June. So somehow that happened. It’s almost been one full year with Eman here. Craziness.
So far we’ve survived with two kids. That totes deserves a celebratory pat on the back. With V I threw I nice big party. Why, you may ask? I’ve been told she won’t remember. And let’s be real, she didn’t need another toy. What Dan and I needed to do was celebrate our first year of parenthood survival. And honestly, any other parent that tells you the first birthday party isn’t mostly about that is LYING.
Since we are almost one more rotation around the sun with two, I’m stepping up my game. E’s getting a party and a birth story post. Let’s just go ahead and call it a whole month of celebrating. This can just kick it off.
I mean the guy so graciously let me puke EVERY day for 38 weeks. The least I can do is celebrate his arrival into the world.
Everyone has a birth story. This is E’s.
If Eman were a girl his name probably would have been Savannah or Georgia. Why? Give parents a weekend away with no children, and mama access to all the rosè and oysters, and well you can figure it out.
Pregnancy and I don’t get along. Not even a little teensy bit. Some women are destined to look cute. They glow. They talk about how amazing the experience is. They get a little tired and grow the cutest,roundest little bump. They look so adorably cute in maternity clothes. The cute pregnancy gene skipped me. Me? My whole body announces I’m pregnant. I start puking around week three and start outgrowing clothes at the same time, too. My maternity clothes are in a constant state of too small, too big, and covered in puke. Thanks E.
E was just like his sister, and announced his impending arrival in similar fashion. A few weeks after our trip to Savannah, I’m standing in Comers Children’s Hospital at 6:45AM for an inservice. I simultaneously want to crawl across the respiratory department’s break table,take a nap, and puke all over the floor. Yay me!
I spend the next 29 weeks growing wider everywhere, and finding as many unique places to puke in as I can. If you’re really having a special mama day you puke extra hard and pee your pants at the same time. Hyperemesis sucks balls. Apparently, I ONLY had mild case that just required three meds to keep my puking with E to a comical 4-5 times a day. (Side note:If you ever need lessens in holding a grocery bag in your lap to puke in while driving on The Kennedy, I’m your girl). As a bonus, I do know where all the best bathrooms are in most of Chicagoland.
Why the backstory? Don’t most birth stories start 24-72 hours before? Yeah, they do. But, my kids like to slowly torture me. So I felt, the WHOLE backstory with E was needed. Because the kid, for real tortured me for 40 weeks.
So 29.6 weeks rolls around. I’m a puking master, and large and in charge. Nothing was going to stop me.
Except for contractions. Yeah. Those. Those suckers they can stop you.
E decided to get a little antsy, and I started to have contractions that hurt and weren’t Braxton Hicks. Yay me. So I made the trek to triage thinking I was being silly and they’ll go away. Four hours later and 4 liters of water I was all out my bag of tricks to make things stop on my own. I thought they would laugh and tell me I was an a jittery mama. Haha. Nope. Turns out I had an irritable uterus for the second time. An irritable what!?! Eventually things calmed down, and we got steroid shots for E’s lungs. I was pulled from work and was allowed to puke from the peace and semi-quiet of my own home on a regular basis. Woohoo.
Contractions, you see, they were E’s friend though. Every. Damn. Day.
For 10 weeks.
Yes. You read that correctly. E’s birth story pretty much was 10 weeks long. I had 10 weeks of preterm contractions. Not to be confused with Braxton Hicks.
Preterm Contractions are real contractions. They actually do stuff and they hurt. A lot. So I became friends with the triage staff. They show up on the monitor, make my face all red and sweaty, and Dan nervous every time. Then they would just stop. Every single time.
At 29 weeks they were concerned I might not make it to 30. Then the goal was 32. Then it was 35. I was released from bed rest at 35 weeks, and they started telling me to make my follow up appointment for the next week, but that most likely E would make his arrival before then.
At 38 weeks, I told them to stop saying this to me. It’s like E was proving how long he could keep a death grip on the inside of my uterus.
At 39 weeks, I may have broken down in hysterical sobbing so bad my OB asked me if anything else was wrong at home. For real. I wondered if she had ever been throat punched by anyone before, because she came awfully close that day. I think she felt really bad for me. So bad that she called the hospital to see if they were busy because if they weren’t they might have a solution to get this kid out. They weren’t too bad, and I was having my normal daily contractions. Yay me! So she offered to strip my membranes, and told me that most likely we’d have a baby in the next 24 hours.
Cue happy tears.
24 hours later I still was pregnant. Death grip, I tell you. Death Grip.
So as I approach 40 weeks, I just resigned myself to being forever pregnant, and having contractions every day that sucked.
The night before E’s due date I ordered Instacart to come right after V’s bedtime. I mean, it’s not like I’d be in labor when my groceries came. Cue my daily contractions to hit around 3PM. They were the same as usual. They hurt a lot, but I could walk and talk through them so life was to resume as usual. After dinner V and Dan played in the courtyard, and I wallowed in my misery on the couch. Soon Dan wandered back in the house with the neighbor and the neighbor’s little boy. He had borrowed a drill to fix something upstairs, and the neighbors little boy is a good friend of V’s.
So I take the kids up to V’s room to play and supervise from the glider where I can wallow some more, while the men go upstairs to drill things. Per the usual. I still hurt.
The men having accomplished their man goals, and feeling pretty good about themselves come downstairs to grab the kids and get them off to bath time and bed. Our neighbor looks at me, and even asks if I’m in labor. Laughing at him, both Dan and I tell him that’s just silly. This was just a normal Tuesday in our house.
