I woke up to my water breaking at midnight on June 13th. I woke Adam (Sr.) up and we both were wide awake in an instant. I didn’t have much of a hospital bag packed, so once we got up (and I put a towel in between my legs) we started packing. I got a quick shower and contractions started. They were about 3-5 minutes apart right away but they weren’t painful. I was so excited to be in labor, I was excited to feel contractions. I never once had a braxton hicks contractions during pregnancy, so I had no idea what it would feel like.
We arrived at the hospital around 2 am and then all the hustle and bustle started. My Midwife just so happened to be away that weekend, so I didn’t have her at all, I was have an OB who I’d never met before. I was soon hooked up to monitors and machines, given an IV, pumped full of antibiotics, and was “checked” (which is the most painful thing to endure during labor, in my opinion) I was 1cm and 90% effaced. I wanted to labor as much as I could on my feet, to let gravity help. So after being monitored for a few hours, up I went with wires and tubes attaching me to an annoying and squeaky IV tower. Then I started walking the halls. Contractions still were not painful. Soon I was taken back into my room and checked again. Baby was very high and I hadn’t progressed much, so they asked me to lay in bed. More time went by, contractions were the same. I was given Pitocin somewhere around 8am. More time went by, I couldn’t tell how much. My mom, sister, and brother-in-law showed up at some point. I still wasn’t making much progress, they gave me even more Pit. Then the mind splitting, earth shattering, “i’m being ripped apart” stabbing pain started. I remember just laying there, semi reclined with my knees bent, absolutely dreading when the next contraction would start. But of course one would start and I’d completely tense up. I’d try to breath but that wasn’t easy. My good friend showed up around then too. From the pain and all the “medication” they were pumping into my body, I was so out of it. I tried talking and smiling, but nothing made sense to me. I was checked again sometime around there and was only 3cm dilated. I started doubting myself and started thinking about an epidural. I knew I would end up regretting it, so I never asked for one. But nurse after nurse came in and asked me over and over again If I wanted an epidural, what my pain level was, this, that, blah blah. I couldn’t focus on myself. I was frustrated and in so much PAIN! To shut the nurses up and to calm some of my pain, I said yes to Demoral, a few good doses of it too. Demoral is a pain killer, that actually made me feel pretty out of it, almost drunk. It didn’t really dull the contraction pain, but it completely knocked me out in between them. More time went by, and I was in so much unimaginable pain, I was at the point where I didn’t care about the baby I was birthing, I didn’t care about anything other than “I’ll do anything to make this pain stop!” There was a constant battle in my head between actually going through this birth “naturally” (which I was already NOT doing) or begging the Doctor to just “cut this thing out of me!” Labor was torture, agony, I literally just wanted to die. I remember throwing up and hyperventilating, clutching Adam’s hand, and my head spinning. I remember feeling uncomfortable with everyone who was in the room. I’d hear them whisper, move, check their phones. I was so annoyed but I didn’t have the words or the energy to tell them.
Soon the baby’s heartbeat started to slow down and he became distressed. I was asked to turn onto my left side. When I turned to my side, the pain shot right through me like a bullet. I know I cried out but I’m not sure if there were real tears or not. After I turned, I soon felt the urge to push. The Doctor checked me, I was ready. On came the lights and the bed I was on was transformed into a delivery table. A nurse hooked up a “squatting bar” to the bed and I got into a squat ( I really don’t know how I even did that) I pushed like that for a contraction or two. I was too exhausted and weak to stay in that position ( I wish I was encouraged to stay in that position though) Soon I was back on my back with my feet in the stirrups. I spent another hour or so pushing with no progression. Baby’s head would start to crown then go back like a yo-yo. A nurse started counting. I looked around at all the people in the room- nurses, family- searching for some sort of encouragement. All I saw were blank, white, drained faces. Scared faces. I was scared too. I couldn’t tell what was going on. All I knew was that I was tired. I was pushing so hard and nothing was happening. I didn’t know if I could push any harder or give anything else. The Doctor asked if she could give me an episiotomy, I said yes. A few shots of numbing medicine and I couldn’t feel anything. I heard the scissors making their cut and felt some pressure as the Doctor reached up inside me to manipulate and pull my poor baby out. At 8:55pm after 21 hours of labor my baby was born and placed on my chest, he cried and cried. I was so exhausted and still in pain from the whole thing that I didn’t even care about the beautiful baby on my chest. It took me a few minutes to even realize what just happened and that there even was a baby on my chest. I tried to nurse him, but a nurse told me not to. He was taken from me and put in a warming bassinet. I pushed out the placenta and had a very vigorous uterus massage. Then I was stitched up. I just wanted to cry but I was too tired. I was so weak. My in-laws came in the room at some point after I was stitched up (I think) They were so happy to have a grandson, but I just didn’t want them there. I didn’t want anyone there. I didn’t want to smile, I didn’t want to act happy. I felt like death.
We went to our room, I cuddled my baby for the first real time, and I tried to get comfortable. I was afraid to go to the bathroom, I was afraid to move my legs, I was afraid to sit down. Rightfully so, I was a mess down there. After getting a few hours of sleep and some food I felt better. The next day brought some joy and happiness. I shoved labor out of my mind for as long as I could. Adam was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen, perfect 7lbs 4 oz, 21 inches long, head full of long dark hair. I felt clueless as to what to do with him though and being in the hospital was so uncomfortable and intrusive. He tried, but just wouldn’t latch on to nurse. The lactation consultant came in and started twisting my nipples and manipulating my breasts to try to get him to latch. It was painful and embarrassing. Soon I was given a nipple shield, which is a silicone artificial nipple that you put over your own to help baby nurse. That helped, but Adam just didn’t want to nurse. He slept.
Turns out he had pretty bad shoulder dystocia. His poor little arm was stuck up by his head. With the pitocin contractions (which are harder, stronger and closer together than natural contractions) he never had the opportunity to move his arm back into place because he kept getting squeezed and pushed too soon and for too long. He was really stuck. Pitocin contractions also distressed him. During a natural contraction a baby’s heart beat might slow down, but soon recovers after a contraction. Throw in super unnatural pitocin contractions and expect a baby’s heart to recover 100%? I don’t think so. Babies aren’t stupid, they know how to be born safely. They just don’t always have the chance. It also turns out that Demoral goes directly to the baby, making them loopy and sleepy. It’s been proven that Demoral is a key factor in babies who don’t want to latch on and nurse properly.
It was pretty easy for me to transition into mommy mood after we left the hospital. However, It took my body 2 months to stop hurting and bleeding. 3 months to wean Adam off the nipple shield. And it took 9 months to feel comfortable in my post baby body. It took me a year to even consider having more babies, and I knew that when I did have more babies I would do so many things differently.