Sunday, June 6, 2010

How low can you go?

**Written 5/18/2010

As in, expectations. Mine are, in order: squeezing out a live one, bringing said live one home.

While pregnant with E two years ago, I thought a great deal about "how I wanted my labor to go." You know those ladies in the childbirth classes, the ones who roll their eyes when the mere word "EPIDURAL" is mentioned? The glassy-eyed ones during the c-section talk? The very same ones earnestly rolling on the practice birthing ball, making sure their husbands or partners or cousins or whoevers are paying the utmost attention to the breathing and visualization techniques?

Yeah, that bitch was me two years ago. I could slap the "hoohooheehee-"ing smirk off her face right about now. La-di-dah I went through weeks 38, 39, 40, then--gulp--41 of pregnancy with E. No lie, I cried at my doctor's office when I was told I'd have to be induced a few days later. I sat through that NST, sonogram, practically WILLING my body to go into labor.

Oh, the delusions didn't end there.

The night I went in for my induction, I, unbeknownst to me, was already IN early labor. So, tra la la, they started the pitocin early. The lovely young resident discussed pain relief with me, and I, so SMUG, said, "Oh, no--I'm not HAVING an epidural." But, just in case--I don't know--the very SKY OVER MY HEAD began to fall, I signed the consent forms. This was at 11PM.

I'll spare you the rest, but suffice it to say by 5:30 AM I was BEGGING on the birthing ball for that effing epidural. My best friend still recalls the text I sent her at 3AM--she'd had her first baby a month before--where I ever so delicately wrote, "These bitches HURT!" Yes, yes they do, Virginia.

So now here we are. Or rather, there we were just a few short months ago. When faced with the very immediate reality of pushing out my dead little girl, I vacillated between not even caring how much pain I endured and wanting to be completely numb. Ironically, the dastardly epidural I'd so recently villified was unavailable to me. Finally, the natural birth I'd so wanted! Lucky me. Lucky, lucky me, complete with a 12+ hour second labor, back labor, and no live baby to snuggle as a reward.

Queen Understatement says: "Man, that sucked."

So, again, here I am. I am nowhere near labor--well, at least I hope not, as I'm only 12+ weeks. Who knows how far we'll get. But this time? I don't care what it takes. C-section? Epidural plus narcotics plus a sleeping pill? Stand on my hands and shove a flaming hot poker up my ass? Sounds unorthodox, but if I get a live baby out of the bargain, I'm in. It's amazing how our expectations change, how we view the risks, the statistics, the steps necessary. I'll walk through fire for a different outcome. I'll give a speech at the childbirth classes, get in the glassy-eyed women's faces, tell them to wipe that smirk off their faces.

I went in yesterday for the NFT test and the quad screen. A nurse called me that afternoon saying she didn't like how the blood dried, and would I mind coming in to do the test again today? I practically skipped into the office today. As long as that baby's alive in there, I'll do anything, won't mind anything you ask me to do.

Turns out there are things way worse than an epidural.


  1. One again, you've pretty much hit it on the head.

    Yeah I got my breech VBAC, so he was only 4.5 pounds at 39 weeks and already dead. Umm yeah. I will skip the epidural again, because I have horrible reactions to them, but I can do a spinal. So, c-section? Morphine? 26 more hours of contractions with breathing patterns as my only relief? Bring `em on!

  2. OMG yes, I was that person 5 and 3 years ago. My first labor sounds very similar to yours. Sorry you didn't get to be numb the second time around.
    This time around I was the same way: I'd do anything to get the live baby out. Funny how perspective's a bitch.

    I think the whole 'birth plan' talk is such a naiive fraudulent thing we tell mothers to be. When does birth ever go according to plan? What a crock!

    fingers crossed for a live healthy baby in a few months! Are you going to be induced early?

    My doc agreed to induce 10 days early this time. I read that they think the wharton's jelly starts to get less spongy towards the end of pregnancy, increasing the risk of cord accident. It's just a theory, but I wasn't taking any chances. I was 40 weeks with Jessica.

  3. Well, the plan right now is check the lungs via amnio @ 37 weeks, then induction shortly afterwards. Let's hope we make it that far.

    Again, the old me would be absolutely HORRIFIED at that plan. New me will do it with a smile--and, truth be told, if this kid's OK at 37 weeks, I'm totally cool with 3 fewer weeks of panic.

    That's the plan anyway. Oh, how I'm growing to hate the word PLAN.

  4. Oh my god, you really got me at this line: "Stand on my hands and shove a flaming hot poker up my ass?" I can SO relate!
    Hope was a natural delivery, you know, with an epidural. I was also THAT woman in classes. I thought the epidural was the worst I had to fear. And a c-section? Couldn't even let my mind go there. She was also nearly a week over due. With Angus, who lived, I had him at 38 weeks and by c-section. I still wanted to avoid a c-section if I could as I wanted to know what it felt to push out a LIVE baby, but he was actually just really big and no where near ready to be born. But I was very much done being pregnant, so they took him out. In the end, doesn't matter one bit. I've done both ways now, and I know if I have my time again, I know which way I want it to go - live at all costs.
    Great post.