….the more they stay the same. That’s how the saying goes, anyway, but for me I can’t say that’s totally true.
Rachel was born on August 15th, 2011. I’m told I had an “easy” labor, and if that’s the case I don’t want to know what “hard” labor is like.
I had an epidural, needed one about 3 hours after my water broke…..which was about 4:21am. That was a disgusting feeling, like I was constantly peeing myself. I think I was told that when the water breaks, its kind of drips, or leaks. I didn’t gush, but I didn’t drip, either. I felt like I was peeing myself. When I moved a certain way I could feel the water leave me, like in waves. It was weird. Ew.
Regarding the epidural, I console myself by saying I was 5cm dilated, when in fact I’m not sure if that’s true. All I know is that I was dilated to 2 cm an hour or so before I asked for the epidural, and about 15 minutes after they gave it to me I was dilated to 5 cm. I was so nervous regarding the epidural, that they had to give me morphine so they could give me the epidural. My blood pressure went up to 170/100, and for someone who’s regularly 110/70, that’s a pretty big spike.
After the epidural, I was fine….although I did vomit twice. Lucky for me, it was water. The first time I was all alone, for which I was grateful. It went all over the chair next to my bed, and the floor. The second time my parents and the baby’s daddy were in there with me, and I was so embarrassed. I asked the baby’s daddy to bring the pitcher that the nurse left for me in case I needed to vomit again, and he held my hair back while I threw up. My parents thought that was very sweet. Like I said, other than that, I was fine.
The epidural was great. I felt it go in, this cool breeze sliding down my spine. It was so weird, and unexpected. The feeling made me slightly nauseous and I jumped, but the only negative side effect of the epidural is that my right leg went totally numb and I couldn’t really move it for the 24 hours it took for me to completely regain my feeling in that leg. After that it was nap time and chatting with visitors and waiting for Rachel.
Finally, it was time for her to be born. The baby’s daddy and my mother were in the room with me, and he held one leg while my mother held the other, and the nurse told me to push. I believe I pushed for 20 minutes. 3 hard pushes for every other contraction or so, so I wasn’t pushing for the whole 20 minutes. I actually had 4 or 5 sets of pushing, trying to not think of all the colors that my face was turning, and hoping I didn’t defecate while my child was evacuating my body. During that 20 minutes I was stopped for a while because the doctor wasn’t there yet. Once Rachel had crowned, the nurse had me stop and wait so the doctor could deliver. It wasn’t long, 5 minutes maybe? Then there were two more pushing sessions: at the end of the first her head was out, and at the end of the second, I felt the incredible relief of pain after her shoulders passed through. THAT HURT! Even WITH the epidural. The head was uncomfortable, but the shoulders were REALLY uncomfortable.
Now, regarding the actual birth, I was hoping the doctor would have me pull the baby out and onto me like a friend’s doctor had. It just sounded like such a neat experience! Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. In fact, what I remember happening is pretty much this: push, relief, hearing baby’s cry, and the doctor putting her on my chest. I wasn’t prepared for that. I had been warned that they don’t clean the baby before they give the baby to the mother, but I wasn’t prepared for it. He just kind of unceremoniously plopped her on my chest, and I was shocked. This bloody, slimy, wrinkled baby was on my chest, and I know I thought this but I believe I said it aloud, too: “You’re bloody and slimey but I’m going to hug you anyway,” (or something to that effect) and I wrapped my arms around my baby girl and she stopped crying. I fell in love.
After that they took her from me and cleaned her up, and then I got her back.
Rachel Catherine had entered the world, beautiful and perfect. Tomorrow will be 2 months since her birth and I still can’t believe it sometimes. I can’t believe I’m a mom, I can’t believe she’s already grown so fast, its just all so amazing, and amazingly scary. Everything has changed, my world, my routine, my plans, and almost nothing has remained the same, not even me. I have to be responsible now, prepared, I have to think ahead….I am not Peter Pan anymore, I’m a grown-up. I have a child that I have to care for and protect, and every morning I wonder if I’m capable, but every morning when I look at her I vow to try my hardest to be the best mom that I can be, that I’ll do my best to be the mother that she needs me to be, the mother that this precious little girl deserves.