The last time I woke up from my delicious drug-induced slumber, the room was very full of The Serious.
I was completely unable to care because my body was very full of The Tired.
When I got past the paranoia that this pregnancy wouldn't result in an actual baby (around 25 weeks), I decided that I would be one of those women who goes past her due date. I like to think that these women are running a Ritz Carlton type uterus, and I fancied myself to be running just that sort of operation.
I figured I would go two weeks past my due date, then be induced. I'm not positive where such delusions came from. Probably because I was a bit hot and bothered thinking about two extra weeks of full-pay short term disability before my due date.
As it turns out, though, I was actually running the Motel 6 type of uterus. Just the type of place where prostitutes work and drug deals happen, or where sleazy men take their mistresses on their lunch breaks. And the longer my pregnancy went, the more I believed that medical professionals were calling Child Protective Services to remove my baby as soon as possible because I was clearly unfit to gestate any longer.
Laying in my hospital bed (higher than Snoop Dog), I fully expected to wake up to find that I had been cut open. The mood in the room was downright depressing.
Much to my surprise, I woke up at 6:45 a.m. to find that I was not cut open. I was actually 10 centimeters dilated and ready to push. No C-Section. No Drama. Just game time.
Since I was ready to push close to 7, it was shift change time. Buh-bye weird nurse! Hello Jill!
Jill was my new nurse, and she Meant Business. Being that I am generally incapable of bullshit, I always appreciate someone who doesn't dick around. Especially around my Lady Business. I do not tolerate dicking around near my Lady Business.
By 7:30, Jill had me all ready to go, and said, "It is 7:30. We will have this baby by 8."
I had no choice but to comply. She Meant Business.
At around the same time, my epidural pump thingamajiggy ran out. I asked for more, naturally. Before it came, I started to feel my contractions and that was just totally not fun at all. You people who choose to have no drugs? YOU BE CRAZY.
Luckily, I still couldn't feel anything below the belly button, so my legs and Lady Business were blissfully numb. And eventually I pulled my tongue out of the anaesthesiologist's ear long enough for him to refill my pump, making my contractions barely noticeable.
Now right here is where I reveal how clueless I am: I didn't know that you waited for your contractions to push. I guess I just thought you pushed all willy nilly whenever you felt like it? And so while Jill was inspecting my Lady Business, I mentioned to Mark that I could feel a contraction a little bit. And Jill was all YOU HAVE TO PUSH ASSHOLE!
(She didn't call me an asshole. She could have, though. I get it. I am one usually.)
Pushing was easy for me. And I know that someone out there had a 10 pound baby and is having a very deep belly laugh over my ignorance. But I didn't think it was that big of a deal. Jill watched my contractions on the monitor, told me when to push, told me when to ease up or push harder. Mark stayed near my face and tried to avoid the sight of blood and guts.
Half way through pushing, Jill asked if I wanted to bring out the mirror. Something I had no interest in using. And for some reason I was possessed to say yes.
If you don't like to hear about poop, then you'll be happy to scroll on down a few paragraphs past the following picture and never think about my poop again. But if you read this blog, then I bet you enjoy poop stories. And I would never want to deprive you of any oversharing about my private parts or bodily fluids.
My Poop Story: Let Me Tell You It.
It took Jill a few minutes to wrangle the mirror out of the storage room and wheel it over.
The first few seconds? Kind of cool. I could see the head, and it had hair, and I was totally not phased by the sheer size of my ever lovin' vag. I was OK with that. My Lady Business - she is a resilient thing.
But then. THEN. I made the mistake of shifting my gaze about an inch lower.
I figured there would be poop involved. As long as I didn't have to clean it up, I didn't care. If Mark happened to see it? That was his problem. Whatever. I had bigger things to worry about - what to have for dinner, brushing my teeth, holding my child, checking my email. A little poop was close to the last thing I cared about.
I didn't consider the possibility of seeing the poop when I agreed to the mirror. And I've had three months to think about how to properly describe the horror of the reflection I saw in The Mirror of Doom.