I pawned bedtime off on Dan. At least permanent contractions were good for something!
I waddled my misery to our bedroom, and try to climb in bed. Only I couldn’t. My contraction was so bad I had to grab onto the side of the bed. Well, that was new. So I laid down for a few minutes.
And then realized that these actually do hurt more than usual. Go figure.
For 10 weeks my contractions have been 2-3 minutes apart, which also when they tell you to come in to triage for baby #2. (Hence, my frequent flyer miles to triage). I laid there for a few minutes more and contemplated yet another trip to triage which might just get sent back with them telling me these new more painful contractions were again my new normal. And then I decided I must REALLY like those sterile white walls in triage.
So I waddled my now sweaty, contracting hot mess back down the hall to V’s room. And kicked the neighbors out. Turned out he actually might be right after all.
While I was contemplating the trip worthiness of my contractions and clinging to my bed, it seemed Instacart also showed up. Props to them for being prompt. My neighbor found my groceries sitting outside my front door on the way out. At least they weren’t spoiled? Full fridge when we return!
In the whole 30-45 seconds my irritable ute decided to give me between contractions, I folded myself over an exercise ball, texted my brother to come over to watch V, texted the doula, and willed my kid to be smarter than his sister. Back labor is for the birds, yo. He so far wasn’t getting the memo.
V,in the meantime caught on that her only child world literally had started to crumble before her eyes. There were hysterics.
Dan had also decided that all groceries must be put away. Right that second.
Someone also gave V chocolate milk.
Never give an upset toddler chocolate milk.
My brother walked in the house, and shortly after I caught chocolate milk puke in my hand mid-contraction.
All moms dream of that very moment when they sign up for motherhood, right?
Since our bags had been packed for 10 weeks, we only had to hop in the car and head back to triage. Our doula happened to be in the neighborhood, and would meet us there.
My plan was to try and go drug free. TRY is the optimal word there.
We got to triage around 8:30PM and I was having back to back contractions with back labor. Again. V gave me the same joy first time around, too. I was smarter this time, and had taken Zofran at home, and in between contractions screamed at them for IV Zofran. Puking during contractions is another special kind of torture I was hoping to skip the second time around.
The triage gods deemed me far enough along to go upstairs to labor and delivery. Woohoo!!!! I wanted upstairs so badly. They promised me I could labor in the shower. It sounded like I was winning the labor lottery. But first, I needed to sit in a wheelchair.
They were evil.
You see back labor, back labor is the devil. I had no idea what the eff it was. My mom had four children, and she made childbirth sound like a bad case of cramps. Back labor is not that.
Oh hell. No.
Back labor is the kind of torture we should look into for our enemies. It makes you feel like your body it being ripped in half, and something sharp is shooting down your legs at the same time.
And these jokers wanted me to sit down in a chair.
I sucked it up because they promised me that glorious shower. And that silly wheelchair was standing in my way.
Once in the room, I stripped naked as fast as I could. Funny thing about being in labor, you really don’t give a care about who sees you naked as long as they promise to get your kid out. Or let you in a shower. Half of Prentice has seen me naked between the birth of my two kids. I could walk right past them in the street and wouldn’t know or care. My modesty is long, long gone.
I got my shower. It was glorious.
I also made Dan stand there covered in some silly hospital gown and press on my back for over an hour, while my doula coached me through contractions. I sounded like a cow mooing. An actual cow mooing. It felt like I was actually ripping in two, my husband was pressing his hands so hard on my back he told me they were going numb, my legs were shaking from the pain, and I sound like I belong in a barn. Fun times were had by all.
At this same time E’s silly ear was pressed against my spine because of his head placement. So I felt pressure when I shouldn’t. Oh joy.
I cried and wanted out of the shower. They checked to see just where things were at. I was just shy of 8CM which meant it was my last chance for an epidural.
I cried some more because I really thought the pressure meant this was almost over.
And then I tapped out. I made it through 10 weeks of contractions and to 8CM with back labor a second time. I was done. DONE. Give me all the drugs. All of them.
Some one else could be a drug free hero.
At 10:45 the most glorious thing happened. The anesthesia team came in my room. I loved them. They administered my spinal and for 1 full hour I felt nothing. It was amazing.
But back labor yo. Funny thing about back labor, epidurals, and me. Once the spinal wears off, I can still feel those pesky contractions. What the what!?! At least I no longer felt like I was being ripped in half or someone was stabbing knives down my legs. So silver lining????
Once the epidural was in they let me labor down, and hoped my water would break on it’s own. Yeah. E for real had a death grip on my ute. At 3:30AM they checked and I was close, but not quite there and my bag of water still hadn’t budged. So they broke it to give the kid the final eviction notice he needed.
I labored down for another hour, and it did the trick. A little after 4:30AM and we were ready to go. Home stretch.
I pushed for three rounds, and then E decided he wasn’t super crazy about it. So I was gifted the world’s stinkiest oxygen mask to breathe on, and in between contractions and pushes I had to roll to the side to give him a break.
Death grip. I tell you. Death grip on my ute.
For a kid that really seemed like he wanted to make an early entrance, he really knew how to slow roll it.
With one last push he made his appearance at 5:11AM on 6/21/17. Little man wasn’t so little at 8lbs 4oz and 21in long.
Even after all that, I wouldn’t change a thing. He’s our boy. Our crazy Little Man. Love him. Our little family was complete.