Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don't Tell Horror Stories [Guest Post from Mrs. Throwing Quarters]

After months and month and months of asking begging my wife to write a blog, she finally did.  This is our funny story of having a baby, but from my wife's point of view.  She was the one doing all the work, I was the one who was blogging the whole time, and tweeting, and doing nothing but encouraging her to push harder.

Welcome the wifey officially to the blog.  She has also gotten on the Twitter bandwagon and you can follow her here.  

Today is my first day off, whew, what a long weekend.

I found out I was pregnant on New Years Eve last year.

With in a week of finding out I was pregnant people started telling me how horrible their labor was, or stories of their horrible pregnancy.  Let me tell you this is a sure fire way to scare a newly pregnant woman, especially if this is their first pregnancy.  My niece turned two last april and I remember my sister's pregnancy well.  She was put on bed rest at six months because she went into preterm labor.  We were all so worried for her and the baby.  Then last year at this time she lost a baby, it was heartbreaking.  All this was already in my mind when the doctor confirmed that I was pregnant, could any of her problems be hereditary? Would I have these problems?  Was there anything I could do to help make sure I didn't have these problems?

My sister is younger than I am, she's healthy and active, not that I'm too old or unhealthy but I'm not as active as she is, would I be more at risk?  All these thoughts flooded my brain and made me worry more than enough before I started hearing other peoples "traumatic" stories.

Some of these women told me things that made me wonder why they had had more than one child, especially at the same hospital!  My mother treated me to a pedicure when I was about 6 months along, noticeably pregnant but not huge.  The lady doing my pedicure asked me if this was my first and then proceeded to tell me that with her first (of three) children the doctor sowed a towel inside of her while stitching her up after delivery, causing an infection and lots of pain.  She had a horror story for all three of her children and one from her sister, the towel one was the one that stuck with me the most.

My husband (you all know him if you're reading this blog :) likes documentaries and had gotten one from Netflix about childbirth.  Now I am a strange kind of person.  I wanted to know just enough to understand what was happening to my body and to the baby but not so much that I sit around and worry about what is going to happen to my body and the baby.  I wanted to know just enough to ease some of the unknown fears but not enough to sit around and stress myself out about what is to come. 

I loved that my doctor seemed to understand that and respected my wishes.  This also means that I was not one of the women who rents videos about childbirth or visits birthing centers, it's wonderful if that is what you want, I just know that I didn't want that and I was ok with that. 

I had my plan, an epidural early and strong!  The women that want natural childbirth are awesome and strong if that is what they want but I think it varies for every woman and basically no matter how you chose to approach it the fact that you are bringing another life into this world is an awesome thing.  Any choice a woman makes is the right one for her, and the only women that I can't stand are the ones that think any medication for any woman is the wrong choice.  If you don't want them then more power to you but if you do then that is just fine!  I can't imagine why any one wouldn't want the aid of meds but that's just me.

Well anyway, this documentary my husband had was made by Ricki Lake during her second pregnancy.  She had not felt like she was a real part of her first child's birth (bur really how could you not be right?) because she had been medicated.  So she followed three separate women during their delivery, one of them being herself.  The whole point of the film, in my opinion, was to try and scare women into having natural childbirth, but for me it only solidified my choice to be medicated!  The film talked about all these strange ways they used to deliver babies, and all the "possible" side effects of the medications they give us now.  There were all these doctors from other countries talking about what wimps Americans are for using medications for easing labor.  Then we actually watched these women have their children.

WOW!!!  Everyone of theses women screamed in agony,  begged for it to stop, or cried and cussed.  Now really can you tell me how that is "enjoying the process of birth"?  I looked at Adam and told him if he didn't turn the movie off I wasn't having this baby (now mind you I was probably about seven months along at this point :)

With all these stories floating in my mind along with the normal first time pregnant jitters I was beginning to really freak myself out.  As I was leaving work one of my last nights one of the girls asked how I was holding up.  I admitted to being scared and worried that I wouldn't be able to do it.  She looked me straight in the eyes and said "Is it comfortable? no. Is it fun? no.  But is it worth it? yes! absolutely! if it weren't no one would ever have more than one."

I held on to that thought all the way through till they took me into the delivery room.  I will not be a woman who tells horror stories.  Why? Because I don't have any!!  The worst part of the whole thing for me was the nerves going into it.  In fact I have a funny story to tell.

I was induced, being nine days late, so there was no natural progression of contractions, no natural water breaking, it was all done at the hospital, which I definitely didn't mind.  While waiting for the epidural they gave me another drug that didn't work as well and I don't remember, but Adam says I stated that "man, this shit hurts!"  :)

Shortly after that I was given the wonderful epidural.   After that I felt nothing but a touch of pressure when I had  contractions, it was wonderful!  I was able to talk to my husband and the nurses and my doctor with a clear head.  I knew what I was thinking and wasn't out of my mind in pain.  I remember the process of pushing and was able to hear and understand my doctor, and was completely clear headed when they handed me my baby.  Even the process of getting the epidural wasn't as bad as I was afraid of.  Now here is the funny story that you may pass on to any pregnant woman that you may know.

