Saturday, November 5, 2011

Afterbirth, Tales of the Nightshift. Part three

This is part 3 out of 3.
To read part one click HERE
To read part two click HERE

They wiped my son and wrapped him in a blanket then placed him in my arms.
My husband quickly got the video camera and began taping me as I held my child and blubbered about how much I loved him. I was the only person in the room who didn’t notice that he was not pinking up. In fact, he was beginning to turn the color of Barney. He was also blowing bubbles and grunting every time he tried to take a breath. But, as any mother would, I found my son to be perfect.

After hugging him to my chest like a football for a few minutes I asked my husband if he would like a turn. He put the video camera down and attempted to take him from me, then told me that he would just wait. It turns out that he was afraid to pick him up. His mom insisted that he hold our son and transferred him to David. He had his moment with his son, and then the nurse scooped him out of his arms saying that she needed to suction the fluid from his lungs.

They disappeared to the other side of the room which was partially blocked by a curtain and I was told to get ready to deliver the placenta. Ah, the placenta-such an amazing thing. I was expecting to deliver something that resembled a tiny chicken liver. The doctor tugged at my umbilical cord and yanked and began to break a sweat. I couldn’t understand the problem until I passed what looked like a skinned cow. This thing was monstrous! I was dumbfounded as I saw them drop it into a metal bowl. I asked them to bring it to me so that I could get a closer look but they wouldn’t. They just looked at me like I named it “my precious” and asked if they knew any good placenta-salsa recipes.

At approximately 6:45 pm my vagina went up on display for the entire hospital. I swear they were running tours through the thing. I lost count of people that sneaked a peek at it somewhere around 48. It was becoming apparent to them that having me deliver while not fully dilated was not such a good idea after all.
The corner of my cervix that hadn’t opened had been ripped when I finally did deliver and I was bleeding like a stuck pig. My epidural had worn off once again and I felt like they had a soldering gun in my gaping crotch which I had now nicknamed the Grand Canyon. My doctor had never seen anything like this before and had to call in a surgeon to have a look.

Enter Dr. Bongwater Hippie-hair. He walked in an apologized for the delay explaining that traffic had been hell on his way back from Woodstock but he got here as quickly as he could. He had a long gray braid that hung down to his butt and reeked of cigarette smoke and I was wondering what kind of doctor this was.
As I was debating whether or not to take this man seriously, he popped up between my legs wearing a headband with a light on it looking like he was about to go spelunking. I rolled my eyes as these two men examined my vagina like they were unlocking the key to the universe. I was losing interest and just wanted to know how my little man was doing.

David had already appeared at my bed to verify that he had spelled Nathan right. Then the nurse waited until he turned his back and whispered to me that she wanted to just “double check”. Seriously guys? To my knowledge there is only one spelling of the name. I kept hollering over asking how big he was, after seeing the size of my placenta I figured that he couldn’t weigh more than a pound or two because he never would have been able to fit! Finally they told me he was a whopping 8 pounds, 6.8 ounces and 23 inches long.

But Noël, he was a month early. Did you have gestational diabetes?

Nope. We just make big babies. They estimated had I made it to full term he would have been over 11 pounds, God help me had I been overdue!

Then I was snapped back to reality when I saw Dr. Hippie-hair coming at me with a needle that was about a foot long. They told me that they needed to numb up my cervix before they could stitch it up and not to be alarmed by the size, that it was only so long so that they could insert it vaginally and have it reach my cervix. I was fine with this; needles had never really bothered me. When they injected me however I felt like they had paper punched a section of my cervix. I winced in pain as they continued to inject me all around my tear. Every few minutes they would poke me in the crotch and ask me if I could feel it. Every time I could, and every time it got more annoying than the last. After about 15 minutes of this they realized that my cervix was not numbing up and that they would have to administer a third epidural.

A new anesthesiologist showed up this time. He smelled like gas and was wearing street clothes. He explained he’d been out on his Harley when his beeper went off and he had just arrived at the hospital. Really? Who cruises around on their hog in February? All of these random “staffers” showing up off the street helped confirm my theory that they were just charging a nickel per peek at my clam and were making bank.

He topped off my epidural and I felt my familiar friend making its way down my spine. I went to say something when I realized that my tongue wasn’t working properly; nor was my neck or jaw. Somehow my epidural had numbed me from my nose down. For the first time that night I was thoroughly freaked. I asked the doctor if that was ok and he tried to convince me that my tongue was fine.

“No ith’s naaauwt!” I wailed.

Then I started shivering uncontrollably and asked my nurse to “Pleath bring me a blanketh.”

She showed up with a heated blanket and wrapped it around me. As I warmed up I took note of the fact that I was being simultaneously fisted by two full grown men while my husband looked on in horror. Who knew you could fit so much up a vagina?? After an hour of this they had finally managed to get the 3 stitches in place and it was time to start repairing my episiotomy. That went quickly and my doctor made the generic comment that he was going to put an extra stitch in for David.

This must be listed in the first edition of “Bedside Manner for Physicians” as a go-to phrase because everybody I know who has gotten an episiotomy has reported their doctors saying this. Besides, after the parade that had just gone through my tunnel of love I knew it was going to take much more than just one extra stitch to repair the damage.

