"Colleen, I need you," I said.
Sure, I had just pooped, and she was running to grab gloves and a cloth, but I was having another contraction and she was the only thing keeping me sane. She was a Saint. My angel.
As the baby descended, more and more poop came out. I don't know why there was so much!
(Actually, I do. It was the pork chops I had eaten just hours ago.)
The contraction subsided. 30 seconds of peace.
I could feel the absence of Dave's presence. Call it intuition or whatever, but I was right. He was gone.
"He's probably on his phone. Who is more important than me and this moment? Why would he leave me to talk or play on his phone!? WHAT IS HE THINKING? WHERE IS HE?" I thought to myself.
It wasn't his phone that caused him to flee the room. It was the smell.
I told you he is squeamish. He couldn't handle it, and had to get some fresh air.
"I'm ready to push. Go get him. Hurry, please!"
See!? I said please. I know for a fact I'm not one of those cranky pregnant women.
Yes. Yes, I am.
Especially with this one.
I was always tired. Always hungry. Always dehydrated. Anemic. And this baby was so SUPER low that my vagina was swollen. Talk about a camel toe!!! You would've been cranky, too!
Not to mention, my memory was at an all time low, I was still in school full time, and still working.
I was so busy that I didn't even know I was pregnant. Honestly, I think I was in denial again.
I had just transferred to a new university to complete my degree.
Went to the doctor for my annual and VOILA! you're pregnant. Instead of walking away with a refilled birth control prescription, I was walking away with a sonogram.
I was excited.
I went home and showed Dave the pictures. We love babies. The more the merrier.
Once again, I didn't know how to tell my mom.
So, I planned to spend the day with her and my daughter. Eventually, I would get around to telling her at some point during that day.
Well, while driving to a restaurant to grab lunch, I was talking to my brother Larry on the phone when...
"What's this!?" my mom said.
I look over and she's holding a recent ultrasound.
Welp! Cat's out of the bag now!
She was cool as a cucumber, and if I remember correctly, she immediately started thinking of baby names.
In fact, she moved in with us to help with the kids, laundry, and cooking. A saint, this woman.
I was deathly ill over the Christmas break. I couldn't even sit up. It wasn't strep. It wasn't the flu. Doctors weren't sure exactly what is was, but I was extremely dizzy, couldn't eat, had a fever, and my blood pressure was super low. It was the worst thing I've ever been through.
I think I visited the ER three times during the course of this pregnancy because of dehydration. Work and school kept me so busy that I'd forget to eat, let alone drink water.
I didn't tell my boss I was pregnant until January 30th. My due date was April 30th. I tend to carry small and waited until the absolute last minute before showing to tell her.
On my birthday, April 15, Dave hired a doula. It's what I wanted since the day I found out I was pregnant and decided to have a natural delivery.
Colleen is my age. She had two children at the time-- now three. An engineer for 10 years before she decided to follow her passion for holistic medicine and nutrition. Her bubbly personality and earthly spirit drew me in the first time I met her. By the end of our first session, I felt like we were best friends. I knew she was the doula for me!
My due date came and went, and there was no sign of baby arriving any time soon. I was barely a centimeter dilated at 40 weeks.
My doctor understood I wanted a natural birth and didn't want to push me into an induction. Dave wanted an induction, but it's not his body so it really wasn't his decision. That sounds a bit harsh, but let's be real, I'm the one who would have to go through the recovery so I should be the one to determine how and when it's was going to happen.
Oh, I forgot to mention: We didn't know the sex of the baby. Dave was convinced it was a girl and I was convinced it was a boy. He hated not knowing, but it was the third time around and I wanted at least one of them to be a surprise. This was my last opportunity because this might be my last pregnancy.
Dave was anxious to be proved right and wanted the baby to come ASAP.
No such luck.
This baby was determined to come on its own time.
More and more days passed. The doctor was concerned and said that if I didn't deliver by Monday, he would schedule me for a c-section on Tuesday.
And here's why: It's not safe to go passed 42 weeks. Since I've had a c-section, induction with medication would put me at risk for rupturing the incision. I hadn't dilated enough to break my water sooooo.. c-section was the only option.
Sunday, May 12, 2015.
I went for a looooong walk around the neighborhood, came home, and took a shower. While in the shower, around 11 p.m., I noticed contractions were exactly ten minutes apart. I was in early labor! I tried to lie down and get some rest, but I was too anxious. So, I ate another dinner and called Colleen to alert her.
Monday, May 13, 2016.
41 weeks, 6 days.
Contractions were three minutes apart. I felt guilty calling Colleen, again, in the middle of the night, but she needed to know.
I was still in high spirits. Very excited.
My water broke on its own for the first time. Such a strange feeling! In the middle of a contraction, I felt a twitch at my cervix, kind of like the tick of a sprinkler, then a rush of fluid.
Ish. Got. Real.
Mom called Colleen and told her to make her way to my house. Contractions were 1.5 minutes apart.
(I know you're wondering where Dave was during all of this. Well, once I realized I was in labor around midnight, we sent him to bed.)
I'm walking around the house, laboring, leaking amniotic fluid, packing some last-minute items. We wake Dave up, when it hit me: who's gonna watch the kids!? I need Dave and my mom at the hospital with me. We didn't even think this through.
Moms calls her sister. Yes, at 3 a.m. Aunt Cocoa to the rescue. Thank goodness for her!
She arrives and Colleen arrives shortly after.
She's in disbelief that I'm doing so well through the contractions. She measures them.
One minute a part.
"We gotta get to the hospital!"
