I wanted to deliver naturally. It was my intention this time. I had too many friends praising the virtues of anesthesia-free birth. And, well, I wanted the post-delivery adrenaline surge. And a pain free recovery. And bragging rights.
That doesn't mean I did anything about it. Brad reminded me, in triage, that most people prepare for natural childbirth. They take a class. Choose a method. I told him I'd read a hypnobirthing book. Three years ago. I was going to be fine.
But I wasn't so much. Turns out I didn't remember anything.
Here's how it went (as always, read at your own risk. I will not be held responsible for trauma induced by reading):
- Induction. Castor oil. Yes. It tasted bad. Yes. It flushed my system. Yes. I am insane. But I really needed to deliver over labor day weekend. It was very important at the time. And very stupid. Not recommended.
- Water breaking. Apparently, caster oil is really excellent at making painful, consistent contractions. Not so good at actually doing anything. So in order to actually start dilation, my midwife grabbed a very long plastic crochet hook and broke my water.
- Massage. If it could be called that. Every two minutes (at the start of every contraction) Brad dug his thumbs into my back as hard as he could. At about midnight Brad started asking if maybe I wanted an epidural. He told me he was tired. I refrained from comment.
- Bath. They told me the bath would ease my back labor. I was desperate. I hadn't brought any bath appropriate clothing. But, you know, at that point I didn't really care. I got into the tub. Yelled "Thumbs!" (to cue Brad) every two minutes and groaned loudly.
- Medicine. After being in the tub for two hours with unbearable back labor, I begged for an epidural. I may or may not have been blubbering at the time. Too bad the nurse anesthetist and my midwife were in the middle of a c-section. So my nurse gave me a single dose of fentanyl. It was supposed to dull the pain until I could get an epidural. And it did. For two contractions. After that, all it successfully did was make me fall asleep between contractions. Which, in the tub, you know, was really awesome. Falling asleep made me drop my head and inhale water.
- Epidural [oh, just kidding.] They got me out of the tub to prep me for the epidural. Until I started pushing uncontrollably. And then I cried when they told me it was too late to get it.
- Pushing. Terrifying. Thought I might actually die there on the hospital bed. Also. There was lots of yelling. I think it was me.
- Post-adrenaline surge. Check. But not really fun. Just made me shake. I thought I might drop Weston when they handed him to me.
- Pain-free recovery. Um, no. In addition to my back being black and blue from Brad's massage, this recovery was significantly worse than my last.
- Bragging rights. Sort of screwed those up with the fentanyl. Which I would like to emphasize didn't seem to help. And also wore off before delivery. Yes. I am trying to preserve bragging rights anyway. Is it working?