Alright. Back. There was a baby to burp and diapers to change and a me to feed and it was just a whole mess of “I can’t write all this shit down right now.”
After restarting my labor, my contractions picked back up. Slowly. I had watched way too much Barefoot Contessa and sent Adam to get too many meals that he was forbidden to bring within smelling distance of me because I JUST WANT A CINNABON RIGHT NOW. I was over it. Being over it, and bored, and tired of Food Network, and still sitting in a gross puddle and wanting so desperately to just stand in the shower and get less gross, I broke down. I called my mom. I called my sisters. I needed lady backup.
Part of my non-plan for my birth was doing this whole thing, just me and Adam. Having our first child, I wanted us to just spend the day in this love bubble, entranced by this amazing process of bringing our son into the world and overcome with how much we care about each other. But then the hospital made me sit in a puddle bed, and all bets were off. So I called in family to come hang out and maybe give Adam a break from having to listen to me cry about there only being one episode of Unwrapped on.
I was in labor for a butt-ass long time by this point. And the hardest part, besides the puddle, was just waiting. I was so freaking bored. And honestly, I didn’t know what all the contraction fuss was about. I had been having them for hours, and they weren’t bad at all. Maybe I could do this without pain meds?
And then the real ones came. Fuuuuckity fuckburgers, they came and they kicked my ass and I wanted my epidural NOW.
Let’s talk about how I deal with needles for a moment. I handle pain and discomfort with slightly less than what you would call grace. Slightly less. As a child, I was told that if I didn’t get a shot, I would get an awful disease that the shot was supposed to prevent. I wanted the disease. Fuck shots. When I was in fourth grade, my mom and two nurses had to hold me down for a strep test. That’s just a q-tip to the throat balls. Now, enormous needles that go into my spine? I lose my shit, apparently. I thought men got sent to the waiting room while the epidural was administered, so they didn’t pass out and die from looking at all the pain. But Adam was allowed to stay with me. If this is atypical, I am sure that it is 100% because I was crying and trembling just asking for the damn thing.
“Oh, Sara, you must handle pain better now than when you were a stupid child.”
Wrong, idiots. I am still an oversized toddler when it comes to that shit. I have a fairly large tattoo on my thigh, that I got four years ago because it was cute and all my friends were doing it and that seems like a good reason for anything. That tattoo is still, just an outline, because I never could get myself to go back to get it filled in. I took some kind of prescription pain killer beforehand, and something for anxiety, both given to me by friends and not a doctor. Good choices all over the place here, folks. And I still sobbed embarrassingly loud the entire time. I’ve been out in public with my tattoo showing, and had strangers look at it and say, “Oh I heard about you!”
Needless to say, my anesthesiologist gets an A+ just for putting up with my ridiculous shit. I screamed and cried the whole time. Now, I can’t even remember if it actually hurt, or if I was just flipping the french toast out at the possibility of hurt. But seriously. I need to bake that man some cupcakes.
After a little while, my epidural started working, and my doctor came in pretty soon to check me out and see how I was progressing. Still at one centimeter. It was now 830pm, and she told me that if this went much longer, she was going to suggest a c-section. Cue more waterworks. The one thing I don’t want. I was willing my cervix to calm its ass down and dilate. Guess what happens when you will your body to do things? Nothing. I’m not a Will Doctor. When she came back at 10pm, not only had I not dilated further, my baby had gone from the -2 position to -3. He was heading away from the light. Thanks a lot, mutinous baby.
My doctor told me that it was time to do a c-section.
Oh and by the way, you’re getting one in thirty minutes.
Shit lost. Again. Much more than before. I was terrified of being cut open, and I was exhausted. I had been in labor for about 14 hours. I had been at the hospital for almost 17 hours. I still wanted a Cinnabon. And I wanted to see my baby. But I also knew I wasn’t going to get that “moment”. And it really broke my heart to feel like I was failing at something that I wanted so badly. When I thought about childbirth, I never really thought about the process. I just imagined this moment where my baby went from being in me to being a person in the world, and getting to hold him almost immediately. I wasn’t going to get that, and on top of being afraid of the pain and undergoing surgery, I was just really sad about this one expectation not coming to fruition.
Adam put on some scrubs, my darling anesthesiologist came back to get me super numb, and I was wheeled into the OR. Freaking the hell out the whole time. When you are numbed for a c-section, you can still feel things. You don’t feel pain, but you feel pressure, you feel movement, and you feel someone rooting around in your gut for a baby. It just doesn’t hurt. But it was enough to keep me incredibly freaked out. My anesthibuddy gave me some stuff to calm me down. He asked me what my favorite drink was, and I told him a vodka cranberry. He said this stuff would make me feel like I just had three. No one informed him that I am passed out with my shoes on my hands after three drinks. This was not like three drinks. But it was enough to bring me down to a point where I could try to take my mind off my guts being rearranged to talk to Adam and my buddy about Netflix and how good Breaking Bad is.
After a little while, my doctor told me I was going to feel a lot of pressure, and I did. And then I heard my baby cry.
And I lost it for the 3059692 time in a 24-hour period. Adam turned to the side at one point, and he saw him first. The first thing he said to me was, “He has so much black hair!” Everything is really fuzzy for me after this. Adam brought August over to me so I could see him, but I couldn’t touch him yet. My Netflix/vodka haze was gone, and I was feeling way too much of being stitched back up. Adam told me I said, “I’m really sorry, Susie.” Hell if I know who Susie is. But I hope she accepts my apology. Then, they put me under for the rest of my stitch-up.
When I woke up in the recovery room, Adam was there with our baby. But I still was pretty out of it and wasn’t allowed to hold him yet. My nurse finally put August under my hospital gown, on my chest, for skin-to-skin contact with him. I had wanted to breastfeed him immediately, but I couldn’t hold my own head up, let alone guide my boob to a target. I barely remember this, and I’m still pretty bummed about how foggy such a big moment is.
My birth definitely wasn’t how I wanted it to go, even when I kept my expectations on the low-side. But, all of it got us to our baby. Our baby. Unless he poops. Then he’s Adam’s baby.
I am frequently in pain. I’m exhausted. I’m swollen (fat). And I’m rarely showered. But I’m a mom now. I’m August’s mom. Cheese-alert. I can’t help but just stare at my baby. Even when he is asleep and I should definitely be sleeping, I just love to look at him. And he looks back with the most alert eyes. He’s still got that new baby smell. When I sit him up to burp him, he rests his face on my hand and gets old man jowls like Walter Matthau. He has the most enormous feet.
Adam and I are the most happy. We are also the most tired. So I’m going to do my best to keep up with blog posts. But, for right now, I can’t promise much more than “Hey, I got peed on. Bye.” I do plan on making some posts about my postpartum recovery in the hospital, which was full of a lot of stuff I wasn’t expecting (neither was my butt). Plus, a post or two on breastfeeding, and the battle we have had with it, and a nursery post. I’ll try to get them out sooner, rather than later.
Before I go, I just want to say what an amazing partner Adam has been in all of this. He has taken care of me during a much more difficult recovery than we anticipated. He is king of the diapers. He keeps me fed and does what he can to make my life easier, and I couldn’t adequately express how much I appreciate and love him if I tried. He’s been a phenomenal husband, and is already the absolute best father I could have hoped to give to August.
Thanks again for hanging in there, folks. My readers are the sweetest, and the skinniest and the prettiest and have the best hair.