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Friday, September 11, 2009

My Labor Day

A few of you have asked about my labor story so in honor of Little Ricky's 3 month birthday today, here goes.

(For the squeamish in the crowd and/or the menfolk, I will try to be vague whenever possible and limit the use of words like cervix and placenta.)

(Oops, just used them. Sorry.)

In order to really get the gist of the story I have to backup a few weeks to May 23. On May 23 I had my weekly check-up and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was 1 cm dilated! (The goal is 10 for those of you who have never had babies or don't spend time watching A Baby Story on TLC.)

Well, I was thrilled. I didn't expect the baby to come that day, but I did think I was on my way. (I know, foolish, right?) At my check-up a week later I just knew I would be told I was at a 3 or a 4. (Again, foolish, right?)

Nope, still a 1.

Okay, that's fine. It's only been a week, I can be patient. Plus it's still May, the baby wasn't even due until June 13, so we can wait another few days.

Skip ahead another week. At this point I'm REALLY tired of being pregnant. My back hurts, my hips hurt, I pee all the time, I'm getting no sleep (I'm still not getting much sleep, but at least I'm holding a cute baby while not sleeping), I get winded putting make-up on. I'm DONE!

As we sat in the exam room waiting for the doctor I said to Ricky "if there's been no progress I am going to throw myself into traffic on Michigan Ave." (Yes, this is a direct quote.)

Guess what? STILL A 1! At this point the doctor said to me "Don't worry. We won't let you go more than 10 days past your due date."

(I think she thought she was being helpful, but NO! TEN days past? That's June 23. I was expecting a baby early June and now she's talking late June? Oh, hell, no!)

I managed to hold it together in front of the doctor, but by the time we left her office I was officially moping. Ricky took me to breakfast where I proceeded to pout over my Corner Bakery egg sandwich.

And then as we were sitting in Corner Bakery and I was using every bit of strength I had to hold my shit together I received a text message from some Nashville friends who were due AFTER us. "Water broke, at the hospital, baby coming today."

At this point I did what any good friend would do.

I became insanely jealous and burst into tears.

(I was happy for them later, but in that moment I just wanted it to be me, dammit!)

Ricky had to head to work at this point, so he put me in a cab and sent me home where I spent the day alternating between pouting and crying, pouting and crying.

This all happened on Friday, June 5. On Saturday I got up and decided to just enjoy the weekend (although it was work, because I really did want to spend another day pouting and crying, pouting and crying.)

Ricky and I had a good weekend, we got out and about and enjoyed the lovely Chicago summer and I resigned myself to having this baby at the end of June.

Fast forward to Wednesday, June 10. I wake up around 6AM feeling crampy. Because I have resigned myself to having an end of June baby it takes me a few minutes to figure out what's going on.

And then it hits me. CONTRACTIONS! I'm having contractions!

At this point, they are pretty mild and pretty sporadic, and I am still pretty convinced that they don't mean much. (Remember I've been dilated 1 cm for a few weeks now, so I figured this was just my body screwing with me and trying to get my hopes up yet again. But I've wised up now; I will not be optimistic...yet.)

I go about my day. Ricky takes me to lunch, I go get a mani/pedi and I continue to have contractions. But they are 30 minutes apart, and then an hour, and then 45 minutes and then 30 minutes, etc. So I still think nothing of it. In fact, I think so little of it that I jam pack my schedule for the next day--coffee with a friend from out of town, lunch with another friend, dinner with a different out of town friend.

And then around 4:30 I start to notice that they are getting closer together, anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.

Hmmmmm. Perhaps my body isn't screwing with me after all???

Ricky gets home from work, we eat dinner and the whole time I'm having contractions and they are continuing to get closer together.

We had been told to wait to call the doctor until the contractions were coming every 5 minutes for an hour.

At 2:50AM we hit that hour. We called the doctor and were told to head to the hospital.

OH MY GOD! Really? Is this it??

But wait, I had gotten my hopes up before so I continued to assume this was not it.

We arrive the hospital and get checked in at triage and despite the fact that the contractions are coming pretty hard and fast and I am in a good amount of pain, I still refuse to believe this is it.

Until the nurse checks me, tells me I'm at a 4 (Thank God!) and that I'll be heading upstairs to labor and delivery soon. (Have I said Thank God yet? Well, let me say it again, Thank God!)

Now I'm one of those people who uses humor to diffuse tense situations. While we were still in triage the nurse is asking me lots of medical questions. I'm answering them all in a mature fashion until she asks about pain meds.

