How To Horrify A Mom-to-be

I was reading this at InsideMotherhood.com and thought it would be a great opportunity to scare the crap out of enlighten Margaret Sally about giving birth. My labors were no where near as interesting as delivering in a Sesame Place restroom , but what's the fun of going through all of that if you can't make a first-time-Mom-to-be have a couple of nightmares?

If you don't feel like hearing the boring details of my deliveries, visit Cracked.com to find out the 6 Terrifying Things They Don't Tell You About Childbirth. Men have it SOOOOOO easy!!!

Birth Story #1-

Matthew was born in 1998. He was supposed to be born on January 20th, but decided to make us wait another 9 days. The Dr. was sure I was waiting for a big snow storm to go into labor. That's what I figured, too.

I went into labor on a Tuesday night just after going to bed. I let Mike sleep because the contractions weren't very strong and they were like 20 minutes apart. By 5:30 AM, they were up to about 5 minutes apart- very regular, but still not strong. He called off work and we walked around town to get things moving a bit. By 9 AM Wednesday, I was at 2 minutes apart and feeling fine, so we called the Dr. He said to go get checked out at the hospital.

The nurses, God bless them, did absolutely nothing to help me out. They hooked me up to a monitor to check the baby, checked to see if I was dilated and made me walk the halls. Mike and my Mom got to join in that fun as well. That was the routine for the next 15 hours or so mixed in with a little pitocin and an epidural which got turned off WAY too soon.

And may I just take a moment to tell you what a joy it is to have every person in a ten mile radius who can find a pair of scrubs come in and shove their arm inside you clear up to their elbow? Don't worry, though, you get to pay them back by making a "mess" while pushing and they have to clean it up for you. :o)

This is where the Doc asked if I wanted a mirror positioned so I could watch the baby come out. WHY WOULD I WANT TO SEE THAT? I just wanted that kid out so I could hold him! GET IT OUT!!!!!!

Very, very, very long story short, after puking up the three meals I ate while in labor, Matthew was born on Thursday (remember I went into labor on TUESDAY?) around 5 AM with the help of the vacuum which is a little cup-like-thing with a handle on the end that suctions to the top of the baby's head so they can grab the handle and, in essence- YANK THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF IT TO GET THE BABY OUT. I swear they had a human tug-of-war chain pulling behind the Dr. made up of candy stripers and nurses and whoever else they could find. Oh, I think there was a janitor, too.

Matthew was a tiny, skinny baby just over 7 Lbs. and about 19 inches long. He was the first baby I'd ever seen that didn't have an ounce of baby fat or chub on him. Ten years later, he still doesn't. Curse the male metabolism!!!

BTW- by that time, my epidural had long worn off and I had to make them stop stitching up my episiotomy to give me a little Novocaine first. That is one place you definitely DON'T want to feel a needle!!!

Birth Story #2

Steven's birth was a totally different experience. Steven's due date was up in the air from the get-go. We'd been trying to get pregnant for over a year. When I had my ultrasound, they sent me for another one to get some more measurements and pinpoint my due date. They weren't sure whether I was just further along than they thought or if he was just a big baby. The second ultrasound found me to be further along and my due date was moved from June 4th to May 21st.

Both of those dates came and went. I had 3 stress tests within about 2 weeks to make sure he was still doing fine and wasn't under stress. They told me he was fine and that he would be around the same size that Matthew was when he was born.

Then, Mike's Papa John passed away. I went into labor at the calling hours. We stayed the entire time and even went to the church so Mike could help set up chairs and tables for the dinner after the funeral the next day. Matthew's labor had taught us not to go rushing to the hospital or you'll end up walking forty thousand miles around the same boring hallways.

We got home and I sat up in the living room so Mike could get some sleep- which he couldn't anyways. By 12:30 AM, I thought it was time to get going. We called my Mom and took the bumpy way to the hospital to help things along.

Even though I had back labor the whole time (and what a JOY that is let me tell you), it was much more bearable than Matthew's. I pushed for about 90 minutes with nothing to show for it and they told me I needed to have a c-section. 20 minutes later, I was being lifted onto the operating table by everyone who had helped to pull Matthew out and I think they even pulled in the hospital receptionist for a little extra leverage.

Mike- who incidentally looked SO HOT in scrubs (Helloooo Doctor!)- gave me the play-by-play as they performed the c-section. I heard, "Whoa, whoa, whoa" and felt my body move on the table. Mike told me that they had to push the baby back in to remove the cord from around his neck. Thank God for c-sections because had I delivered naturally, he literally would have been strangled.

The next thing I heard was a nurse saying, "No wonder he didn't move when she pushed, look at that head!" I couldn't see him thanks to the screen, so here I am thinking my kid has some mushroom head or something until they brought him back from being weighed.

That's when I just about passed out due to the lack of oxygen. I couldn't even think right or speak because I couldn't breathe. The anesthesiologist asked if I was okay and I managed to squeak out that I was short of breath. He slapped an O2 mask on me quick as a whip and I got to hold Steven for .06 seconds before they whisked him away again. This is when they told me that he was kicking so much on the scale that it was bouncing all over and they'd just call his weight at 9 Lbs. even.

In recovery, they warned me before they wheeled him in. He was in an incubator because his temp had dropped slightly. In came what looked like a butterball wrapped in a blanket stuffed into a closed fish tank on wheels. The incubators are usually used for premature babies, but since he was three times the size of an average preemie, he took up the entire thing.

The worst part of the whole thing was afterwards, not being able to just stand up or sit down. It took at least 3 minutes to get from one to the other as I slowly adjusted to keep from ripping my stomach open again. I had gotten pretty used to the fact by the time I left the hospital, but no one ever warned me about my seatbelt and when I got in the car, the lap-portion of the seatbelt nearly popped my incision. BTW- they don't stitch you back up or even use staples anymore. They use steri-strips which are esentially tape. That's right, you get taped shut after c-sections!

Well, looks like my work here is done! Anyone else care to chime in?


Munchkins and Music said...

I remember when I was pregnant, labor stories use to scare the crap out of me! But, after my first delivery I realized that even if it is scary, you have drugs to numb your pain, or even knock you out if you want. So it's not so scary--unless you start dwelling on the what if's...

Stephanie said...

I don't share Kellen's story with any pregnant woman. I mean what pregnant woman wants to hear that she could labor for 28 hours, still have a C-section and end up with a baby life flighted to a neo-natal unit in a different hospital in a different city, and you can't see him for three days?

Everything turned out just fine, but it was quite the traumatic birthing experience. One I hope no one else has to endure.

Margaret said...


I'm kinda glad not due till christmas. Plenty of time for me to forget abgout these. :)