Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Tomorrow is my bub’s birthday (I sometimes call him my bub, you know, when I like him), so this is a post in tribute to his BIRTH! Two years ago today, labor was beginning. I knew something was up, but I wasn’t quite sure if it was really starting or not. So I kept myself occupied and did a lot of scrapbooking that day.
That night after dinner, my husband and I watched a movie. I don’t remember which one. It wasn’t that good, which is a shame, because I rarely ever get to watch movies anymore! I do remember that as soon as it ended at about 9:00 pm, I looked at my husband and said, “I think it’s really starting.” The cramping was progressing and becoming regular.
I was too afraid of being turned away at the hospital, so I settled in for some early labor in bed. My husband fell right asleep. Fucker. Eventually, I could no longer read, and I was panting and timing my own contractions. I was annoyed by the snoring noises next to me. Little did I know at the time that those same snoring sounds would really piss me off as I sat up in the middle of the night breastfeeding. (When breastfeeding, every once in a while, I’d smack my husband with a pillow. He’d wake up confused and look at me, and all I would say was, “What?” and shrug my shoulders. The pain at my nipples at 2:00 am justified any physical violence for sleeping fuckers.) Around 3:00 am, I felt that my progress in labor was starting to slow or was at least stalled. I woke my husband up so he could clean out the tub for me. I wanted to take a bath to help speed up the regularity of the contractions. By the way, that was the last bath I have ever taken.
My husband woke up, cleaned the tub, and promptly went right back to sleep. Well, the bath did it. I was suddenly VERY ready to go to the hospital. The contractions were 3-5 minutes apart, and I could barely stand or walk. I told my husband, “We gotta go. NOW,” as I was doubled over the bed.
My. Husband. Got. Up. And. Got. In. The. Shower.
Now here is a moment I’ll never forget. After his shower, Richard went outside to get the car running, and I stood in the dark house alone for a moment. I looked around and knew that the next time I saw the house, EVERYTHING would be different. The gravity of that pushed down around me. I felt extremely emotional. I tried not to cry. I was very excited, but I was mostly SCARED. I looked at our cat and knew his world would also never be the same. And that was the last moment that I truly cared what the cat thought.
By the time we got to the hospital, I was having continuous contractions and could barely walk. The nurse waited for me by the door as I doubled over for a moment. I couldn’t stop crying! I wanted so badly to be brave. I wanted those nurses to think, “Atta girl! She’s a trooper!” But I wasn’t. I was scared shitless. I said to the nurse, “I don’t know why I’m crying.” She exclaimed, “Because you’re in pain!” Inside she was probably thinking, “Oh, god help us. We’ve got a cryer.”
Time seemed to fly by. It seemed like only a few minutes later they were taking me to a new room and giving me an epidural. Ahhhhh. Me like epidural. Highly recommended. It was 8:00 am. Hours had passed. The pain had been blinding and all-consuming. I didn’t even care what the fucker was doing. I had been in labor for eleven hours and I had fourteen more hours to go. But once I had that epidural, I didn’t care. It felt so good. I was finally able to SLEEP. I pretty much slept the day away.
That night, at eight centimeters dilation, my body became “stuck” there for a long time. This sucked because I stayed stuck in what is called “transition” for so long. My body shook uncontrollably and I started vomiting. I started to get scared again, but I was ready to push.
I pushed for two and a half hours. I tried to ignore my giant, swollen legs being held in the air by my husband and a nurse. Even in the throes of hard pushing, I was concerned with what my ankles looked like. They wheeled in a big mirror so that I could see my baby crowning. I guess this is supposed to inspire really, really good pushing, but it only confused me – “What the hell am I looking at?! Is that my ----?!” No, the mirror did nothing to make me feel better.
I remember the doctor saying, “He has blond hair, no, he has red hair.” I said, “Oh, my mom will be so happy” (she has red hair). I thought, “His name will be Parker. Not Dylan. We’re going with Parker.”
When Parker finally came out at 10:38 pm on March 10, 2008, I wanted a good look at him. I declared, “He’s perfect,” and then I just wanted to sleep! It was a huge relief that he looked absolutely perfect, but I remember feeling so TIRED. My arms were shaking. I could hardly hold him. I was in awe with how handsome he was, and he definitely looked all boy. Then they took him away to do what they do. I told my husband, “Be with him.” And I lay back while the doctor stitched me up.
The tiredness honestly surprised me. I was concerned. Shouldn’t I feel more than tired? Shouldn’t I be gushing tears of joy and be feeling the most intense happiness of my life? I was just plain exhausted. I was very critical of myself for this for the longest time. I worried that something was wrong with my mothering instincts. When you watch any movie or show about birth, the mother is smiling and crying and holding the baby and being held by her husband. I was too tired for emotion. “They” don’t really warn you of this, and that is why I thought something was wrong with me. Now I know that what I experienced was normal, and I shouldn’t have had such specific expectations of the experience. And it has no reflection on me as a mother or the love I have for my child. Of course I was damn tired! I had cried a million tears already, had 25 hours of labor under my belt and only spotty sleep for two days, and had been given a numbing epidural.
It was almost like – now you are a mother, now the worrying and self-doubt BEGINS! Boy, were my hormones raging. I realize that now, but at the time, I was so HARD ON MYSELF. Which is CRAP. Us mothers need to stop being so hard on ourselves.
I am sooo glad to be where I am now. I try not to be so hard on myself, and I am really enjoying this boy of mine. He is something else. As Grandma Lorenzen would say, “He’s full of the dickens!” And I love it. I’m so proud of his gregarious, bubbling personality. He makes me laugh everyday. Even when he’s a maniac. There’s always something that will bust me up or touch my heart. I may have felt a bit emotionless right after birth, but that didn’t last long!
Now my baby is going to be two years old tomorrow!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PARKER!
We’ve come a long way, baby. And there’s so much ahead. The Fucker and I love you so much. Okay, I’m sorry. I don’t need to call him the fucker any more. I love you, hunny. You are a dear father and husband. I LOVE MY BUBS!