Friday, November 23, 2012

The Ginger's (Un)Birth Story

8 years ago today, The Ginger was born. In the tradition of telling The Girl's story on her birthday, I definitely wanted to tell you all The Ginger's (un)birth story on his birthday. You won't want to miss this one- I couldn't make up this story if I tried.

Why unbirth?

Because on other mom blogs, the birthing stories are perfect- unicorns and fairies helped aid in a painless water birth (no epidural of course) where the child came out not even screaming, but singing a beautiful song, and the mom never even smeared her eyeliner, and 6 weeks later, not only had she lost all of the actual baby weight, but another 10 pounds on top of that.

Yeah, screw that. This is a real birth story, Tatted Mom style of course.

The Ginger's birth was scheduled. I was pretty miserable in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and we had gone past the original due date of the 18th, so the doctor scheduled me to be induced. If you read back with The Girl, I went into labor naturally with her, so I didn't think a pitocin-induced labor would be much different than a natural labor.

Holy crap, was I wrong...

We got to the hospital at 7 that morning, and by 9 I was hooked up to the machines, pitocin dripping into my veins. All was fine for the first few hours. I was told I couldn't eat anything, but Hubby snuck me Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and bites of a cheeseburger from Burger King. I sat back and watched the few channels the hospital room TV had, and waited for this hell that people kept telling me was associated with pitocin-induced labors.

We need to backtrack for just a second so I can let y'all know that The Ginger was born in England. Hubby was stationed in England at the time, and the hospital I was at was a very small one on the military base. But, to answer the next question I always get asked, yes, The Ginger has dual citizenship in both England and America until he turns 18, and then he has to decide what he'll be. To answer the next question I get asked, no, The Ginger does not have a British accent. We moved back to the states when he was about 9 months old. I find that question on the ridiculous side, but I get asked it.. a lot...

So, moving on. A few hours after starting the drip, I started feeling some pain. It wasn't unbearable, so Hubby stood by and held my hand, and we got through the contractions and picked up whatever conversation we were having before they started. The Girl, 2 1/2 at the time, was staying with a friend of ours, and we called every now and then to check up on her. No idea when little Rhiannon Grace would be in our arms, but we knew it would be soon.

Did you catch that? The name of our soon-to-be child... Rhiannon Grace? Yeah, the ultrasound tech at 20 weeks told me that we were having a girl. So did the doctor at 38 weeks when they had to do another ultrasound to make sure the baby was doing okay (I had had some complications)... girl, girl, girl. Stupid ultrasound tech and doctor. Just keep that part of the story in mind for later...

Thanks to Hubby, we have pictures of the pain I was in...
For me, a pitocin-induced labor went from pleasant to holy shit in about 2.5 seconds. I was handling the contractions just fine, the anesthesiologist had even come in and asked if I wanted my epidural yet, told me that I was at 4 centimeters dilated and could have one. Nope, I wanted to do this for as long as possible without drugs, and so far, everything was bearable. About 30 minutes after the anesthesiologist left, I wanted to pull Hubby's arm from its socket and use it as a chew toy. Out of nowhere the contractions started hurting like hell. I remember looking Hubby deep in his eyes and saying, "You better be fucking happy with 2 girls because I am NOT going through this a third time, do you understand me?" Yeah, shit just got real. I told Hubby to go get the anesthesiologist immediately- I needed my drugs.

The anesthesiologist came back in empty handed, and explained to me that the lady in the room next to me requested her epidural 15 minutes before me, so he had to go do hers first and then he'd come do mine. What woman in the next room? I was alone in this delivery section. Nope, she had gone into labor naturally an hour ago and came in because her water broke, he explained.

Fuck her. Seriously. I had been hooked up to machines for over 4 hours now, at the hospital for 6, and none of this was natural. I had done natural with The Girl- it wasn't anything compared to the hell I was in with pitocin. So, skip her and give me my drugs.

The doctor said no. Bastard.

Over an hour later, he came into my room with his cart, ready to give me my epidural. Over... an.. hour... later. By this time, I was shocked Hubby still had appendages.

The doctor started on my epidural, and as he inserted the tube... Oops! Hit my spine. That's okay, I had numbing stuff, so while I felt it, it didn't hurt too badly. Let's try this again... Oops! Hit my spine again. Third time's a charm, right? Yep... well, maybe. He set the tube, had me lay back, and said he'd check on me in 30 minutes. Little did I know that hitting my spine twice would cause back pain for me for the rest of my life. Thanks, doc.

30 minutes later he returned, and I was in tears. I was one of the 5% of women whose epidural only worked on half of their body, and when your left half is numb and your right side is not numb, you would think that you'd only be in 1/2 of the pain as with no epidural, right? WRONG! The pain from the left half goes and has a party with the pain on your right half, meaning half of your body is not in pain and half of your body is trying to kill you. So, the doc pulled the tube out, put it back in... Oops! Hit bone a third time. 5th time's a charm for this guy, apparently. He got the epidural set correctly and let me be.

