When last I left off we were in the hospital, I couldn’t have any pain meds and the doctor had finally arrived.
Since Dr. Hurd was kind enough to show up there was now a doctor to help catch the baby they finally let me push. Apparently my pushing wasn’t good enough because the short, squat, square faced Dr. Hurd told me I wasn’t pushing hard enough. Apparently I could do better. As awful as not pushing is, pushing is kind of scary in and of itself. In quick succession you worry about tearing, you worry about how undignified this whole experience is, you worry about what seems to be squirting out of you (blood, guts and amniotic fluid), you worry about pooping (yes, pooping) cause that is awful and you worry about what on earth to do with the baby once you finally push it out.
Imagine being in intense pain and thinking “I can’t be a mom”, “What am I going to do with a baby?”, “Steven and I are way too fucked up to be parents”. It all goes through your head. I worried about all of that seemingly at once and then I couldn’t worry about anything because I needed to push again and this time I was bound and determined to only have to push as few times as possible because it hurts…pretty bad. That part is like a 9 on a universal pain scale. At one point, probably half an hour into pushing I asked the doctor how many more pushes (cause that’s helpful) and he said, maybe five. He made that number up. I knew he was making it up when he said it and I just didn’t care. I appreciated the fact that he humored me. I just kept thinking I can do that. I can get this kid out if I just push through the pain, quite literally. When you push it is the same muscles you use when you have to do Number 2. So that kind of sucks. Somewhere in this time period they attached a vacuum to the babies head because his heartbeat started to drop. I didn’t find out about the heartbeat until later but they did tell me about the vacuum.
Then something truly awful happened…The vacuum popped off of the babies head… the vacuum suction attached to my hairy babies head came off…and I tore. Ladies, you dont need me to explain the tearing if you have ever experienced it. If you haven’t I hope it stays that way. They quickly reattached the vacuum and I pushed a little more and then I felt the head come out, then the shoulders. The shoulders are as bad as the tearing. That was the two worst parts. The shoulders coming out is probably the most painful, if short lived experience of my life. But then the neatest thing happened. I heard a baby crying. My baby was crying, and not in me anymore and a real live human out in the world. I didn’t birth a still born baby which was my biggest fear (Thank you crazy pregnancy dreams). They put Carl up on my chest and another dream like image floated in front of me of Steven cutting his chord. And then they took little Carl away to check him and clean him and Steven stayed with him because that was our deal. He wasn’t supposed to let that kid out of his sight. When I was pregnant I had a paranoid fear that something would happen to my baby if Steven didn’t watch him every second while I was otherwise occupied.
While all this was going on I began to feel an odd tugging sensation, turns out that was Dr. Hurd tugging the placenta out by the umbilical chord. I realize this is graphic so feel free to skip this part but imagine for a minute this short, squat, square faced little man at the end of your hospital bed where you are still a bloody filthy mess tugging your babies umbilical chord which is attached to the placenta…which is still inside you. That was one of the oddest moment of my life. I helped him out by using a final push to push it on out. That was by far the easiest part. After a babies shoulders a squishy placenta is nothing. That is however when I found out about the tearing, which kind of sucked. There is no better way to put that and no one is ever happy about it. I tore a two…whatever that means and I had to have stitches which the ever helpful Dr. Hurd put in place before bee bopping off to wherever he went next. By this point I was being cleaned up and getting ready for the flow of visitors that were apparently right outside. I think I held Carl a few minutes before they came in. I did, because someone took this picture before everyone else got to hold him. I may have even tried to feed him. That I don’t remember.
I was told by Steven later that the few minutes I thought had passed were actually almost two hours. I did feed him. That is one thing my boy can do. He nurses like a champion. After our recovery period Faith came in, then Steven’s parents came in and then my mom and brother. It was a quick visit because by this point it was well into the morning. Remember I said I came in initially at 9pm to the hospital, well Carl was born at 12:53am or 12:54am depending upon who you ask. After all that fuss and muss they finally put us in a room. It was one of the nice ones with a suite attached. Carl had to be under the warmer for a little while but I soon got him back. He stayed with me in my hospital room most of the time except for when the pediatrician came to look in on him. I stayed in the hospital from Friday to Sunday and let me tell you that place makes you stir crazy after a while.
I’ve received a lot of positive comments which I have appreciated. I’ve enjoyed writing about my experience. I wrote most of this the week after he was born and this week I just went back and edited it. Everyone’s birth story is different and mine is very unique for a first baby. Seldom do people have such an short labor, especially with their first.. You can catch first three parts of the story here, here and here.
Have a wonderful day!