I thought I’d tell little Charlie’s birth story, if for no other reason than to have it written down. So if you don’t care, just move right on folks!
Last Wednesday morning, I woke up with this terrible pain. I just felt that it couldn’t be right, so even if I wasn’t in labor, I decided that my last day of work was the day before, instead of that day. I did go in and have lunch with the girls and clean out my cubicle…we are moving offices, so I won’t be returning to my stomping grounds, EVER.
Needless to say, nothing happened on Wednesday. Thursday, I got up and ran errands and just tried to ignore the ever-constant stomach-tightening pains that I was having. I made plans to go the next morning with my mother-in-law to the lake, and Workaholic made plans to stay home and finish up the house. You know what they say about best-laid plans…
I knew around 10pm that my back labor had started and we were going to go to the hospital that night. (For those of you who have never had back labor, let’s just say that it’s like have lower back pain. times 100. It actually reminds me of the time the heat went out in my car and I had to drive to school in the dead of winter, and I would get so cold that my whole body would convulse and end with my lower back spasming.) I can’t remember if I shared with Workaholic that I was in labor, as I knew we weren’t prepared for this child and was slightly in denial about it. By midnight, there was denying nothing and I woke up Workaholic and told him to call his mom to come over and watch Sam. As I did that, a contraction hit and I got on my knees on the bed and he started rubbing my back. And it felt soooo good. And we laid there on the bed, and he fell asleep and I thought, “Ah, going to the hospital doesn’t have to happen right now, I can rest here and labor a bit.” (I had so many people tell me to labor as long as possible at home. BTW...that's crap.)
Bad idea. My contractions had been coming between 5-6 minutes apart, and I was scared to go to the hospital for fear they send me home like they did last time. And then I had one 9 minutes from the previous one. And it was so bad I had to go throw up my spaghetti dinner. When I came out from the bathroom, Workaholic was on the phone with his mom.
On the 10 minute ride to the hospital, I had three contractions and another one or two while waiting to be brought upstairs. They take you into this “observation room”, where you strip and get checked. I had most of my clothes off before the nurse left the room (to give me my privacy while I stripped) and had already told her to call the anesthesiologist. Turns out I was at 3 ½!! Yay!! Now go call the anesthesiologist. When she informed me that she had to call the doctor first, I told her under no circumstances was it ever discussed me NOT getting my epidural as soon as possible. She promised to be firm and left. (next time that shit is totally in writing) This all happened around 2am.
You know how you have those times in your life that you swear you will never forget? 2-2:45am on August 13th is that time for me. And while the memory is already fading fast, I will forever see 2:35 on the clock in the hospital room. (by this time, I had been forced to WALK from the observation room to the labor/delivery room) It was at 2:35 that I asked AGAIN how long it would take the anesthesiologist to get there. I knew I had gone from 3 ½ to 6 in the short time I had been there, and I was, let’s just say, EXTREMELY concerned the doctor would get there and be all, “Oops, sorry, too late! You’ll have to do this on your own.”
The nurse promised that he should be there very shortly, and that he was the quickest of all Lord and Savior Doctors, as I was now thinking of them. And sure enough, around 2:45, in he walked, I sat up, had a contraction, and he got to work. And as I felt the cool something go in my back, it occurred to me that if I moved or he fucked up, I could be paralyzed for the rest of my life. I almost shit myself. And then he was done, and I lay down and waited. A long 10 minutes later, things were much, much better. The next hour is a blur, as I rested and contracted and felt as though I would poop myself every couple of minutes while I watched Workaholic sleep with his head against the wall. Poor guy, he tries to hard to be everywhere all at once and was just worn out. (Yes, that is me feeling sorry for my husband while I am in labor. Wait, I might not have felt sorry for him at the time, but I do remember not minding him sleeping.)
My water had broken at some point, and I decided I needed some help getting comfortable “down there” again, so I called the nurse. She came in, checked me, and was all, “Oh! You’re at a 9!” Umm….where’s the doctor?? I wasn’t getting my beloved Dr. Bow-Tie, but I was getting a guy I had heard of and knew he had a pretty good reputation. (Turns out, he was kind of a pretty boy too.) Which always helps when you are in labor and high on opiates. When he finally got there, hair a mess, I let him know of his stellar reputation and he just sort of nodded. Looking back, what was he supposed to say? “Yeah, I’ve heard I’m awesome too.” ?? (I guess I am lucky he got there at all, he said that his car was almost out of gas and he forgot his phone at home. Not very responsible, don’t you think?)
By this time, nurses had started to flood the room, and I made idle chit-chat with the nursery nurse who had been standing next to me for about 10 minutes waiting on Dr. Good Reputation. She was scared of moms in labor, and really just wanted to snatch the baby and take it back to the nursery. My main nurse, whose name I don’t remember, asked the doc if he wanted me to push, “Just to see how she does.” So I did, and the baby’s head damn well about came out!! Eeks!! This is all happening so fast!!
He rolled his chair over, and I pushed once more, and out came Charlie. Well, halfway. You see, the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice, so the doc looked at Workaholic and said, “I have to cut the cord.” Workaholic was like, “Yeah…whatever you have to do.” DUH!! So he did, and somewhere in this, muttered something about a “she”, and so I leaned forward, saw the parts for myself and said, “IT’S A GIRL!” No one seemed to care as they were too busy keeping my baby from choking herself to death.
But then she was released from my body’s grip (ew), and he held her up for me to see and the nurses whisked her away. Workaholic kept an eye on her while I got stitched up. (Yep, a stage 2 tear, again!) My whole labor, he had sort of just wandered around the room, not sure what to do because no one gave him any direction. Sam’s labor nurse, Peggy, was constantly telling him what to do, but we were with her a lot longer. Once Charlie was born, I made sure he took pictures, and he went back and forth from me to her. We were sort of in shock, it all happened so much faster than it did with Sam, and with much less fanfare. Looking back, I realize that Sam’s cord was causing issues in-utero, and so there were more people in and out and checking me and generally a lot more action.
We chilled out for a while, made a couple of phone calls, seeing as how it was 5am, we weren’t really comfortable with calling the world. I got some shit for not sending out a text when I had her, but in all honesty, I really was just enjoying attempting to feed my kid and getting to know her. Had I sent out a text, I probably would’ve been a lot busier with my phone. Facebook would broadcast it soon enough. My mom and Workaholic’s mom showed up and ooh’d and aah’d appropriately, and Samantha was starry-eyed when she got to meet her sister. She adores her…with an appropriate amount of jealousy. It’s OK, we’re working through it…poor little kid’s world has been turned upside down. (I guess Charlie’s has too…seeing as how she was head down for the longest time!)
Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of continuous work on the house, eat-sleep-poop cycle, and laundry. Why is it when you have a baby that laundry just multiplies?? Any-hoo…that’s the story. Quick, painful labor, followed by a short, painless delivery. Healthy, vibrant, chilled out little girl welcomed to the world. Welcome home, Charlotte Mae!!