Monday, April 12, 2010

Birth Story: Part One

I didn't give much thought to the whole "labor" part of pregnancy during the first 8 months of expecting. It was the vague and hazy moment in the future that I couldn't really anticipate so I kept it vague and hazy. I knew that I wanted to try and have an all natural birth, no epidural, no drugs, and I was adamant that there was to be no snipping of the perineum. I wanted nature to just run it's course. Usually when I told someone that I was planning on not having an epidural they were skeptical and some insisted that I would want it, be begging for it because labor is "just that bad". Others were supportive. I had never been through labor before. All my research on contractions used words like "intense" and "discomfort" not "you will be writhing in your hospital bed, while clawing at your husband's shirt".

I was anxious when my original due date passed, March 28. I hadn't felt any "discomfort" apart from struggling to put socks on in the morning and I felt like I'd been pregnant for 18 or 19 months. So when I felt some odd sporadic cramping at around 10 o'clock in the morning on Easter Sunday I didn't pay much attention. In fact, I thought it would be an excellent idea to make use of the nasty bananas taking up space on our counter and make some banana bread sans nuts. I threw a load of washing in and set to work mashing bananas, music blaring from the computer. If this was labor I was going to have NO problem. Look, I'm baking!

In the sheaf of paperwork I had brought home from my obgyn, it gave strict instructions NOT to call the hospital until a) my water broke or b) I had contractions consistently 5 minutes apart for two hours straight. I was also under the impression that when my contractions had reached this rate I would probably give birth within an hour or two. HA! Right around the time the laundry was done and the banana bread was cooling I noticed that the discomfort level was raising the bar a little bit and thought it best to keep a pad and pen handy to note the time of each cramp/contraction. I focused on my breathing and felt that I was handling this whole pain of labor thing quite well. I wanted to stay home as long as possible because once I checked into the hospital I would be pretty restricted, no eating, and only a limited amount of movement/walking. So I flipped on the Food Network and watched as a crew of chefs put together cakes that defied the laws of physics and design. Right around the time Family Guy was about to start, my contractions had been coming every 5 minutes for two hours. This was it! I called the hospital and the dr. on call said that it was time I made my way over and check myself in. I told Kris that we needed to go. We were about to have a baby!

We left the house about 8:15 pm.

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