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I knew on Saturday, December 15, that Tucker was coming in the next day or so. I woke up with cramping that I immediately remembered from the day before I had Kaylee. Almost period-like cramps, but different and distinct enough that I knew exactly what they were even though I only ever had them once before. Following along with exactly how the day before with Kaylee went, I also had my "show" that morning before I went out for breakfast. It was funny, too, because my Christmas party with work was that night and I had been saying since we booked it in October that there was no way I would still be pregnant on December 15th. Well, I made it to the party! It was a lot of fun too, and I'm really glad we were able to have that night out with other adults the day before our lives would change forever!
Sunday morning I woke up to a contraction at 6am. I tossed and turned for a while before I started to time them, and by 7am they were 5 minutes apart. Kaylee woke up at 7 as usual, so I had her to take care of and to help distract me through early labour. By 10am they were getting bad enough that I knew I couldn't watch Kaylee on my own when she woke up from her nap, so I texted my mom and she came over to help me. Kyle worked the night before so he needed to get some sleep, and I decided to have Amy bring me up to the hospital to make sure it was the real deal before we woke up Kyle. I waited (probably too long) until Kaylee woke up from her nap around noon so that I could give her one last hug and kiss with her being my only child. It was harder for me than I let on leaving her, but I didn't have a choice, and she was in good hands with my mom and Auntie K!
When we got to the hospital it was around noon, and I got changed into my gown and the nurse asked how long my contractions were lasting and how far apart. I told her they were about a minute and a half, five minutes apart. She put her hand on my belly for a contraction and said, "Well, they're really about thirty seconds, but I'll check you anyway." I could tell by her tone of voice and the look on her face that she totally thought I was over-reacting and that I would be going right back home. She checked me and said, "Oh wait a minute. I can feel your bag of water and it is BULGING. You're a good 6 cm and you are doing really well! 6cm with no pain medication? You get a gold star! We'll get you a shot of morphine and you'll have this baby in no time!" I told her I was still feeling okay and didn't need pain medication yet, and she said she'd get me into a room! Yay!!!
The texting flurry began, letting Kyle and my mom (my other support people) know to come up, and telling Kyle's parents to get them in town! Before I knew it I was in a birthing room with Amy, just breathing and talking through contractions. It wasn't long before they started to get a lot more painful, and I doubt it was even a half hour before I buzzed the nurse and asked for an epidural. She kept telling me that she thought an epidural would really slow things down for me, and she wanted me to try a shot of morphine first to see if that would be enough pain management. I made sure to ask if I could still have the epidural even if I took the morphine and dialated to 8cms or more, and she assured me I could have it right up to 9cms, no problem! So I okay'ed the morphine and she came in at 1:00 with it. She said it generally took 15 minutes to kick in, so if I still wanted the epidural after that to let her know.
She was very encouraging, and tried to get me to walk around and go in the shower to help move things along. At this point all I wanted was the epidural, so I was totally unwilling to do anything to move it faster. I kept telling her that I didn't care if everything slowed down, as long as I had the epidural and couldn't feel it! lol She kept trying to talk me into it (and so did my mom once she got there) but I was in so much pain, it was like the epidural was the only thing I could think of and that's all I was interested in. I was just waiting until 1:30 to see if the morphine would kick in, and then I'd get the needle and I could have a pain-free birth, just like with Kaylee.
By 1:30, Kyle and my mom were there and I was maoning, shouting, and sometimes crying through contractions. The morphine did absolutely nothing for me. I was ready for the epi, and frustrated that it wasn't coming yet. I remember my mom trying to make me feel better by stroking my hair, and I told her (as nicely as I could at the time) "This MAY be making you feel better but it is doing absolutely nothing for me!" Amy and Kyle just backed off and stayed away because I was so angry that I was in so much pain lol The nurse checked me and said I was 7cms and that she didn't think I needed the epidural, and I told her "I don't care if I am 30cms - I want the epidural!!!" lol She said okay, and came back to put the IV in and had me sign the paper work. I told her I felt pressure and like I had to push and I didn't want to push without the epidural, so she said she wanted to check me again and BAM! I was 9cm! She helped my water to break (which felt heavenly and relieved a lot of the pressure) and then said the baby's head was right there and I was ready to have my baby!
I don't know if I was more scared, or more angry. She had SAID I could have an epidural, and I was having one no matter what!!! I refused to open my legs - and she forced them open and into the stirrups. She told me to tell them when I was having a contraction so I could push - I fought them and wouldn't tell her. I was laying in the bed with my legs spread wide eagle while all the nurses prepped everything for the birth of my baby and I said out loud, "I am SO not impressed with the way this going." haha My ONLY thought was that I just needed to keep the baby in so I could have the epidural. I remember being in so much pain that I literally thought I was physically unable to endure the pain of birth and pushing, and I needed to think of a way to get this across to the nurse. I wasn't just being ****** and a big baby for nothing - I honestly couldn't do it in this much pain. She obviously didn't understand that or she would be more sympathetic - right? lol (Like she hadn't heard that complaint a million times from every mother who has a natural birth lol)
Anyway, I was literally refusing to push. Apparently Tucker had plans of his own because even without me actively pushing, he was starting to come out. A bit of his head was out without me doing anything at all, and that's when everything changed. The nurse, who had up until now been placating me and playing along with everything I said, suddenly got my attention and said, "Tricia, listen to me. He is coming out if you push or if you don't push. It's too late for the epidural - I can't give you one. You need to get the baby out now. It's unsafe to keep him in like this."
For any moms out there, you know those are the magic words. As soon as I heard "it's unsafe," it was on! I suddenly realized the only way to get rid of the pain was to get the baby out, so that's exactly what I did. I don't remember for sure, but I think I only had to push through three contractions (asking "That's the ring of fire, right?" after my very first [very painful] push haha) before I had baby Tucker on my belly! I remember the Dr. saying, "Push!" when I was pushing through a contraction, and I got mad and yelled, "I AM PUSHING!" And he said back, very kindly, "I know - I am just trying to encourage you." Oops
I was in absolute shock when they gave Tucker to me. I couldn't believe that not even three hours ago I was sitting on my couch at home waiting for Kaylee to wake up. I couldn't believe they didn't give me an epidural. I couldn't believe I gave birth without any pain management. I couldn't believe he was actually here and I had two babies!!! I was also embarrassed for the way I whined and cried and gave the nurses such a hard time. I apologized, and they said I was great and that I was "cute", but I was horrified lol
Looking back, it's funny because I KNOW I was in more pain than I have ever been in in my entire life, and I can remember the thoughts of how badly it hurt and knowing I wouldn't be able to do it. But now? I have no memory of the pain itself. I don't think it's a coincidence either. I think Mother Nature made it that way on purpose so the species survives lol It's so crazy to me that not even three weeks later I can't remember the most pain I have ever felt, but it's the truth.
And all that B.S. about, "Once you have your baby, he will be worth all the pain you went through"?
Great story! I love your reaction about wanting the epi and how stupid of the nurse to be like. However, you are so right about the pain of childbirth. I do, but don't remember the pain these days, over 4 years later.
Mom to M (6), K (4), and little rose (18 months)
LOL...."I am SO not impressed with the way this going."
I think nurses are used to women saying all sorts of things while they are in so much pain. Good for you having a natural birth. I know totally unplanned, but you must feel great now that the pain is gone and you have that beautiful story to look back upon.