Baby Micah is here! Our little rainbow baby decided to join us early Sunday morning, and mom has been tired every since. No seriously, I think today is the first day I’ve actually felt refreshed but the baby has slept a lot today which means he will probably be up in the next 40 minutes through the rest of the night. Oh well. He’s too darn cute to even be able to be upset about it! The following is my birth story though some of it is a bit harder to remember so is a bit more erratic.
So Saturday afternoon we went into work as usual. S and I had our schedules synched so we could go in together and leave together. That way we knew that when I went into labor there wouldn’t be any issue for me to find him and we would be guaranteed we would be heading of to the hospital together. I settled in for a long day of answering stupid questions and he went to get ready for what would be one of the busiest nights of the summer in the kitchen. I had a few side things I’m responsible for at work I needed to do because I had been trying my hardest to keep as up to date on them so whenever I did go into labor it wouldn’t be as hard for someone to take over. Well off I went to burn some rafting DVDs to fulfill customer orders. I was in the middle of one when I felt a leak.
I figured it was just discharge but I figured I would go to the bathroom anyway. I had been obsessed with checking anything that may be my water breaking even though it was always discharge. Well I went pee but when I stopped the leaking didn’t stop. Not right away anyway. I was pretty sure it was my water but at the same time I hadn’t felt any sort of contractions or had any other sign at all that day, so I also didn’t want to just jump to conclusions. I went back to my desk and sat down. Gush. I stood up. Gush. “Yup,” I thought, “that is water,” but I still didn’t trust myself so upstairs I went and trucked my butt into the kitchen.
I hadn’t seen L, the front of house manager, so I asked S and his female co-worker (who were both working behind the line) if they had seen her. L has 4 kids and doesn’t care about hearing about things like discharge so I knew I could safely ask her what she thought. I needed the reinforcement. They told me she wasn’t there so I looked at S and at his co-worker, who has 3 kids. “So when you had your kids did your water break with any of them?” I could see S’s eyes getting huge. She looked at me and said “Uh yeah, why? Did your water break?” I was still trying to be casual so just went on, “well I know with some women it is a big gush and with others it is a trickle, but can it be somewhere in between (stupid question. Obviously it can.)? Like when I just went pee and there was still stuff coming out even though I had stopped peeing?” At this point S was just standing there with his spatula in mid-air staring at me while his co-worker said “you need to head to the hospital right now.” I think I was still in a bit of denial though because I told them “All right. You go get the car but I have to go package the DVD I just burned and set the out of office response on my email.” and I did just that.
I wasn’t having any contractions so I wasn’t super worried. Actually I was way less panicked than I had expected to be, as was S but that may be because he was feeding off from my very vague and casual demeanor. I went back down and sat at my desk to fix my email while talking to my manager at the same time. “So I’m just going to finish this really quickly and then I’m going to leave you for the night because I’m pretty sure my water just broke.” My manager jumped out of her desk with an “oh my God!” and my other co-worked just looked at me and asked what the hell I was doing. “Setting my out of office reply, duh.” I don’t know what had gotten into me but I was fine with taking my time and making sure things were all good. I don’t live 20 minutes from a hospital, I live an hour and 20 minutes away. I probably should have gone a little faster. At that point S had come into the office to find out what was taking so long. I finished up and away we went.
We talked casually the whole way down. A range of topics from, are you having contractions, to which politicians we thought would do well in the upcoming debate that week, to a tear inducing fit of laughter over a Canadian in front of us who had tied their bikes to their care using an extension cord. Then I made him stop at Taco Bell because I was hungry and I was pretty sure they wouldn’t let me eat once I got there, and who knew how long this process was going to be.
After getting admitted into Labor and Delivery they confirmed that my water had broken and we had the choice to try to speed things up or to let them happen naturally because I still wasn’t feeling any contractions. We decided to let things go on their own. This was around 4pm. Around 11pm the nurse told me I should try to get some sleep since it didn’t seem like I was going to go into labor tonight based on the signs and the best thing I could do was rest up. Of course, I hadn’t had my cervix checked because they didn’t want to risk any infections with the water having broke and I still wasn’t having any sort of contraction. So I took a shower and then laid down and slept for like 30 minutes maybe.