You know how you had Play-Doh when you were little? And after you ate enough to be full of its salty goodness, you wanted to actually make stuff with it? And for Christmas or your birthday, you got one of those machines that made it into shapes? Like this:
Let's say you were to move the blue thing over a notch, so it was on the round part. Then, you squished out some brown Play-Doh. THEN, you took a knife, and cut the string of Play-Doh off? And then all that would be left was a wall of brown Play-Doh ready to be squished out?
It was like that. Except, instead of Play-Doh and a fun colorful accesory, it was my butt and poop. All nice and neatly wiped off by my good nursefriend Jill and ready to continue squishing out on the next push.
So about twenty seconds after I looked in the mirror, I said, "Yeaaahhh...I've seen enough."
By that time, the doctors were there, those lazy bastards. The nurses do all the work, and the doctors come in and steal all the delivery glory. I was informed that I needed one more good push to finish the job...
At 7:57 a.m., Olivia Audrey became real, and not just some alien in my abdomen. Jill was right - we had that baby by 8.
As soon as she came out, she SCREAMED. Wholly dissatisfied with her eviction from her cozy Motel 6 room I suspect. Both doctors said at the same time, "OH! She's tiny!" Then to Mark, "Do you want to cut the..." interrupted by a loud and clear "NO." That is a big negatory on the cutting the cord thing.
My memory is a little fuzzy at this point because things happened really fast...
I sat up and looked between my knees and could see little feet flying around.
I remember thinking that it felt really weird to be able to bend at the waist without having a baby in my throat.
Someone asked Mark if he was OK, but I didn't look at him to see what was happening because I just kept waiting to see the baby's face.
And I was really nervous to see the baby, afraid that I would hold her wrong, or I would say the wrong thing, or have the wrong reaction.
I cracked some jokes about something that I can't recall.
And then she was on my chest, staring straight into my eyes, and screaming. And I was all, "Oh hai..." and "You have your daddy's chin!" I checked out her fingers, and her feet, and I kissed her forehead on a place that looked clean.
It felt like a really big moment - like I knew that every single thing would be different forever - but I couldn't get my mind all around it. Even writing about it now, I can see it in my mind like a photograph. I think it is one of those images I will never ever forget. No other moment at the hosptial sticks out to me like that very first time I met her.
To say that I felt like a mom right then would be a lie. I didn't really feel like she was mine. Holding her felt totally foreign.
I thought she was the most beautiful, perfect baby I had ever seen. I was amazed by every move she made - she was so tiny and so adorable. I was happy to finally have her here.
But mostly I felt awkward - there were doctors and nurses constantly hovering and checking and doing their jobs but being a total pain in my ass. And then she had to go under the lights for jaundice, and we barely got to see her. And breastfeeding was NOT going well, and I had to pump with something that they must have borrowed from a local dairy farmer.
I don't think it really felt "right" until after those first few days at home. And once we started to get to know each other, then I started to feel like I couldn't remember my life at all before Olivia. And I didn't want to. And all the fertility treatments and pregnancy problems seemed really trivial.
To finish up the birth info: I did end up with a second degree Lady Business tear. I believe the doctors exact words were, "You have a second degree tear that goes up into your vagina. It's going to hurt." And it was weird because Dr. Captain Obvious had forgotten his cape. Mark said he happened to catch a glimpse of things when he walked over to see Olivia, and it looked like there was red paint everywhere.
It took a couple hours for my epi to completely go away. I was deathly afraid to poop, but it wasn't bad at all (Colace = my best friend, forevah). I bled like someone tried to kill me via the vagina, and having ice packs between my legs was completely satisfying. Pain pills were consumed like candy when offered. Overall, my recovery was pretty easy.
That's it. I'm sure I forgot some things, but that is Olivia's birth story for the most part. Now she is three months old and is ripping through her 0-3 month clothes like The Incredible Hulk.