A Birthing Story (Part 2): I Threw Up.
"I'm so sorry," my OB/GYN said as he wheeled me to the operating room for an "emergency" c-section.
Tears streaming down my face. Sobbing.
How did we get here?
Let's go back to the beginning.
That's what the text I sent to my mother read.
Here I am again. Pregnant, but this time 25 and back in school full time.
"That better be a joke," she replied.
It wasn't. And I didn't know how else to tell her. I had been holding this secret for weeks, but I had finally run out of time. My boyfriend's family was coming to town the next day to meet her, and they already knew.
This time, she was angry. And bitter that everyone else knew before her. But she quickly came around and was over the moon once she found out it was a girl.
I was extremely nauseous in the beginning of this pregnancy. Very cranky. Had an aversion to seafood... and my boyfriend, too, to be honest.
I didn't drop out of school. In fact, once she was born, I was breastfeeding while completing a final exam! Ha! #MotherTougher
Once again, my doctor was going on vacation on my due date. I'm convinced he's clearly doing this on purpose at this point. But I refused an induction again. This time I was planning to deliver naturally. My mom convinced me!
But, then I started to think about my experience the last time he was out of town and didn't want to risk getting that doctor again...
Ugh the pressure!!!
So **rolls eyes** I agree to be "induced" a week early. No meds, just breaking of my water and letting labor occur naturally. But at my last check up, the day before induction, turns out I was three centimeters dilated and already in early labor. He sends me home and says, "See ya at 6 a.m.!"
I went home and cleaned the house top to bottom. Folding clothes, unpacking pampers, etc... My boyfriend, Dave, FINALLY put the crib together! I stayed up until about 4 a.m. BAD IDEA!
My mother, Dave and I arrive at the hospital... an hour late. Doctor comes in and breaks my water. THERES SOOOO MUCH! It's warm and gooey, and starts running off the bed.
"I've never seen this much fluid before," the nurse says. She gives me these mesh panties with padding because the amniotic fluid doesn't stop after the big gush.
I ask if I could labor in the birthing tub. "Once your water is broken, the risk of infection is too high to allow you to get in the tub," the nurse advises. Why didn't they tell me that BEFORE breaking my water!????
So now I'm walking around the hospital. Eating popsicles. Laboring. Squatting. Leaking amniotic fluid. Ahhhh, the freedom of not being tied to a bed after having an epidural!
I could feel a strange sensation on my cervix. A tickling, scratching feeling. I don't pay it any attention because it'd been happening for most of the pregnancy.
There's a yoga ball in the corner. I don't like the pressure it creates so I stand up. The baby moves and more amniotic fluid flows out.
The nurse came in periodically to check my dilation progression. 5 centimeters. Then, I'm off to take laps and squat around the hospital.
She finds me and asks me to come to the room to check me again. I lie down. I feel her hand go from left to right. Then, in and out... and in and out... and in and out...
I make the "What The Hell Are You Doing" face at her, but before I could say anything--
Her face turns WHITE!
"I- I think the baby just wrapped her hand around my fingers. I've never had that happen before. I need to get a doctor in here."
I immediately start crying. I knew that meant I was getting a c-section. This is like worst case scenario right here.
My mom knew, too. But she rubs my legs and tells me to calm down and see what the doctor says.
Two seconds later, in comes my doctors other partner with a few nurses. He examines me. Then, a nurse. And another nurse.
"Yep, let me get your doctor."
My doctor comes in. Blonde hair, blue eyes, soft, soothing voice.
"Okay, let me see."
He checks and says her arm is above her head and he doesn't want to risk pushing it back in because he could paralyze it. No one wants that. Natural birth is not worth risking her health. Especially if he doesn't feel comfortable doing it.
I start crying again, but agree to the c-section.
"Alright. Who is gonna go with you?" a nurse asks.
I didn't want to deprive Dave of this experience. It's his child. But at the same time, I needed my mom. I sat there in silence. We're all thinking the same thing.
"You go with her," he said to my mother.
Thank God for him understanding what I needed and putting his feelings aside.
He's a bit squeamish anyway. So this was the best decision all around! lol
"I'm so sorry. I know you wanted a natural delivery. I'll make a small incision very low. You won't even be able to tell," my doctor says.
I honestly didn't care. I was devastated. I hadn't mentally prepared myself for the possibility of a c-section. I never imagined anything would go wrong.
They wheel me in the room. The anesthesiologist comes in and tries to insert the epidural with me lying on my side-- because they didn't want me to put pressure on the baby's arm. He can't get it. Makes a few attempts. There's a shove and I feel a sharp pinch in my butt bone. I flinch and scream.
"I can't get this. Can I sit her up?"
He sits me up. Done.
Before I'm numb, they start shaving me down there. (Yes, I shave, but they needed it bald!) It's a tingly sensation, and I don't like it. I also panicked a little thinking the razor was an instrument and they were starting the procedure before I was numb. My mom walks in the room and I calm down.
They begin. But she's so low down that they struggle getting her out for a sec. The doctor starts pushing on my ribs as if he were giving CPR. This causes me to start hyperventilating. He does it like 10 times and the baby is out.
April 5, 2012.
She does't cry. She never cried.
I ask if everything is ok. I look over at her and she's just chillin'. Looking around. Touching her face.
They bring her to me. I can't hold her because my hands are tied down. My mom snaps pictures. Then, they wheel me to Recovery.
We are separated for about an hour. AN HOUR!
I'm anxious. And STARVING.
My mom leaves to pick up my oldest from school.
Finally, we are reunited. Her temperature is low and they want me to do skin-to-skin cuddling. I'm too weak to hold her. I told Dave he would have to do it. He jumps right in.
Shirt off in the rocking chair cuddling our daughter. **swoon**
I ask if I can eat. I'm so weak and dizzy.
The nurse says no because I just had surgery... and some other excuse I can't remember.
An hour or two later, after constant begging, she brings me crackers, jello, broth, and ginger ale and tells me to nibble. Slowly.
Once she walks out of the room, I inhaled the entire tray!
Did I mention I was hungry?
Visitors start to arrive.
My brother's girlfriend walks in the room.
"Hey, Mar--" and I throw up. Everywhere!
My mom: "Well, she told you not to eat too fast."
I turn the rest of the visitors away. I needed to rest. Yes, visitors are exhausting. Especially after sleep deprivation, surgery, and starvation.
Because I had a c-section, my milk took FOREVER to come in. The lactation nurses were constantly in my room trying to help. I was pumping every hour. Baby latched, but eventually grew frustrated from the lack of milk.
On day three, they finally decided to give her formula because she lost too much weight.
She got her first little "period" the last day at the hospital, too.
Mom told me not to lie or sit around too much. That it would make me stiff and worsen the recovery process. So I moved around. Recovery wasn't too bad because of it.
Don't get me wrong, it was painful, and I was miserable, but I pushed through. I bled for about three weeks, I believe.
Mom went on vacation a few days after I came home, and Dave had to go back to work immediately. No paid paternity time off. I asked him to save his vacation time because I really didn't need him home wasting it on "helping" me.
(Let's be honest, there's not much men can help with during those first few weeks. I was breastfeeding so there were no bottles to make or wash. I don't mind changing diapers. I'm kind of controlling and hovered when he helped with the baby anyway so there was no point in both of us being up through the night or him sitting around the house during the day. Go make money!)
I was all alone with two kids. My oldest was almost six so he was a great help. My brother came over periodically during the day to help out and drive me around.
Life was sweet.
Until the hemorrhoids came back!
12 days later, I received a call from my producer asking for my availability for a shoot. Yes, I returned to work 12 days after having a c-section.