The topic of this week’s Spin Cycle is Birth. I was going to talk about the birth of our restaurant but I’ve been talking about that so much I’m sure you’re all sick of it, plus I’ve been updating you every week so you’ll get your weekly fix Sunday or Monday whether you want it or not!
I think I’ve probably talked about all 3 of our girls being born (probably more than once) but probably less about #3 so I’ll go there. The birth of our third one was much different than her two older sisters. By the time you’re having your third you expect it to be old hat and there not to be many surprises but of course things had to be different.
First, I had always wanted to have “natural childbirth” with all of our kids. The first I ended up having one shot of Demerol (I think that’s what they gave me) after I had been in labor for 3 days and they wanted to “take the edge off” and were hoping that by relaxing the birth process would speed up. The whole problem was that she was turned the wrong way (not breech but face down instead of face up) so I had all back labor and by day 3 I think that one shot was the least they could do! But I was even upset that I had broken down and resorted to that.
Number 2 went relatively quickly compared to number 1. I wasn’t even sure I was in labor because the pains were so mild compared to the first one. After I realized I was in labor it was less than 8 hours before she was born. Really quickly compared to the 3 ½ days with the first. Of course #3 had to be different!
I guess that should have been a foreshadowing of how she never wanted to follow in her footsteps! If hindsight is 20/20 then why couldn’t I foresee how stubborn and independent she’d be? First she was two weeks late… yes, you read that right… TWO WEEKS! She was due May 17. On May 17 I went on a field trip with #2 and her class to the zoo. I must have looked alarmingly huge because their principal (who HATED me) was very solicitous and followed closely behind me and kept asking me all day if I was okay or if I needed to sit down or did I need anything? I mean, I knew I was HUGE but she kept following me like I was gonna squat and drop that baby with every step I took!
Thankfully (for the principal’s and the entire classes’ sake) that day and the field trip passed very uneventfully. No labor and no baby. I came home from the field trip just as empty handed and I left for it. I had taken maternity leave from my job the day or so before my due date because everyone kept telling me that there was no way on God’s green earth that I would make it to my due date. I’m telling you I was HUGE. But… due date came and went and not even an inkling of a labor pain. As the days went by the doctor had me coming in so he could check my “progress” but alas, there was NONE. No dilation, no effacement, no Braxton Hicks contractions… NADA.
Finally when I was almost 2 weeks overdue the doctor decided that he was going to schedule a “C” section for that Thursday, May 30. He had decided that he/she (we had elected NOT to know the sex until the birth)was probably too big to pass through the birth canal and I’d have to have a “C” section.
That Thursday I awoke to the all too familiar pangs in my belly and thought “Well, you little stinker… NOW you decide to make an appearance AFTER we have already scheduled a “C” section!” I decided that I wasn’t going to go to have my baby without my shower so I hopped in the shower while hubby called the doctor. I was in the shower and I could hear him talking to the doctor (saying something like “I know! I told her!”) and then he comes back in the bathroom and tells me that I need to get out of the shower RIGHT NOW!! The doctor was concerned that since this was my third child that it might go really quickly and it was morning rush hour and we lived almost an hour from the hospital.
It was about 7 when I got out of the shower and we still had to take the kids and drop them off at our friend’s house before we went to the hospital. We dropped them and got to the hospital 8:30. The doctor arrives and examines me and informs me that even though I am in labor the baby is still not “dropping” at all and by his examination he doesn’t think there was any way I was going to get that baby through the birth canal as large as it was. I was simultaneously relieved (it had been 6 years since my last birth and the thought of having to go through labor again was downright terrifying) and in dread. I was so disappointed that I was not going to be able to have my child “naturally” and due to previous misinformation, terrified at the thought of having a “C” section.
I had to have back surgery when I was 20 years old and had always been told that since I’d had the back surgery that I would never be able to have a “spinal” or epidural. I had been told that I had too much scar tissue and that there was a danger that the needle could “slip” and cause paralysis. I believed them. Truth was that the anesthesiologist that had worked with my previous ob/gyn didn’t feel comfortable with it and didn’t want to take any chances. I never thought to question the information. Anyway, I had always thought that if I had a “C” section I’d have to be put under general anesthesia and that thought sent me into a tizzy.
When the anesthesiologist came in to see me he laughed at how terrified I was and assured me that I could, indeed, have an epidural, that apparently the previous one I had seen was just lazy (in his words, not mine). I was really afraid that maybe HE was wrong and that I’d end up paralyzed but the thought of being knocked out and not seeing my baby born terrified me even more so I agreed to the epidural. Heck, had I know how easy it was (compared to my two previous births) I’d have had all three of them with an epidural!
All my fears were for naught and it turns out that since it was a “C” section she didn’t have a misshaped head! Who’da thunk it? That thought never crossed my mind! And even though they (people in general) kept telling me how much harder a “C” section was, I found it MUCH less painful and easier on me overall. I think having my tummy split open was much less painful than having my Vajayjay split from here to kingdom come! Been there, done that TWICE… didn’t need to go there again! I was out driving just a couple days after I got out of the hospital and I only spent maybe a half day more in the hospital than I did with the vaginal births!
My biggest disappointment with the “C” section was that my doctor cut me lengthwise rather than along a panty line type incision. He was Romanian and it was a little hard to get out of him WHY he decided to do it that way. I wasn’t away he had done it until the day AFTER she was born when they came in to change the bandages. I never said I was real bright that I didn’t notice it until the next day but them’s the facts. He cut me from my bellybutton to my pubic bone! So now I had a matching zipper scar to match the scar on my back from my surgery there! When I asked him later why he cut me that way he just kind of shrugged and said he didn’t think I’d be wearing a bikini any time soon!
I do think he made the right decision to go ahead with the “C” section even after I had gone into labor for several reasons. First I was larger when I got pregnant (and subsequently when I gave birth) than with either of my others so there was less room for her to pass through the birth canal AND the fact that she weighed more and was shorter than either of her sister’s meant that she was a little butterball (albeit a PRECIOUS little butterball) and I truly don’t think she would have made it through without forceps and a grease job! She was only 19 ½ inches long (as compared to 21 with her sisters) and weighed 9 pounds 2 ounces… yeah, she was quite comfortable in there!
But it all turned out fine and I have my battle scars to prove it. How about your birth stories? Spin ‘em up and meet us over at Gretchen’s Second Blooming so we can all share in your experience.