I’m post-dating this post to when I actually should have posted it, seeing that I’m a full three months late in actually typing this out.
That’s not entirely because I was super busy caring for a tiny human. That carpal tunnel that was supposed to go away right after delivery? Yeah, that stayed around for another 6-8 weeks. I think the fact that I ended up with preeclampsia may have rendered my midwife’s initial assertion that it wouldn’t last long incorrect. Regardless, I didn’t really feel up to typing anything until fairly recently.
It has been completely amazing watching my little mini-me grow and change and discover the world around her. She is incredibly sweet, always happy, and generally the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. While she has a lot to learn about sleeping, she’s pretty much everything that I could have asked for in a little baby girl.
Getting her here, however, did not play out as I expected. I had planned for a natural labor, and knew that it would be painful but thought that the dozens of books that I had read would help equip me with methods that would make it easier to cope.
The problem is that my labor didn’t go like any of the books said it would. Pre-labor? Yeah, didn’t really experience that. I saw my midwife about 36 hours before I started having contractions. At that time, I had made no progress. Nada. My body went from nothing to contractions that were incredibly intense and strong in just over a day. I was told to wait until my contractions were 3 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, for 2 hours before coming to the hospital. Instead of building up to that intensity, they started off that way. I was at Trader Joe’s at the time and let me tell you that was one profanity-ridden drive home as I screamed at everyone to get the hell out of my way because I was pretty sure I was dying.
Because things started so fast and furious, my body had no time to build up endorphins. No natural pain relief meant that I was in serious pain. Not two hours into labor and I was already screaming for the drugs. Crazy labor does have one perk though: it goes really fast. Three hours into things I was already 6.5 centimeters dilated and by the time I got upstairs to get those drugs, I was at 9. I ended up opting to stick it out.
Unluckily for me, even sticking to the original plan didn’t make things any better. Thinking I was ready, my labor team urged me to push. It turns out that I still had a teeny tiny bit of cervix in the way which made hours of pushing pointless. It also meant that I couldn’t stop pushing even though I needed to, which was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life. Seriously, that’s not an exaggeration. I was shaking, crying, and screaming. I finally ended up with an epidural anyway so that I could wait to push again.
Of course, the whole reason I didn’t want an epidural was because I knew it could slow or stop my labor, which is exactly what it did. I then had to get loaded up on pitocin, which, just as all the natural birth advocates tell you can happen, it immediately put the baby in distress. There was just no winning at this labor thing.
Especially since my little one refused to budge. Even after I was ready and pushed for HOURS again she didn’t move. At all. I was thinking this had to be some huge ass little baby if she couldn’t fit through my pelvis. Nope. After getting a c-section we discovered that she was only 6 pounds 14 ounces- not exactly a big girl. The doctor had no idea why she wouldn’t come out. There was nothing blocking her, she was actually pretty far down in the pelvis. She was just not ready to make her entrance.
Things in no way went as planned or as expected, and after the experience I wasn’t sure that I ever wanted to go through it again. But three months out I can already feel myself thinking about how I’d like to give it another try. It was painful. It was hard. It was nothing like I expected. But all of that seems like a distant memory when I get to look at her sweet little face, see her smile, and think about all the fun we’ll get to share in the years ahead. It is cheesy and cliché as hell, but it’s true when people say that you forget the pain and that it’s all worth it. It totally is.
I still think I’ll need a few more years of not being pregnant and giving birth to realllllyyy forget it though, so don’t expect any more pregnancy posts anytime soon!