Finally it was all over and I had my son back in my arms. I couldn’t see much from where I was in my bed but I could hear nurses warning the night shift who had just arrived to be careful not to slip in the blood. The “c-section table” that had been brought in was now covered with bloody gauze and literal bowls holding nothing other than blood, then of course there was the placenta. It looked like there had been a live autopsy performed on top of it.

People began clearing out of the room gradually, my mother-in-law went home leaving just my husband and me. It was then that I realized that I had not peed in 19 hours. I was doing the mental math to determine how much fluid was in the three IV bags I had received along with the 4 HUGE bottles of water I had downed when I realized that I was in trouble. I didn’t really feel like I had to pee since I was still slightly numbed but I could tell by the 28 pounds of pressure that my bladder was full.

I pushed my light and in came my night nurse. She was ugly too! She had short brown curly hair and was also overweight. I explained to her that I needed to use the restroom and she looked at me with a glassy eyed look that screamed “I am a retard!” When she didn’t respond I realized I was going to need to be more precise with this special brood of characters that comes out to work the night shift.

“I need help getting to the bathroom.” I explained.

Still she just glared at me, looking as confused as if I had asked her to gently stroke my penis. What would it take to get through to these people!?

“I need you to help me get to the bathroom” I emphasized.

This snapped her out of her drooling stupor and she made a face at me.

“Do you really have to go?” she asked.

“Yes, I really have to go! I haven’t peed in 19 hours!”

Acting like she was incredibly inconvenienced she asked if I wouldn’t rather just have a catheter. Of course! Why wouldn’t I want someone to shove a tube up my pee hole when I could just go sit on a toilet? But on account of the fact that I always wanted to know what it would be like to pee like a boy, and this was as close as I would likely ever come without a sex change I agreed to the catheter.

She produced what looked like one of those brown coffee stir sticks and a cup and jammed it up my urethra with no consideration for how unforgivingly straight and sharp it was. I stared at the ceiling, mortified that my husband was watching this. Thankfully he had turned his back to let me “retain some dignity”. I think he was just trying not to witness anything else that would ultimately turn him so far against the female body’s functionality that he would have no choice but to start meat packing.

I trickled, and trickled and trickled some more. The nurse had to stop at one point and empty the cup. I then promptly filled up the second cup when she pulled out the stir stick and told me that that was “good enough.”

Good enough? My definition of good enough meant an empty bladder- but apparently she was taught otherwise when she was working towards her online nursing certificate. I decided to pick my battles however, and wasn’t particularly enjoying the experience anyways so I figured I would wait until I was wheeled into my recovery room and then ask my husband to help me into the bathroom.

I learned at that point that my butt may as well been nailed to the bed. I could not physically move it. The hospital could have burned down around me and I wouldn’t have been able to save myself. Finally the night nurse came back in and gave me a regular catheter with a hanging bag. She inserted it and immediately I filled the entire bag and could see my pee beginning to back up the tubing.

I used to work in a nursing home so catheters are no foreign object to me and I happen to know firsthand that when the bag is full, you need to empty it right away. So I asked the nurse, in case she hadn’t noticed. She told me that it was morning shifts job to do that and left the room. Thankfully, a different nurse emptied it later for me when she brought Nathan to me to nurse.

The next morning I awoke to an old woman and a girl who was very likely younger than me peering under my blanket at my very swollen butt. Good morning to me! The elderly nurse explained to me that there was something wrong with how my catheter had been inserted and fixed it for me saying that I would have it removed in a few hours.

Then I met the most annoying nurse known to mankind. She made my night nurse look like Florence Nightingale. This woman was a Type A personality at its finest example. She became my enemy and I wanted nothing more than to kick her in her uptight Harry Twatter

It all started when she came in ripping my blankets off, then snatched my son out of my arms telling me that I had to go take a bath. Seeing as how I was not 6 anymore, I thought bathing was left to my discretion but not when Nurse Twat was around. This was fine I decided because I wanted to be clean and dry my hair before visitors started flooding in with their cameras. I lowered my butt into the tub where I was directed to soak for 20 minutes. Without warning the douche came barging into my bathroom for no reason other than I think she enjoyed seeing people naked. She told me to make sure I washed my hair and then left. I quickly finished my shower, and even shaved my legs then hopped out to dry my hair and do my makeup.

When I made my way back to my bedroom I found my son with oxygen tubes in his nose. It turns out that his O2 sats were not where they should be and they were just giving him this extra boost. I was not happy with this news but I held him to my chest and remembered that he was perfect, even though his skin tone was slowly beginning to resemble that of an oompa loompa. My husband told me that the night before when they were suctioning out his lungs they had decided to treat that procedure the same way they treated my catheter and after suctioning for a few minutes decided it was “good enough” and that he would cough the rest up. However, he was not coughing the rest up and as the day progressed it became harder and harder for him to breathe. He was no longer nursing like he should be so Nurse Twat brought in a “finger feeder” and told me he was having too hard of a time breathing to be stressed with nursing anymore and that I would have to give him formula until my milk came in enough to pump.