At this point I was exhausted, so I told Hubby I was going to take a nap. As soon as those words exited my lips, the doctor came in with an entourage. Apparently there was a nursing school at the hospital that day, and he wanted to know if they could observe while he checked to see how dilated I was, and then I could get my much-needed nap. Sure, why not? Have everyone in the whole freaking hospital look at my hoo-ha, just let me get my damn nap.

As soon as the doctor leaned down to check me, with about 5 or 6 nursing students watching behind him, I felt a gush of water, and it wasn't clear. My water had broken, and when the doctor checked, he looked up at me and said, "Well, no nap for you. You're at 10 centimeters, it's time to push." Bullshit! I was only at 4 centimeters before the epidural. There's no WAY I was at 10 centimeters, and I just wanted a freaking nap. The doctor said the epidural relaxed me enough so my body could get to 10, and I needed to start pushing. While I spent a few minutes trying to explain to the doctor that I was in no hurry, that I wanted a nap, and that the kid would stay in there just fine, he told me that couldn't happen, that I needed to push. Fine, he won.

They set me up to start pushing, nurses at my sides, Hubby holding my hands. The nursing class had disappeared somewhere in the mix, and the doctor told me to push. When I got done with the first push, I told the nurses something was wrong- I could still feel the baby under my rib cage. Impossible, they told me. There was no way the baby was still under my rib cage, because she had dropped and was on her way out. But every push sent me into some extreme pain because the epidural didn't cover my rib cage, and I felt something kicking around under it. The nurses pushed around on my stomach and made a bet between themselves as to how big the baby was... One said about 7 1/2 pounds, the other said about 8 1/2 pounds. I intervened and told them the child was huge because it was still stuck under my rib cage. They laughed, and I had to push again. With this push, The Ginger was on his way out into the world, when something happened.

The doc told me to stop pushing. The baby's shoulders were stuck in my pelvis. For a second, I saw panic on the doctor's face.

Me: What do you want me to do, doc?
Doc: Um, I'm not sure. Your daughter is stuck.
Me: What do you mean she's stuck?
Doc: She's stuck in your pelvis. Her shoulders are too broad.
Me: Well, what does that mean? Do we have to do a C-section?
Doc: No, it's too late for that; she's already crowning.
Me: So what do we do?
Doc: I don't know.
Me: What in the hell do you mean you don't know? This is only my second time doing this, so I sure as hell don't know what to do. You're the doctor. You went to school for this shit, so figure it out.

The doctor talked with the nurses for a second, and the two nurses proceeded to get up on the sides of the bed, above me. One of them looked right at me and said, "Honey, this may hurt a little." They proceeded to start pushing on my stomach, while the doctor grabbed a hold of my child's shoulders, turned the baby, and pulled, all while I was pushing. Let me tell you, it did hurt. But as the baby was being born, and I finally felt the relief from under my rib cage, the doctor pulled my kid out, and Hubby was video taping the whole thing.

We've watched the video 100 times. I have it memorized now. The Ginger came out, doc said, "It's a big baby... and... It's a BOY!", the nurses erupted in laughter, and the camera shot panned to the floor at Hubby's feet. Hubby was so shocked at the 'It's a BOY!' words that came from the doctor that he almost dropped the camera completely. Right before the shot ends, you hear me say, 'Honey, the camera' and the screen goes black.

10 lbs 15.8 oz... Told you I don't make this shit up!
Little Rhiannon Grace was no Rhiannon Grace. We had a huge baby boy in our arms... 10 pounds 15.8 ounces. Two-hundredths of an ounce away from 11 pounds. The Ginger broke hospital records that day. He was the largest baby born naturally at that hospital, and missed being the largest baby ever born at that hospital by 2 weeks- they had an 11 1/2 pound baby born via C-section a few weeks earlier. The nurses looked at me and told me that apparently I was feeling The Ginger's feet under my rib cage while I was pushing- he was big enough in my small-framed body for that to have occurred. Wow, thanks for the validation of what I was feeling... bitches.

And, in case you are wondering, my vagina is just fine after having that massive child. We didn't bounce back in a week or anything, but I haven't had any issues. Thanks for the concern.

8 years ago, The Ginger was born 2 days before Thanksgiving. We were released on Thanksgiving Day, and had amazing friends that brought us dinner that night. We were also lucky to be a part of the squadron that we were. When word spread that we had a baby boy instead of a girl, and he had come out the size of a 3 month old, everyone in the squadron pitched in $5 each and bought us baby clothes. We had so much to be thankful for that year, and every year after that.

Especially the fact that we now had a daughter and a son, so I was definitely out of the baby-making business. The Girl was 8 pounds 15 ounces, The Ginger 10 pounds 15.8 ounces... my vagina would not have survived a third childbirth with these statistics...

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  1. Nope no unicorns in my birth story either. I have twins and one of them broke the others water during a blackout in a snowstorm in February. Eighty miles from the hospital. I'm glad all our babies came out fine!

    1. Good grief, that must have sucked!! I hope everything turned out well for you. Thanks!! =)

  2. Oh yes, the boys are almost two now and FYI I will have nothing to do with camping ever again.