Submitted by ChildFun Mama Cat
It was a dark and stormy night… it wasn’t but I’ve always wanted to start a story that way. In all honesty I can’t remember the weather the night I finally went into labor with my first child.
As any mother can tell you, being late delivering your first born is common, however when it’s you waiting for those first pangs of labor even one day is too long to wait. Little did I know what was in store for me at the end of my ‘ten day after my due date’ wait.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. (Talk about blatant plagiarism!) When my pregnancy began I was surprised, excited and scared . As a single mother I knew I would have to change my lifestyle completely but I felt I was ready for the trials of pregnancy- Boy was I wrong!
First there was morning sickness, which in my case should have been renamed “all day sickness”. For three long months , everything I ate, drank or thought about came back up. After that was finally over, my child decided to use my bladder as a trampoline at least ten times a day! Oh, and don’t forget the weight gain, 60 pounds in my case. And last but certainly not least came all the stupid comments and tummy patting from perfect strangers who for some reason felt that because I wore no wedding ring I had to listen to their tidbits of useless information. “Well you know finding a husband will be much harder now.” (As if that were my top priority.) And my all time favorite comment, ” You better hope it’s not twins”. (It wasn’t.)
Of course there were good times too, the first time I heard the heartbeat and knew there really was a baby in there, the first time I felt my baby move, when I found out I wasn’t having twins, and even the first time I put on a pair of maternity pants. Of course the thrill of maternity wear quickly wore off!
At the end of all this good and bad stuff was the biggest surprise of all- LABOR! My labor began as many do, in the middle of the night. When I felt the first pangs of labor, I quickly crawled into a warm bath to see if these really were contractions or just false labor. Why you may ask would a bath tell me this? I was told by a questionable source that if it was really labor your contractions would continue in a tub full of warm water, if they were false contractions the warm water would relax you enough that they would subside. It seemed to work for me as all previous “contractions” had disappeared in the tub, but these stuck around.
Now, almost every doctor will tell a laboring woman to stay home until the contractions are about five minutes apart- I must have missed that day. After three hours of contractions I called my labor coach to come get me to go to the hospital. One hour later, when I arrived , my contractions were about twenty minutes apart-nowhere near five! Twelve hours of labor in the hospital began with an enema and progressed steadily downhill from there.
After about six hours my Obstetrician finally put in an appearance, but as the Cubs were in the playoffs all I saw was his head before he rushed off to the doctors lounge to watch the game. Occasionally a nurse would pop in to inform me of how the Cubs were doing, usually followed by a dirty look from me.
After about eight hours of labor a nurse came in to shave me, I asked her to do my legs too but she declined. At the ten hour mark I began to get restless and went for a walk in the halls, not a good idea as I forgot my gown was open in the back.
At the twelve hour mark, ‘hard’ labor began and I began to chant, “I want to die, I want a Mountain Dew, and I want to go home, not necessarily in that order.” You see the hospital doesn’t allow you to eat or drink anything while in labor, not a bad idea except at this point I had been breathing through my mouth for about eight hours with nothing but an occasional spoonful of ice chips. I was thirsty, in pain and irritable as hell!
After fifteen and one-half hours the urge to push was finally upon me. The Dr., no doubt disappointed that the Cubs lost, came in to make the delivery. The delivery was mostly uneventful except of course for the episiotomy, you know, where in the midst of all the pain of labor/delivery they decide you’re not suffering enough so they cut you from your @#$^&*% to your %^&$* to “ease” your delivery. I don’t know about you but I could have lived without this experience.
At long last the Dr. placed my daughter on my stomach and proceeded to stitch up the gaping wound that was my episiotomy. As I took that first look at my child, my daughter, the source of all this pain and agony, all the doubts and questions, all the fear of not being a good enough parent, as I looked at this baby girl both beautiful and ugly I felt nothing but love. I knew right then that I would do whatever it took to give this precious baby the best of everything… but I would NEVER EVER do this again!