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Childbirth in Real Life

October 11, 2009

Childbirth is an amazing, life changing, moving experience. No matter what any woman’s birth experience was, she will remember every detail and emotion that went into it. Often, as in my case, childbirth was a bit of different experience than expected! But doesn’t that just suit the situation so perfectly! The surprises and changes that happened during my labor and delivery were only the beginning of the many other things that “don’t go exactly as planned” in parenting.

Kyle and I were first of all very surprised to find that we were pregnant in September 2008. We were not planning on getting pregnant, and we weren’t even married at the time although we were talking about becoming engaged. However, after six pregnancy tests, we found out that were having our first child. We were surprised, overwhelmed, overjoyed and mostly just happy.I continued to have a very easy pregnancy (which was lucky since we got married and got a house during those nine months!) and we couldn’t wait to meet our little girl.

We prepared ourselves for childbirth in so many ways. We read books, we watched documentaries, we took Bradley Method classes (focuses on relaxation and being coached by your husband). I even watched the amazing documentary, “Orgasmic Birth”…yes that’s right, according to Filmmaker Debra Pascali-Bonaro you can indeed have an orgasm during childbirth. More on that later. In any case, we packed a yoga mat, candles, soothing music, massage balls, and many other things that were going to give us the perfect Zen-like childbirth experience.

That wasn’t exactly it.

To make a long story short, my labor was only six hours start to finish. I did pretty amazing, if I say so myself, until hour six. I was in the bathtub, getting rub downs from my hubby, throwing up and having diarrhea with as much grace as possible, all without much complaining. The 35 minute car ride from Lodi to South Sacramento Kaiser Permanente Hospital was where hell began. My mom finally convinced me that I needed to go when the pains that was I calling aftershocks 2 minutes after a contraction were indeed also contractions.

A word to all hospital administrators: don’t make a laboring woman do a full-blown check in when she comes to the hospital to have her baby. As the perfectly nice lady was asking me what my address was and why I was at the hospital today, all I could think was “Don’t you have all this freaking information you idiot!”. Thankfully, my husband escorted me out of the room and finished the check in while I breathed heavily in the hall.

The next 30 minutes went something like this: Midwife- you’re four centimeters, you get a room. Me: *&#@@$^$&!!!!! This hurts so bad!! I need drugs!!! My husband: No, we decided not to do drugs, you’re ok. Me: No. You don’t understand. I NEED drugs. Nurse: Let’s put an IV in and then we’ll talk about drugs. Me: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Nurse: IV is in. Me:  Ok, I need to push now!!! Midwife: Ok push. Ok push again. Ok one more push. Ok here’s your baby! Me: OH MY GOD!!! MY BABY!!! My husband: Oh wow!

Meeting Evangeline

So, basically, I had gone from 4 centimeters to 10 centimeters in about 25 minutes. And in those 25 minutes, I was the farthest thing from Zen or orgasmic. However, I will say this: seeing my baby come out of me and having her in my arms the second after I pushed her out was the most exhilirating feeling I’ve EVER had. So maybe it was a sort of orgasm, because the sweet relief of no more pain and seeing my child was far better than I could have imagined.

Childbirth is so full of surprises, in seeing your baby for the first time, to the most intense pain, to realizing just how loud you really can scream. We did it with no drugs, mostly because there wasn’t enough time to get them, but my experience still wasn’t the calm and still experience I had prepared for. No, it was better in fact. It was real, it was in the moment, it was dramatic. But then again, what childbirth isn’t dramatic? To see a person come into the world…does it get any better?

My Baby

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