It all started the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, 2009. We were watching The Biggest Loser and I was having what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions. A lot of them. They weren’t really uncomfortable, just persistent. I figured it was just us getting closer to the end and I went to bed.
The next day, Thanksgiving, I was still having contractions, but again, not a big deal. Since I was too pregnant to travel to my parents’ house, which is tradition, I decided to get a Boston Market Thanksgiving dinner and have my brother-in-law, father-in-law and a couple of friends over for dinner. That’s right, I was almost 40 weeks pregnant and cooked-ish a full Thanksgiving dinner for six people while having contractions.
As I would put a course in the oven, I would sometimes bend over with a more intense contraction. Again, nothing big and I just thought it was all in my head, so we carried on with dinner. Everyone stuck around until 6 p.m. or so drinking (bastards) and eating. My husband and I settled to the couch for some tv time and more contractions. I started timing them just for fun and thought it was a little odd when they were all around 7 to 10 minutes apart. Weird. Again, they weren’t painful, so it couldn’t be labor. Right?
I had friends coming in the next day to visit from out of town. My friend texted me to see if we were still available and I said yes, and joked he might have to help me count contractions while they were there. He asked why, so I told him and he called his sister, who is an OB nurse. She told him they were not Braxton Hicks and that I was in pre-labor. Psssshhhhh. Whatever. I told them to still come.
We settled into bed around 11 p.m. and I tried to get some sleep—a little hard when you are having contractions every 10 minutes. Around 12, I got out of bed and decided to pack our stuff and get ready so we could go to the hospital and they could give me something to help me sleep through all of the contractions. I woke soon-to-be ADD Daddy up and we headed to the hospital around 1 a.m.
In the car, my contractions got a little stronger, but still no biggie. After over 24 hours of them, I think I had just tuned them out. We arrived at the labor and delivery unit of the hospital and I told the nurses I was having a lot of contractions and just needed something to help me sleep. They gowned me up and “checked me” (AKA fisted me). They told me I was at 3 cm. They asked me to walk around the halls for an hour to see what happened, then to come back.
Soon-to-be ADD Daddy and I walked around the labor and delivery unit for an hour then headed back to the room so I could be fisted again. The lady said I was at a 4. I figured that wasn’t much, so I started taking off my gown and went to ask her what she could prescribe to help me sleep. She then asked me if wanted an epidural now or if I wanted to wait a bit. Wait. What? Epidural? I just need some sleeping pills. I asked her what she meant and she told me I was in full-blown labor. She informed me that they were going to break my water and that it was going to hurt like a b*tch so she recommended that if I was going to get an epidural, I do so now.
|Sure, I will take an epi, with a side of Bud Light.|
I was in shock. I guess I sort of felt like a big fat cheater. I hadn’t doubled over in pain and screamed so loud half the hospital looked, or had my water break in the cookie aisle at Wal-Mart, or tried to rip my husband’s jugular out, or anything. Was it OK to give up this easily? Being that I wholeheartedly agreed with the use of drugs in birth, I said yes.
Cue me an hour later hopped up on an epi, listening to Nick Drake and drifting in and out of sleep. It was now around 3 a.m. and we just didn’t know what to do with ourselves. In between occasional fistings, we watched tv, checked our email, chatted, listened to music and did a whole lot of nothing for the next nine or so hours.
Around 12:30 p.m., the delivery nurse came in and said we were going to start pushing soon. Again, excuse me, what? Pushing? I don’t even feel anything. Well around 1 p.m., my Dr. came in and we started pushing. It didn’t hurt. At all. Fifteen minutes later—I kid you not—The Quiet Contemplator was born.
|Tada! I'm here, b*tches!|
I know, I know. You want to punch me in the face right now and tell me your grueling 24-hours-of-bloody-and-disgusting-painful-labor stories, some of which still sadly ended in an unplanned C-section. I am sure that sucked all to hell and back. I feel your pain, sister. But this is just my story. I didn’t see the need to emphasize the sh*tty IV part or add any drama and flare. This is just kind of how it went for us and it was awesomeness.
That being said, when they handed my daughter to me, it was like I wasn’t prepared. We hadn’t gone through enough during our birth experience to feel like she should be here and I kind of didn’t know what to do with her. Everyone was all smiles and goos and giggles and I was just looking at her hammer thumbs (a lovely trait, thanks to ADD Daddy) and thinking I had to pay for her college. Then, things got sh*tty…