Last year, at this time, I was (finally) asleep/unconscious after (finally) getting an epidural. It was a Tuesday morning, and I had been in the hospital since Saturday afternoon.
That Saturday, I had been shopping for a car seat with my doula and my sister- I had had a scare that week and had almost required a c-section almost 7 weeks early. For some reason, my main concern at the hospital had been that I had no car seat and therefore no way to get a baby back to my house (obviously it's not as though my folks, sister, in-laws, best friends, whoever couldn't have picked one up. Pregnancy brain is real, y'all).
After shopping, I stopped at Starbucks and picked up a venti caramel frappucino, as all responsible diabetics who are 7.5 months pregnant and on insulin do, because I was sick and tired of not eating or drinking anything fun (I was severely sick throughout my entire, high-risk pregnancy and on a very limited diet- i.e. white bread and pasta, basically). I drank it down, went home, and felt dizzy. I assumed my sugars would be off the charts- a venti frap is basically pure sugar- but to my surprise, they were hovering just under the 2 mark and I thought I was going to pass out.
Both my midwife and the endocrinologist told me to get to the hospital ASAP and bring a bag with clothes because I wasn't going anywhere. So, my husband and I headed out. At the hospital, it was decided I would be induced- my sugars weren't getting back up- and because of my high risk status, they kept me in the hospital.
I paced the hallways of the hospital with my doulas (I had a doula-in-training observing so I got 2 lovely women with me through basically the whole thing). Apparently, as my response to stress has traditionally been to shop, I kept that up, and during contractions, I would buy something 'for the baby'. I was fairly alarmed, after Noora's birth, to discover the vast number of emails I had from Etsy congratulating me on my recent purchases. I received hipster, organic baby things for MONTHS afterwards.
We had visitors- according to photos and other people telling me. I have no major memories of the four days I spent being induced, except that I was pissed off that every meal seemed to include fish, which made me sick, and that I was in pain.
I don't have much of a traditional 'birth story' for y'all. I have some pictures, taken by my sister and my doula. I have a four day experience in the hospital that included proposing and declaring my eternal love to an anesthesiologist whose name I don't remember. I remember being grateful for the midwives from the birth program I was in- even though I had been transferred to the care of an obstetrician once admitted because of my high risk status, they didn't leave me. I remember crying and vomiting in pain and was ready to say fuck it, let's do a c-section, make this stop, when they told me I was starting to dilate and could finally get an epidural and sleep. Finally.
I don't think birth is magical. I think it is supremely badass and powerful and kind of disgusting and scary and overwhelming and gross and hardcore and astonishing. I'm proud of myself for getting through it. I'm grateful to medical science for helping me stay alive during what was a hellish pregnancy and delivery. I'm thankful for my husband and doulas, who were nearly as tired and worn out as I was and still managed to keep my spirits up.
In less than 6 hours, I'll have a one year old. And I will post about my girl and how my world changed and how she became the centre of it. But this time last year, I was still in labour and I wanted to talk about that for a bit. All my fellow mamas out there who did this badass, amazing thing, whether naturally, in a pool of water, with your hair mermaid perfect, or ugly crying in a hospital bed, or doped up like I was finally- so much so that the pushing was the least awful part of the whole damn thing, or by caesarean, or any other way you can think of, because this birth thing is hardcore and proof positive of female strength and power- you rock. You did the thing. And so did I.