Then I was brought my pump. Without closing the door my nurse sat down and told me to take my gown off and she was going to teach me how to use it. After I spent 15 minutes pumping and swatting her happy hands away from my boobs, she announced that I had inverted nipples and returned with nipple shields that were designed to be worn in my bra to draw out my nipples. This was news to me. I was certain I had normal nipples but didn’t want to say anything figuring that I was just mistaken in what I thought an inverted nipple was and planning to Google it as soon as I got home. I put them in my bra feeling like a pre-teen Madonna with my tiny little cones on my boobs.

This woman was a controlling freak. She would barge into my room every 5 minutes telling me my pillow was in the wrong place or that I was holding my baby wrong or that I should have started pumping 12 seconds ago and it was important I stay on a schedule. I started imagining what it would be like to kill her. I was at my last straw when she insisted that I start pumping 2 minutes before my doctor was scheduled to show up. I wanted to wait 10 minutes until after he had left but the Nazi nurse wouldn’t allow it. This left me with my nipples being sucked down a tube with my doctor watching. I was mortified. {Why? I do not know seeing as how there was a very good chance that I pooped on him just 12 hours earlier}.

After I finished pumping the half ounce of colostrum from my jugs I reinserted the nipple shields. My doctor looked at me puzzled and asked where I got them from. I filled him in and then he told me to throw them out and confirmed my hunch that my nipples were indeed normal.

Very shortly there was family scheduled to be showing up and I was having a dilemma. Not only was it getting harder and harder to lift my swollen butt off the bed with a ten pound ice pack strapped to my crotch, but I was beginning to swell from the knees down to the point that my legs looked like they were victim to radiation poisoning. And not just a little. It looked like they had survived a blast not even a cockroach could have endured. I was mortified! They were now toying with the idea of sending my son to a different hospital because his breathing was becoming more and more labored.

I was getting depressed because I wasn’t due to be discharged until the next day. They kept him one more night and the following afternoon and ambulance came to transport him to the Children’s Hospital NICU. I was devastated to say the least but was happy that I was getting out of the hospital and could go be with him. It was a miserable experience to watch my tiny little boy being loaded into the transport bed, one that I can find absolutely no humor in. They took him away and I went back to my room, loaded up my things and we all walked out of the hospital silently. I didn’t even get a wheelchair ride out!

I still could barely walk but finally managed to get to the truck and we went home. I opened my front door and walked in to find that my cradle was missing. This sent me over the edge. I started to wonder if I was a lunatic that thought I had a baby and really didn’t. After all, here I was back at home with no baby and no cradle. As it turns out my mother-in-law had taken it to made bed sheets for it and she had it with her in her van.

We decided to have dinner at the truck stop in town then David and I drove an hour away to see our son. There really is no humor in what happened the next week until he got out of the hospital. It was actually just a very sad series of events that involved tubes in his head and needles running into several spots on his tiny little body. He also became so jaundiced that he had to be kept under a Bili -blanket and we were not allowed to hold him more than a few minutes with every visit. I had to pump breastmilk every 2 hours for him since he was being fed through a feeding tube at first and also because I wasn’t with him for many hours out of the day. He had developed a lung infection and during an exam also detected a heart murmur and what they thought was a heart aneurysm. Fortunately it was just a valve that had not closed properly at birth and just appeared to be an aneurysm. He was eventually released to come home on what was one of the better days of my life.

Remember to stay tuned because there were plenty of things to laugh {and cry} about in our first few weeks as a family!

This is my weapon, this is my gun. One is for shooting, the other for fun (in 6 weeks that is) Part 2

This is part 2 of 3. Before reading this section check out part one by clicking HERE

So when I left off my husband and I were getting jiggy in the shower. And by “getting jiggy in the shower” I mean he was in the shower where he could be close to the water in case anything else suspicious should end up on his bush beater, and I was outside the shower gripping the towel rack to keep from tipping over. I was crying because my back hurt and I felt stupid, David was slipping and sliding all over, we were flooding the bathroom… It was the stuff porn is made of.

Finally, after what felt like 2 hours I heard my husband ask me…”Do you want me to pull out?” WHAT??? Is he joking? Surely he’s joking… I’ll kill him if I went through all this for nothing!

“No,I don’t want you to pull out” I screeched! And that was that…it was over with. I will stop here for my mother-in-law’s sake, I know she doesn’t want to read this….

We dried off, mopped up the bathroom and returned to the living room where I determined that the house needed to be mopped for the 3rd time that day {did I mention that I was in crazy nesting mode??}. As my husband watched me mop the kitchen trying to convince me that it was already clean I started having contractions again. Only these were different. This time it was all in my back. I could feel my stomach harden, yet felt no pain. David called his mom again to give her another play-by-play of my contractions and to put her on alert that once again “Noël was sure that tonight was the night”.