I woke up and needed to pee so off I went to the bathroom. As soon as my feet hit the floor from my bed I felt my first contraction. By the time I went to the bathroom and came out they were fairly strong, but not steady. I laid down and tried to sleep again but soon realized that wasn’t going to happen. At this point I decided that going natural was not going to happen, I wanted an epidural once they got “bad”. Little did I know they were already fairly bad. The nurse said I needed to get through the bag of fluids, which would take about an hour and then we could do the epidural and a cervical check. That sounded good to me.
The contractions kept coming. And coming. And coming. They were now coming on very very strong and very fast. I still have no concept of what time it was or how fast things were except that it was fast, and painful. People talk about the “transition” period. Yeah, bull shit. I never got a transition period. I pretty much went from no contractions to 10cm. No joke. They came in a little while later because my mother told them my contractions had picked up so they turned the drop up on the IV liquids so I could get the epidural faster. Next thing I knew all I wanted to do was push. I told my mother “I keep needing to push! Not a little push on a contraction here or there but every contraction!” I knew it was time but S and my mother thought I was just feeling some pressure because it had all happened so fast. Regardless my mother went and told the nurse what I had said. Her and the epidural tech rushed in.
The tech started setting things up and the nurse checked me. This was the first cervical check I’d had since being at the doctor the Monday before and yet again I find a doctor staring at me wide eyed while her fingers are up my twat, feeling my cervix. “You’re at a 9 1/2!” Yup. I knew it was almost time. I wasn’t quite ready to push though as the baby still needed to go down a bit, but that would only take a short amount of time. They let the doctor know so she could come in and asked if I still wanted to do the epidural.
At this point I was in so much pain I wasn’t thinking straight. Had I been I would have said no because I know that the epidural slows things down. I also know they don’t typically do them when you’re that far along. However while I was feeling my vagina split in two and trying my hardest not to push at the same time, all I could think was that I wanted it to stop. So yeah I opted for the epidural. Stupid move. I still don’t think they should have even given me the option. They should have just said “nope it’s too far gone.” So they gave it to me. And it did nothing. Ok, not nothing but it really didn’t help. It made my vagina numb, my actual vagina. The outside, not the inside where the pain was. And it made my feet tingle but I still felt them. I also still felt the contractions. Not just the pressure but the full on pain. If anything I swear it made me internalize and pay attention to it more. It also slowed down my contractions.
After the doctor came in and said it was time to start pushing and push we did. For 3 long hours. I could not for the life of me figure out a good rhythm to push. I would get it really well sometimes and then the next time I wouldn’t get it at all. The doctor kept asking if I could feel the pressure in my rectum. I remember thinking, but not saying “Pressure? I don’t fucking know if I feel pressure. I feel a lot of things. Like my whole lower half of my body is just going to pull apart at the seams, and like I’m going to pass out because I have to hold my breath for counts of 10 that are really drawn out and might as well be counts of 20, and like I’m going to vomit.” I did say that last one and as soon as I did I projectile vomited across the delivery room. Twice. It was very exorcist style. The doctor actually said later that she has had people throw up but never quite like that. She was impressed.
For the last hour of pushing everyone kept telling me that they could see his head and we were almost there. I was exhausted. I did not feel almost there and even if we were I felt like I wouldn’t ever be able to make it happen because I just didn’t have the strength in me. Yet they still kept saying “we’re almost there!!” Finally after watching the sun rise while holding my breath and trying to push out a baby he finally came. My little Micah was born at 6:40am on August 2nd at 7lbs 3oz and 19 inches. We got to do skin to skin and delayed cord clamping. Mama was very very tired but I was finally able to hold my little rainbow baby in my arms.