Hey all, sorry this took so long, but I’ve been pretty busy! I’ve figured out how to work my laptop with my toes, but until I figure out how to type one-handed, these blog entries are going to be pretty slow. We are doing awesome. There’s so much to say about being a mom, but I can’t really come up with words. Yes, it’s tiring, yes, it’s overwhelming, yes, I go for days without brushing my teeth or showering…but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Like I said in my previous post, the birth was overall much easier than I anticipated. It went by quickly without any complications. I was however pretty stressed in the week leading up to her birth. I started having issues with my doctor, I had told him all along that I wanted a natural childbirth, but only two days past my due date he started pushing me to have a c-section. I didn’t want to be pushed into a c-section if there wasn’t anything wrong, and there wasn’t. Me and the baby were both perfectly fine, and technically you’re not “post-date” until you’re past 42 weeks. I seriously suspect that he wanted to do it because that would have meant more money for him. He was already going to charge us more than doctors normally charge for childbirth, plus extra if I had to have a c-section. So on a the Wednesday of my 41st week I went to another doctor for a second opinion. This doctor was an old friend of my husband’s mom, and had been an OB/GYN for years but had stopped delivering babies to become a gynecological oncologist. He did an ultrasound and told us that I was NOT overdue and that he didn’t see any reason that I couldn’t have the baby naturally. He asked who my other doctor was, and when he heard he told us that my old doctor did have a well-known reputation for pushing c-sections onto patients. He also agreed to charge us about a fourth of what the other doctor was going to. He told me if I didn’t go into labor within the next ten days to come back and see him. I went into labor the next day.
Thursday morning, (April 8th) my mom and I had breakfast at a little cafe, and then walked around town a bit. I had sporadic contractions throughout the day, which really just felt more like cramps. Around 6 pm we started to time them, sometimes they would be 20 minutes apart, sometimes 5. They hurt, but they weren’t awful like I was expecting. I wanted to put off going to the hospital as long as possible. I didn’t want to get there and find out that I was only a little dilated or not at all have to spend hours there. Laboring at home was much more comfortable, took a shower, meditated and even was able to sleep a little between contractions. Sitting was the only thing that made the pain worse.
Around midnight the contractions started to speed up, so we called a taxi and headed for the hospital. We had picked a small private hospital, the same one I had gone to the day before to see the new doctor. In the middle of the night it felt like we where the only people there, and the room was surprisingly large, but very basic. The nurses were nice…except for one, we nicknamed her “Nurse Pain” because every time she came near me it was to inflict pain. Unfortunately she was the head nurse (or so I assumed from her uniform and no-nonsense unsmiling demeanor) and I think we got on her nerves. Nobody spoke English.
They gave me the usual barrage of saline IV and enema…woo, no need to go into detail about that… I didn’t feel the need to walk around very much, which was a good thing because the IV bag wasn’t on one of those nice rolling IV racks, I just had to carry it with me to the bathroom which was rather annoying. Good thing the only thing I wanted to do was lay down. The main thing I needed was silence. I couldn’t stand talking or anyone talking to me while I was having a contraction. I even yelled at my mom and hubby a couple of times to, “shut up!” Haha, not my proudest moment but the lady in labor gets a free pass…a couple free passes actually.
Nurse Pain checked me for dilation more times than I cared for. Man, that hurts. They always show women on those birthing shows being checked and they don’t make a peep, maybe because they’re under epidural or something, but last time I checked getting fisted by an angry nurse hurts. The good news was, I was already dilated to 8 cm when I got to the hospital.
So about two hours passed, although with all the time distortion you experience during labor, it felt more like 30 minutes, and they kept asking me if my water had broken yet. I just wasn’t sure. Between all the trips to the bathroom and not knowing what it felt like, I couldn’t really tell. I wish I had made up my mind, because sure enough, in comes Nurse Pain to “check”. That bitch proceeded to break my water with her fucking hand! Ahhh, I wanted to smack her so hard. I guess I was about fully dilated at that point because they were getting ready to move me down to the delivery room. I wasn’t really in on the loop of what was going on, between the contractions and the fact that I don’t speak Turkish, I was pretty much in the dark. But then it comes to my attention that the nurses are telling my husband that they’re not going to let him into the delivery room with me. He dragged them out into the hall and informed them that this was NOT how this was going to go down. Basically he demanded to know if any of them spoke English (of course not) and how the hell were they going to communicate with me if he wasn’t there? I can’t believe that women here are expected to go into delivery rooms with no support. How 1950s. Thankfully they relented!
Things went very quickly after that, the doctor arrived and they wheeled me down to the delivery room. The contractions were getting pretty intense at that point, but I still didn’t feel ready to push. Looking back though, I was probably more than ready. This is also when the fear started to kick in and I came to the realization that I was no longer in control of this situation, ready or not this baby was coming. The delivery room was straight out of the 50s too. Bright lights, green tile, freezing cold, nothing but a table in the middle of the room with stirrups (at least that’s all I saw, I pretty much kept my eyes closed the whole time). I did NOT want to be strapped into those stirrups, but like I said, like it or not, this was happening, and this was how it was going to happen.
The next fifteen minutes where insane. There was no coached breathing, or coached pushing. There was just me with a death grip on my husband while I screamed my head off. At one point they asked if I wanted some pain killers and I screamed, “Yes! yes! EPIDURAL!!” even though in the back of my pain-addled mind I knew that’s not what they were offering, and we were way past that point. I just would have said yes to anything at that moment. “Sell my soul to the devil? Sure, where do I sign?!” Hubby did a great job. He removed my claws from his chest, got me to hold onto the base of the stirrups, and told me to close my mouth and stop screaming so I could use that energy to push instead. After he got me focused, it only took a few more pushes before she was out. That instant relief of pain was amazing.
I’ll never forget the first glimpse I got of her. I looked between my legs and all I could see were her two long feet and her skinny legs because the doctor was holding her upside down by her ankles. Then they took her over to the warming table to get her to cry and get cleaned up. I always thought that I would cry or be emotional when she was born, but I really was just in shock. The only thing going through my mind was, “I can’t believe she’s really here.”
They gave me some stitches down there, and then me, daddy and baby all went back up to our room where my mom was waiting. Then I got to hold her for the first time and really see her face! I just sort of looked at her in wonder. Even though I thought mom would get to be in the delivery room, in the end I’m glad she wasn’t. I think my mom would have fainted in the corner. By that time the sun was about to come up. If I hadn’t had an episiotomy the would have actually let me go home right away, but since I did, they wanted us to wait until 9 am so they could keep an eye on me for a little while. I was surprised at how ready I was to go home. Hubby left to go get me some treats from the bakery and also to pick up the car seat we had forgotten at home.
Now it seemed like time was moving so slowly. We were all so ready to go home. Eight AM finally rolled around and the nurses had a shift change. The new head nurse was this sweet, pretty, gentle woman who came in and oooh and awwed over the baby and delicately took out my IV. Oh how I wish I could had my baby on Nurse Sweetheart’s shift!
Nine o’clock finally came and the doctor released us. Got home and was able to get some pretty good sleep before real mommy duties kicked in.
Over all it wasn’t so bad. I got exactly what I wanted: a quick natural childbirth, and most of all, a healthy child. Even though there were things that happened that weren’t in my control, that’s just how these situations go. The challenges helped me to soldier through and get it over with quickly. I think if I had been totally in charge it would have taken longer. In the end I’m glad there were people, yes even bitchy nurses, to push me. I may have been doing the pushing but I needed to be pushed too.