I picked up the pace mopping and picking the lint balls out of the carpet. There was suddenly so much to get done! I needed to do a load of laundry, and make the bed, I wondered if there was time to re-wash all of the baby clothes again. My husband kept note of my contractions and how long they lasted. They were so sporadic! I remembered the “411 rule”. Contractions four minutes apart, lasting one minute for at least one hour….or was it “411” maybe it was 911…or 141…I couldn’t remember!!!

I kept cleaning, stopping every couple minutes and doubling over. I couldn’t figure out why my back hurt so bad, everything that anyone had ever told me was to expect menstrual-like cramps but this felt like I was getting my tailbone ripped out with a vice grips! After about three hours the pains stopped and it was 12:30 am. We  figured that I was a crazy woman who would never go into labor and we went to bed.
I woke up at 3 AM like clockwork having to pee. I stumbled blindly into the bathroom and flipped on the overhead “night light”. Something felt a little off but I thought it was just exhaustion. I sat down to pee, and no sooner did my butt hit the seat when I heard what sounded like a gallon of fluid dump into the toilet.
As I sat there it continued to run out, I couldn’t stop it! OMG! I was peeing and had lost all control! That’s when I realized that I still had to pee. Now any normal woman would realize what was happening, but nope, not me!

Suddenly, the worst pain I had ever imagined tore through my back. I could not imagine anything that felt worse than what I felt at that moment. What is going on! Something is wrong; very very, wrong!
What I write from here on out is now just my recollection of the night. Parts may or may not be exactly as happened, but between the blinding pain and the pain medication I had the mental capacity of Courtney Love and this is how I remember the rest of the story.

The pain stopped leaving me feeling incredibly nauseous. I sat there for a good minute trying to will myself to look in the toilet. All the TLC watching I’d done had had an effect on me and I was actually worried that I had just given birth in the toilet like the women on I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. I finally took a peek and was relieved not to see a baby floating in the water. Then it hit me again. I felt like I had a semi driving over my spine. The only thought I could form was that I needed to get to the hospital because I was “leaking” and in such pain that something really bad was happening.
But first I had to get my husband who was still sound asleep in bed.  I began noticing a pattern, every time I got one of those “pains” I would start gushing again.

A few weeks earlier I had bought a package of THE biggest maxi-pads I could find for after I came home from the hospital. I struggled to reach them as they, of course, were on the top shelf in the cabinet. I put one on, hoping that it would keep me from ruining the carpet as I made my way through the house.

Now to get my husband. He was only about ten feet from me with the bedroom door open so I began to call for him. Being the insanely sound sleeper he is though, he didn’t hear me. I couldn’t walk, my legs were beginning to lose all feeling and I really doubted my ability to stand. So, as sad as this is, I began to crawl. Ten feet, that’s all I had to go! But I felt like I was climbing Mt Everest.  I will never know how long it took me to actually get there- but the point is I made it.

I no sooner got to the side of the bed when I had another contraction, this time I could feel my stomach harden- at that moment it dawned on me that I might be in labor.

“David,” I whispered. “DAVID!” Still on my hands and knees I reached up and grabbed his arm. I tried shaking him but it wasn’t working! He wouldn’t wake up. I cussed him out and threatened divorce and homicide. Finally I pinched him, I know it sounds mean but I could barely reach him from the floor and it was all I could think to do. And it worked. He woke up.

“David! Call the hospital, I think it’s time!” I gasped.

“Call them yourself” he snarled.


“No, David! I mean it this time,” I begged “my water just broke and I can’t walk. Please help me!” {How over-dramatic….}

“Listen Noel,” my husband snapped “I’m going on two hours of sleep here, you don’t understand how tired I am! You’re going to just have to call them yourself!” and with that he rolled over and went back to sleep
I was shocked. And I had to puke. I crawled back into the bathroom and heaved my guts out then laid on the floor as another contraction began. I started crying. I was going to die there. I felt like I was on an episode of Extreme Labor, only I would go undocumented. I would just slip away, nobody would ever know what happened to me. They would just find me there dead, leaking from the vag with a vomit trail running down my chin. I could hear my husband snoring which made me hate him. Then I had to puke again.  As I was puking my husband came tearing around the corner so fast I thought he was going to wipe out.

He was in full blown panic mode and stared at me like I was crowning. Standoffishly he asked what I needed him to do; looking totally freaked and borderline hyperventilating. He was kind of bouncing a little. I asked him if he thought we should call the hospital or just go. He gave me a blank stare as if I had asked him to start tearing up bed sheets and boiling water. Just then another contraction started and I told him we would just go. 

As I gripped his arm with all I had, wondering if he could carry me in my current state should my legs actually give out, he asked me if I wanted him to grab my suitcase. This being my first child, and I having no clue that it would be hours yet before I even needed to go in, I told him that he would have to come back for it because I was about to give birth on the dining room floor. 

He held my hand and walked me around to my side of the truck, opened my door and made sure I was safely in before closing my door for me. Now, to the sex offenders that frequently watched me from their 2nd story window across the street, this looked like a chivalrous move on my husband’s part. In reality, just the night before he made the mistake of letting my clumsy ass wander unattended to my side of the vehicle where I tripped in a snow bank, then while trying to catch myself slipped on a patch of ice and slid underneath the vehicle where I was stuck by my belly until he realized I wasn’t in the vehicle with him and came around to pull me out.

