Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Go ahead and give me the epidural, NOW"

With our baby boy's first birthday right around the corner, and his first birthday party even sooner!!!!!!!!!!!! (seriously, I'm so excited, I have trouble falling asleep at night! Ok, to be fair, "trouble" to me equates to taking an extra 20 minutes to fall asleep. I sleep like the dead. But, I digress....), I've been thinking about what I was feeling one year ago, and what we were gearing up for one year ago.

Last night, Erin and I got to talking about our respective hospital staffs, pitocin, epidurals, labor...Ya know, the usual. It reminded me of talking to my mom when I was hard at work baking that blueberry-sized bebeh, (this phone call we could actually talk about the pregnancy. The first phone call after she found out? She may, or may not have, been an excited/light crying spectacle of a woman. Maybe.) and I remember saying "They should go ahead and give me the epidural now"

Oh, how I meant that. I'm not sure why people like to do this, but, when you're about to go through something they've already gone through, people like to make things sound awful. Have you ever noticed that? I mean, it only happens with, like, specific people, but still, who has this as a pastime?? Anyway, I had heard a few awful stories in my few weeks of being pregnant. Everyone I talked to ended up trucking through the snow, uphill, both ways, without shoes, in labor, while hitchhiking to get to their hospital. So, naturally, I thought if I can't numb myself from the mountain of unsolicited stories/"advice" I'll be getting from "the randoms" (This is my love-term for those who hear you're pregnant, and then dive into telling you all about them, their experience, and what you should do. When all you said was "Yes, I'll have fries with that"), why not numb the physical sensations?!

As I finally started showing, my mind started changing about a lot of things. I developed this "mama's intuition"; suddenly, I could tell, just by looking, who would be the Debbie Downer of pregnancy talk. I steered clear of them! But, my mind was also changing about how I'd handle labor. I no longer wanted to ask for an epidural as soon as I slipped into that hospital gown. I began looking at labor & delivery as an experience, rather than an ordeal. Even though there are some out there who didn't like hearing that I felt great during pregnancy, it was true. My body was capable of handling this, and I would let it. That's what it's built to do.

Thankfully, I had a great group of people around me, and the most supportive husband EVAH (love you, babe!). I had complete confidence in our plan. We had our favorite comedians downloaded to the laptop, Gary and I had practiced the breathing techniques, and we both knew I had hit crazytown when I said....."I want to go natural".

But, I did. I had worked out until 30 weeks, when they told me to stop. I believed my mind was strong enough to take me out of the pain, that I could breathe my way through. Gary supported me 100%. It was so on.

But, when, after 12 hours of pitocin contractions, I hadn't dilated past 2 or 3, I gave in and got the epidural. Oh, but let me tell you, it was an ordeal to make that decision! I quietly handled my contractions, held Gary's hand, squeaked out a laugh or two when the comedians were playing, but my body was getting tired. Pain wasn't the issue; it was the fact that my contractions were right on top of each other, so I got no rest. If I had been dilating, I would have went for it. But, really? I'm no masochist. I have no desire to sit in discomfort that long for no reason!

Gary assured me he was so proud of me (especially after I told him that, when he was home checking on the dogs, I heard a woman down the hall SCREAMING like she was being ripped in two. I thought "Awesome"), so I got all numbed-up. Oh, how I can still remember shedding tears over that decision.

Either way, we got one beautiful baby boy out of it, who's about to turn one!!

And, for your viewing pleasure, here's me, one year ago, at 33 weeks:
Isn't that Old Navy top adorable?! I wish I could wear it now, if it didn't look like a freakish circus tent.
Also? Old Navy, puhlease sponsor my next pregnancy.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I had the same experience. Everyone wanted to tell me their horrible labor and delivery story. I actually work to not do that to people!