The final birth Tale – The Prince makes his long journey
I knew right away it would be a boy. No one had to tell me. Early pregnancy screenings indicated a possibility of Down Syndrome, but since I was having him no matter what, I declined the amniocentesis. Instead, I was referred by a friend to an OB/GYN who had founded a natural birthing center, as well as affiliated with a “renowned” facility. For certain, I thought, I would receive superior care.
I liked this Dr right away. For one, I love my gays, and this guy was flamboyant to say the least. It was all of 10 seconds into my first exam when he eyeballed my belly, and gasped, “Wow, you really got wrecked with the stretchmarks huh?” Good thing I had gotten over that 11 years earlier. Later while reviewing my records he lets out a “Yee-haaw!” I prop myself up on both elbows, wondering – what now!?!? “Gurrl, you have LOONG labors.” No kidding, really? I was hoping the third time would be the charm. Let’s just say it would turn out to be the do-all end-all.
Unlike with the girls, at age 31, I was no longer the petite Momma with the little bump wearing non-maternity clothes throughout. Nope, this time by 9 months pregnant I had gained 60 lbs, tipping the scales at 190, a certified heifer.
When my blood pressure skyrocketed, my Dr. suggested an induction. Remembering the evil Pitocin, I said “Uh no thanks, why don’t we let my son decide when he is ready to arrive, or at least give him a chance?” When I did mention how I could feel his head buzzing on my pelvis, yet still feel his rump tight under my breastbone the Dr. responded, “Oh, that’s because he is a 10 lb baby, maybe bigger.” Then he winked. Ok, I thought, the doctor is just kidding. Of course I knew they do NOT deliver 10 lb babies vaginally.
Off to bed I was sent to wait on my left side. Three weeks later, 3 days before my due date, contractions came on, and I mean strong. No problem, I thought, my body knows this now, baby number 3, I am in labor. Head to the doctor. Yep, you are 3 centimeters dilated. Directs me the Labor and Delivery floor and they hook me to the machines for a few hours. “Oh honey, your contractions are strong but you are not progressing.” Sent me home. These freakin’ contractions do not stop, but the next day, I go back to Maternity, oh only 2 more centimeters dilated. You are having what is called “prodromal labor.” I don’t care what it’s called, this shit hurts. Back home again.
By the third day of this, I am completely miserable, as I imagine my poor daughters are as I do all I do is moan, rock, and shower. Finally, I call mom, my savior, my coach. She takes me to her office. She and her partner work on me for a few hours doing massage and Reiki. We got it now for sure! These contractions are definitely working because I am in such intense pain. We drop the kids off with Grandad and head over to the hospital, to the ER this time, insisting I am IN labor.
Up in Maternity, the beyotches still refuse to admit me because I am still only 5 centimeters dilated but let my mother and I “hang out” in a room by ourselves. No vitals. No ice chips. No nothing. No nurse. Just the two finger check. Thanks ladies. They do suggest walking. So that’s what we do for three hours. My mother and I pump and stroll -hardcore- circling ’round the labor and delivery floor. Each time I pass the nurses station I make sure to glare.
Finally, after 3 days of prodromal labor, and hours of jogging, I collapse back in the “courtesy room” whaling to my mother that I cannot go on like this anymore. I am in agony. I am insulted. I cannot stand how I am being ignored here at this renowned facility. Oh, and guess what? My doctor has just left on vacation. My mother convinces a nurse to come have another look see. I am 7 centimeters dilated. It is not until then, they finally decide to treat me like a real maternity patient and give me a labor and delivery room.
Once they discover there is no dad, there is a rash of concern. Seriously? You have just noticed this now? Suddenly we go from zero to two nurses with clip-boards, asking questions and taking notes. Lots of them. They actually ask, Where is he? I roll my eyes. “Well if you MUST know, he is probably at the bar. Don’t worry, he will surely arrive later to admire his handiwork. He always does.” This really got them scribbling. Finally, after I said, “Truly ladies, I think we can carry on without him” they try to make up for the lack of attention. Give me the big room, get the hot-tub going -even hand me a rubber ducky. Of course by now my mom and I are both exhausted, and I am completely disgusted with the whole place.
After a few minutes in the hot-tub I recognize that transition phase coming on which I have coined the “puking phase” as it is where the pain is so severe it causes me to vomit non-stop. Yep, good times. Suddenly, I have an epiphany. I don’t want to be that au natural girl anymore. I hop out of the tub. “You know what?” I tell the nurse, “I want to try out an epidural.” She stares at me skeptically. I stare back. What?!? I’m sure this nurse sees rolly-polly, naked, pregnant women every day. Its seems like an eternity before the anesthesiologist comes down. Some whispering goes on between them (probably about the no baby daddy) and he actually agrees to give me one even though by now when they check me again I am 9 centimeters dilated. You heard that right. Now this is a definite no-go according to the books I’ve read, but I am NOT complaining.
With my first epidural ever, they break my water with that knitting needle thing they use (which by the way never EVER broke on it’s own with any of my deliveries), and with a complete stranger at the end of the bed (since, again, my Dr is on vacation) I deliver a strong, healthy, baby boy. He was whopping 10 lbs 1oz, and even after such a long journey, they place him right on my chest. I give him a quick once over, and I can tell right away he does not have any physical traits of Down Syndrome.
From the bed, with my BIG-little guy screaming loudly in my ear, I looked through my window to the heavens to thank God for him. I noticed how very calm I felt. Huh? Did I really get through this with no puking? No hee-hee hooing? No screaming? And guess what? After the epidural, NO pain! Wow, I wasn’t even worried about the 10,001 stitches and whatever else Dr. Stranger was working on down there. Wonder why I never tried this epidural stuff before?!? Oh well. Too bad there won’t be a fourth time.