If you missed part 1 you can find it here.
As I mentioned, my mom did a quick Starbucks run upon my request to get Alex some coffee. I was having regular contractions, but was only 5cm and prepping for an epidural. GIVE ME THE EPIDURALLLLLLLL!!!!
**Let me make a little side note here for a second. There’s about to be some poop talk happening and I don’t want to write the word “poop” over and over again. So I’ll say it once, then after that if I’m talking about poop, I’m going to write STARBURSTS. Got it? Cool.**
Many women fear pooping during labor, myself included, and that fear is a very rational one. It happens. Often. So several times since being hooked up to the IV fluids I felt like starbursts. Back and forth to the bathroom I went probably 5 different times, sometimes with starbursts, sometimes not, even though I REALLY felt like starbursts. Next thing I know, I’m sitting on the toilet and it’s going to happen. I’m going to have my baby on the toilet!!! I’m freaking out. My body is pushing…HARD. I’m doing nothing, but my body is pushing, pushing, pushing.
I see it in the nurse’s face. She knows I’m about to have my baby. But HOW?! I’m only 5cm!!! I was so afraid of this pain, and most of the fear was because I thought I was feeling this pain and only 5cm and I couldn’t make it to the end of the fluids to get the epidural. I needed it now! The sweet nurse looked at me as I was sitting on the potty and ever so politely said, “Well, maybe we should get up and go to the bed.” I may have
said yelled not so politely back “I CAN’T GET UP!!!”
My body was paralyzed by the contractions. I could feel the baby crowning. The nurse was trying her best to put on a calm front to my face, but I could see her hand frantically trying to find her phone to call and get my doctor in the room ASAP. She couldn’t find her phone. She smiled at me, walked out of the bathroom, peeked her head in to the hallway where the nurse’s station was and yelled firmly “I NEED DR. ANTHONY IN HERE STAT! THIS BABY IS COMING RIGHT NOW!”
A minute later my body gave me a rest and I was able to stand up and walk 10 feet towards the bed when it started pushing again. HARD. I was shaking so violently that I could hardly stand and I was yelling so loudly with no abandon because that seemed like the only way I was going to survive. This wasn’t my calm, focused, quiet pushing I experienced with Kennedy’s birth. This was a gutteral scream from a place of immense fear and pain. I could feel Cohen’s head almost between my legs. Oh my gosh. I’m going to drop my baby on to the floor. “Let’s get on the bed” the sweet, sweet nurse said. “I CAN’T!!!!!!!!!” I shouted back. And I couldn’t. Not until my body stopped contracting. Less than a minute later I was on the bed yelling “I wanted the drugs!!!” loud enough to become the talk of the nurses for my stay. I was furious that my expectation of having an epidural was not going to happen. Cohen’s head was almost out when Dr. Anthony runs into the room throwing on her sterile gloves that the nurse had ready to go. She got one glove on by the time his head was out, then it was over. Once the head is out, all pain is gone. The rest of the baby coming out is just pressure relief, no pain. At this point I felt pure elation. I loved this little boy so much. I didn’t have that feeling so much with Kennedy. She felt like a stranger, but I think what was different this time was that I already knew what it felt like to love my child, so it happened immediately this time around. It was just sweet to hold my little guy.
With such a fast birth, they call it a precipitous labor, came complications with healing for me. Although I didn’t tear much, I had groin pains that lasted nearly 5 months, and even today at 9 months I’ll occasionally still have pain. The pain feels like a groin muscle tear. As if I did a split all the way to the ground (which I haven’t been able to do since high school probably), but never healing from the pulled muscle that would inevitably cause. Sitting, standing, crossing my legs would come with sharp pains. Stairs-the worst. But thankfully I’m almost back to normal, able to workout (that took a solid 6 months at least), and able to walk without grimacing in pain.
I don’t want to end this story negative. Although I felt a bit traumatized after Cohen’s birth I certainly learned a lot that I could take with me if I was ever to have another child (which I can assure you, I will not).
- FEAR is a steroid to pain. It intensifies pain. Try your best to anticipate the pain, know it’s going to hurt, but remind yourself it will be over soon and you’ll get a break.
- BREATHE! Breathing regularly, NOT HOLDING YOUR BREATH, enables you to calmly manage the pain. If you don’t breathe regularly you will panic and get scared, and that makes everything worse. It’s not easy to control your breathing. You need someone to help you focus whether that be your husand/partner/boyfriend/mom/sister, etc. or a doula, you just need somebody.
- Listen to your body and how you’re acting, NOT the number of contractions or dilation. My demeanor was clearly showing that I was in transition, but because I was told I was only 5cm I “knew” that just couldn’t be true. This is why I was so afraid. Transition is the beginning to the end. It is where things get really hard, really fast, then it’s over!
- Get an epidural or don’t get an epidural. Do your research on delivery and then choose whatever you think is best for you and your baby!