Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I Am Always Ever So Polite

Hey! I finally got around to recording (my version) of the birthin' of my son! (If The Hub and Lovely Lisa have more to add hopefully they'll pop it into the comments.) Warning! This entry could be considered graphic and or yucky by some! Please skip it if goo and ooze creep you out!

Saturday, June 24th. I woke up at 6:30 am with a slight crampy feeling low in my belly. I visited the little girls room and discovered some "spotting". Hooray, something is happening! It is pretty early so I didn't wake everyone right away. The sun is just up and I look out on the back yard to see an adorable fuzzy bunny hopping around. Alright enough shuffling about, time to call the midwife and let her know something may be going on. Both The Hub and Lovely Lisa hear me talking to the midwife and all of a sudden everyone is up and in action. I am told to start timing contractions, and I sit at the dining table to record times and read blogs while Lovely Lisa takes a quick shower.

So the first contraction I have written down is 6:46. Then there's one five minutes later. And another five minutes after that, and again and again. I'm baffled. I keep thinking that this must be that irregular period before they settle into a pattern and that the next ones will be 10 minutes apart, right? They couldn't be just five minutes apart already, could they? They still aren't too strong, so I don't have to do any funky breathing or meditation.

Lisa gets out of the shower and is dismayed to find that I haven't made myself any breakfast. She sets about to make a smoothie, and asks me to come in and show her where the blender is. I make it to the kitchen, but then have to sit right back down because a strong contraction hits. I may have put my head on the table and started moaning. Or maybe I just wanted to.

Next thing I know I'm in a big rush to get to the bathroom, I have GOT TO GO NOW! I'm sitting there emptying my entire digestive tract in 3 seconds flat when I get hit by a tidal wave of nausea. By now The Hub is somehow in the picture, and I'm asking for a bucket. He gets a panicked look in his eye and I can tell he's not sure where one is. So I start bellowing "spaghetti pot, spaghetti pot" at the top of my lungs to be sure that he'll hear me. Lisa is there in the bathroom with me (bless her soul) making sure I don't fall off the toilet. At this point I've gotten myself fairly comfortable and am leaning over resting my head and arms on the cool comforting sink to my right. Pretty sight I'm sure. Ends up that the nausea passes and I don't need to ralph into the spaghetti pot. Thank heavens. (PS wanna come over for spaghetti sometime?!)

Lisa gets me cleaned and dressed and we try to head out of the bathroom. We make it about 7 feet, to the bed in the master bedroom, and I collapse with another contraction. This one is not comfortable. I think I freaked out poor Lisa, I am moaning, and sort of thrashing. It does not feel like I should be laying down on my side. Or laying down at all. There is another minor problem with the bed. We haven't made it yet. Meaning it still has my favorite sheets and my grandmother's handmade quilt on it, and we haven't done the cotton sheet set-plastic sheet-second cotton sheet set thing that the midwife suggests.

I think I start bellowing that I want to be on the floor. Someone suggests putting me on the dog bed. I vehemently protest. Gross, hairy dog bed. Lee, I think, manages to get a nice cushy set up with the lambyskins and some towels on the floor between the bed and the closet. They get me down there and I politely request that someone get the absorbent blue plastic pads from the birthing kit too. (Okay, maybe I wasn't so polite...) I didn't install the laminate flooring to have it get full of birth yuck.

So here I am on hands and knees on our bedroom floor in the three foot by six foot space beside the bed. Labor has come on with a vengeance. I am trying to make all of those low "O" sounds that are recommended as being so helpful, but I think I end up sounding like a drunken Santa "Ho Ho Ho-ing" while throwing up in the Scotch Pines behind the little elves' workshop. Oh well. Lisa gently suggests that I try and stay "low" and I snap "I am low dammit!" The Hub gets close to my face to tell me that he loves me and that I'm doing great and I snap "Hot. Breath. Outta my face." Nice, huh?

