**This is taken from an old journal entry from a now defunct site called Diary-X,
where I had an account for more than four years.
I’ve edited it for content and grammar.
I noticed really active labor beginning around 6 or 7pm the night of December 29, 2002. It was overwhelming, this pain which kept intensifying. Not really believing that labor was finally occurring, I was online chatting with my friend Rhianna, and chatting with my friend Andy. I had to stop typing to breathe through the contractions. I’d already had “show,” so I knew *something* was happening. But I’d been sent home from the hospital earlier that afternoon, having been told that I may not go into labor for a WEEK because things were going so slowly. Dejected, I refused to go to the hospital just to be sent home again. But Rhianna (and Vicki, once Chris [Aidan’s dad] talked to her on the phone) were BEGGING me to go to the hospital.
So, around 9:30pm or so, after a pretty bad contraction (ha, little did I know!) we finally headed out. We got to the hospital, and went through the whole ordeal of being monitored, blah blah. I did the requisite hour of walking and lo! I’d dialated some more. FINALLY! PROGRESS! So, the nurse talked with the doctor on call, and she decided that yes, I was going to stay that night and have a baby. Praise God. As I said earlier, it’s been known for some women to have those kind of contractions, not progress, and not have their babies for a week. I was praying not to be one of them.
I was moved to a labor room, and introduced to my nurses. All of them were great. They were very patient with me as I worked through each contraction or went to the bathroom. One nurse in particular was awesome, dealing with my nervousness with getting an IV in my hand for the first time in my life. Funny, a contraction took any focus away from the pain that may have been in my hand, even though I *did* feel a little. Chris was by my side the whole time–he even watched them put the IV in me. Okay, this man HATES needles! But he was there, holding my hand and talking calmly to me.
I dealt with contractions until about 1:30am or so. Chris was amazing. When he’d see one coming on, or hear me take that “cleansing breath,” he knew to make me look into his eyes, breathe, and keep me focused. He took my hand and made me squeeze his hand, telling me to push out the pain. And he rubbed my back with the force required to counteract back labor.
Otherwise, I would have been a mess. And that’s no joke.
People ask me what labor feels like. Truthfully, I am starting to forget… but not really. I only got to 5cm, and that was pretty intense. I have no idea how it’d feel to go beyond that. But here are some things–I could feel everything tightening up in there. Then the pressure (the worse part) would start, and squeeze clear down to my mid-thighs. In the meantime, my behind and back were also feeling tremendous pressure and pain. It would build up to a peak, and then would feel so GOOD when it finally subsided. It gets to a point where talking through it becomes impossible, let alone walking or anything. And it lasts longer and longer, until it seems never ending. The main focus is getting through the pain in any way possible. And breathing helped me a lot. It did NOT take away any pain, but it helped me focus and stay in control.
I got Nubain, which is a narcotic to help take the edge off. It didn’t take the pain away, but it gave me this nice tingly fuzzy feeling that helped me be kind of flippant about it. It helped me a lot, and I was even able to doze between contractions with it.
At 4 1/2cm, I got an epidural. Chris did NOT stay in the room for that! It’s a pretty intense procedure, but the nurse and the guy who administered it were really great. The nurse by this time had commented on how polite and nice I’d remained through the entire ordeal. I guess some women may lose it by that point. I don’t know. But anyway, within 10 minutes, I was in bliss! I could feel a bit of pressure from the contractions, but no pain. I could feel lots of things going on, but no pain. The pelvic exams didn’t bother me anymore. I got a catheter, and that didn’t bother me. (Oh, it was nice! No more running to the bathroom every 5 minutes!) I went to sleep, only waking up to see Chris with that darn video camera, or when the nurse would come in to check on me. I got a *good* epidural, they said, one that allowed me to feel things and know what was going on (I could even still move my toes and legs), but I felt NO pain.
I was checked to see if my sac had broken, because neither Chris nor I had any recollection of my water breaking. No dripping, nothing. Just a lot of bloody show, which they said is normal when the cervix is dialating. So, they were going to break it, but the doctor felt and there was none! So apparently, it HAD broken, but I just had no clue. None of us have! So, that is the big mystery. When did my water actually break? I think sometime around 6pm or so, when the contractions started to build up.
Things went downhill about 5:30am. I hadn’t dialated past 5cm. This was kind of a concern, so they administered Pitocin (ew) at 5:45am to get things moving along. At 6:30, bad things were happening. I was half asleep when the nurse and lots of other offical looking people, plus a doctor, rushed in. The nurse yelled “I need oxygen on her NOW.” The pitocin was turned off. They’d only adminstered 4ccs. I heard lots of words about oxygen and blood and heart rates. But everyone kept saying that everything was okay, and Chris looked calm and fine. So, *I* calmed down, even as they flipped me over and over and made me get on all fours. Turns out that something happened, and Aidan did NOT like it. They didn’t know if it was the position he was in, or what. Monitors were hooked up all over. And then everything was stabilized. The house doctor mentioned the c-word. By then, it was 7, and Dr. Friday, MY doctor, was there. She came in to check, and Chris mentioned that the doctor said there was too much blood. She said, “If he doesn’t like it, *I* don’t like it.” She checked me. She said that wouldn’t be a problem normally, since everything was stabilized, but the fact that I hadn’t dialated WAS a problem. So, she said that I had a big “C” written on my forehead. Me, having a dumb moment, went, “I do?” and ACTUALLY FELT MY FOREHEAD. “She means a c-section,” Chris said. I said that I am fine with that. My concern was getting Aidan OUT of there before something like that happened again. I know some women really freak out about getting a c-section–but I’m not one of them.
So, prep for c-section began, and honestly, c-sections kinda suck. I was on this table, lying with my arms flat out at my side, with an oxygen mask that wouldn’t stop slipping (stupid big nose!). However, the guys were there, and they would move it up. And they were very nice to me, and even though it was uncomfortable, I really was fine. But lying flat on your back, with your arms at your side AND NOT KNOWING WHAT IS GOING ON is torture for someone as nosy as I am!!!
I felt lots of pulling and tugging on my stomach, and then finally Chris came in and sat by me. He surprised me AGAIN by actually WATCHING it!! I heard someone say, “I see an ear!” and then Chris said, “Oh, there’s his little head!” Then, Aidan was born! They took him over and he cried and cried, oh was he MAD! As I started to space out (I was mad too, b/c they were taking so long to stich me up, heehee), someone said, “Someone is coming over to see you!” And there was little Aidan! The first thing I thought was “Oh dear, he got my nose after all!” And then I talked to him. He was so cute, and angry and crying. My little baby. I was amazed. Chris was crying. I didn’t shed a tear. I was too weirded out by the whole experience.
Sometimes, I wonder what would have happened had I not had the epidural. Would labor have slowed down so much? Although, I was reassured that the epidural did NOT cause the problems, it was the Pitocin. I should have followed my gut on that stuff–I just don’t like it at ALL. But, what’s done is done.
I barely remember being taken to my room, and most of Monday passed by in a BLUR. Pain medications really do that to you. I remember the nurses and lactation consultants bringing Aidan in a few times on Monday to get me to nurse, but I was soo out of it, I was wondering “why are they even trying?” But it was a good thing they did it, even though I was SO tired and falling asleep mid sentence. I didn’t get coherent until Tuesday morning, early. They rolled Aidan in about 8. That’s when my bonding began. He’s had my heart ever since.
Aidan Matthew was born 30 December 2002, at 7:45am. He was 6lbs, and 19.5 inches long. All was well.