Do you want an epidural?


When do you think you will want it?

I was hoping you'd be waiting for me in the parking lot when we pulled in.

(That's funny, right? I mean, it's not Kathy Griffin, stand-up funny, but considering the situation it has a fair amount of humor, right?)

The nurse looks me dead in the eye and in all seriousness says "We don't do that."

Okay, so I guess we're not supposed to joke about these things. Sorry.

After about an hour in triage, I am moved upstairs and I am READY for that epidural. I get the epidural around 7:15AM, my blood pressure immediately drops and I almost pass out, they shoot something (I don't know what, I was pretty out of it) into my IV and my blood pressure comes back up.

At this point though I didn't care. Blood pressure up, blood pressure down, who cares? I LOVE this friggin' epidural! After over 24 hours of contractions I feel no pain. Epidurals ROCK!

So it's 7:30ish, I have an epidural, we've called our families, texted, Twittered and Facebooked our friends, I've cancelled my coffee/lunch/dinner plans, so we settle in to wait.

And we wait.

And we wait.

Pretty quickly I get to 5 cm, but then I just sit there for several hours.

Then I jump to 8.

And I sit there for quite awhile.

Through all of this, I've been napping on and off, dictating Facebook and Twitter updates to Ricky--you know, your usual labor behavior.

But then I start feeling pain. Now I've always heard those stories from women who were dead from the waist down with their epidural, couldn't feel a thing, didn't even know if they were pushing.

Those women always sounded like they were complaining, but that sounded like heaven to me. No pain whatsoever? I'll take it.

But that was not the case for me. I'm hurting and I don't like it! The anesthesiologist is called, the epidural is upped. Still feeling some pain. Not all over, but every time I have a contraction there is one specific spot where I feel pain.

(In order to not embarrass anyone, I won't say the actual name of that spot. Let's just call it my Georgia O'Keefe, shall we? Not a good spot for the epidural to suddenly not work.)

So now I'm hurting and I'm still stuck at 8. The doctor starts using the C word and puts a time limit on how much longer she'll let me go.

And then, suddenly, with no real warning I'm at a 10 and we start pushing.

Through all of this Ricky has been right by my side. He has fed me ice chips, he's put wet cloths on my forehead, he has Twittered and Facebooked for me. He has been great.

But now he starts to get on my nerves. For some reason once I start pushing I no longer want him to touch my arm.

And he keeps touching my arm.

I nicely ask him to not touch my arm.

He says sorry.

I push and what does he do?

He touches my arm!

What an asshole, right?? :)

This goes on throughout the whole pushing process. Ricky trying to be there for me by rubbing my arm, me telling him to leave my arm alone, him apologizing and then touching my arm AGAIN!

(As I re-read that I realize how ridiculous it sounds, but at the time it was truly driving me CRAZY!)

So I'm pushing, Ricky is alternating between touching my arm and apologizing and then it happens! I won't give the gory details, but we started pushing at 5:30PM (keeping in mind that the epidural is no longer working in a pretty pivotal spot!) and at 6:51PM on June 11 Little Ricky made his way into the world.

So it took almost 37 hours from the first contraction to the last, an epidural that did not do all it promised, a nurse who didn't laugh at my jokes and a lot of hard work, but in the end it was all worth it.

Because look what we got...

(Whew! That post was almost as long as my labor. I'll try to keep them shorter from now on!!)

Don't forget you still have a few hours to leave me a comment on Sunday's post for the chance to win some of my favorite things.


Jacquie said...

seriously, I just want to thank you for this. Its nice for women who never had/don't get to have babies to hear these kinds of details. Again, I live vicariously through you and it was actually a very exciting story! I was pouting with you when you got your text in the story! Bravo! You should get paid for your mommyhood blogs!

BPOTW said...

Isn't it amazing how all that will fade into nothingness as your love for Little Ricky grows! Congrats!

JOE TODD said...

Being a guy I think I will just say congratulations.

Tawnia said...

So nice to see you back:) What an adorable baby! My husband wants more kids, I said honey "My uterus is closed for business!"

Look forward to hearing from you

Tawnia said...

P.S. I am adding you back on my good reads section on my blog now that your back, hopefully for good!

Lucy said...

Thanks, guys!

Jacquie, I don't know if you want kids, but remember we were told we couldn't have any, so you never know what might happen! :)

Tawnia, my uterus is closed too. Thrilled we got the one we did, don't need anymore!

Jess Noel said...

Lucy, this is such a beautiful (and comical) birth story! Thanks for sharing :)