The birth of my son was a long road that taught me you don’t know anything until you’ve gone through it.
The plan was pretty simple: An all natural birth plan where I did everything drug free.
The doctor said to stay at home until my contractions got to be about 3 minutes apart to keep from the temptation of the epidural and then push until he’s out. See? Simple.
So the night of July 5th hit. I couldn’t go to sleep that night so I stayed up watching TV. Family Guy, to be exact, because we had exhausted our TV shows and this was our in-between show we went to until something else seemed interesting again.
Then, a very slight pain started and I did my little breathing exercise I read to do. 5 minutes later, more pain. 4 minutes later, more pain. 10 minutes later, more pain. After 45 minutes of tracking these sporadic, but very REAL pains, it was time to wake up Ian. Together we sat and waited for the next pain. Of course with our millennial brains we found an app to track the contractions and about an hour later, when they were 3 minutes apart, it was time to go.
Two thoughts went through my brain on the way to the hospital. The first being, “Wow! This is happening so fast!” and the second (after Ian told me that the doctor sounded grumpy on the phone) was, “I am going to tell off this doctor so fast when I get to the hospital. HE’S mad?? HE’S grumpy? I’m sorry Mr. Doctor Sir. I’m sorry my child didn’t decide to come right after your lunch break tomorrow afternoon. That must REALLY suck for YOU.”
So there we are, at the hospital. Contractions are coming strong and fast. I was SURE my boy would be here in the next 3-4 hours. So we got settled in the room. They did their checks, they gave me the only food I could eat (a not so great juice box thing), and we waited. My contractions continued to come in, off the charts, every 3 minutes.
By hour 4 of labor, I couldn’t walk anymore. I was screaming at every contraction. I was tired. I was only 4 centimeters. I got the pain meds. I threw up. The nurses got mad at me for throwing up in the trash can and not the bag hiding behind my pillows that no one told me about until after I threw up. I did not care.
At this point I figured out that while the pain meds helped me sleep for 2-3 minutes between contractions they no, absolutely do not help with the actual pain from the contractions. So still, every 2-3 minutes I’d feel the contractions coming, I’d start screaming, and after 10 minutes of screaming I’d get to sleep for 2-3 minutes. The hours go by, the centimeter number barely goes up and my water stays very much intact.
Here we are. Hour 10 of basically unmedicated contractions. The nurses came in. They said I was 6 centimeters (only 3 centimeters more than I was when I started my contractions). I think to myself, “I seriously have 4 more centimeters to go? What have we been doing the last ten hours?? If I feel one more contraction I am going to die.”
So I got the epidural.
The next nurse to come in, I asked if it was too late and she said no and that was the happiest I will maybe ever be. The pain was about to end!
After the epidural, things were great! I was smiling, I slept, and 4 hours later the doctor came to check on me and said in 30 minutes, it was time to push. That’s probably the most nervous I’d ever been. Not only did I not fully remember what you were suppose to do to get the baby out, I also didn’t really know what to do when the baby got there. All of the things I never looked into, all of the pins I never clicked on with lists that may have been helpful, they all flooded my brain. Ian and I sat in silence for the next 30 minutes. The 30 minutes that felt the shortest and the longest that 30 minutes would ever feel in my life. Then, everyone came in, got all set up and it was time to go.
Delivery was actually fun! Don’t get me wrong, it was really hard. Pushing is no joke. But I didn’t feel a thing and we were all joking around. Some nurse brought in my lunch in the middle of my pushing because apparently their lunch delivery schedule stops for no birth.
Within 30 minutes, at 1 o’ clock pm on the dot, came Oliver Wayne.
He was grey, that was weird. He didn’t cry, that was also weird. But I knew he was fine.
He looked at me, they laid him on me and I had no idea what to say. I was tired, the pain was gone and here was this baby I knew nothing about sitting on me. The baby I was looking forward to spending a whole hour with, but he never cried so they took him away. Ian cut the chord and they took him away to make sure the baby who never cried was okay. He, of course, was fine. He was just taking it all in.
To be honest, I never felt that wave of bonding connection everyone talks about. I knew he was mine, he knew I was his and that was that. I take care of him because I have to and because I want to. We belong to each other and that’s that. We’re not an emotional bunch, us Jones. We feel what we know is right and what we know we should feel. Our love is practical and our love is real. Sometimes we really feel it and sometimes it’s just something we know we have to do, but it’s always there and that will never change.