Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Birth Day Reflection #2

Okay, I've been absent for a few days, but I have good excuses.

1. Thanksgiving got in the way.
2. Birthday for son #2 got in the way.
3. I am a member of the local Chamber Chorale and we are preparing for our annual Renaissance Christmas Feast and Concert. We have had rehearsals from Sat thru today, then performances are Thurs, Fri, and Sat. So between working and rehearsing, I have literally no free time.

So, in all fairness, since I posted a birthday reflection for son #1 on his birthday last week, I would like to give equal time to my youngest child.

Again, birthdays at our house always seem to elicit a reflection on the actual birth event. Even though this was his 10th birthday, a momentous one, the reflection was no different.

At 3:30 a.m., on the day he was born, I woke up to use the bathroom and as I hauled my hugely pregnant body out of bed, my water broke all over the carpet. Yuck. We lived a good hour's travel from the hospital and since contractions started right away and began to build quickly in strength and intensity, we had to scramble to get moving.

By the time we got to the hospital I was going like gangbusters. The nurses told me that labor and delivery was packed to overflowing as they ran around busily keeping track of all the laboring mothers. I asked the nurses about an epidural, so they checked to see how dilated I was: 7 cm and over 50% effaced. I panicked that I may not get an epidural because I was already so far dilated.

A side note here: I had given birth to my second child, my daughter, a mere 16 months previous to this birth. Her birth had been a harrowing and nightmarish experience where she suffered from shoulder dystocia (after her head was delivered, her shoulder stuck on my pubic bone), and the doctor literally had to insert both of her hands inside me and wrestle the baby's shoulder into the correct position for delivery. This was all done without any anesthesia of any kind. As anyone who has given birth knows, that exit is not very big, and certainly not meant to accommodate both a baby's head and 2 adult arms. Needless to say, it hurt a lot.

So, when it came time for my youngest to be born, I was determined to have an epidural because I had already had 2 difficult and painful deliveries. I wanted to avoid a third. Thankfully, they approved an epidural and the anesthesiologist was able to accomplish it in short order. Ah, the blissful glory of epidurals. Hallelujah and amen.

The rest of the birth was easy for me. I didn't feel a thing. But after my son was born, the doctor told me that he had also suffered from shoulder dystocia, though apparently not as badly as my daughter had.

The whole event, from water breaking to birth, lasted less than 5 1/2 hours. I've told my husband before that I may have difficult births, but at least they don't last very long!

So that's the story of my youngest child's birth (and inadvertently the story of my middle child, too!).


Suldog said...

Yikes! When it got to the part about shoulders getting caught, and arms being inserted, my man parts involuntarily shriveled in sympathy.

Anonymous said...

OUCH!! I had 2 deliveries...no drugs, no NOTHING!!! I FEEL your pain. Both were delivered within 2 hours (my daughter within 45 minutes of realizing I was in labor).

Well, I wish your youngest a belated birthday.