Since January 9 (when I went into labor), I’ve been attempting to find the words to describe what it feels like. I’d like to consider myself as a bit of a wordsmith, so not having the ability to adequately describe the experience has bothered me. All I can say is… It fuckin’ sucked! The only thing I can think to be more sucky than labor, back labor at that, is shitting yourself on your wedding day and even then, at least that would be over quickly.
I went into active labor at 3:45 AM on January 9th. I woke up assuming I was being stabbed in the back by an ax murdered. In hindsight, this part was blissful compared to the rest.
We entered the hospital around 11:45 AM, at which point I was admitted. Getting hooked up and repeatedly asked my pain levels while in the middle of contractions made me want to punch everyone in the face.
Fast forward 12 hours, 4 hours at 7 cm with no drugs and no progression. Have you seen What to Expect When Expecting? This was me:
Yes. I was that woman you hear screaming down the hall begging for the drugs. I was 2.5 seconds away from asking my 6’1, 230lb husband to punch me in the face and to make sure he put enough stank on it to knock me the out until the baby arrived.
You know how they say, “After you hold your precious bundle of joy, you’ll forget all about the pain.” Everyone who tells you that is a goddamn liar. I, for one, have not and will not forget. I’m currently popping birth control pills like Skittles to prevent the reoccurrence of events.
Luckily, they stuck me with the juice just in time. And there I laid, like:
Fast forward another 2-3 hours. My big headed baby boy still didn’t make his way down, likely because he didn’t fit. His heart rate was dropping and he was born by C-section at 2:17 AM.
So that’s my story. Now… here are my tips:
When you are in the middle of a contraction and the nurse or your partner suggests this to you, you will likely wish death on them. However, if you concentrate, it really does work. If anything, it will give you a focus outside of the feeling that your spine is being ripped out.
Limit your visitors:
I wanted my family there. I wanted them to experience everything with me. So, my mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and cousin all joined my husband and I in the labor & delivery room. Quite honestly, no one was a bother but I was very much in my own head because of their presence. I wondered if they were getting bored. After 10 hours and quite a few yawns, I felt bad that they were all so tired and still waiting. I wondered if they were hungry or uncomfortable in the limited seating. All of these things took my focus away from the reason we were all there and that tension may have had some adverse effects. I can never be sure.
If you plan to labor naturally, accept that it will hurt like hell. Take it from the one who labored naturally for 20 hours… It will hurt! Accept that you will want to quit (but don’t). When you accept your feelings about what’s happening, you can work toward solutions. And please, before you even hit your 3rd trimester, accept that your birth plan is nothing more than a plan and things may change.
Silently or out loud, ask God for the strength, ask for his mercy or don’t ask for anything, just talk to Him. Had it not been for the quiet moments between myself and God in my head, I would have waved the white flag as soon as I walked into the hospital.
Trust your body. It knows what it’s doing. Trust your medical staff. They know what they’re doing. Trust that everything will be ok. This will pass. In the end, you will have your precious bundle of joy… and your memories of the pain.