Friday, August 5, 2011

The Story I've Never Told

Three years ago, right around this time of night, my water broke.
I couldn't believe it-mostly because it was two weeks before my due date, but also because I totally thought contractions would come first and then they would probably have to break my water later once I was at the hospital. My first thought was-I was about eight hours off from my water breaking somewhere in public-Target or something!
My husband (then fiancee), mother, and I called my doctor who told us to get to the hospital. Of course, once I was there my water broke more-I had to hold a GIANT pad between my legs while going up the elevator, and I still felt like I was getting stuff all over the floor.
Long story short...I was only having mild contractions and the G baby was not ready to come out any time soon. I still have no idea why my water broke. But apparently, once it does the baby cannot stay in there very long due to the fact that they don't have any placental fluid left to live in. Which is a big bummer for me, because it meant that almost as soon as I got to the hospital my plans for a natural birth went out the window, as they started me on Pitocin (sp?) to speed up my contractions.
That was pretty much the beginning of the end. Sure enough, the contractions started coming on very strongly and of course-they HURT! I was still hoping to go as natural as possible and declined an epidural. I had probably about 10 hours of intense contractions but wasn't really dilating at all. The last thing that I remember really clearly was laying in the hospital bed and watching the contraction monitor and breathing through one of the peaks...when I felt a huge warm rush well...below. It almost felt like my water broke again, but since it had been over 10 hours since it had I thought that couldn't be right.
I started feeling panicky. And weak. I wanted to see what was going on down there so I asked the nurse if I could use the bathroom that was in my room. She wanted to check to see how dilated I was first, and when she lifted up my sheet to do so she quickly put it down.
"Am I bleeding?" I asked, and suddenly I knew that's what it was.
I don't remember her answer, or much after that. I know that my doctor was called in before too long and I remember realizing that as someone who passes out at the sight of needles my worst fear was coming true-I was going to have a c-section.
I remember my doctor briskly leaving the room and me frantically telling my mother "they're going to make me have a c-section. They're going to make me have a c-section."
Then I realized how weak I felt and how tired I was. I don't really know how much blood I had lost, but I know that I just wanted to lay back and close my eyes-I was shivering.
Within fifteen minutes of my doctor first checking me out-I was in the E.R. I had had a placental eruption and they gave me an emergency C-section.
At 1:07 on August 6, 2008, my son was born.
Overall, the experience was terrifying, exciting, humbling, and made me acutely aware of how inexperienced and unequipped I am.
Nothing went the way I had planned.
It's a good thing it went the way it did though, because it prepared me for the ice-cold shock of parenthood.
Through all the mommy blogs, I see so much sharing of success, and hope, and joy. You all make it look so effortless.
But what of the crushing heartbreak when you realize you will always come short of being the perfect parent? The humility when you realize you were so tired that you actually slept through the little cries over the baby monitor and have no idea how long your little one has been crying for?
The secret shame when sleep deprivation makes you feel hopeless and alone?
The terror that first time that your baby chokes on a piece of cracker in his high chair, no matter how short time it be until he comically spits it out on his tray and resumes his eating as if nothing happened?
The gnawing and unending certainty when it comes to discipline.

I was thrown into parenthood in an unexpected, chaotic, and unnerving way.
But aren't we all?
How do we even survive it?
                                                      Oh...that's how. The immediate bond.
                                                                 The fuzzy little heads...
                                                               The chubby little arms...
                                   They way they make your family complete...
                                            The beautiful way your child lives to try new things...
        because when they lay their head on your chest, you know they think it's the safest place in the world....
          Because the way they open their eyes wide and take everything in makes you see things differently too
                                     ...and because they make you cherish love in a way you didn't know how before

   and when they really laugh, it makes you laugh too...
                 ...they make the mountains worth climbing, and this world worth exploring
                        And really...they make you want to plunge into that water, even if it's ice-cold.

Happy birthday to my G baby. It's been three terrifying years, but I'd always, always do it again. I love you.

Tickled Pink at 504 Main


Christa said...

wow thats so scary. One of my best friends had a very similar delivery but when they did the emergency C-section the cut her bladder! so scary especially for a first time mama! its amazing how us women get through such tramatizing times lol. thanks for sharing :) this was beautiful (except for the scary stuff :S)

Michelle said...

What a beautiful story. Yes, terrifying but at the same time, childbirth is always a beautiful story. No matter how it is done.

Jaimee said...

I'm sorry for the traumatic aspects of little G's arrival. I had a hemorrhage right after my 2nd was born and that was terrifying. I can only imagine how scary an abruption must have been! It's ok to grieve the birth experience you feel you lost out on...maybe you will still have that experience someday. Regardless, this is still a beautiful post about motherhood <3 Happy birthday to your little man!