It was 3:30 AM on a February morning in Wisconsin. For any of you that know anything about anything- you know how cold that is. Since I skipped Lamaze classes saying they were stupid and I wouldn’t be caught dead going alone, my mother-in-law had given me some tips she figured I’d need; and the number one thing she had stressed was that relaxation was key in making it through contractions.  I however was shivering uncontrollably and was so tensed up I don’t think an elephant could have fought its way out of my vagina.

My husband drove the 6 blocks to the hospital like he was fighting for pole position and squealed into the entryway of the ER. He ran around and opened my door for me and looked at me expectantly as if I was just going to spring to my feet.

“I can’t walk” I told him.

He eyed me up before telling me that he didn’t think he should try to carry me in. I told him to go get me a wheelchair and he disappeared behind the sliding doors leaving me alone. Suddenly, without warning I puked. And not just a little, this was projectile vomit all over the parking lot. I no sooner finished wiping my chin with a napkin I found in an old McDonalds bag by my feet when my husband reappeared. I told him to be careful for my puke.

He helped me into my wheelchair and whisked me inside. And here is where I started 2 days of hell. David wheeled me to the registration desk where sat the ugliest, fattest receptionist with a big nasty mole on her chin. She was wearing ugly scrubs that were a good 2 sizes too small for her and she had whiskers. She handed David a clipboard to fill out, but being prepared I already had all my paperwork and asked him to get it out of my purse. All the while this receptionist glared at me like I was a drama queen. Since I was sure nobody this ugly had even endured the pain of getting her cherry popped, much less labor, I sure didn’t appreciate her passing judgment on me.

Shortly after, a nurse came to get us and led us to the labor ward. Naturally, the hospital was under construction at the time so it took us much longer to get there than I thought should even be legal under such dire circumstance. Once I was in my room the first thing I wanted to do was pee since I still had to go from when I woke up at 3. I made my husband wait outside the bathroom for me because I was worried what state my lady parts would be in at that point and I needed to check it out before I scarred him for life.

The only experience with labor and delivery I had had up to that point was as a 5 year old. We were vacationing at my grandparents’ house in Minnesota where my parents apparently thought it would be totally appropriate to sit me down in the living room and show me a circa 1979 video of a delivery. I was horrified. Primarily at this hairy-afro beaver taking up the entire TV screen, but what came next I was unprepared for. I remember crying and covering my eyes and my dad telling me to quit being such a baby and that I should be “appreciating the beauty of life, after all- in a few years I would be having children of my own.” The second that slimy little body appeared, covered in cheese and resembling ET at the end of the movie where he gets sick and turns white- I ran upstairs bawling. I pulled the covers over my head and sobbed until my mother came up to make sure I wasn’t going to kill myself. 

“I am never, ever having a baby!” I wailed.

And that is a true story about what it’s like to be traumatized as a child. I carried this disdain for anything to do with a vagina for years to come. When I got my first period it took me an entire box of wasted tampons before I could get the nerve to actually insert one. 

So here I was in quite the pickle. I had a human being an inch from tearing its oversized head through my vajayjay and there was nothing I could do about it. As I began to pee I realized I had to stash my waterlogged maxi pad before anybody saw it so I wrapped it in a hand towel and buried it in the trashcan. Just in the nick of time because a nurse barged in at that very moment asking if I needed anything.
This was the moment I lost all dignity.

Sitting there, mid-stream, I begged her to let me get into the hot tub and after checking with my doctor to make sure it was ok she came back in and began to fill the tub. As I lowered myself into the tub I was momentarily disgusted at the thought of all the vaginal sludge that other woman had surely secreted into this tub before me, but that was quickly forgotten when the nurse turned the jets on and another contraction started. I cried for my husband to come in and hold my hand.

As I sat there giving myself a pep-talk for the events about to unfold, the water started getting colder and colder. My husband went looking for the nurse who matter-of-factly told him how to fix it. When we couldn’t get any warm water she tore into the bathroom looking at us like retards and surely pitying the newborn that was going to be sent home with two adults that couldn’t adjust water temperature.

As much as I wanted to stay in the tub, I couldn’t help but feel a little indignant when the nurse herself couldn’t get warm water and announced the tub to be broken. I was so cold at this point that I couldn’t stay in my ice bath anymore and my husband, with the help of a nurse lifted my naked butt out of the tub. They gave me a robe to wear and led me back into my room where my mother-in-law was waiting. I had no clue she was even there. But I was grateful. I loved my husband dearly but had a feeling that he would be of no help to me shortly since he gags at the thought of a booger.

Now that I was out of the tub I was past the point of agony and was desperate. I begged everybody that walked past my bed to get me an epidural. Up until this point I was convinced that I could do it naturally. After all, women had been doing it since the beginning of time. I was in no way prepared for back labor however. I had heard the horror stories; several from my mother who had 8 children-four of them were back labor. But they were all gross underestimates of what it really was like.

