Saturday, February 27, 2010

Castor oil, Labor and Baby Bear...

(a brand new Baby Bear)

In case you haven't notice, this weeks posts have been all about Bear.

This is because he turned 5 this last week.


Its hard to believe that it has been 5 years since I gave birth to my oldest child.

And yet I remember it all like it was yesterday.....

I was four days overdue. I was miserable. I was certain that my baby would never be born. There was one part of me that was completely hysterical with thoughts of being pregnant forever and another more sane part of me that kept telling me that the baby had to come out eventually. The day before his birth, I insisted to several people that there was no way I was going into labor anytime soon and then I went to school with my husband.
I wasn't taking any classes, but insisted on tagging along with him instead of being left home by myself. Phil told me that while he was in class I should try to walk around the entire college campus before he finished with his class. So I walked for what felt like forever and then found a couch, that had a TV nearby, I played cards and waited and was having no contractions. In fact I had hardly had any "practice contractions" aka "Braxton Hicks contractions" the whole day. Which was unusual, I ususally had at least a couple every hour.
Finally Phil's class ended and we drove home. Our apartment was nearly an hour away from where the school was, and being hugely pregnant and tired it was the worst drive ever, but I had volunteered to go so......
We got ourselves some Cafe Rio salads, brought them home, and sat on our couch to eat dinner and watch some Law and Order and some ER, or maybe it was Tru calling. Anyway as I was finishing up my dinner I decided to take some castor oil in the hopes of getting my labor started. I didn't really think the castor oil would work, in fact I highly doubted it. Then, upon trying just a drop on my tongue, I didn't think it would even be tolerable to take. Castor oil is disgusting!!! Its thick and oozy and has a very strong taste that my husband (yes he tried a drop of it too) describes as nutty. I read the instructions which said to mix the castor oil with juice. So I mixed it with my orange soda and made ready to drink it.
I stalled for as long as I could crying to my husband that I did NOT want to drink it, but somehow he managed to talk me into it. So I put the cup to my mouth and started to gulp it down. I had barely managed to get a gulp of it down before I started to gag on it. Okay I was gagging before I even started to drink the stuff, it was that vile. Nothing could have made castor oil tolerable to take. Even as I sit here remembering it I feel my throat closing off and wanting to gag.
After spewing the castor oil/soda mixture and trying my best to keep down the rest of my dinner, I didn't feel well. My stomach felt sick. It felt like a bout of the runs. So I spent an hour in the bathroom while Phil sat comfortably in the living room watching the end of the show. He finally came to make sure I was alive. There I was moaning and groaning in the bathroom certain that I had the worst case of the stomach flu.
Phil was slightly more coherent than I was and decided the stomach cramps I was suffering were probably contractions. He started to time them. They were two-three minutes apart which to me meant they never stopped and so they were surely not labor pains. I had read all of the books I new all of the information. Every single book I read said, if you only think its labor its probably not because when its real labor you will KNOW. I didn't KNOW. So I was very skeptical and kept insisting that I had the stomach flu and that it would pass.
Well midnight came and went and I was still in the bathroom. Phil decided it was time to call the midwife. I didn't want to but he insisted. So I talked with her for a minute and insisted that I wasn't sure it was labor which she reassured me it probably was and that I should head to the hospital when I was ready. I still didn't think I was in labor and was positive that if we went to the hospital they would send us right back home laughing at us. I had heard way to many stories like this.
Phil was all set and ready to go, he got our bags in the car, he was dressed and ready, he was just waiting for me to say, okay lets go. Finally around 2 or 3 in the morning I was all fine lets go. I was still sure they would send us home, but whatever.
We got to the hospital and were welcomed right in. The nurses said they'd been waiting for us, which surprised me. They brought me to a room and basically undressed me and put me in a hospital gown, all the while I was a little bit in shock. Like whoa your supposed to take one look at me and say, go home you're not in labor. Instead they checked me, my cervix that is, and told me I was dilated to six centimeters!
If you are unfamiliar with childbirth know this, you only need to be dilated to ten to push your baby out. So I was at a six, I was completely and totally shocked, I had no time to prepare myself for this, up until that moment I was certain I was not in labor and was now faced with the fact that in just 4 centimeters I would be pushing my baby out! And with my contractions still coming every two/three minutes that would be very soon. I kept calm with Phil holding my hand and helping me through each contraction and soon my Midwife arrived.
One great thing about a Midwife is they are there for a significant amount of time during your labor where as a doctor will only show up when the nurses call and say that you are pushing and the baby is close to being born. Sometimes they don't make it until the very last second to catch your baby.
Anyway an hour and a half after I got to the hospital I was at a ten and was being told to push, I wanted too, they didn't have to tell me twice. It happened however, that my baby was posterior facing. This means that a baby is not in the position that they will best slide out of your vagina. It means that it is going to be really hard to push the baby out. It took me two hours, in many cases it taks a lot longer. My Midwife told me a few times that there were drugs they could give me to help, she all but insisted on using forceps to get my baby out. But she didn't, she later told me that she didn't think I would be able to push my baby out. Me being a first timer, and not knowing exactly what I was doing and all. But she let me keep trying, and finally after much trial I was able to push that baby out! The Midwife was impressed that I was able to do it, and assured me that I would never have that hard of a labor again. Not only was she impressed with me she was very impressed at the way my husband handled himself and was able to stay calm and collected through the whole thing.
So my baby was born.
A sweet innocent little boy with teeny tiny skinny little arms and legs.
I didn't ever want to go through pregnancy and childbirth again, but I knew that it had all been worth it.
And eventually I did do it again, and it wasn't anywhere near as hard. At least not in the same way. ;D