Monday, March 24, 2008

My Birthing Stories

If you'd like to participate, this is the brainchild of Sarcastic Mom.

When I was pregnant with Sylvia, I was obsessed with wanting to know what labor felt like. I was afraid I wouldn't recognize it soon enough, and not get to the hospital in time. Of course, from other moms I was met with a lot of laughter and "oh, you'll know"s.

Not only did I recognize it and get to the hospital with time to spare, I was too early and they sent me home. I was grateful because I totally hated the nurse that was there at the time. Without getting into too much detail, let's just say that her inability to find a vein was much less painful than the catheter.

My labor had started upon waking up at 6 a.m. Finally, at close to midnight, we went back to the hospital. I made it through 18 hours of labor without pain relief. More than enough time for me. I was begging, screaming, and crying for an epidural by the time we went back.

My husband (at the time) was driving me crazy. He kept mirroring my pain back to me. I didn't need empathy, I needed reassurance! Before the epidural kicked in, I ended up slapping him. I was going through that "I want you, get away from me" thing that whole day. He'd keep leaving me alone while I was in labor which was making me crazy, but as soon as he got back, I'd want him to go again.

After the greatest invention EVER - the epidural - was administered, I was able to get some sleep. I woke when they were checking how dialated I was and my water broke.

You know how in all those movies, they show the woman almost giving up at some point saying, "I can't, I can't!" I always thought that was really stupid. Particularly since it always happens so close to the actual birth.

Sure enough, I became one of those women. There's a certain point in the birthing process - and those of you that have experienced it will understand at which point I mean - where the pain is unlike anything else. It feels like it's ripping you to shreds, and after so much labor, so much pushing, you really do feel like you are so done.

But I got through it, albeit with a little more humility. And, of course, it was very very worth it. I had no idea I could feel that much love as I did when I held her in my arms that first time. What's even more amazing is how much more I love her today than 10 years ago.

Riley's experience was just crazy. We were supposed to be moving from San Jose to Pittsburgh. We still had some packing to do before we left town, but we'd given notice to be out of there within a couple of days.

I woke up that morning, and my water broke. Nearly seven weeks early.

Now, I don't know if anyone else has experienced this, but when my water broke, it was like a bathtub spout coming out of me. I changed clothes twice, and finally just gave up. We were freaking out a little because we had no idea where to take Sylvia. I called her old day care provider who said without a moment's hesitation to bring her by.

I was still pouring when we got to the hospital. I swear, I had no clue one could even have that much water in their body!

I knew before any doctor told me that Riley was not positioned right. She was laying across me rather than breach or the proper method. I was not surprised when they said they'd have to do a C-section. The fact that they had to put me under general anesthesia was a surprise, but whatever. After the experience with Sylvia, I wasn't all too anxious to relive that again!

The worst part was, after she was born, and after I was coherent again, they weren't letting me see her! They didn't have the results of my TB test (I think that's the one) so they said I'd have to take a chest x-ray. I said, "let's go!" I put one of those protections around my stomach (and after a C-section, it was NOT easy) so they could take the picture.

Hours went by. It was the following day, and still no doctor was examining it to okay me to let me go see Riley, who was in the NICU. I knew she was "going to be fine" and just a little jaundiced, but that wasn't comforting me. I wanted to see my baby.

I finally started crying and carrying on to the nurses and within an hour, a doctor had okayed me to go there.

At 5 1/2 pounds, she looked tiny to me. And then I saw the other babies in the NICU. Mine looked giant compared to some of them. I couldn't wrap my head around what some of the other parents must be going through, although I didn't see many other parents around.

We both were going to have to stay a few days. Our fabulous, amazing child care provider took Sylvia on her family vacation with her while we were recuperating. I would go down to the NICU every 2-4 hours to feed Riley. Even with her jaundiced, she was still beautiful.

I remember having this fear, before Riley was born, that I could never love anyone as much as I loved Sylvia. We have a saying in our house about that now: "nobody loves you like I do." I love Riley so completely for who she is, and the same for Sylvia, but both loves are completely different, yet equal. (Yes, in this instance, separate but equal can apply.)

Both were the most incredible experiences of my life. And I never want to do it again!


Anonymous said...

Fantastic! How scary it must have been to have your water break so suddenly and so early.

You did, obviously, had the best child care provider on the planet if she took Sylvia on her family vacation with her.

thanks for sharing these stories.

Jen said...

I'm so glad you had that great support for Sylvia! Lovely post - I think you crystallize a lot of what it means to be a mom.

Kori said...

You continue to amaze me!

Kori said...

You continue to amaze me!

Anonymous said...

I am always amazed at how different the stories of birth can be from one child to the next.

Same mom, same dad, TOTALLY different kids in every aspect from how they arrived in this world to their personalities.

Thanks for sharing!

LunaNik said...

I love hearing birth stories. It never fails to give me the warm and fuzzies.

Melissa said...

There have been several birthing posts today and it is amazing to see so many differnt situations, hard ache, easy times, wonderful memories...always interesting :)