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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Childbirth Truths

I've been thinking about the birth of my girls, and yes, two of the best days of my life so far, goes without saying, but also two of the strangest days of my life. Since I was a little girl I KNEW I wanted to be a mom, I just didn't know exactly how it would feel to deliver them. You can read all about pregnancy /childbirth and typically what to expect, but until you have gone through it, you will never truly know.

I never had the pleasure of going into labour "naturally", both times I had the opportunity to have my body pumped with synthetic hormones to trick my girls into thinking that it was time to come out. There is this gel that was used for Emma, that was stuck up my unit, which was to make the uterus go into contractions. We waited for many hours for this action to take place and all that happened down there was an annoying sensation that my ovaries were on fire, and that I wanted to stick ice cubes up there to turn down the heat. Next came the hormones pumped through my veins. That brought on more action, and I was told do walk around the halls to help move things along.

With your first baby, things tend to be slower in the delivery department, your body hasn't done it before, it knows that it has to, but isn't too sure which way to shoot the baby out. There are many" techniques" that the nurses will give you to help open up your cervix and get it to dilate to the winning number of 10 cm. I did laps around the hospital, sat on an exercise ball and rolled around the room, nothing was making Emma come out any faster. So more hormones were given. That brought on contractions hard and fast, but still I would not dilate. I was in a lot of pain, but could not get the ever loving epidural until I was in the right "window" of opportunity. So instead they gave me "laughing gas". It made me laugh alright, at the idea that this stuff would take the "edge" off. It was making my visitors high more so than myself.

Finally I was ready for the epidural, (and if you are a woman that did this without this form of heaven -on- earth, you are my hero, a little on the Extreme Sports side, but still, my hero!), they brought the forms in for me to sign so I wouldn't try and sue them if the dude slipped and put me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I said," I promise I won't sue you, you are like my new best friend if you can make me comfortable." The best part was being told to hold still between contractions, (uh, right, I'll hold still but you have like 2 minutes to shove that huge needle into my spine and make my world a happy place for the duration of this miracle of birth.) He made my day in two deep breaths, my body was numb from my armpits down, I was peeing in a bag and finally giving my husband looks of "love" instead of "you are never touching me again".

I fell asleep for little catnaps of 20 minutes here and there and finally I was ready to push. And push, and push, and push, for 6 hours straight. The epidural had worn off and it was time for more, the Dude came back and did his wonderful job of making women in labour comfortable.( I bet he has like a gazillion "friends" on Facebook!) More pushing, pushing, pushing and nothing.

We had to call in more Doctors to help get her out, some complications presented itself, so another team of specialists were lining the room waiting for Emma. There must have been 10 or more strangers in the room all watching the action coming from the lower region of my body. And when you hear women tell you that once you've had a kid all modesty that you had, will be out the window; it's true. It was like Old MacDonald's Farm by the time she finally came out of my body. " With a snip, snip, here and forceps going there, here a push, there a pull, everywhere a scream heard! OHHHHHHHH, Old Mac Catharine had her first baby....E-I-E- OOUUUCCCHH!" We heard her cry and all was well, I was tired, so very tired and have been ever since. But it wasn't too bad since I went on to have Elise. (Although when it was time for Elise, I had the Epidural Dude ordered and ready to go by the time we parked the truck!)

This time, my husband did not help me out, as per mine and his request. ( Seems as though seeing how my "stuff" can morph itself from "pleasure zone" to "baby landing strip", didn't sit well with him.) So my sister "in-law", Teresa, was my coach. Corey was allowed in the room until it was push time.

Teresa was a great help, she put up with my complaining, my moaning, and my moments where I thought I was being funny while high on morphine. But really, I was being funny she just didn't get it until a couple of years later. I had seen the movie, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and while he is getting his chest waxed, through the pain he screams, "OHHHH KELLY CLARKSON!" So after a painful contraction I yelled the same! (She hadn't seen the movie nor did the nurse that was in the room, so "looks" were exchanged between the two of them and I was written off as high, not funny! )

Corey made the comment, "Why are you moaning so much you just had an epidural it should all be good." To which Teresa answered for me, "It's like you have to poop really bad and can't! You have to hold it in no matter how uncomfortable you are!"

"Oh." And that is when he made his exit. (smart!)

Once I was able to push Elise out, things went much smoother than with Emma, no snipping, no forceps just some long pushes and out she came. Tired again, but like I said before, I've been tired ever since.

After these precious little miracles are born, your body goes through some changes that will be "unknown" to you, let alone the people that surround and live with you. My hormone balance was so out of whack that I cried if Corey didn't say "hello" in the right tone, or I wanted to rip his nose off if he was breathing too loud while sleeping. Every minute was hit or miss with the tears or laughter or anger, but don't worry, you'll balance out in about 6 to 8 weeks! 

Through it all, of course I'm happy to have had them, but NO, we are not having more babies. With every sneeze, cough or jump, I am reminded of the "labour" I went through to bring these beautiful girls into the world, and I admire my stretch marks as trophies to a job well done. My body will never be the same nor will my life. Although, I am blessed to have healthy kids, and blessed that with each "time out" I give them, at the end of the day, I also get an "I love you Mommy." And that my friends was worth showing my "womanhood" to the world, and crying over spilled milk, or maybe it was the milk that engorged my breasts, due to pain or just how unbelievably HUGE they were! But that is a whole other chapter!

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