My nurse was pregnant with her like 18th child and was telling me how she was going to have it at home in her bathtub as if I was supposed to find comfort in this. I figured by that point they probably just walked out but I was working with a punani in mint condition. I wanted to punch her. But she was my golden ticket to my epidural so I played it nice. She told me I would have to have an entire bag of fluid administered via IV before I was allowed to have my epidural. This news did not impress me but I had had several IV’s and I knew from past experience that it would take about 15 minutes…during this time the anesthesiologist could gather his things and make his way up to my room.

That’s assuming they turn the drip monitor on more than a half a drip every ten minutes. I had contractions coming every two seconds. My husband had decided watching duck hunting on the outdoor channel was acceptable, while complaining about how bad his back hurt from sitting in that chair and my mother-in-law was telling me over and over to relax all the while starting at me like I may have lost my mind. I tried not to watch my IV, I could have put two coats of paint on a barn in the time it took to administer one ounce.
My dear mother-in-law, who was probably worried I’d kill myself if this went on much longer, put herself to use just as I knew she would. She asked my nurse if I could have pain medicine to tide me over until I had my epidural. Normally I hate pain medication. It makes me feel sick and dizzy. But I was to the point where I gladly would have taken a horse tranquilizer injected through my eye just to escape the misery. They could even kill me; I didn’t care- I just needed the pain to stop.

Moments later my nurse appeared with a shot of something. I have no recollection of getting it. All I remember was thinking how nice my mother-in-laws bangs looked that day and making a mental note to tell my husband he should grow his out like that. Then I passed out stone cold. I was woke up around ten o’clock and told that I my IV was finished if I wanted to I could go ahead with my epidural. At that moment I was gripped with another contraction that threatened to blast my spine out my asshole once and for all. They gave me a release to sign and without reading it I scribbled on the line. I don’t think I even wrote anything resembling my name. Had I wanted to come back and sue the hospital {which believe me I did once I realized what kind of joint they were running!} that waiver surely wouldn’t have held up in a court of law. I distinctly remember signing my last name starting with an “M”.

Then my hero appeared. He was practically radiating as he appeared in the doorway. I overlooked his greasy skin and the fact that he was alarmingly skinny and resembled an Ethiopian meth head. To me, he was then and always will be beautiful. He asked everybody to move to the front of me where they couldn’t see what was happening. Then he started taping up my whole back and told me to hold really still. This was the hardest part since I was mid-contraction and so far I had been dealing with the pain by rocking back and forth like a crazy cat lady. But I sat as still as I could while the mother of miracle drugs worked its magic. As I lost feeling in my legs I finally relaxed. I was ready to join the party!

This was the point where my mother-in-law and my husband decided to sneak away to go pick up my bags and have a bite to eat. I was only dilated to about 5cm at this point. I decided to text everybody in my phonebook, drink some water and went back to sleep.

My husband and his mom arrived back an hour later with her husband and my sister-in-law in tow. We all watched the machine that was monitoring my contractions as slowly but surely I dilated to 9.5 cm. They started to get the room ready and suddenly there were nurses lining up at the door to get a peek at my whazoo. And we waited, and waited, and waited some more. I could not get to ten!

Finally my doctor made the executive decision that I would just start pushing. Everybody got into their places with my other-in-law at my head where I ordered her she would stay as I did not want her getting the money shot at any point during that ordeal. With all eyes on me I was told to start pushing. I could not feel my vagina or anything surrounding it so I gave my best shot at what I thought was pushing.  Apparently I was all wrong and I pushed like a weenie.

In the middle of this whole experience I began wondering why pansies were referred to as “pussies”. I am living proof that a vagina is all-capable and can endure things you see only in horror movies. Shouldn’t we start comparing the weaklings of this world to balls? After all, they seem to be the only private part that can’t seem to take any kind of beating. After this revelation I started referring to all things weak as a ballsack. 

The nurse and my MIL gave me explicit directions on how it was that I was supposed to push then coached me through it. I caught on quickly and spent the next 2  hours pushing. After every contraction I was told that the next push could be it! While encouraging at first I was starting to see them for the liars they were and I didn’t want to do it anymore. Plus my epidural had worn off. I begged for another one but was told no because it was too late and I would deliver at any second. An hour of pushing later there was still no baby-and I still had not dilated to 10- so they sent the anesthesiologist back up to top me off.

What was happening was, in addition to not being able to fully dilate; my son had lodged in the birth canal with his head sideways. So instead of crowning, I was more or less “cheeking”. The doctor tried several times to straighten his head with no such luck. I was told to keep pushing. I was giving it all I had. I was begging my husband to get fixed before we left the hospital and was crying while I said it {I thought the tears would seal the deal but he refused to go do it…the ballsack…}

I was going on four hours of pushing now, I had given up on having even a drop of dignity left and my mother-in-law was now holding my leg and counting for me while she made eye contact with my hoo ha, I did not have the physical stamina to push much longer. It was then I noticed everybody whispering around me. When they caught me trying to listen they stopped talking.

