And Now There’s A Thor

I wrote this note/memoir for my cousin who is pregnant and due in the beginning of November. I’m sharing it with my WordPress family in case there are women out there who want to read a story from a real woman with all the dirty parts left in. No roses here…

Labor/Delivery

I know you’ve been wondering about labor, and it was all so fast for me that I decided to write it down.

It all began… I was at work and having contractions, did I know they were contractions? No. I just thought I was having cramps (Which I was since that is really what contractions are).

Tip#1: Download an app to your phone to time your contractions! This way, when the nurse asks you about your contractions, Dave can give them exact info. I say Dave, because you will be focussing on distracting yourself from the pain.

Not sure if you’ve been feeling any small contractions yet, but if not, they just feel like cramps low in your abdomen, and they get stronger as you go.

Movement helped with coping with the pain. Not that it made the pain go away, but it gave me something to think about. Something to concentrate on.

I would say that my contractions started getting uncomfortable around 11am. At this point, the pain was more just discomfort, and I didn’t know I was having contractions.

By the time freight came at noon, I had to have one of my girls come help me move boxes, because I couldn’t move them very well on my own. At this point, I was doing a lot of hip movement to help with the pain.

Surprise:
Something I had never been told before that happened was that my body started getting rid of all the waste that was inside me. Because of this, I spent all day on the toilet. Half the time, nothing came out, but I was grateful later not to have anything left inside me. I didn’t poop while pushing because there was nothing left.

I ended up leaving work around 2:30, only because my manager told me I looked like sh*t and to go home, lol. Thankfully, Daniel came and picked me up, because I should not have been driving (Although if you would have asked me at the time, I would have told you I was fine).

Again, at this point, I was more uncomfortable than in pain. I was visiting the bathroom extremely often, and there was a little bit of bloody discharge (Which is normal). I was okay to be walking around, but I was more than slow.

When I got home, I went straight for the toilet (Story of my day), and called the nurse line at the hospital. The nurse asked about my contractions, (which were 3-4 minutes apart) and about discharge, and advised me to take a bath since she didn’t think I should come in yet.

Daniel helped me run a bath and brought me ice pops (since I was over warm, and it was the only thing I wanted to eat).

I had been throwing up whenever I had a really strong contraction, and I didn’t last very long in the tub cause it was HOT and because I was more comfortable on my side (easier to throw up that way).

Where did I end up since the bath didn’t work? Laying on my side on the couch, watching Troy on the downstairs TV. I had a garbage on the floor (for the throw up of course), a stack of icees on the coffee table, and my phone in my hand to track my contractions.

By the time I hit the point where I couldn’t take it anymore, I was up on the couch, facing backwards, arms up on the back rest moaning, and moving my hips back and forth.

At this point, I told Daniel that it was time to go. I was not pleasant when telling him, although I was proud of myself for only yelling (well, more just raising my voice) one time. I also was only able to walk around in between contractions. The rocking back and forth of the hips was the only movement that happened during contractions.

I went upstairs (slowly) to pack a bag. Probably should have done this sooner, but I was still in shock since I was two weeks early. Even when I got home from work, I kept saying that I should pack a bag, then told myself I couldn’t have the baby because I was on the schedule to work til the 10th of September, lol. How silly I was.

Anyways, I could tell I was pretty delirious because as I rocked my hips back and forth, and said “right, left, right” in my head, I noticed that I was not moving the same direction I was saying, nor were my hips moving as fast as my mind was thinking the directions. It didn’t matter, it was just something I was doing to not think about the pain. There was no happy place to take my mind to, and all the planning I had done didn’t even cross my mind. My focus was just “right, left, right…”

Daniel was in the kitchen cooking the entire time from the bath through my watching Troy (which I didn’t get to finish). He kept my mom and Barbi (my manager) up to date on what was going on. Although I didn’t freak out on my wonderful husband, I’m not sure I would have been able to stand talking to my mother, even though she was perfectly wonderful, and helpful, and I couldn’t imagine not having her at the hospital with us!

I remember yelling out to Daniel nicely that I was going to the car. I leaned my arms up against my truck, rocking and waiting out a pretty bad contraction as I felt the lovely warm wet liquid they call “water” dripping down my legs. Having a pad on just delayed the inevitable, but the idea it was there gave me comfort just the same.

Why do they call it “water”? It’s gross not exactly clear liquid, with blood in it and all types of strange gunk. Mine even was a little yellowish because Thor had pooped inside me before coming out. Water it is not. Amniotic fluid. That’s what it is… The only good side is that it will wash out of whatever you decide to wear when it breaks… If of course it breaks on its own.

This lovely fluid continued to flow out of me as it pleased the entire way to the hospital, which was not a long drive, especially since Daniel drove 80 miles per hour the entire way, slowing down only for traffic lights. 6:24 is the time I remember leaving the house, and it couldn’t have been longer than a 5 or 6 minute drive.

During the drive was the only time I mentioned meds. I pretty much said “I can see why women like to get the meds… This really doesn’t feel good.” That was that. Before we left the house, I was thinking that I better be close because otherwise the medicine would be pretty tempting.

Daniel grabbed my stuff from the car when we pulled up , and I couldn’t wait so I got out myself and walked into the hospital since I was in between contractions and I wasn’t sure how long that would last.

Now I just want you to know what I looked like at this point, because it was not at all what I had planned to look like going into the hospital. My plan was to have my hair braided in some way that wouldn’t look like a crazy mess. You know what curly hair does when it doesn’t get done… I just didn’t want to look like a homeless person. Instead, my hair made it into a mess of a pony tail, somewhere on top of my head where it was out of my face. That was my only worry at the time I got into the tub, which was when I had put it up.

