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Posts Tagged ‘childbirth’

***Disclaimer: The following is probably not suitable for the delicate, squeamish eyes of men. Just saying. It involves vaginas, blood, poop and biting. ***

In the final weeks of pregnancy, I became irrationally concerned with poop. I wasn’t the least bit worried about pain since the epidural would alleviate that… but the poop? What if I pooped during delivery? WHY HADN’T ANYONE WARNED ME ABOUT THIS UNTIL THE END?  I mean, I didn’t think childbirth was some antiseptic, spotless event: but poop? In front of everyone? While just LAYING THERE? That had to be the grossest shit I’d ever heard. (Ha! Shit!) My anxiety was now kicked into anti-poop overdrive, and it was really all I cared about. I wasn’t nervous about having a newborn, or practicing any silly breathing techniques (Who doesn’t know how to breathe?) or pain management. That was what drugs were for.

As my due date came and went, and my amniotic fluid seemed a tiny bit low, and the baby seemed a tiny bit large: my induction date was set for June 4, 2008.  We checked into the hospital in the late afternoon, filled out mountains of paperwork, and by 5pm I was hooked up to all sorts of monitors making all sorts of nerve-wracking sounds. That fetal heart-rate monitor has to be the most stress-inducing creation known to man. If the baby or I moved even one centimeter the monitor would lose its place,  leaving me to shriek, “SHE HAS NO HEARTBEAT!! DO SOMETHING!!”.  I finally convinced them to turn the volume down, and they happily obliged (sensing my crazy, I’m sure.).

At 7pm the labor and delivery resident doctor came in (my doctor was home, for some unknown reason), and after a quick exam she began the first phase of induction: the insertion of the Cervadil. According to Drugs.com, Cervadil

… plays an important role in the complex set of biochemical and structural alterations involved in cervical ripening. Cervical ripening involves a marked relaxation of the cervical smooth muscle fibers of the uterine cervix which must be transformed from a rigid structure to a softened, yielding and dilated configuration to allow passage of the fetus through the birth canal.

“Cervical ripening”. Barf.

The nurses assured me that the Cervadil was very, very weak. In fact, since I was only dilated 1 centimeter, in 12 hours I would probably have to have even MORE Cervadil, followed by Pitocin hours later to really get things going. Since I was in it for the long haul, they also convinced (ie: forced) me to take another drug called Stadol at about 9pm in order to “help me get some sleep”. I later learned that Stadol was not a sleep aid, but a narcotic whose side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting and even HALLUCINATIONS. Within 5 minutes I was nodding off, and for the next hour my husband watched me peacefully sleep, my toes curling quietly with each contraction. Something happened to my body during that ONE HOUR of drug-induced rest. It’s almost as if all my anxiety, all the things that had been plaguing my crowded mind for the past 9 months were suddenly released from my body, and with that, my body relaxed. All of it. Completely. I was now wasted, and in full-blown labor.

When I somehow managed to push the help button on the bed, the nurse came in and found me wriggling in pain with my eyes rolled back in my head, curled into the fetal position on the pillow at the very top of the bed. I was kind of sideways, and clutching the railing on the edge of the bed.  As she stood above me the narcotic/hallucinogenic made her face kind of swirl into the flourescent lights on the ceiling. It was a creepy view, and one that’s been burned into my mind.  Our exchange went roughly like this:

TRACY!!! YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN!!! BREATHE!!

I need drugs. I have to poop.

YOU CAN’T HAVE AN EPIDURAL! IT’S TOO EARLY! YOU’RE ONLY 1 CENTIMETER! CALM DOWN!

I need drugs. Help me. Help. I need drugs. I have to poop.

DO YOU WANT TO GO TO THE BATHROOM? PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER! BREATHE!

Help me. I need drugs. I’m pooping.

(To my husband as she left the room) YOU HAVE TO GET HER TO CALM DOWN! THIS IS ONLY EARLY LABOR!

Ten minutes later I buzzed her again, begging for drugs, only to be derided and basically told I was being a complete pussy. Even in my drug-ridden state, I KNEW I was not in early labor. Thankfully, my husband eventually sensed it also and flagged down another nurse, who reluctantly called in the resident to check me. (My doctor was still at home, assuming the induction would take days.) That exchange went something like this:

Help. I need drugs. I’m pooping.

Ok, Tracy. It’s too early for that, let me just give a little feel and we’ll.. I CAN FEEL THE HEAD! SHE’S FULLY DILATED! I THINK SHE’S BEEN PUSHING! TRACY, STOP PUSHING! SOMEONE CALL HER DOCTOR!

Give me my drugs. Help.

NO, I’M SORRY HON, IT’S TOO LATE FOR AN EPIDURAL! OK, IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO PUSH, GO AHEAD. YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!

No. No. I need drugs. I have to poop. Please help me. No.

The rest of the ordeal is a blur. The bitch nurse who had been scolding me was suddenly my biggest cheerleader, trying to holding my leg up while I was trying to kick her in the face. While my husband had the fantastic job of holding my other leg, I thanked him by grabbing his chest (through his shirt) and yanking out a fistful of chest hair during a contraction. When he tried to wipe my hair out of my face, I remember trying to bite him, but catching myself just before my teeth broke the flesh. While actively pushing my eyes caught a glimpse of the HORRIFIED faces of a group of medical students that had been called in to watch. My doctor, who finally decided to grace us with his presence, came tearing in at the very end: right in time for him to turn LJ around (who was screaming WHILE SHE WAS COMING OUT) and shout, “Look at your daughter, Tracy! Look! Look! Here she is!” I SCREAMED. LJ SCREAMED. (Pete later compared us to some sort of mythical two-headed cobra). My daughter was officially born at 12:25am on June 5, weighing 7 pounds and 12 ounces. When it was all over and she was in my arms, I looked at the doctor, confused, still hallucinating and completely high and said,

I need drugs.

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