A Personal Adventure Into Parenthood

Suck It Up Buttercup: Motivational Words To Live By August 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — maternalmusing @ 3:59 pm

I feel like I should mention, for those of you who have no idea what a contraction feels like…my best description is either the most severe menstrual cramps you’ve had in your life (for women) or a Charlie Horse muscle spasm all across your abdomen (for men). They are painful and kind of like a bad ninja…you can see them coming but there isn’t anything you can do about it! It builds like a wave and then slowly goes away. While you’re in the midst of one of these painful spasms you can’t talk and breathing becomes an issue, especially if like me, you hold your breath when in lots of pain. I swear if I’d heard the nurse…or Andrew…tell me to breathe one more time, bad things were going to go down in that Triage room. The Demerol didn’t work and after an hour of Nicole telling me to stick it out, they’d ease up, I finally cracked and asked for an Epidural for pain management purposes only…since I was still only at 1cm and baby Richardson had given no additional signs of showing up to join the party. Between contractions I was my usual lovely self, however things were starting to get a little hostile while I was in pain.

At around 1:30 am the anesthesiologist showed up with all of their wonderful pain relieving gadgets and proceeded to get themselves set up. The warnings they are required to read you about the epidural are scary but honestly I would have signed over my left arm for some relief… I remember hearing something about possible paralysis, etc etc and waved them off…mostly concerned about how fast we could get this process moving and how long it would take for the mediation to kick in. Nicole checked to make sure I was still at 1cm then had me dangle my legs over the side of the bed. This wasn’t easy….contractions make you want to curl into a little ball…not sit up straight like you’re in the principal’s office! I buried my face in a pillow and squeezed Nicole’s hands while the doctor inserted a giant needle into my spine. Did I mention that they have to insert it during a contraction? And that you have to remain absolutely still? Good times…

Nicole didn’t make me feel much better by telling me to essentially suck it up, she’d had women at 10cm dilated sit still through contractions to get their epidurals. I was convinced these women must have had super human pain tolerance and had no idea what it was like for us mere mortals.

Finally the needle was out, the epidural drip hooked up and I was allowed to lie back down and wait for blessed relief. The pain started to go very quickly but I still felt very odd. I’d been told by friends that epidurals relieve the pain but not the pressure of childbirth so when I still felt that pressure I thought nothing of it and just mentioned it to Nicole in passing. She got a strange look on her face, checked me out and proceeded with our most shocking announcement in a night that already wasn’t short on excitement. “You’re 10 cm! We’re going to the delivery room” Andrew and I looked at each other, I may have said some unladylike words in my shock, and we were on our way. I didn’t even have time to catch my breath before we were wheeled into a sparklingly clean delivery room and I was being rolled like a whale onto a new table, since the epidural robs you of the use of your legs. A second nurse and a doctor arrived and we were on to the next adventure! It was just after 2am…

** I’d like to blame the unattractiveness of this picture on water retention,bad lighting, or a stressed out, soon-to-be Daddy photographer, any of which I’m sure were likely. However the 60 lbs of baby weight are definitely a more accurate cause. When I said rolled on like a whale I wasn’t joking… **


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