Hey mamas! We have another story in the birth story series and today we welcome Meg! I’m going to be honest, her story made me laugh!! I know it was painful because I had terrible back labor too, but her writing and humor through it all is great! Check it out below and make sure to stop by her site.
“I am dilated to almost to a 9!”
A lot of background commotion was on the other end including the voice of our three-year-old, Connor, and both of my parents but my husband remained silent.
“Would you like that super-sized, sir?”
“So yeah,” I heard him say. “We are gonna need that to go.”
Oh dear Lord, was that man ever in trouble.
It was my second birth story, and I now know that each labor/delivery story is as unique as the kid who was birthed from it. I have also noticed that our stories match the personalities of each child that I have now come to know and love.
Connor, now 9, is particularly concerned with how things should be. He follows the rules and does everything at his own pace with great effort—unless it is cleaning his room because then his arms are tired and he just can’t.
On September 9, 2006—the day before my due date—I woke up around 7am and I was pretty sure I was peeing my pants. A little dribble at nine months wasn’t too alarming, so I changed into a brand new pair of perfectly white undies and proceeded to start the day.
I figured water broke with a loud gush and usually in the middle of the grocery store or a really nice restaurant, but after I went through another pair of underwear, I Googled “what happens when your water breaks?”
Just to be safe.
I was surprised to read it can happen in a gush or by a little dribble—and as time went on the dribble was becoming more of a slow running faucet. I woke up my husband and we drove up the road about two miles to Hannibal Regional Hospital; a short trip during which I realized our lives were about to change forever. We left as a couple and would return as a family.
By 8am I was in a hospital bed with Pitocin running through an IV. While contractions tightened across the lower half of my belly, my progression was slow and frustrating; dilated only to a two in 3 hours. Pain tolerance is something I built up through suffering with kidney stones since 16 years old. For the first several hours, I sat in chair and breathed through contractions by myself—I don’t like to be touched when I am hurting so there was no back rubbing or cuddling with hubby as I labored; in between the pains Shawn did exactly what he knew I needed most—he made me laugh and he told me stories about our teenage days.
Around 3pm, I was no longer impressed with my ability to withstand pain. It had moved from bad to unbearable in my lower back, and I found myself infuriated with everyone even though I only vocalized that anger to Shawn. Apparently my brain has a file archived in it that is pulled to the surface of my memory at a certain level of pain.
“Remember that time I was sick and you took yourself to see There’s Something About Mary even though we both wanted to see it?”
“Uh…yeah I think that was like 1998,” my husband responded carefully. “I don’t think we were dating then.”
I screamed out as a contraction hit my lower back.
“Sorry!” he said with wide eyes. “I should have waited to rent it!”
Then they gave me a little thing called the epidural. My pain level went from full throttle to lying in bed peacefully sucking ice chips and watching Spongebob episodes.
The pain went away, but that wasn’t the problem. It was nearing evening and my progression was very slow. At 10pm, the on-call OBGYN Dr. Maple came to talk to me (my regular doctor was on a trip to Europe) because she was concerned I was only dilated only to a seven; if I didn’t progress soon we would move forward with a C section.
Really, I was just fine with a C section. I am not a planner, and that included birthing. Certainly there is nothing wrong with creating a birth plan, but I didn’t walk into the hospital with certain expectations of how labor and delivery would be. I just prayed for a healthy baby at the end of it all.
Suddenly, though, things got moving. By 11pm I was a 9 and at 11:30pm, Dr. Maple came in and turned down the lights, creating a Zen-like atmosphere as she told me to push. The pain was still blocked by the epidural and so the biggest challenge was to feel the urge to push enough to execute it. I concentrated on a picture of Jesus for my focal point, choosing that over Shawn’s face because I was pretty sure he would faint at some point during delivery (he didn’t by the way!).
At 12:01am, on his due date of September 10, 2006, Connor Eugene Duncan entered the world at 7lbs and 5 ounces; in his own time and exactly as it should have been.
Now, on the other hand, there is baby #2.
Logan, now 6, is a boy who creates his own rules. He rolls around in life like it is his own personal pig sty, he wears his clothes backwards and inside out, and everything is done in a hurry—except for cleaning his room. Arm exhaustion is an epidemic I tell you.
August 20, 2009, a week before my due date, Shawn and I walked into the maternity ward at Hannibal Regional Hospital for a scheduled induction. Due to gestational diabetes throughout my pregnancy which sometimes causes heavier babies and with Logan already weighing in at over 7lbs already, Dr. Bennet (my real OBGYN) decided to shorten my pregnancy by a week.
After they prepped me for Pitocin in a hospital lounging chair, I readied myself to hurt. Within two hours of fairly mild to somewhat strong pain, an epidural was suggested pretty soon into it. I was moving along more rapidly than last time, but we didn’t really understand what meant.
Again, I am not a planner and I didn’t create a birth plan, but this time I walked in with expectations of the same birth story as the last one—not purposefully, that was just the only other labor/delivery story I had experienced before. I expected a long wait and a long day.
And so did Shawn.
As I nodded off in the chair, he tip-toed out of the room to update family. About twenty minutes later, they moved me to the bed and Dr. Bennet told me to call Shawn in because we would soon be ready to push.
“He’s where?” a smile threatened his face as I hollered into the phone at my husband. “Tell him to hurry but no problem, we can turn down the Pitocin to add some time.”
Well, that’s what every laboring woman wants to hear. Let’s just make this thing last longer.
He walked in right at go-time, and there was no Zen this time. Dr. Bennet turned on the bright light with a quarter back stance as he stood ready to catch. With my epidural starting lose affect, my hips felt like they were breaking in half, and as Logan descended into the world, I was griping at his father for eating Big Macs.
On August 20, 2009 at 12:45pm, only three hours after we’d arrived, and a week before his du
e date, Logan William arrived. And I forgave his Daddy, because we’d all expected the whole thing to take a little longer; we just didn’t know Logan yet.
Connor later arrived and introduced himself to his brother in a perfect three-year voice. Logan took one look at him and screamed his head off.
And we lived happily ever after.