Birth Day, Part One
My son’s first birthday is next week. And before I became a parent, I never would’ve raised this question: Why exactly is this his birthday? Seriously, he had nothing to do with it. In fact, take my word for it, he pretty much did everything in his power to impede the process. And what…then he shows up all cute and squirmy? No, no. This is not his birthday. This is mine, all mine. And I’m staking my claim, dammit.
I’ve been meaning to do a birth post for a while now and this just seems like the perfect time. Don’t worry. I’m not a sharer. If you’re squeamish, you need not fear. I’m just laying out the highlights here.
Let’s start here: Boo Boo was born just after 6 p.m. on March 18th. See, I’ve already forgotten the precise time. I went into labor sometime around 8:00 a.m. on March 17th. March 17th is no longer St. Patrick’s Day; it’s Labor Day, which actually works out just fine for me since I’m not Irish, not much of a beer drinker, and get bored at parades. Labor Day it is. Now if you’ve had a kid you know that there’s this thing called early labor, which some lucky chicks don’t even feel. Not me. Nope. Felt every freakin’ contraction. Thanks, Boo Boo. Thanks.
After spending most of a pain-filled day at home, I went to the hospital where I learned I was 1 cm dilated (are you freakin’ kidding me) and then headed back home…in pain. Went back again around dinner time. Barely any progress, but the doc admitted me anyway, a choice that garnered an eye roll from a nurse. Seriously, chica rolled her eyes. Wanted to punch her.
Much later, got me some drugs (nubane) to “take the edge off so [you] can sleep.” Riiiight. Took the edge off, but still felt every damn contraction. Thanks again, Boo Boo. Didn’t sleep all night.
Next day, very little progress…very lot of pain. There’s pitocin, there’s the epidural and the anesthesiologist whom I called the robot. What? There’s no other name for a seemingly human specimen who lacks any regard for her patient. I swear she told me to hold my breath during a contraction (more than once). I kid you not. I don’t think she even noticed the gigantic belly I was sportin’. She, and again, I kid you not, talked through every step of giving me the epidural as if (1) I gave a shit, and (2) I could understand her muttering. I really started to firmly believe she was a med student talking herself through a difficult procedure and I was some kind of lab rat. Oh, and then she didn’t believe me when I tell her I have complete feeling on the left side of my body. Why, oh why, would I lie about such a thing? If it weren’t for sweet nurse Maureen, I would have, in fact, hauled off and punched the robot. Robot had to go in for round two. Yup. Round two.
Let’s speed this up a bit. Epidural helps for a while, then wears off. Really. They have to “top me off.” I’m thinking Sweet, load me up, baby. And then, get this…they have to top me off again later because this kid — whose birthday it is next week and whom at this point I’m really not liking very much — has no interest in making an appearance. New anesthesiologist comes in not believing that I have feeling. Again, why am I lying about this? Am I some kind of epidural addict? Come on, people. He does this thing where he takes something like a wet cotton ball and says Can you feel this? a zillion times until I finally say Yeah and he says Really? Really, you freakin’ moron, now give me the drugs! Okay, I didn’t say that. My parents raised me right. Dude finally believes and tops me off. At this point, I want a topped off pina colada, but I know that ain’t happenin’.
Contraction, contraction, contraction. Oh yes, I can still feel them. They just don’t hurt so badly that I want to rip the hair out of my head. They just hurt…like normal hurt.
And then, finally, they tell me it’s time to push. Let’s recap: no sleep and lots of pain and aggravation since I woke up the previous day at 7 a.m. Still with me? Good. Stay tuned…