My birth story actually starts 30 years ago, with my own birth. Like with me, as a baby. But I’ll spare you the 30 years of bullshit that happened between then and now. See, I was 4 weeks late as a baby. Which is a whole insane power packed month for my mother, where I just chilled and grew to 10lbs. Don’t ask me how medical science let that happen. I mean, it was 1980, not 1780. Anyway, I was terrified of this becoming my fate with a growing Plankton who was in the 75th percentile already for HEAD SIZE. So I took some matters into my own hands. Mistake #1.
Most of you know me well enough to know that I don’t just sit around and wait for stuff. I make stuff happen. Usually it’s an internet blog war, but whatever. So at 38 weeks our midwife recommended I start shooting evening primrose oil pills up the vag to soften and prepare the cervix. She said there is a teeny tiny midget of a chance that it can make my water break but don’t worry about that. I was all, sounds good to me, break my water and let’s get this show started. Little did I know about anything, at all, like ever. Mistake #2.
Then I was all, something named “primrose” won’t make me go into labor, it just won’t. Maybe if it was named boarfist or something. So let’s google “accupressure for labor”. Oh cool and easy. I push these ankle spots and Plankton gets all agitated and comes out. Super neat. I think I’ll sit on my bed for 2 hours and push around my ankle spots. He won’t come that fast. It’s just ankles. Mistake #3.
Wake up at 4 am Tuesday morning to pee for the 48th time. Nothing new there. Only this time, all of my underwear is soaked. I seriously think that my use of the humidifier in my bedroom that night permeated my down comforter, skipped over the rest of my body parts and humidified JUST my underwear. Makes total sense at 4am. So I go back to sleep with new unders on.
5am. WET AGAIN. WHAT THE F? Am I peeing my pants? I go to the toilet and pee. I stop peeing, but pee keeps coming. What? Wait, not pee. Water. WATER. MY WATER BROKE!? CHEERS AND DANCES AND HOORAYS! I go wake up B in the guest room because me and Plank needed our space for a lot of times. B basically shits himself and then says he feels vomitty. Super. I tell him to go back to bed and let’s see what happens. Water breaking is good and baby is coming! Right? Mistake #4.
I can’t sleep. This is insane. So I call the midwife and she’s all happy cheery yays for me. Smiles all around. But she was like woah smiley cheery. Like trying to not make me freak out maybe? She tells me to come in at 10am and well check to make sure all is well. Ok sounds sparkle stars to me.
Then I start googling. (THIS IS ALWAYS A MISTAKE PEOPLE) Wait a minute, only 8-10% of women have their water break before labor starts? And it’s called PROM? And it’s not good??? I mean, yes all proms attended were never good, granted, I wore full on white sequins to one of them, but this prom is bad in a sequin-less way. It means “premature rupture of membranes”. And, uh oh, I don’t have any contractions. Ok nopanic nopanic nopanic… yet.
B and I hop in the car to head to the birth center. All is well with baby. By the way, at this point I have gone through 5 jumbo overnight super maxi pads. I am leaking like woah and it won’t stop. Leaking is a bad word. Gushing is better. You think water breaking is like, oooh water broke, cute, ok it’s over. No, it spills out of you until baby comes. And it’s sick. AND it smells like semen. Swear.
The midwife says we have to get labor going within 24 hours or the baby is at risk for infection. I’m fairly trusting of the midwife so I go along with what she’s saying. She hands me 2 little bottles of castor oil. I FEAR THE OIL. LIKE FOR REAL. And to be fair the bottles weren’t little. She tells me to mix that shit in a milkshake and chug. Oh man. The theory is that it causes diarrhea cramps which kicks the contractions into high gear. I have a bad feeling about this and I don’t want to do it. But I also want a regular normal birth, like really bad and I don’t want to go to the hospital. So I go along with it without questioning options. Mistake #5.
I puke up bottle #1. This would not be the last of the puke for a long long time. But bottle #2 I keep down after B mixed that shit in orange juice and vanilla ice cream. I pooped my face off and then they started. Real life contractions. Yay! Happiness. I chilled on my birth ball and B downloaded and app on his iPad to track contractions. This is really what he was interested in. HIS IPAD. Super.
Things start to get real, real fast. I’m using my hypnobabies tracks and chilling with the ipod and the ipad. What an Apple commercial that could have been. The contractions quickly get to about 3 minutes apart and last for about a minute. But they aren’t consistent. B said 39 times that they were “erratic”. I told him if he said the word erratic one more time I would shove that ipad down his throat. He didn’t say it again. We needed consistency to know that it was time to go, so we called our doula who came over to help me smack B across the face. And to help my labor.
Hiring our doula and having her there from the start was one of the few things I actually did right. She saved my life. She would use my hypnobaby cues and would completely relax me. There was a huge difference between just sucking it up and going through the contraction motions versus being under hypnosis. I know it sounds a little Kelly Bensimon, but I swear it saved me. She also just like knew stuff. She’d be like, oh that’s normal or oh, relax it’s fine. Or ok it’s time to go. Definitive stuff. And not saying words like “erratic”.
But let’s pause for a spell and discuss contractions. Dude, they hurt. It is a ton of pressure radiating from your innards outward and down your legs straight to the depths of hell. And this was me only like 3 hours in. I was standing, kneeling, bending, laying, kneeling, you name it. If it’s a position you could actually get pregnant in, I tried to labor in it.
It’s about 9pm at this point and we’re headed to the birth center to meet the midwife and nurse. We have our bags packed and we’re going, doula in tow. You should know that since I first puked around 12pm from the castor oil, I puked about every hour since then. I couldn’t take a sip of water without puking. I chalked that up to regular labor stuff. Mistake 32. I can’t keep track at this point.
We arrive to the birth center and labor is for real real real. They hook me up to an IV because my fluids are so low from puking. It’s me, in hard labor, doula and midwife all hanging out. Where’s B you ask? SLEEPING. He took a 4 hour nap. Oh yes he did. He says I kicked him out for coughing too much. Dude, you’re lucky I didn’t choke the cough out of you but it’s not a cue to go nappy time. While I BIRTH YOUR SON.
That’s when I experienced The Awful. I capitalize it out of respect. The Awful happened for the first time around 4am at the birth center and about 6 times after that. I wasn’t prepared for The Awful and it’s full Awful powers….
Part 2 next.