“Secrets don’t make friends” I hollered, but nobody was listening. That’s when I realized they were debating doing an episiotomy without consulting with me first. Apparently my husband had given them the big A-OK on it. I didn’t understand why this had to be a secret. I could care less how they got that baby out…they could reach down my throat and make me puke it up for all I cared. I just had to get that baby out of me.
I braced myself for the impending snip- but thank God my epidural had been topped off because I felt nothing really. I really wanted to check out the damages but was too worried I would see my baby cheeking so I decided not to ask for a mirror. I gave a few more sumo-pushes when without warning my doctor gave me not just one but TWO more snips. I wondered if you could even tell where my vagina ended and my a-hole started anymore. I knew it couldn’t be pretty by the look on my husband’s face.

I began pushing once more and I just couldn’t do it. I pushed and pushed and the baby STILL wouldn’t make his entrance. That’s when my mother-in-law put her head next to mine and told me to look across the room. They had wheeled in a table; a big, cold, metal table. It looked like a torture bed. She swears now that she never said this but I distinctly remember her saying that I only had one push left and then they were going to take me away on that table for a C-section.

This of course was not true; the table was full of equipment that was going to be needed once the baby arrived. But I had no idea, and I was scared to death to imagine what it would be like to be transferred onto this bed with a head peeking out of my glory hole. I gave it all I had- one more push. This was every last drop of energy I had. As I collapsed back onto my pillow I felt the strangest sensation. It literally felt as though I had birthed a codfish. 

“Was that it?” I asked puzzled. That’s when I saw my son. Covered in cheese and looking like a sickly ET and the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.

Stay tuned for: Afterbirth- tales of the night shift

This is my weapon, this is my gun. One is for shooting, the other for fun

     So, as most of you know, I was pregnant when my husband left for Basic Training and AIT.  I worried myself sick most of the time he was gone that something would happen and I would go into premature labor before he was home. It was cutting it kind of close but he did manage to make it home ten days before I went into labor. I greeted him at the airport in my nicest pair of sweatpants and the only maternity top I had left that didn’t show more than an inch of my belly.

As happy as I was to have him home, and as much as I would have liked a longer “re-integration” period with him before bringing another person into our home, I was miserable. I wanted that baby out two weeks ago. Every night it seemed like a different person I knew would go into labor leaving me to sit at home on the couch crying that my baby was “never coming out.”

In honesty I had no right being so impatient, after all- he wasn’t due for almost 6 more weeks. But I was a whale! When I sat down my belly nearly touched my knees. I was the biggest pregnant woman ever known to man! I had started waddling at like 14 weeks pregnant. Not to mention the fact that I had been puking from the day I found out I was pregnant up until the night I went into labor. This was for the birds! I was done!

In case you don't believe I really was the biggest preggo ever. Here are pictures of me with Nathan. The first being 32 weeks and the second being 35 weeks.

We had a trip planned that weekend to go a couple hours north to see David’s dad. I did not want to go. I was miserable, trapped in my own body-plus I was convinced that we couldn’t go that far away because I was going to go into labor at any second. But, I did not get a say in the matter, at my husband’s insistence we went.

We went up on a Saturday morning and planned to stay through Monday morning. We spent the entire day Sunday riding 4-wheelers through the snow and had a ton of fun, but by that night I was a mess! I just knew that baby was coming! I convinced David to take me home that night where nothing happened.
Monday afternoon I had a doctor’s appointment where I told him how miserable I was. He suggested a membrane stripping {for those of you who don’t know what that is I’ll spare you the gory details}. After my appointment I nearly skipped out of his office just convinced that in a few hours I’d be holding my little bundle of joy.

We went to my husband’s grandparent’s house where my husband needed to fill out college applications. By he I mean me, and as I sat there filling in his date of birth and SSN I felt a strange twinge.
Could it be???
I dismissed it and went back to typing until it happened again.

“David” I yelled to the front of the house. “David!!!”

He wasn’t coming…so I waddled two rooms over with the intention of hitting him over the head for ignoring me and making me waste ten minutes trying to get out of my chair. I peered around the corner and asked him to come in the other room.
He told me to hold on a minute so I waddled back to the computer and got back to work.

It happened again!!

I was getting so excited. I screamed for my husband once more, who still wasn’t coming. GRR. I knew I’d have to waddle back in there.  Fast forward ten minutes -I had finally gotten out of my chair when David FINALLY appeared in the doorway. I was just opening my mouth to yell at him when it happened a  4th time. I grabbed my stomach and sat back down. It took a few moments to pass and I explained to my darling husband what was going on.

Like a flash he was gone. I could hear him in the living room excitedly reporting to his grandparents what was happening and I was forgotten about. I finished up on the computer and retrieved my husband from the living room telling him we needed to get home so that I could tie up some loose ends.

Once we got home the pain’s finally died down to nothing but disappointment.  I chalked it up to Braxton Hicks. The next morning we went back to the doctor where he did a second membrane stripping. Ten minutes after we left I started feeling contractions again only this time they hurt a lot worse. I told my husband that once we got home he had to figure out how to install the baby’s car seat in the truck while I took a nap {pregnant delegation is the best!}.