They had given me a very large cup of water (which I didn't expect) to help keep my hydrated.  I was still very nervous about what was yet to come, and I'll admit I was worried about not being able to control having to pee with the effects of the epidural and not feeling much.  Well the nurse did one of those questions that wasn't really a question more like an order.  "Would you like a popsicle?" which translated into "You will now be eating a popsicle, what color would you like?"  we even joked a little when she left the room to go get it.

She brought my the popsicle and opened it up, giving me no choice but to eat it.  Well (here is the funny part)  one of the other nurses came in and decided they needed to catheterize me and empty my bladder.  Now if anyone has had a catheter before you know they are not really very fun, I remember my sister had to be catheterized after she had her baby because she wasn't moving any urine and I remember her being in tears about it.  I was a little nervous but then realized that I had an open popsicle in my hands.  It's a popsicle, what do you do with an open popsicle?  Nothing, you just keep eating it.  They laid the bed down and did their thing and I laid in that bed staring at the ceiling and eating my grape popsicle.  It was hilarious!    

When the nurses left the room for a minute we laughed about how silly that was, and even kind of gross in a way.  After everything was all over I was amazed.  I was exhausted and it hadn't been fun or comfortable but damn it sure had been worth it!  As soon as they handed me my beautiful baby I was ready to do the whole thing over again!  A few months of uncomfortable and a few hours of really uncomfortable and they hand you a beautiful baby!!  Afterwards when Adam asked me if I'd do it again I said absolutely but I didn't have any horror stories to pass on to any other new moms.  He laughed and said "Tell them about you're popsicle" so I have told the several of my married friends that are talking about having babies, but are nervous, "Is it comfortable? no.  Is it fun? no.  But is it worth it? Oh yes!! and then I tell them to have a popsicle!


Will Burke said...

Great to hear another non-horrer birth story! We've got to balance-out these fear mongers!

Chef P-Daddy said...

We are so happy for y'all and we can't get over how Beautiful Addison is. You are really great for sharing this experience with all of us. Not everyone can share such an experience with us but you did and we should all appreciate it. I could not imagine what it was like for Carrie to be pregnant but I am glad she was and gave me such a wonderful son. That and you gave us a wonderful little girl to want to spoil. We are so happy to be part of your lives and have you guys in our lives too. Oh before I forget thanks for allowing me to spend the day with you, Addison, Carrie and Leland. It was a blast and I am glad you and Carrie experienced pregnancy at the same time. Much love to you, Adam, Addison and Audrey.

deena1001 said...

Great job Jenn!! Loved the first blog made me laugh and even hold back a little tear...

Vodka Logic said...

Great blog. I still can't believe you were ok with Adam twittering.. of course mine went home for awhile while I labored. Smart nurse with the popsicle.

I have thought about what you said and try not to tell newly pregnant ladies horror stories. Not that I have any that bad, well I was 17 days late and induced with the first one and.... but I had two C sections and you have a great point .. about was it fun- no was it worth it- yes. [well the 15 year old is making me second guess that- just kidding mostly]

Can't wait for your regular blog.. what will you be throwing?

Julie said...

I totally didn't know about the popsicle, that is hilarious.

Chindian said...

Thank you for not being a fear-monger about birth. The fear is what makes it so painful - if we stopped thinking of it as being this horrific event, we would be able to enjoy our pregnancies so much more.
And you are right about it being worth it. One of my deliveries was "horrific" and the other was a candle-lit water-birth, but both of them were beautiful experiences and I'm so glad I went through that.


congrats on getting the spouse to post, mine would never in a million

i tell everyone it doesn't hurt at all, it's just a little uncomfortable pressure, which was my personal experience. i think if you go in thinking it is going to be awful, it will be awful

found you via vodka logic and i also saw you a million years ago when i first started on blogs of note, remembered b/c you were from c-town and so am i

i was thinking of doing a podcast too and was wondering if you had any pointers/tips to get started? thanks again!

Kelly Muys Wood said...

i have always thought the same thing! i don't have any children, but the stories of the pain are horrific!


Jinxxy said...

adam i love that you call your wife "mrs. throwing quarters" !!

great blog too- i loved the popsicle- as if you were a child getting a shot !

i had two horror tales myself, my first being that the long awaited epidural DIDN"T work! (the dr's cuff snagged it and pulled it out.) the second child was the epidural that worked as well as an infants tylenol on the 22 hours of back labor i had.

its great to hear a GOOD birthing experience for once !

Just Jules said...

mine was a italian stawberry icee thing. and yes - there was no choice. I think they put drugs in them and don't tell us!

I did natural with the first child - there were horror stories, but not as bad as some. Second C section - not talking about it. Third one epidural and fabulous. I remember poking my leg with a pencil and saying - look, it doesn't hurt. The nurse laughed and said if you do it hard enough it will hurt tomorrow. ha!'
Fourth I have a horrible epidural story that ends happy - asshole guy gone, so was pain! I thought I might do natural again for last one but decided again - why?

each person is different and I am not sure why people feel the need to share - tell those stories to 16-17 year olds who are thinking of having sex in the back of where ever.