We have all lost complete track of time by now, and I suggest (politely, I'm sure) that someone call the midwife posthaste! At this point I feel something coming down the birth canal. None of us can believe it is happening so fast. The Hub sees it. I reach down to touch what I think is the head, but it feels funny, sort of rubbery and slippery. Can't say anything because another contraction is coming. What we thought was the head proves itself to be the amniotic sac by inflating and exploding with a watery gush in Lisa and the Hub's faces. Wow. Yuck.

At some point here I (again, politely, I'm sure) requested the big physical therapy ball. It is really hard to hold the hands and knees position for over an hour. I am occasionally racked by the full body shakes. The poor Hub tried to help by holding my hips, but this directed my attention back to that area too much so I (politely) barked "NO TOUCH, NO TOUCH" at him. Poor Hub. With the PT ball I could rest my arms at least and collapse my chest onto it. Someone brought me a drink (with a bendy straw!) but somehow I misfired and ended up drooling apple juice all over the ball and then rolling my face in it. Dignified.

Here's the thing. I have always hated this stupid PT ball. It is big and ugly and rolls around on the ground picking up all sorts of dirt and pet hair. But during labor, LOVED IT. Wanted to marry it. Have its blue plasticky children. Moving on...

Lisa has now come around and is holding my hands and putting a cool washcloth on my shoulders. Did I mention that Lisa's superpower is that she always has cool hands? It could be 110 degrees out and she has cool soothing hands. Love her.

I want to warn them when a contraction is coming so I start tapping her wrist when I feel one building. She gets the picture after one or two contractions, thank heavens. At first I was trying to verbalize it, but then I found I didn't have enough air in my lungs to moan like an inebriated fictitious winter solstice persona, and thus resorted to the tapping. At some point I think I ask where the !@#$%ing midwife is, and Lovely Lisa assures me she's on her way. I then casually mention that I think the head will be out in one or two more contractions.

The Hub springs into action and rushes into the living room to get the squeezy bulb and placenta catcher. Quick thinkin' that Hub. Love him. And then I have one contraction where the baby's head shows, and then the little dude thinks twice and scoots all the way back up into the uterus, or so it feels. And then one or two huge Ho-Ho-ing contractions later the head is out. Along with the left hand. Supposedly he is already trying to breathe and wiggling his fingers. There is a brief rest here where I get to reach down and feel the baby's head and catch my breath. His little head is so velvety soft. (And a bit gooey, but nevermind that...) Then one or two more contractions and the baby is born. The Hub, now Poppa, catches the slippery critter deftly and we're done. He's so excited he can't help practically yelling out "its a boy!" I turn over and sit down and clasp my newborn son to my chest.

The midwife rushes in. The bed gets made, the baby and I get moved up into the bed. The midwife deals with all the yucky stuff, placenta, stitches and umbilical cord. Poppa can't stop grinning. Critter latches on with a vengeance. I get to shower. The end.


GiGi said...

Wow!!! I remember being very irritated by talking when in labor,too, especially when I was pushing and my husband, the midwife and labor nurse started some odd conversation about cats being ran over. It took all my willpower, but I did politely (I'm not being sarcastic)tell them to please refrain...a few minutes later I screamed at the midwife, "Haven't I done enough?? Can't you do something? What are we paying you for?!"

cheesefairy said...

What an intense labour! Well done!
My babe was born with his hand up beside his face, too...still nestles up to it when he's going to sleep.

Very cute picture down below with the cloth diaper.

Anonymous said...

Really good description for all of us...and you were very polite as you were raised...only perhaps not so intended result is that everyone named ralph will now go and change his name!! And although you were short of words during the birth of wonderful Jackson, you have certainly made up for it in this epistle. Thanks Suzie for this wonderful essay!
Love, Dad

Robert said...

I think I will make a new Macro for Saucer..

/yell Spaghetti Pot!!


Kathleen said...

i am laughing and crying my face off all at the same time.
lisa told me this story at the farmers' market and it made me so emotional then, too.
lisa rocks. you rock. your hub rocks. and jackson is the luckiest shortie in the world.

i love you, cous. muchly. xoxo

pauly vino said...

I also got the story at the farmers mkt from "lovely lisa", but it's great to read your first person experience. Now I look forward to Aunt Kathi's visitor's report. Thinking of you often. LOL.