looked upon their first born grandson. I was the luckiest woman, wife, mother, and daughter in the world.

Posted by the woman formally known as “Boo Bear

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