March 7, 2012

This is so long overdue, but our little pirate, Rachel, was born on February 1, 2012 at 1:03 p.m., at a little over 7 lbs. The birth was actually pretty traumatic and painful for me, and the pain is still fresh, 6 weeks later. Here’s what happened:

I started to feel contractions the day before around 2 p.m., but they weren’t too bad, so I waited until about 4-5 p.m. to call the hospital (they were 5 minutes apart at that time). However, the hospital told me to call back when they were closer to 2-3 minutes. The contractions began to slow down as night approached, so I just rested and waited. I woke up around 2 a.m. in pain, but they were still somewhat bearable, so I decided to continue waiting by watching an episode of Millionaire Matchmaker (hardly the type of thing to prep oneself for birth but at least it got my mind off the pain!). Around 4 a.m., the contractions were getting really painful and I really wanted my epidural, so I called the hospital. They could tell by my panicked voice and my heavy breathing that it was time for me to come in, so I woke up the hubby, and off we went.

I got admitted around 5 a.m., and I immediately asked for my epidural, but they told me that the anesthesiologist was busy administering another epidural so I’d have to wait 30 minutes. Well, 30 minutes turned into an hour, and then 2 hours, and then finally, 3 hours later, he was available. By then, I was in excruciating pain. I was also really pissed because I had been ready for my epidural (and desperately needing it) since 5 a.m. Little did I know that it would just get worse. After they put in the epidural (which is pretty complicated and takes awhile, plus the epidural itself is PAINFUL, but still only a fraction of the pain from the contractions), the nurses kept telling me that I’d feel so much better in a few minutes. Well, that didn’t happen. I was still feeling everything, and not to sound dramatic, but I was so scared. Scared that I’d have to go natural, scared of having to endure another contraction without any relief, and I really didn’t think I was going to make it. During the epidural session, my mom was out of the room since we couldn’t fit everyone, so only my hubby was present for my panic session, and I pretty much traumatized him. I couldn’t look at anyone, I was in so much pain. At some point, they called another doctor in to try to figure out what was going on with my epidural. The doctor thought that I needed a stronger dose of the drugs because I was tall. I didn’t want to hear any explanations, I was like, JUST DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO. They finally gave me more of the anesthesia, and it kicked in. I felt a gazillion times better after things were numbed up. Needless to say, I was also much more pleasant after the epidural. Like for many women, it was the worst physical pain I’d ever felt in my life.

I just rested and waited to fully dilate so I could start pushing after that horrendous experience. The rest of the birth was smooth and even enjoyable. I was joking around with my mom and the hubby, and even ate some jello 10 minutes before I had to start pushing. I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t even want to start pushing. I was like, can I just stay like this for another day or so? I began pushing a little after noon, and Rachel came out really fast. I think God wanted to make up for my horrible epidural experience by allowing me an, dare I say, easy pushing experience. I was surprised when they plopped her purple, taro milk tea-colored body onto my belly. I thought, surely it’d take longer than an hour to push, since this was my first child. The doctors and nurses were all surprised at how easy and fast it took.

I stayed in the maternity ward to recover for the next 2 nights. The pain wasn’t that bad because I had some pretty good painkillers. But yes, there was a lot of blood, and using the bathroom was not pleasant. Also, I was nervous because I didn’t feel this immediate lovey dovey connection to the baby. I was also exhausted, so that probably had something to do with it. The baby, including all of the tasks involved in taking care of her, felt foreign. I felt super awkward changing her diaper or holding her. Overall, I think my head was just in a haze.

Anyways, not to scare anyone, but I still can’t fathom how people have natural births and how millions of women had babies that way for centuries. I’m still miffed at what happened with my epidural because I should have gotten it way earlier, which would have avoided all of the unpleasant pain. It wasn’t like I was trying to go natural, I knew I’d get the epidural. So next time, if there ever is a next time, I’m definitely getting to the hospital earlier and getting the epidural as soon as I can. Even if it means that labor will slow down, I’d rather have a long, tiring labor than an extremely painful one.

Anyways, I didn’t cover everything, but that pretty much sums up my birth story. Sorry, it’s definitely not a feel-good one!


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