Before I continue on, here is the link to part 1-5 in case you missed it.
6. Prior to getting my epidural, I wavered quite heavily throughout my pregnancy if I wanted one or not. Would it make me weak? Could I be brave enough to endure the pain of a natural delivery? I admittedly (and quite stupidly, in retrospect) felt some guilt about it all, though I didn’t really have my mind made up about any of it as I went in for my induction. Once I discovered that ALL of my labour would be felt in my back, and that ALL of my delivery would essentially have to happen while laying on said back, however, it was a choice I could have not made. My doula helped cement the decision for me. But guess what? I’m pretty sure it ended up being the best decision of my LIFE. After I got my epidural, I got to SLEEP. It was GLORIOUS. Thankfully, it didn’t slow things down labour wise, and considering the time I have birth at (11:58PM — after a looooong day), it gave me one last chance to sleep before becoming a mother. It was absolutely, 100% what I needed to do, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. The humor in this one is that I almost gave up liquid GOLD for the sake of silly ideals. I am so very thankful I didn’t.
Lesson learned: you’re about to have a friggin’ baby, that is anything BUT weak. Do what you have to do.
7. I awoke from the epidural around 11PM. Tests and what not were done to establish if it was time to push, and around 11:45 I was given the go to. I couldn’t really feel when to push with my contractions, however, so I kinda had to wing it and try whenever my nurse said to. My first three tries at pushing were a bit of a learning curve mess mess, and on the fourth try I heard someone mention they were starting to see O’s head. Woo! At this point, I was told to push again as my main nurse and her mentee turned towards the baby monitor devices to see how it was effecting O. With D and my Douala next to me, I gave it a really big go… aaaaand out popped 75% of my son with NO ONE ready or expecting to see him quite yet. Both my nurses then turned quickly towards O and yelped at me to stop (uh, I can’t feel a damn thing! How the heck do I stop?!) but thankfully the charge nurse who was making her rounds dashed across the room to catch him as he was born. It happened so fast that my dreamy OBGYN didn’t even have time to show up for the delivery! In the end, all was well, and after twenty years on the job, my son was the first baby that nurse got to catch. I supposedly made her whole career.
Lesson learned: these hips were made for birthing babies?! Or, rather, like all things so far in motherhood, expect the unexpected.
8. Once out of the delivery room and into our recovery/over night room, things were a blur. We ended up staying in the hospital for five days as O needed a lot of testing done. I would amusingly go on to realize that so much of the shit I packed for my stay was, uh, COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. It’s my fault for reading about 9759756 different hospital bag articles before hand that listed all the stuff I should bring. I kid you not, some of the shit our suitcase had in it: battery operated candles (to help dim the room, lolz), a rolling pin (for D to ghetto massage away my pain during labour), fancy magazines from Chapters that we spent far too much money on (to read during ALL the time we had… hah), Gatorade (to refresh my electrolytes during delivery or some shit), a hairdryer (to do my hair afterwards amidst my pure and utter delusion), a bag of 93485934597 quarters (for a vending machine I’m pretty sure they didn’t even have), my birth plan (which was too overwhelming for me to even think about and consider when shit got real)… it goes on and on, and every time I needed something out of that damn suitcase over those five days I had to move all that other not needed crap and I pretty much wanted to cut a bitch.
Lesson learned: the internet is *still* full of LIES.
9. Once home (btw, I drove us to AND from the hospital, /flex), I decided to weigh myself. Why not? Before continuing, know that I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. It’s why I had to be induced in the first place, and it limited a lot of what I could and could not eat during my pregnancy. Quite frankly, it was a giant pain in the ass for the second half of O’s gestation. Upon weighing myself once I got home from the hospital, however, I weighed less than I did before I ever got pregnant. Maybe having GD wasn’t so bad! With the occasional walks we’ve been taking and breastfeeding, I have continued to loose since and I kind of don’t ever want to stop BF as a result, lol. I weigh less now than I have in years (I didn’t expect this to happen with motherhood) and I will GLADLY take it. Thanks, O!
Lesson learned: women’s bodies are an amazing thing, and the narrative of extra baby weight hanging around after one gives birth does not apply to all. Other weight, however, is a different story!
10. After unpacking and settling back into our home life, it was scary. We had just spent five days in a controlled environment (our hospital room) with continual and professional help on hand in case anything went wrong. That space in BC Women’s/Children’s became our little cocoon, and to leave it to the real world with a REAL LIFE CHILD was… overwhelming, exciting and terrifying. We came home and basically tried to recreate in our bedroom what we had made work for us in that hospital room, and we proceeded to stay in our bedroom and ONLY there, just leaving to get food, for about the next week and a half. We had to, and you could say that we were a bit shell-shocked and a WHOLE lot unsure. To this day I still find remnants of those memories in that room… Splashes of dried, pumped breast-milk I missed cleaning up by our bed, papers and notes when D thought it was crucial we track every ounce O ate [this was back when he would only take a bottle] and a burping cloth that got lost in the madness and shoved underneath the bed, only to be found months later. A part of me laughingly shudders at it all like that of a war wounded PTSD. Eventually, we learned to reuse our whole space as the family we became, and, in it we have thrived. For the most part.
Lesson learned: while life changingly beautiful, having a baby is scary, and it’s okay to be scared. In times of such darkness, light will be born.
I enjoyed writing these, and I hope you enjoyed reading them! Hopefully it gave you a chance to reflect on the humourous moments of your birth story, or perhaps think about the one you may one day have.