Okay, where was I…
Oh yes. Pain. Whole new meaning. People. Full of crap.
What is this picture? This machine is called a contractionometer.
Actually, I totally just made that up.
It does, however, measure the timing and intensity of my contractions. The bottom portion does. See the very end of the graph there? Let me just back up a second to say that in one of the books I read the author made the statement, “Because of the break between contractions, you spend more time pain-free than in pain.” Yeah, she’s full of crap too.
But that was the constant refrain running through my mind – “More time pain-free. More time pain-free. More time pain-free.”
That picture is proof that I was not spending more time pain-free than in pain. See the mountain peaks at the end? Three in a row? See how they’re good friends with each other? All cozied up next to one another? Arms raised to the sky in a hallelujah chorus? That translates to no break in pain. And see how they’re very tall? That translates to tall pain. (Tall pain is more painful than short pain. FYI.)
Okay, so back to my story. I believe we left off at 8 centimeters.
At this point, I had lost my normal mental faculties. I was in survival mode. And all I could think about was how weak and tired I was (no food for nearly 10 hours, an incredible loss of blood), and how if the nurse pressed the fetal monitor into me one more time during a contraction, I was going to break her wrists one by one by one. Because once I ran out of her wrists, I was going to start breaking the wrists of the people around me who thought it was a good idea to rub my back.
Because of the placental abruption, the baby had to be constantly monitored because things can go really badly very fast. This meant that during contractions the nurse had to press the monitor into my stomach, which was making a difficult situation a million times worse.
I couldn’t imagine going the last 2 centimeters and then pushing as well. I was done in. I called the troops back and raised my white flag of surrender. I wanted pain meds. And quick.
I had no concept of time at this point, but I believe it was sometime after 10pm when I received my blessing.
(aka: my epidural.)
Life took a very different turn after that. I absolutely and completely enjoyed every moment of the rest of my labor. I would even say it was downright fun. We laughed and joked about the words that came out of my mouth during the worst of it (more on that later), I rested, we turned the lights down and played some Christian music, I ate a little bit (once I was finally given permission to).
It was just purely enjoyable. I was surrounded by people who loved me and were doing everything they could to support me: my husband, my mom, and my dear friend, Gloria. I felt very at peace. I also felt very afraid. I couldn’t believe after all this time, I was going to finally meet my son. In fact, I didn’t feel ready. But there was no turning back and I knew I would never feel fully ready. Plus, the thought of being pregnant one more day was enough to send me screaming into the Black Hills of Oklahoma (which I hear are very far away, and may in fact not exist at all).
I may have been dilated to more than 8 at the time of the epidural because shortly after I received it the nurse checked me (she finally could without fears of me breaking her wrist) and I was fully dilated. Just before I received it, I was sitting up to be prepped for it, and I felt my body transitioning. I began to shake and yelled, “I have to push!” In fact I pushed with everything in me, it was an uncontrollable urge. I couldn’t have not pushed if I’d wanted to. Which is why I kept asking, “Where is he? Where is he?” (He being the Archangel, Gabriel, or otherwise known as the anesthesiologist.) I knew that if I went much longer I would be too far gone to receive any pain meds.
I pushed for approximately two hours. Even with the epidural I strongly felt the urge to push. Towards the end I was getting extremely tired, and all I could think about was it being over and him being here. At 1:19am, I pushed and pushed and on the last push I thought, “I’m not doing this one more time, this is it!” And he came out all at once in one push. With his hand up by his head. All 8 pounds and 3 ounces of him.
The doctor immediately put him up on my chest, and I immediately began to cry. I didn’t even look at him, I just held him to my chest and cried. I couldn’t believe it. I had actually done it. He was really here. And he was mine. Ours.
The nurses let me hold him for as long as I wanted. I finally was curious to know how much he weighed, and that’s when they took him, weighed him, cleaned him up, and gave him right back.
Side note: I could not have asked for a more fantastic experience at the hospital. Every single person I encountered, from the doctor to the janitor, was unbelievably kind and sensitive and made sure they respected my wishes.
The next hour was a blur as well. Everyone held him, Matt stayed close and kissed my head.
(I have tried for a ridiculously long time now to upload the picture that was snapped of Matt kissing my head, but Blogger is being dumb and I officially cannot. Sorry.)
So after a couple hours of loving on our son and rejoicing in his arrival, I was about to die of exhaustion. It was now probably about 4 in the morning. So they took him to get his first bath and I stood up to go to the bathroom , with some help. And almost immediately passed out. I don’t remember this, but Matt says I turned pale white, my eyes became glazed over, and I just passed out. I woke up to alcohol under my nose and the next several hours are a blur. This same thing happened a couple hours later. It was probably a combination of loss of blood, lack of food, and utter exhaustion.
We spend the next couple of days in the hospital and left to begin life with our new baby boy. So that concludes my birth story. Except I must, for the sake of some humor, include some quotes of things that I may or may not have said during the heat of the contractions…
“Stop touching me.”
“Stop opening and closing the curtain.”
“What is all of this CRAP on me?!”
“I think I’m going to die.”
“I want the rapture to happen.”
Nurse: Can I check you now?
Me: No. No, no, no, no, NO.
Nurse: Sara, I’m sorry, but I have to check you, I haven’t heard the baby’s heartbeat in three minutes.
Me: No. He’s fine.
(What kind of mother am I???)
Anesthesiologist: Do you have any history of…
Me: No. No, no, no, no, no.
There may be more, but the witnesses will have to tell those stories.
Baby Micah, we love you with all our hearts. You were worth every second and then some!