I was wearing my purple, Nike sweat Capri things, which have a yoga pant style waist band so they were comfortable enough to wear with my belly. At home I had on a cami, I don’t remember having the sense to put a bra on, so it’s lucky I thought to put on a t shirt before leaving the house. All these clothes ended up in a plastic bag until whatever day I was sane enough to do laundry after getting back to Fargo a week later… My tennis shoes (no socks because it was not something I was thinking about while getting dressed to leave) did make it through without getting wet somehow.

Once inside the emergency room, they checked me in, asked if I wanted a wheel chair (which I said no to). Daniel, who was clearly the only one thinking at that point said yes. So I stood in the emergency room waiting for Daniel to bring me the wheel chair while all the emergency room people stared at me thinking about how lucky they were to only have to be getting stitches or whatever their problem was that day.

Daniel wheeled me upstairs to the labor and delivery floor where the nurses asked me stupid questions like if they measured me downstairs… I looked down at my soaked pants and told them “nope, they just saw this and sent me up”. She also asked if we had a written birth plan… A question which I’m sure she wouldn’t have asked if she knew how short this was going to be. I told her that “we were going to do that tonight, but things didn’t happen the way we planned.”

I had to get undressed, which had to wait until I was done having a contraction, and put on a belly band (which I asked if I could go without because I hated having anything touching my stomach but she said no). I got into the bed wearing the ugly gown, which was fine cause I had it on for less than an hour anyways.

The nurse checked me once I had the heart monitor on to check Thor’s heart rate and announced that I was ready to go, 10 centimeters! She told me not to push til the midwife on call got there, lol, like I was just gonna go at it or something. The only thing I asked her was if my son had hair, but she didn’t check, even though she told me that his head was right there… Ugh…

The midwife who delivered Thor was not my regular midwife. I did have an appointment with him once and he delivered multiple babies for women that I work with and that went to my church. I think I was actually more comfortable with him than I was with my regular midwife. I will definitely go with him when we have our next baby.

It only took less than 10 minutes for Terry (the midwife) to get to the hospital. Just enough time for them to prep the room for delivery. My nurse tried to get an IV into my arm (They do this just in case for any reason they need to give you fluids) which I didn’t want or end up needing so it was fine that she wasn’t able to get my vain.

The nurses also asked me if I had planned to have any medicine and when I told her no, she seemed relieved and told me we didn’t have time so that was good.

Terry checked me, and thankfully he was able to tell me that my son had a head full of hair which is all I wanted to know at that point! He also told me that there was mirconium in my amniotic fluid (which meant that Thor had pooped before coming out) so once I finished pushing him out, they would have to take him to check his lungs Before i got to hold him. This meant Daniel would have to cut the umbilical cord quickly if he wanted to do it. I wasn’t too upset like I thought I would be that I couldn’t hold him right away. All I cared about was that he would be okay.

I scooted down on the table and Terry asked me if the contractions made me want to push yet. I told him no, and this seems strange until you’ve felt it. You WILL know when the contractions change. The regular contractions are down low… The ones that open up your cervix. The “pushing” contractions are up high, and they are squeezing things out.

Once it was time for pushing, the hardest part for me was holding my legs up. Daniel held one side and my nurse… She tried to hold the other one, but was too distracted by my sons head coming out of my vagina.

I pushed through three contractions, all the while, Terry was helping me stretch open so I wouldn’t tear. It was so strange to be pushing like I was trying to poo in a room with other people.

Terry had me stop pushing once Thor’s head was out and switch my hips to a different position so I didn’t tear as his shoulders came through, which I appreciated so much! One last push and I was done! Whew!

7:07pm about a half hour from when we got to the hospital, I was a mommy!

They took Thor straight to a warming table after Daniel cut the umbilical cord to check him out and make sure he didn’t swallow any of his poo. They also took his temp since he was considered pre mature, and told me I had to take his temp every time before feeding him.

Finally, after concluding that he was fine, which we already knew, I got to hold my son! He was perfect, and warm, and smelled just like a new baby should. I didn’t cry because I was still in shock since everything went so fast. I just wanted to call my boss and make sure she knew I wouldn’t be in the next day.

I had to push the placenta out, and Terry showed it to us which was kinda gross. They also pushed on my stomach a ton to help get as much blood out as possible. I was pretty much leaking blood at this point, and glad I didn’t wear any of my own clothes. I just kept asking when it was okay for me to take a bath.

I fed Thor, which was wonderful. It was awkward and strange, but so beautiful and natural at the same time. Daniel went to Quiznos to get us food since anything I had for breakfast was no longer in my system and I threw up everything else. I got to spend some time alone with him, and it was perfect.

I just remember thinking I can’t believe I squeezed this huge thing out of me. He was inside of me, and now he wasn’t. I told Daniel I was in love with another man, and that was about it.

Is there anything I would change or do differently? No. I was glad that it ended up being only Daniel and I in the delivery room. Even though the nurses kept joking about how easy I made it look and my midwife said he would just set up a cot in the parking lot and send me home for the next one, it was still a new experience for me, and it was so intimate only having Daniel there.

What was the hardest part? The hardest part for me was the circumcision. I wanted to cry when I saw it, but now it’s nice and healed up.

Did I forget the pain? NO WAY! I think other women feel pain differently, and Thor is worth going through the pain I felt, but oh I remember it. That’s the thing about pain though, it doesn’t last forever. I also know that I will do it again, cause its worth it.

Cat

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