My baby boy wasn’t here and neither was my anesthesiologist. 3 hours later, he came to administer it. I hadn’t dilated past 8 cm, despite doing every trick in the book to move it along. Baby boy kept changing positions and it kept him from dropping. I kept getting him in the right position, and he kept moving right back. We still had not given him a name yet. We had two picked out, and were planning on picking one once we met him. Through this entire journey he stayed strong. Never once did his heart rate drop or he become distressed. This is when we finally chose his name, meaning “strong-willed warrior.”
At 4pm when my epidural arrived, I was instantly disappointed in myself. I was now confined to my bed, plugged into a bunch of machines, and banned from eating or drinking.
I failed. I didn’t finish the race. I didn’t do what was best for my baby. I caved when he needed me the most. I was weak.
I do not look down upon or judge anyone who chooses to have a medicated birth. It was just not my choice. I believe going unmedicated is a conviction and not everyone feels that, and that’s ok. I felt the conviction. Heavily.
Despite all the emotions racing through my exhausted self, there was no doubt I was feeling better. I was laughing again, and beginning to quite enjoy the time I was now getting to spend with my husband, best friend, and mom. I do not however, enjoy the feeling of an epidural. I hated it.
A pitocin line, 3 doses of pain medicine and 8 hours later this boy still had not arrived. It was 12am and we were all beginning to face the facts. At any minute the Dr was going to walk in and tell me they were going to take me for a C-section. At one point I dilated to 9cm, but then went back to an 8 at the next check. I was no longer disappointed in myself. In fact, I was proud. I listened to my body when it told me it couldn’t keep going. There is no way I would have been able to keep laboring that intensely, for that amount of time. I would have passed out. I was almost praying they would come take me for one because I was so ready for this to be over.
At this point my best friend’s husband dropped by to see how things were going. He came in and sat with us all for a while. We were delirious. We had all missed close to 2 nights of sleep by now. Long story short he began reading the horror stories of people who have eaten the sugar-free gummy bears. I love gummy bears and my husband had bought me some early in the process thinking they would make me happy. I never touched them, but he ate them all. If you’ve never heard, there are sugar free gummy bears out there that apparently give people massive amounts of diarrhea. We laughed thinking what if he ate all of them and they were the sugar free ones. He was going to miss his baby’s birth because he was stuck in the bathroom. Thankfully that didn’t happen. So we began reading these stories. They are atrocious. Things you wouldn’t even believe. People refer to them as Satan’s Diarrhea Hate Bears. Seriously, look them up: http://www.amazon.com/Haribo-Sugar-Free-Gummy-Bears/product-reviews/B008JELLCA
So we laughed, and laughed, and laughed while we were waiting for them to come take me. They came in to check me, and suddenly said, “WOW. You’re there. You’re at a 10. Let’s push.
Whoa. WHAT?! Wait. I’m not ready. I thought this would never happen. I slightly began freaking out because I thought this would never end. So we pushed. 15 min later, she said. Your body is just too tired, we need to wait awhile, let you recover and push again. I was emotional, exhausted, and beginning to be sad about my Dad not being around to meet this boy when he arrives. I was barely holding it together, but everyone was there for me. My mom, my husband, and my best friend were EVERYTHING. They continued to push me when I wanted to give up.
She came back 3o minutes later and I told her my epidural was completely gone. My body had been burning through it at a ridiculous rate. I had 4 doses, and it wouldn’t stay in my system. He had tried changing the drug he was giving me, but nothing was working. I had not been able to feel my legs for half a day. In fact, it kept falling off the bed because I couldn’t control it. Suddenly, now, at the moment she said we were going to push again, I could have gotten up and walk right off the bed. I was experiencing this labor unmedicated again, and this time it was with pitocin. They say this is the absolute worse. Pitocin contractions are 100xs worse than unmedicated contractions because there is no let down. They don’t build up, the just jump right in full force. The nurse told me if I called for another dose of medicine I could be pushing for hours. It took me a couple of contractions to wrap my head around it. I took a deep breath and said, “I got this.”
Sep 4 at 3:19am my baby boy arrived. 8lbs. 70z. 21 inches.
I will never forget the feeling of pushing him into this world. I am so very thankful I ran through that medicine. I was able to finish the journey exactly as I hoped, and the reward was so grand. I remember saying “Breathe baby, breathe.” I took him a minute to cry, but then there it was. That little baby using his lungs. 14 days late and 36 hours later, but he was here.
It was worth every minute. The journey of bringing him into this world completely changed me in so many ways. I remembered again that with the help of The Lord, I can do anything I put my mind to. Also, the trust that was built between my husband and I is irreplaceable.
Now we stare. We swoon. We admire.