Samantha: What’s labor?
Seven years ago today, Samantha made her entrance into the world. At 4:35 am. After 13 hours of labor. All 6 lbs 5 oz. of her.
On March 8, at about 2:30 in the afternoon, I had done all my chores for the day. The older kids were already home from school and doing their older kid things. I hadn’t been sleeping much at night, because the baby was practicing gymnastics each evening. I have to say, it did feel like she was nailing her dismount though. So that’s good.
At any rate, it was in short, a perfect nap storm. I settled down on the futon I had put in the nursery. Hmm, I’m surprisingly comfortable. Weird. I close my eyes.
“pop” An actual audible pop. My brain is confused. My brain figures it out though when the fluid starts to flow. Thank heavens I was wearing what turned out to be very absorbent corduroy maternity overalls. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. The rest I’ll leave to the imagination.
No nap for me. Much as I'm ready to have this pregnancy end, I'm a little bummed about missing my nap. Our older daughter, who was 14 at the time called her dad at work. I went to change my clothes. (when I came downstairs about 30 minutes later, the kids were cleaning the already perfectly cleaned kitchen…maybe I should have had them boil some water)
I hadn't felt any labor pains yet, but with all my amniotic fluid gone, the doc wanted me at the hospital asap. Contractions started in the car (at rush hour mind you in Seattle area traffic) on the way to the hospital.
We get to the hospital, and my husband wants to get all the stuff out of the car. I want to get in a bed. I give him the stink eye, and start walking with determination to the hospital. He decides he can get the bag later, and follows me in.
Let me just add, when we went to childbirth class, we were all asked to describe what we wanted our birth experience to be like. I’m afraid I didn’t win any points with the instructor when I announced I was there to learn about managing my pain until I was dilated enough for an epidural.
For some reason, the nurses were determined I should sit and bounce on the "Labor Ball" to relieve my “discomfort.” I can't see how this will help, and I figured, “I’m in labor in the hospital…I should be in bed.”
Finally, around 9:00 pm I get my epidural. And I also get my nap. Around midnight, I start feeling pain. It’s mild, so I don’t worry about it, but by 1:00 am, it’s crazy bad. I'm in transitional labor. Seems my epidural shifted, and they are going to have to re-do it.
At around 2:00 am, it’s replaced, but I’m experiencing what they call “a window” of pain. There’s one little spot where the epidural isn’t working. So they blast me with more epidural medicine. Ahhhh.
The nurse says, “let’s see if you can push.” I push, and she’s happy. I think she’s going to go away, and let me rest, but noooo. She makes me keep pushing. She was really nice too. When I would whine about needing a break, she’d let me skip a contraction.
But after two hours of pushing and taking breaks, there was still no baby. The nice nurse went to call the doctor, and tell him it’s going to be awhile, but that we may need to consider using the vacuum extractor.
While she’s gone, Nurse Kratchet comes in. She’s having none of my whining, and tells me I can and will push and push and push. And in two contractions, Samantha is crowned.
Now all of a sudden, they don’t want me to push; the doctors not even in the hospital yet. So I stopped (epidural lets you do that – cause I’m not feeling a thing.) My body has another plan. With each contraction, she scootches out a little more, then a little more. When her head is almost out, the nurses decide they need to go for it.
The doctor arrives just in time to deliver the placenta. All I can say, is he must have needed his moment in the sun, because he hoisted the thing up by the umbilical cord and SHOWED IT TO ME!! He TOLD me, “this is a great looking placenta.” I’m not kidding. Now I didn’t go through all this to spend any time admiring what appeared to me to be a “liver on a rope.” I hope I didn't hurt his feelings.
And then…this moment happened…
Happy Birthday Samantha. xoxox