Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day(s)

In honor of Labor Day, and having been inspired by Happy, I thought it would be fun (at the very least funny) to recap the most significant labor days to me...the birth stories of our babies. I'll try my best to keep it short (is that possible?) and sweet (except for the parts about vomit and hemorrhoids)!

First, there was Joe. Joe was due March 12, 2003. I was working as an Educational Interpreter and despite the fact that I swelled up like a balloon to the point that my shoes didn't fit and I had to get my wedding rings cut off my hand, my last day of work was March 11th. As far as pregnancies go, this one was not too bad. A little sciatica here, a little eczema there...those were my only complaints. We dutifully went to Lamaze classes and paid rapt attention, until one of the other preggos started stroking my hair and crying about how beautiful the video of natural birth was. I lost focus after that. Anywho, on the D day, many, many people called all day long to check to see if the bambino was on his or her way. Really? Did you think that I wouldn't call to let you know that I was in labor? I felt nothing...not a twitch or squeeze anywhere. I started to worry that I wouldn't recognize contractions when they started. I was wrong to worry. Around 11:00 that night, I was trying to go to bed while Jay was out doing ministry when the contractions started. I thought maybe I just had to go to the potty...but no, no. This was the real thing. Jay came home shortly after that and things moved pretty quickly (notice, I said things, not labor). We called the doctor, took showers, changed our minds about the baby's name, called Jay's mom (by now it was about 4:00 a.m., sorry Mom!) and zipped over to the hospital. A surly nurse wanted me to give her a number from 1 to 10 to represent how much pain I was in. Having never been in labor before, I said "I don't know, 6?" to which she said "I'm writing down 2." to which I replied "Why did you ask me then?" Thankfully her shift was over at 6 and a new nurse was with us for the rest of the time. Jay was engrossed in the movie Rudy while the contractions became more intense....he actually missed the one that lasted for 6 minutes because I couldn't talk to get his attention and Rudy was about to take the field. A nurse quickly came in after that to offer me the epidural. That whole process was weird and felt weird and the anesthesiologist was weird. Then the doctor came in to break my water and as I rolled over, my water broke all on its own. I swear the doctor never uttered a word, he just left looking annoyed still gripping his knitting needle. Nothing happened for a while...and by awhile, I mean hours. Finally, around 2:00 in the afternoon it was time to push. This is where things get a little hazy for me. I couldn't get the hang of pushing and was pretty sure the epidural was no longer working. As it turns out, the beeping that I thought was some demented background music was the epidural machine thingy indicating that it was out of whatever it uses as a numbing agent and of course there was no time to fix that little problem. When the nurse asked me to put on an oxygen mask, I thought that was standard procedure...I kept pushing until I had to stop to throw up. That was pretty awesome and not the least bit humiliating at all. I had experienced literally every bodily function in a very short amount of time. And if one could harvest hemorrhoids, I had a farm's worth. I slipped to some quiet place in my mind and heard nothing for the rest of the time. I would push, breath through the oxygen mask, push, breath....two hours later, Joseph Clarence Mitlo, Jr. was born. As I came out of my daze, I realized that the room was filled with people. The last I knew, it was me, Jay, the Doctor, the nurse and a stubborn there was about 8 or 9 extra bodies in the room that I never heard enter or speak and did not know why they were there. I was then told that Junior's heart beat kept dropping and they knew the cord was wrapped around his neck. The neo-natal team quickly swept him a way to check him over. Thankfully, he was perfectly fine. So, all in all it was just an added bonus to have an audience for the beautifully fluid filled show called child birth. Hearing his little cry made all the stitches (and there were a lot) and 16 hours of labor totally worth it......
I've decided to wait until tomorrow and the next day to continue the other stories...apparently, I cannot keep it short or sweet.


Brian said...

Ah, yes. I remember it like it was yesterday. Just for the record, I was not in that room. Mostly because I was probably scared of the baby

Happy said...

I love your story Rachel! So funny and not a gory detail spared...just what I like! I cannot believe a fellow preggers stroked your hair during lamaze...I would have not been able to concentrate either! Yikes!

So glad Joe was born healthy despite a grueling entrance into the world! Hope you got a yummy meal and some rest after that ordeal.

And I hope you wrote a letter to the epidural people stating your displeasure at the fact that it ran out...I mean, seriously!

Courtney said...

I'm not having kids. Ever ever ever. But Joe did turn out pretty cute...... But no, not ever.