It’s funny how sometimes, everything touches you, and sometimes, it’s much more muted and muffled, and maybe mutated too. It doesn’t mean you can’t feel; it just means at that given time, you don’t have the tools it would take to feel it all, or even a fraction of it. It’s like how we only use a tiny percentage of our large brains – some of us more than others – and I think we can only handle our feels in palatable slices as well. I know I write about this often, but it’s like the wild, roaring YOU that you have in dreams. Maybe you don’t hold back, can’t hold back, and feel things in the deepest of sorrows and joys – both ends of the spectrums. They’re more alike.
It’s funny how, sometimes, everything touches you. Lucy attacked a wasp on the deck, maybe two days ago, or yesterday. I don’t know because every day bleeds into one in the postpartum pandemic haze. There are vivid skies and vivid encounters and very vivid fears and pains and joys, but maybe they haze together into a more muted and muffled, and maybe mutated, haze. And this is ok. So, the wasp. Last night I went outside late to gather Lucy back inside and saw the body of the wasp exactly where she had trapped and tormented it. And I felt sorrow for the wasp, the way I do for much cuter, fuzzier animals, like roadkill. I hate to see them laid out like that, with their lives stopped short. Sometimes I’m better equipped to handle it, and step over it.
And this seems as good of a time as ever to start a birth story, especially one with the most physical pain I’ve ever experienced, but not for any complications at all. It’s because of the lack of pain meds, and their wonderful ability to dull and mute and muffle and, yes, to mutate the overpowering physical sensations – to turn it into a happier haze. I’m at peace with having one birth with full pain meds, one birth with only two hours of blessed pain-free laboring, and one with no pain meds at all. The full range, if you will, of colors and sensations and being wide open, if only to accept the stabbing pains, as they make their way through. Everything ends.
Let’s go back to the very beginning, shall we? And yes, this video actually goes back to 2009 and then shoots ahead to the future, but that’s ok. You already know the end of this particular story.
I was more mum on here and in general about when the baby was coming. My goal was to get to 39 weeks, which is full-term. I didn’t want to go over 39/40 weeks, but I didn’t want 38 weeks because that’s when Des was born, and there were complications there. At first my midwives told me there was a tiny (very tiny) chance of stillbirth for people going over 39 weeks at my age. So I scheduled weekly ultrasounds (BPP – Biophysical Profiles) at 36, 37, 38, and 39 weeks. All went well (REALLY well) so the midwives said that those ultrasounds were telling them what we didn’t otherwise know about my health and the baby’s health. He got perfect scores every time on heart, stomach, kidneys, amniotic fluid, placenta aging, etc. It was time to make a decision.
At my 39th week appointment, I saw a midwife I had never met, but she doesn’t deliver babies, so even though I wouldn’t see her at the birth, I appreciated her help in making a decision. We set an induction date for the morning of October 13th – his due date. Cassidy’s birthday is April 13th, the half birthday of October 13th, and Des’ birthday is June 13th. So every male in my family would potentially have a 13th birthday! I didn’t need to schedule a nighttime induction for cervical ripening because I was already 1-2cm at that point. Although I have to tell you, I did NOT think I’d need that induction. I was 100% convinced I’d go into labor on my own at any minute.
So, I mean, not really ALL. I didn’t drink castor oil or use raspberry leaf tea under a full moon or anything. Pretty much anything else, though! We even got Eggplant Parmesan from Joe’s Pizza in town the night before the induction. I was probably in labor that night of the 12th but not enough to warrant a call to the hospital. So we got up before dawn, got dressed, and said hearty goodbyes to the kids and pets when Cassidy’s mom got there to watch the house. I was really disgustingly nervous. I can have superhero moments and moments of feeling weaker. This was entire days and weeks and months of feeling weaker, despite having a super healthy pregnancy and managing two jobs and co-parenting kids at home. I was about to do something intense!
And yet, I felt weak, but off we went. So we had a quiet, beautiful drive to the hospital, and giggled at a lawn Halloween decoration of a full skeleton looking into an antique baby carriage.
When I told the employee I was there for a 7:30am labor induction, she said, “COOL!” And so we were goofing off and being ourselves. Then we walked alone to the elevator, up to the birthing center, and hit the intercom to be buzzed in. It was all so quiet and normal. The nurse came out and took my temperature (the old-fashioned oral way) and we were led to the labor and delivery room. Then I got dressed in the hospital gown and hooked up to monitors, and the midwife on duty came in. Yay! It was Rachel, who was the one I saw most during my pregnancy. There was one I hadn’t even met at all during these strange COVID times. So Rachel checked me (4cm) and Rachel and my nurse, Merri, fretted over my heartrate and blood pressure being a bit high.
Although, please find me someone who DOESN’T get nervous at a labor induction at 7:30am, during COVID times and before a COVID test, AND, after a previous traumatic birth experience.
And then it was COVID testing time. Merri put on full PPE for this and seemed hesitant, which I later found out is because she hates giving COVID tests. That’s because they suck! People sometimes startle or freak out or grab her. I was still as anything, and it wasn’t that bad! It made my eyes water but that’s because it stings, and not because I was crying. Once the test was over, my heartrate and blood pressure went down, and once the test result was negative, I think we all calmed down. I was given the lowest dose of Pitocin and we started cruising. I was definitely having contractions that we could watch, and the baby was tolerating them beautifully.
To be continued.. until next Friday at the LATEST, but maybe before then. That post will have the labor/delivery conclusion and adorable photos galore. Until then, enjoy everything, and always!