For months, I had planned out my delivery. I knew what I wanted, what I didn’t want. I searched the internet for relaxation techniques during labour – I didn’t want to have an epidural and looked for other ways of pain relief. Jason and I took pre-natal classes where they taught us breathing techniques, relaxation massage and other ways to take my mind off the pain when the time came.
I bought battery operated candles to create a calming environment in the delivery room. I had music put onto Jason’s iPhone to distract me. I had instructions for everyone about who could and come out of the room while I was in labour. It was all planned and ready. But, I wasn’t expecting those two not so little words…
Dear god. Once the contractions really started kicking in the pain was so unberable, all I could do was stand and sway and put my head against the wall for balance. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t lie down, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t bear to be touched by anyone. The 20 minute drive to the hospital was the longest, most excrutiating drive I’d ever been on. When we finally made it to the hospital, they were backed up so I was left in the waiting room for the longest hour and a half of my life.
When I was brought to the delivery room, the nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. I didn’t, I really didn’t, but the pain was so much I was leaning over the side of the bed in tears when the nurse strongly suggested that I take it, so I did. What did I discover about this experience?
I love epidurals…
Within minutes, I felt like a brand new person. It was the best feeling and I can honestly say that I enjoyed the last 16 hours of labour. Jason my Sister and my Mom all stayed with me, taking turns napping on the cot beside my bed. Jason’s family stayed in the waiting room… surprisingly, they all stayed the entire time to be there for the birth even though it took a full day. At least I had a bed, and that epidural.
One of the last internal exams by the Dr, he said that pushing wouldn’t be that far off, within the hour he’d be back so we could start. It was as he left the room that the warning alarm on my epidural went off letting us know there was only 10 minutes left of that wonderful drug. I asked the nurse to top it off… please… for the love of god… but, apparently the nurse didn’t think it was such a great idea as the Dr would prefer it if I felt the pain of the labour to assist in delivery. I cried. I seriously cried I told her that I coudln’t do it without the drug, even as we were talking the pain was coming back and lying on my back was unberable, but she wouldn’t budge.
It was two hours later before the Dr came back and told the nurse I should start to push. WITHOUT pain relief! It was the worst feeling I had ever felt (at that point). The Dr warned me he’d need assistance for the birth – a vacuum and quite possibly forceps. Honestly, I barely even registered what he was telling me and just told him to do what he needed to do to get the kid out.
It took an hour and a half of pushing until finally, finally I heard my Mom yell ‘Oh my god I can see the head!’. My poor Sister, who refused to watch her own labour, spent the majority of my pushing holding onto my leg and got an entire view of the birth. Jason stayed near my head, holding my head and keeping an eye on what was going on down there without actually seeing. My Mother kept jumping from my head to the foot to watch. I just kept my eyes shut.
The last push, which I thought would have been met with a great sense of relief, was instead met with the most horriblest feeling of my life. The feeling of being ripped from one end to the other. They took the baby right out of me and layed him on my bare chest. I lied there with my newborn son on my chest and all I could think of was the feeling of the blood gushing out of me and swearing that I was going to die. The Dr turned to a nurse and said he needed help – now – otherwise I’d be heading to surgery. I lost track of the stitches, Jason said it took over 10 minutes to get through them all but I was in so much pain and just trying to keep the baby on my chest that I didn’t notice the time.
After all the drama and the room was calm and the baby was weighed and I was told he was 10 pounds, the Dr came up to me, rubbed my shoulders, told me what a great job I did and then admitted that they were preparing the surgery room for an emergency c-section as they did not think I could deliver the baby on my own. Thank god he waited until AFTER the birth to tell me that.
Within an hour, the baby had met both sets of Grandparents, Great Grandma and his Aunts and Uncle. Exhausted after spending nearly 20 hours in a waiting room, they all left Jason and I alone with the little guy, which was the nicest thing they all could have done.
Lying in bed, Jason holding the little guy beside me, I heard him having the following conversation: “Hey there little guy, you are going to be so loved and I hope you get used to being the three of us, because we’re never going through this again.”