I ride in the back seat, facing the trunk, hugging the headrest. Every bump in the road felt like an earthquake on my cervix.
My doctor was on call at a hospital 20 minutes away. I planned on delivering at whichever hospital he was on-call at when I went in to labor, but the way these contractions were feeling during this drive, I wasn't going to make it. So we went to the closest.
We arrived at the hospital.
Dave let me out in front and he parks the car. Mom and Colleen walked me in and alerted the nurses. An angel walked through the double doors to greet us and walk us to the L&D room. Her name was Elizabeth. She was SO for the natural birth. If I didn't have a doula, she would have been a great substitute in her absence.
Apparently, I forgot to register at this hospital. So, she's trying to check me in and I'm trying my best to answer her questions in between contractions.
Suddenly, some rude nurse came in-- I don't remember her name. She asked for my blood type. I tell her.
"How do you know?"
"Because it's my blood type. I have two children. I know my blood type." **rolls eyes**
I'm in labor, don't ask me stupid questions.
Elizabeth examines me.
I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit disappointed. I could've sworn I'd be further dilated than that. I was tempted to give in, but my mom and Colleen kept me on track.
Then, this doctor walked in. Another one of my doctor's partners. Elizabeth tells him my water broke and that she just examined me. (Once the water is broken, exams should be limited to lower the risk of infection.) He didn't respect her and he didn't care. I'm laboring on all fours when he made me roll over, DURING A CONTRACTION, then waited for the next contraction to start to examine me. Six centimeters!
He's rude. I hate him.
I didn't want that man to deliver me. And he better not walk back in this room. (As a patient, you have the right to say that!) I told Elizabeth to call my doctor. She did. He said he's on call at another hospital and probably wouldn't make it in time.
I push through.
Colleen made sure I stayed hydrated. Dave photographed the entire event. Mom coached and supported morally.
There's goo dripping down my leg.
"This is disgusting," I said out loud.
My mom chuckles to herself.
Theres a gentle knock on the door. In walks.....
I love him. He drove over to my hospital JUST to deliver me.
He examines me.
This is where it gets intense.
Colleen tells me to moan loudly and deeply. It helps, but I'm exhausted and the contractions were coming so quickly I didn't have time to recover from the last.
"I don't want to do this."
I told myself I would never say it, but screw it....
I give up. I know I CAN do it, but I don't WANT to.
Mom: "Well, you're ate eight centimeters. It's too late now. What are you gonna do?"
Colleen: "Yea, no turning back now."
They were right.
Colleen encourages me to try new positions. I turn around and hug the back of the bed while on my knees. She tells me to rock up and down. I immediately feel the baby coming down. I don't like this feeling. I kind of panicked. I wasn't ready to actually push the baby out. It was getting too real for me.
I lie back down.
"Gimme a minute."
Colleen grabs the peanut, this peanut-shaped yoga ball, and places it between my ankles. THIS THING IS NO JOKE! Baby slides down the birth canal like its a slip-n-slide on a hot, summer day!
"Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I need a minute."
Colleen tries to convince me to keep going because the more I move the sooner the baby will arrive.
"I JUST NEED A MINUTE!"
She gives me a minute.
I'm lying on my left side. I start feeling nauseated. The baby is really descending now! I start gagging as she's moving down. There's a contraction, and as the baby continues to slide down.... I START POOPING! A LOT!
The contraction ends.
Colleen peeks under the blanket and runs to grab gloves and a cloth.
"Colleen, I need you!"
She was applying counter-pressure to my lower back during contractions and it seemed to be the only thing capable or soothing me and somewhat relieving the pain/discomfort. I NEEDED HER!
She whipped on the gloves and runs over.
"I need to push."
I've heard people say: when it's time to push, you just know. It's true. I never understood until that moment. It's kind of like how you know when you have to poop. Actually, it's exactly like that!
I could feel the absence of Dave's presence. Call it intuition. I was right. He was gone.
"He's probably on his phone. Who is more important than me and this moment? Why would he leave me to talk or play on his phone!?" I thought to myself.
Mom or Colleen runs out to get him. I can't remember who. My eyes were closed. Just as they saw Dave and told him it was time, my doctor came around the corner.
"Is it time?"
He walks in.
"Do you see the head? What do you see?" I asked.
He replies, "A whole lotta poop!"
Everyone laughs. Including me.
The nurse cleans me up.
Time to push.
First push, the head crowns.
Second push, her head came out. Doc says I can relax.
"No, get it out," I yell as I'm still pushing.
I didn't give the baby time to turn so it kind of gets stuck on my pelvis. He pushes down on my stomach and twists it.... and it was out.
(I did not feel the ring of fire. The moment I feared the most did not happen.)
I'm looking at Dave waiting for him to announce the sex....
"It's a girl."
A girl???? I was SO confused. And boy was I wrong!
He cuts the umbilical cord. I deliver the placenta.
They immediately hand me my baby girl.
My doc heads back to his other hospital.
Baby and I cuddle. Undisturbed for an hour. And then.... She poops all over me!
I didn't even care.
Colleen suggests I try to nurse.
This girl latched on right away! And she's fierce.
They take her to clean her up.
This awful nurse walks in... We'll call her Autumn. With iron fist, and without warning, she begins massaging my uterus. Massive clots are pouring our. "You're clotting. I'm gonna have to give you pitocin."
I don't want it.
She's rude and basically tells me I don't have a choice.
Whatever. So, the pitocin works. Colleen heads out. Her work is done.
After a few hours, they moved me up to Recovery. My mom leaves to pick up the other babies.
They were SO excited to meet their sister.
And then there were three.