I rested for about 2 hours, unable to actually fall asleep.  I gave up and went to go pee. I told my husband that the pains had stopped and I guess tonight wasn’t going to be the night either. He called his mother to let her know what was going on and she gave us a list of things that were supposed to induce labor. I jumped on that list!

Suggestion #1- Gallop
Easy enough, right? Well, to anyone that has ever successfully galloped at 8 months pregnant without peeing on yourself a little- I applaud you. Meanwhile all I was doing was throwing my back out. Time to move on…

Suggestion #2- Drink Castor Oil
Nope. Not that desperate.

Suggestion #3- Eat pineapple

This was no problem. I had just bought a huge jar of it a few days ago. I sat down and ate the entire thing. Then I ate a sandwich just for good measure.

Suggestion #4-Nipple Stimulation

Neither one of us really knew what that meant. Do you squeeze them, twist them, rub them, lick them? Was there an art to this? The only thing that we really knew was that if my nipples so much as came in contact with anything-including my bra- I would start leaking milk. So I flicked each nipple twice and checked it off my list.

Suggestion #5- Take a walk
This was my favorite one. After all, I always loved taking walks. However, it was a February night in Wisconsin and there had just been an ice storm leaving the streets and sidewalks slicked with glare ice. But I was in this to win this and made my husband begrudgingly bundle up and take a walk with me.
Let me just take a moment to say that my husband truly was a trooper those last ten days he was home. Just the night before he had helped me rewash every dish we owned and reline all the cupboards because I told him it needed to be done for “the baby”. Now here he was skating down the sidewalk with me in negative 20 degree weather.

 Suggestion #6- Have sex
Now , those of you who were paying attention may be wondering why I had claimed that taking a walk was my favorite item on the list. Here is where we get into the nitty, gritty….Dad, you can stop reading here!!
Remember  me telling you I was the biggest pregnant woman ever known to mankind? This was no exaggeration. It still surprises me that I was able to walk at all {much less get out and shovel the sidewalk every time it snowed!} I was also carrying my son very low which was putting an ungodly amount of pressure on my lady parts thus leaving me swollen {for lack of better of better words}.

Upon my husbands’ arrival home the week before, we were obviously anxious to re-consummate our marriage {he had been gone for 6 months after all!} So I stripped off my sweatpants and stood there allowing him to drool over my granny panties and stretch marks as we deliberated how it was exactly that we were going to go about doing this. Long story short… the pressure and swelling made it anything but enjoyable; at one point I wondered if he got confused and actually stuck his whole leg up there. And to add insult to injury, I couldn’t stop squirting breast milk which was horrifying to me at that point in my life (I have since lost all shame). That said, I decided that it would be best if we put a hold on all coital relations until after our son was born.

So here I was once again in my granny panties contemplating the physics of how exactly we were going to pull this feat off. I obviously couldn’t lay on my back because I would have been crushed alive by my own weight. I couldn’t lay on my right side because I would get too dizzy and I worried I’d pass out; and when I laid on my left side the pain caused by the pressure on my sciatic nerve about launched me into outer space. I certainly wasn’t going to get on top because I didn’t have the strength to hold myself and the extra 400 pounds I had gained up which left one option open….

Well, actually it left several options open but I was in no position to be doing the “Flying Monkey“ or the “Paul Bunyan Flapjack” which left us with the only other practical position left. Doggie style.
I had to pee first, of course and when I got back I found my husband waiting for me. With a sigh I stripped off my oh-so-sexy underwear and braced myself for it. It was everything I expected it to be and with tears in my eyes I just reminded myself that I was taking one for team Nathan. I can do this I repeated over and over in my head as I realized I had to pee again.

Figuring I could hold it, I didn’t mention it to my husband because I didn’t want to slow this process down. But as any pregnant woman knows: when you have to pee, you have to pee NOW! With no warning I leapt from the bed and ran to the bathroom before I peed on myself.

After relieving myself I waddled back to the bedroom to find my husband, now dressed, sitting on the edge of the bed, looking quite green and refusing to make eye contact with me. He told me he was thinking and decided that we shouldn’t try and hurry this up and that the baby was going to come when God wanted him to. My translation was that he thought I was repulsive.

“PLEASE!!!” I begged. He just didn’t know how desperate I was to have this baby. But he continued to refuse.

By this point I was wailing. I knew everything he said about me being a sexy pregnant woman was a lie! I was disgusting! I was so awful he couldn’t even close his eyes and imagine I was Megan Fox.
At this point my poor husband was so torn. On the one hand he wanted to preserve my self-image as he watched my turn into a blubbering mess, yet on the other hand he couldn’t bear to tell me the truth.
After a good hour of listening to me cry he finally told me that when I had left to go to the bathroom he had noticed something on his little soldier, describing it to resemble a large booger.

It was my mucus plug!

Now while most women would have been mortified, I started laughing because I was just so relieved to find out I wasn’t an ugly, un-porkable fatty. He wasn’t laughing however. He actually still looked very concerned and was not giving in to any of my requests to finish the job.

I begged for several hours, and it wasn’t until I continued begging him while we showered that he agreed so long as we kept the water running just in case he needed to hose off .

Stay posted to my next blog to find out if it worked!