Atticus: The Birth Story

Since it’s been over 3 weeks, I figured it was high time to actually document all the activity that went down August 26-27, for when I am old and frail and can’t remember anything.

August 26 was The Due Date, and I woke up that morning with insane blood pressure.  Also, I had only slept about 3 hours the night before (the last night before a baby and I get even less sleep than I’m getting now) due to the Lumberjack caving to my pregnancy request for chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream so I was All Hopped Up On Sugar.  We now like to call it the Peppermint Ice Cream and Chocolate Cake Induction.  Man that messed me up.

Anyway!  So my blood pressure was crazy and they told me to come to the hospital.  After the Lumberjack spent about 3 hours doing random chores while I sat on the couch thinking “Holy shit we’re GOING TO HAVE A BABY seriously what the fuck is my husband doing NOW?” we got in the car.  Oh, but first I got in a fight with our neighbor who seriously doesn’t know how to park a goddamn car, so apparently that was the right time for me to explain things to her.  Priorities!  I have them.

my last Sunday pregnancy photo

So, the hospital.  Laura (our midwife) met us there and we saw a doctor who basically said: either we induce now, or you go home and wait until your scheduled induction in 3 days, but your cervix is not at all dilated so there’s really no chance that you’ll go into labor on  your own, which means you’ll be back here in 3 days with the same choices anyway, only you may stroke out and die in the meantime.  I didn’t like this doctor so much.  We agreed that induction was the way to go, only I said a resounding NO to the drugs she wanted me to take to dilate my cervix, seeing as how they can cause fetal death, maternal death, uterine rupture, and so on.  Luckily we got a new doctor right around that time who agreed to put in a bulb catheter thingy, which manually dilates the cervix instead of using medication.  So it was my body making it  happen, not drugs, which is what I wanted.

So!  7pm and we’re in the birthing room, placing the catheter.  It went in super easy, and then we just laid around waiting for Something To Happen.  I think I slept a little?  I can’t really remember.  It was still pretty surreal.  I do remember suddenly puking a lot, and being very happy with how cool the puke bags at the hospital were (seriously – they were very handy).  At 3am the catheter came out, which meant I was 3-4cm dilated and that we could now start labor.  The nurse gave me pitocin at 4am, despite me not wanting it at all.  At least she put me on the low dose?  Anyway, within an hour or so I was clearly contracting away, so she turned it down and eventually off, letting my body doing things on its own.  Like I wanted.  Again.  (Hey western medicine: please let my body do things on its own.)

The sun came up and I was In Labor.  Holy shit!  When they say that it hurts, they are not lying.  You should listen to them.  Goddamn.  I think I handled it pretty well – I stayed super calm and quiet and internal and just did a LOT of focusing and breathing.  We had brought a lot of things to the hospital to “help” – oils, scented lotion, things to hold &/or squeeze, music, etc.  I didn’t want any of it.  I just wanted to sit there with my eyes closed and with midwife & Lumberjack hands pressing on my back while I thought really hard about what was happening inside my body and did my best to keep breathing.

I was pretty exhausted, what with this being my second night with no sleep, so I actually kept falling asleep in between contractions.  At one point I fell asleep and started snoring while sitting on the toilet, with Laura standing nearby to make sure I didn’t fall over.  I spent most of the time lying sideways on the bed and gripping the hell out of the handrails (my arms and back were aching for the next 2 days from the exertion).  They had fetal monitors on me most of the time, so I could see the contractions coming and going.  It was also pretty crazy because the nurse had to keep repositioning them as the baby moved lower – once she was tracking his heartbeat down by my hip, I realized that there was a fucking human being working his way out of my body.  That…was weird.

Around 11am I was 9cm dilated.  At this point I had been sort of pushing with each contraction – not a lot, but enough to feel like I was making progress.  Suddenly, MY WATER BROKE ALL THE FUCK OVER EVERYONE.  It was completely insane.  It was the biggest, most amazingly crazy KAPOW feeling ever.  It felt like all of my insides totally exploded.  I kinda thought I had shit everywhere.  Laura yelled out “your waters broke!  they’re clear!  they’re beautiful!” which was hilarious.

By 11:30 I was at 10cm so I was allowed to start pushing for real.  Laura had my left leg bent up and the nurse had my right leg pulled out and the Lumberjack was petting my head and my mom was…trying to take pictures.  The fuck?  I couldn’t verbalize anything at this point so I just started wagging my finger at her and yelling “no!  no!  no!” until the nurse said “uh, I don’t think she wants you taking pictures right now.”  SERIOUSLY.

little naked baby

The pushing was hard, but it was the first time that I actually felt somewhat in control of the process, so it felt really good.  This was the part I got to DO, rather than just letting things happen to me.  The nurse got all up in my face, yelling at me to hold my breath and push for 10 seconds at a time – she even counted out on her fingers, right in front of my nose.  She later apologized for getting too drill sergeant on me, but it was actually awesome.  I just stared at her hand and made it happen.

I made it happen a little too fast, actually, because the nurse was suddenly on the phone all “GET IN HERE NOW” to the doctor and he was literally still pulling on his haz-mat suit (he looked like one of the bad guys from E.T. – it seemed a little like overkill) when he had to GRAB MY KID.  I don’t really remember a “ring of fire” or anything more intense than anything else, but I do remember feeling this slithery motion like a fish was getting out of me and then BAM.  Baby.  On the bed.  My baby.  7lbs, 15oz, born August 27 at 12:10pm.

He shit all over himself.  I did not shit the bed – the baby took care of it.  He was blue, so they whisked him off to the little warming table across the room.  I was instantly totally alert, and yelled at the Lumberjack, “Let’s do that again!”  He was a little distracted with the baby not breathing well, though.  I was still in the bed, so I couldn’t see what was going on, but my mom and the Lumberjack were both with him, talking to him, and they later said it was a little scary for a bit.  I’m glad I missed out on that.  All I got to see was them bring him back to me with his wide open eyes and curious long fingers.  I pulled him under the blanket and pressed his little naked body against my chest, and then I was a mom.  Bizarre.

the Sunday after I popped out a baby.

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  1. You are amazing. I’d like to think I could have done it without the drugs if I wanted, but nah, probably couldn’t have. Atticus is so precious.

  2. mothermary9

     /  September 20, 2012

    Amazing! It’s weird how pushing “feels good.” You’re totally right about the control thing. Finally something I can do to move this along! Congrats again – your baby has a great head of hair!

  3. I am sort of envious of those who can do the natural thing…but then I remember the ignorant bliss of drugs and I get over it. But you, darling, are AMAZING!! Congrats again!

  4. Thanks for detailing the whole process 🙂

  5. beautiful, and funny 🙂


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