They say that no two pregnancies are never the same, and the same goes for their deliveries. I have done this twice and the two experiences could not be more different. Even though the result was two very similar looking adorable smushy babies.
Ike’s Birth Story.
I was completely certain that once I hit the official “Full Term” date at 37 weeks that Ike would be arriving at any moment. I was ready. The carseat was installed, the crib was setup, I toted that stupid hospital bag with me in the car for a month. I took walks and ate a whole pineapple every single day. When my due date came and went I arrived at the doctors office as soon as they opened at 40 weeks and 1 day to ask “WHAT THE F MAN!? You people promised me a baby, not extra time to gain a pound every day! Do something about this please and bring me a milkshake on your way back.”
The doctor examined things near the exit ramp and told me “well, it doesn’t look like anything is going to happen any time soon” at which point I began to cry because seriously, What the F man. She added quickly “we may as well go ahead and schedule you for an induction, it can be as early as Tuesday”. “Yes! Are you sure there aren’t any openings tonight?”
I officially was admitted two days later, in the evening. I was given a suppository and a sleeping pill and was told to eat a good breakfast in the morning. The next day around 7am I ate the good breakfast and the nurse put in the Pitocin drip. Then? A whole lot of NOTHING! I got an epidural, the doctor forcibly broke my water, and then? STILL NOT A DAMN THING. Finally, 14 hours later it was time to push. And push I did, for three hours. And what happened? Yep NOTHING AT ALL! I think Ike had taken a firm hold of my uterus walls in his very first full rebellion and he was not letting go!
Eventually his heart rate began to slow and he showed some signs of distress, so off to the operating room we went. I had not even considered having a cesarean birth in all my infinite readiness over the past four weeks. Whoever said that you don’t feel pain just pressure has clearly never been through the procedure. It hurt, it made me nauseous, and I was wracked with anxiety because they put up a curtain and whisper things on the other side. You can’t see and you can’t hear, you can only feel, a lot of “pressure” that feels an awful lot like someone is ripping a human being from your body. Oh yeah. That is what they were doing! It seemed like a lifetime, but I think the whole thing was over in under a half an hour, because at 4:25am on November 22nd, 2013 Ike made his entrance. And from the yelps and squawks I could hear he was none too happy about it. Isaac brought him over and showed me briefly and then I have a gaping hole in my memory. The next thing I remember is being in recovery and being the most thirsty I’ve ever been in my life and being denied anything of substance to drink. And I remember shaking, uncontrollably. But there in the corner in a chair was Isaac and the most tiny baby Ike, I remember that image as if it were a picture I looked at every day for the past two and half years.
Ike November 22nd, 2013
7 pounds 13 ounces
Five days late
Eleanor’s Birth Story.
Because I had done this before, I was not anxiously awaiting baby girl’s arrival. I had made peace with her March 7th due date although I said I wouldn’t be at all upset to meet her a little early (around the time the maternity shirts start shrinking). I said that, but I didn’t pack a bag, put in a car seat, or do really much of anything. My baby “sprinkle” shower/party was pushed out to the end of February due to a freak snowstorm here in Georgia. I went all round and uncomfortable and ate three cupcakes on the way home and proceeded to take all the baby clothes and items and put them on top of the pile of things that I had every intention of organizing and washing and such.
In the wee hours of the morning on February 23rd, a Tuesday, Ike had made his way into bed with me. I kept waking up, I assumed from toddler appendages poking my wide-set body, but in the morning it was clearly contractions that were waking me up. I never felt non-pitocin induced contractions before. I sort of glanced at my phone to see what time it was and forgot by the time another contraction came. I got Ike ready for school, then they started getting pretty painful. I still didn’t have the wherewithal to actually time them accurately, but I did have the good sense to ask someone else to take Ike to school. I called the doctor and said I thought I might be in labor and he suggested we make our way to the office and check it out. I was admitted about 30 minutes later.
I had made it pretty clear to the doctor that I wanted very much to try for a VBAC. He suggested we go ahead and get the epidural early and go full tilt on the pitocin to see if we could encourage baby girl on out. All the lovely drugs were doing their things within an hour. I spent about four hours in labor and the doctor returned and informed me it was time to push.
He brought in about six people and unfolded the bed into a stirrup/catchpan/examination table contraption. I think I pushed for maybe thirty minutes and he said “stop, she’s coming on her own.” And before I knew it I was holding that pink, slightly miffed, tiny little girl. I have no gaps this time. I remember the stitching and the newborn exam and most acutely the prompt removal of the epidural needle. When I came down off the meds I felt like I had been hit by a bus, or more like a bus had been driven through my body!! I briefly thought, maybe a c-section wouldn’t have been such a horrible idea, but then baby latched and nursed before the doctor had buttoned everything back up. And the recovery was soooo much easier. Slightly grosser, but worth it.
Eleanor February 23rd, 2016
6 pounds 13 ounces
Two weeks early