Friday, January 15, 2010

My Birth Story; Part 1 of 2

Oh labor stories. I have a confession to make to all my single ladies. We post preggos, ladies of the belly no longer, new found mamas, we lie. We lie a lot. We lie about labor. Maybe it's because some of us forget. Maybe it's because we don't want to sound like a wuss. But mostly it's because we don't want to frighten you.

But today ladies. I'm going be brutally honest. So read with caution. Please keep one thing in mind, every single second is worth it in a way you can never understand until you are there. There is this impossible to describe factor to becoming a parent that only a mother or father can know. It is what keeps us coming back for more. It's what makes people like Michelle Duggar have 9,537 babies. It's a total high. So don't be scared off, k?

I went into Labor on a Friday evening. Michael was working. I started to have contractions that hurt a bit. I took a warm shower. They didn't go away. I walked the house. They didn't go away. We headed into the hospital at about 6 pm.
The contractions were a fierce tightening in my belly. The rock hard sensation of your abs while straining to do a sit-up. The pain was dull just a deep menstrual cramp.
I was checked in and found to be dilated at 4 centimeters. That was one more than I had already been.
Michael and I settled into our room. Florescent lighting, tacky wallpaper, pure white sheets, and a lumpy pillowcase. I walked, I bounced, I stretched.
Michael pulled open the blinds. Turned down the lights.

A beautiful view. Nighttime city lights. Cars racing. People moving and around us the world was paused. Just pain and beauty in a hospital room.

Michael put on Death Cab.

If I could open my mouth
Wide enough for a marching band to march out

I pace the room.

They would make your name sing
And bend through alleys and bounce off all the buildings.

I sing to you. Can you hear me?

I wonder what you are thinking in there. Are you scared? Are you nervous? My tiny love curled into a ball. You have no idea the hell we are about to go through. I'm so sorry I think. I'm so sorry for this. I wish I could keep you in there. But selfishly, I want you here. I will make it up to you with a lifetime of kisses and understanding and complete and total devotion. I promise.

I lay down to rest. It's nearly 2 am. Last call. Do you hear it my sweet? Last call for you too. Time to finish up and clear the area.

You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

Then it comes. A pop. An explosion inside my body. I flinch. You jump. It's as if the floodgates within have opened. Your tiny Ocean is drained out of me.

A Flood.

A Tsunami.

I am Mother Earth.

The warm liquid that has been your security blanket puddles around me. Leaks onto the floor. They mop it up.



How can these words apply to something so precious?

I wrap my arms around my belly. It is practically half the size it had been. It's all you in there now.

Then the real pain comes. By now the sun is rising.

It comes on strong.



Mother Earth.

The pain is so deep. It's like your heart breaking only it is in your core. It's your whole body breaking. I swear it's your body mourning the loss of your womb. Crying out. Grieving.

I scream. I beg my husband to call the nurses.
"press the button" I plead
"help me"

I panic.

My husband pulls me up and we walk. I bounce. I get on top of the pain. I control. I listen hard to the music. Every word is a slight morphine drippity drop. A sentence can cure a backache. A lyric can ease a contraction.

I float. I skim by the pain. Every contraction I swear I can not take another. Then while my body rests I swear I can bear more.

By now I have been awake over 24 hours. I start to see things out of the corner or my eye that aren't there. My cat slinks by the bed. A bouncing, shooting star grazes the ceiling. A tall man stands in the corner. I am delirious with sleep exhaustion.
I give in.
I'm waving my white flag.

I remember little. My husband refuses to leave my side. He is not squeamish. If he is, he hides it. He is strong for us. I see pride in his eyes.

I fall asleep in between contractions. I giggle at the thought of pain relief. I am not scared of the big needle but I am scared It'll harm you. All the you feel them? I say a silent prayer to whatever God is out there to take care of you. I feel enormous amounts of guilt as I wait for the pain relief.

The epidural doesn't work. They give me a shot of something. It does not work. They give me another epidural. It does NOT work.

I am not dilatingg so they give me Pitocin.

In between contractions I doze. I listen to the music. Hang on every word to get me through the pain. I recognize the voice. My husband is playing me Beck. The songs we fell in love to.

Let the window down
Feel the moonlight on your skin

My stomach folds and creases within itself.

Let the desert wind
Cool your aching head

Twists and turns.

Let the weight of the world
Drift away instead

Oragami. Mishapes.

The Pitocin brings on contractions that have no break. They last 5 minutes. 10 minutes. Forever. Today. Tomorrow. It feels as if its been years.
The pain is maddening. I envision myself being carried away on a stretcher. Locked in a padded room. Crawling up the walls. Scratching at the door.
I swear I will go crazy if it doesn't stop.

I have no concept of time. I have no sense of direction. I am so lost in the pain that I forget why I'm there. I forget where you are.

Finally they relieve me with a spinal. It won't last. I sleep. I wake because I am growling in my slumber. The contractions are back. I hear my gutural noises before I realize it's the pain I feel.

They give me more of the epidural. It numbs my toes but not my tummy. They up the Pitocin. Finally I am 10 centimeters. You are coming. I remember you. I am not lost. I focus. I pull it together. The bring a large mirror over so I can watch you emerge.

I see someone I don't recognize.

I am war torn country.

A natural disaster.

Mother earth.

I push. I push for days. I push. Then I vomit. The I let my eyes roll in the back of my head and I pass out. Over and over I proceed. Push.Vomit.Sleep. All three provide some relief. An hour goes by. I see your little head. It its covered in dark hair. Just like I knew it would be. Like you were in my dreams.

'I know you!" I say. "Ive known you all along"

to be continued...

Read Part Two Here


  1. Reading this brings at all back to when I was in labor with my daughter. I remember all the contractions, they felt like they would never end. Thats one thing I can and never will forget, its the best feeling no matter how bad it hurts, you get an amazing gift.

  2. you have such an amazing talent for story-telling. this is beautiful!

  3. I very much enjoyed reading about your labour. I didn't get to experience labour with my daughter and feel like I missed out on something.

  4. Wow! how amazing is the first part of this story. I can't wait to read the second part.
    Very creative story teller indeed.

  5. Very creative, and very descriptive. That is pretty much the best description of contractions that I can describe. I was lucky and when I waived my white flag, the epidural worked. I'm not sure I could have been as strong as you. You can do anything!

  6. Ok, I clicked on part two, but came back b/c I wanted to comment here first BEFORE I read anymore. This is beautiful! It brings back every memory of labor! We had comlication with our youngest son, and this is too familiar. I love your writing.

  7. I passed an award on to you. Come by and pick it up! :)

  8. What beautiful, lyrical prose. Nicely done.

  9. Wow. You are one amazing writer, little lady. Your descriptions about the Pitocin completely resonate with me. That is exactly how it was for me as well. I completely 'get' what you are saying and where you are coming from. Thank God for blogger friends and blog love! I'm off to read Part 2 now ...

  10. absolutely love everything about how this is written and portrayed. you are one strong woman. thanks for sharing your story.