The Birth Story

Typing with baby in one arm is going to be interesting & it will probably take about three years to finish this post one-handed, but here goes…

My due date (Thanksgiving day) came and went and there was no sign of my little turkey girl.

Okay, so I sort of thought I was going into labor that day and managed to turn my parents’ house upside down with excitement, but it turned out to be a false alarm (read: gas mixed with a little over-anxiousness).  I was incredibly disappointed, but everyone says that a due date is really just an estimate.  I know, I know… but that day I was not in the mood for all the “Madeline will come when she’s ready” comments that everyone was giving me.  I wanted her OUT and was willing to try anything to make it happen.

Let’s see, the wives tales I fell for were eating spicy food, eating chinese food, eating pineapple, eating Olive Garden’s soup/salad/breadsticks, going for loooooooong walks, doing squats (which actually sort of toned my thighs, haha), doing the thing married people do, and pretty much everything short of reaching up there and trying to pull her out myself.  Nothing worked and I was totally bummed out.  After reading about the horrors of castor oil and how it caused so many women to do the ONE thing I was absolutely terrified of (pooping on the delivery table), I swore I would never, EVER do it.  Seriously, my friends know how scared I was of that happening, and I wasn’t going to risk it.

Okay, so on Saturday the 29th, my family had a nice afternoon.  We went to see Four Christmases (hilarious) ate some Mexican, and went back to my parents’ house for a while.  Madeline was doing her usual painful kicking and rolling around in my belly and I just said, “Okay.  Castor oil.  Where do I get some?”  My mom said, “Umm… you know what that does, right?” and I didn’t even care.  Off to Walgreens I went.

An hour later I was standing in the kitchen, staring at the little bottle sitting on my counter and trying to muster up the courage to down it.  The stuff smelled DISGUSTING, oh my gosh.  I sent a few messages back and forth with Jimaie, who had told me a while ago that castor oil mixed with orange juice worked for her. I had all the details on how much to drink, what it does, and all that.  A few minutes later I was stirring up a nice big glass of globby oil with some orange juice and gagging it down.  Justin and I started up a movie and waited for the tummy rumbles to start.

Nothing.

I climbed into bed around midnight and was just so disappointed.  I mean, what the heck?  It had been 5 hours since I drank that SIIIIICK stuff (almost the full bottle, by the way…) and I hadn’t felt anything out of the ordinary.  I drifted off to sleep, angry at the world.

12:30am.  THAT didn’t take long.  Tummy rumbles galore… but nothing else.  I got up and sat on the couch with a book for a while, and the cramps in my stomach slowly got more and more intense.  I was convinced it was just gas, but when I started feeling them in my lower back, I knew something was up.  I laid on the floor in the living room until about 4:00 as these cramps came, still just waiting for #2 to kick in.  By that point Justin had been asleep for a few hours, all warm and snuggly in our big comfy bed, and I had had it.  Poor guy, he didn’t do anything, but the PAIN.  UGH.  I went in our room and woke him up.  I told him I wasn’t sure if it was gas or labor, but we needed to go to the hospital so I could get checked out.  NOW, man.

4:30am.  We were checked into the hospital and I had my gown on.  The cramps were still coming and going, about every 5 minutes, but the nurse said I was only dilated to a 2.  NOOOOOOO!!  All this pain and nothing was happening?!  You have to be kidding me.  The nurse came back at 5:00 and checked me again, and I was dilated to a 3.  They said I could stay, thankfully, but they weren’t all that sure this was the real thing until they checked me again a little while later and I was a 4.  JESUS LOVES ME.

7:00am.  Helloooo, Mr. Castor Oil!  Relief… sweet, sweet relief (in more ways than one, let me tell you).  One less thing to worry about!

8:30am.  Family starts to trickle in.  The contractions, which by this point I was sure were real, were absolutely AWFUL!  Girls, some of you are wanting babies… please please pleaaase take my advice: EPIDURAL.  Don’t try to be a hero.  Seriously.  The doctor who was on call was sort of a hippie (no offense to anyone who has been a stud and given birth without one, but she really was) and was guilt-tripping me when I told her I wanted one.  After a bit of fake-crying and some pleading, I got my way, but she was on my nerves, man.  Don’t tell me how much pain I can handle!

10:45am.  Epidural!  The needle wasn’t bad at all, especially in comparison the the contractions that were coming 2 minutes apart and making me want to rip my own face off.  It kicked in immediately, as did the loopiness (or so I’m told).  My nurse was taking my fingerprint a few minutes later, and I guess I said something about being wanted for murder.  I don’t know.

Noon.  Everyone left my room to go to the cafeteria for lunch.  They figured it was safe because I was about a 5.  It was nice to have a few minutes to get some sleep since I had been up for about 30 hours.  The nurse came in about 20 minutes later and checked me, and I was an 8.  Don’t know how that happened!  I called someone (my mom? Justin? I can’t remember…) and told them to come back soon…

1:30pm.  Fully dilated and ready to push.  I didn’t know how in the world I was going to feel anything with the epidural (I couldn’t even lift my own legs, they were so numb), but I was ready!

2:00-4:06pm. Pushing.  And lots of it.  I won’t give too many details, but I will say that there was a mirror.  I would advise against this.  Strongly.  Eww.

4:07pm.  Madeline’s little cone head popped out.  Then an arm, Michael Jackson style.  They put her on my belly and I cried.  I looked up at Justin and he had the sweetest expression I had ever seen.  We were both thinking the same thing — Parents!  And to a gorgeous little girl.

Her eyes were open from the start, and she looked right up at me.  As mushy and new mom-ish as this sounds, I knew my life would never be the same.

That mirror was still at the foot of my bed, and I caught a glimpse of myself holding my new baby.  I looked like complete crap, and for the first time, I didn’t care.

Okay, maybe a little.

They finished getting the baby and I all cleaned up and the — ugh — placenta delivered, and told me I didn’t need stitches.  SCORE!  Those close to me also know that tearing during delivery was a close second to pooping on the table, so that was good news.  How I was so lucky, I’ll never know.

The hospital stay was short and sweet.  We left the next day around 1:00pm and drove — very slooooowly — home, with me in the back seat, holding her head steady the whole way, haha.

The past week has been a whirlwind of visitors, poopy diapers, painfully massive mama boobies, and a whole lot of sweet-smelling baby.  Our Madeline is a week old, and getting sweeter and more adorable all the time.

I just love this girl.