Labor: Part 1

It ain't called "picnic" or "sunny day" or "banana split" for a reason. Labor ain't no joke. And it wants to be capitalized. I entered Labor on Saturday, 2/11/12, two days after my due date. It was not spontaneous though. The Good Doctor was on OB call on my due date of 2/9/12. As in, he was hyperventilating about me going into labor on the day he was responsible for putting epidurals into laboring women. He did 3 C-sections and 9 epidurals that day, fortunately, mine was not one of them. I didn't want to go into labor on 2/10/12, because my husband had zero sleep the night before and when you go into Labor, you want your husband to be at least half awake. Plus, you know that the following 2 months will be hell on your sleep schedule, so you need to start with as full a tank as possible.

So when we went to my last doctor's appointment on Friday 2/10, we said, let's shoot for a baby this weekend. Meaning: we've reached the due date, and since The Good Doctor is taking three weeks off for paternity leave, let's maximize our time with the baby. 

Our doctor was more than amenable to this plan, and since she was on call that weekend, we were all on the same page.

But before we went for any induction, we went for The Scraping. 

The Scraping is as freaky as it sounds.

It involves the doctor SCRAPING some sort of membrane that has something to do with the amniotic sac. While you are awake and non-sedated. It sends some women into labor within hours, for others, it does nothing. It also depends on how involved your doctor gets with The Scraping. I think my doctor could sense my wussiness so she didn't scrape too, too much. 

Saturday morning, we got the call to come into the hospital. We were going to be induced. By noon, I was hooked up to an IV dripping Pitocin into my system. Let the birthing games begin! 

At 2:30PM the doctor broke my water with a long plastic chopstick looking device. But no fortune cookie. And let me tell you, there's a lot more than 2 thimbles full of water in there. It feels like warm water gushing out of your hoo ha. And each time you move or adjust, more water comes. It's like Niagara Falls of the va-jay-jay, minus the raincoats. With Emmy, I had low fluids so I remember the doctor breaking my water, but I don't remember anything resembling Old Faithful.

The first F word came out of my mouth at 5:05PM. I know because I jotted it down in my ColorNote app on my phone. Accuracy is important when you blog. The nurses had dialed up my Pitocin to a 5 (we started at 2) and I was really feeling my contractions. They were long--around 2 minutes each--with just a 1-2 minute break in between.

Here's the thing about contractions. If you experienced just one, you'd be fine. Mine felt like a super strong cramp coursing across my mid-section, building and making its way around to my lower back, and then constricting down my poop chute. The Good Doctor hates when I say "poop chute" but that's how it felt. LIke when you have to go #2 but you can't and then a searing pain goes down your poop chute. Apparently he's not familiar with that poop chute pain so not only can he not relate, he thinks I'm making it up. I'm not. Poop chute pain is real, dude.

But the problem with contractions is that they're like potato chips. You can never have just one. They're continuous, like waves pounding the shore. You don't know exactly when they're going to hit, but they keep coming, and coming, and coming. And you never get a big break from the pain. So, unlike my friend who recently had her first daughter and told me she spent 18 hours in labor -- all natural "like the women in the villages in Vietnam," I caved and went for the epidural. Those village women have me whipped. Actually, those village women are probably like, "Um, you have a drug that can help you rest and not suffer for 18 hours? Sign me up! Ain't nobody trying to be a martyr here." Yes, I do believe that's how the village women spoke when I last met them in the rice paddies. #como se dice stereotype?

Right about then we discovered the free premium movie channel on the TV in my room. I thought watching Moneyball would help take my mind off the contractions. Brad Pitt has to be more powerful than Pitocin.  

He is not. Half an hour into Moneyball, I was getting pretty squirrelly with the pain. I couldn't focus on Brad, or the A's, or anything except for the waves of pain that kept coming. By 6:30PM, I was ready for the needle in my back, followed by the catheter with the sweet nectar of Bupivacaine and Fentanyl.

But exactly one hour later, the pins and needles arrived...