Welcome back! To recap, we induced and went into labor. That was a horrible idea, because labor sucks, but we returned the hospital in full suck and were waiting for the good feeling medicine to help out.
After waiting another hour and a bit, I was getting a little annoyed and regretting toughing it out at home for so long before coming back in. Our student doctor was getting a little impatient as well as she had requested my epidural a while ago, and this entire thing of me going into labor was uncharted territory, I’m pretty certain she didn’t want to see what happens when my tolerance level is reached. Finally, we got the nod to move to the labor and delivery wing and were told that the epidural doc would be there in a bit.
We walked out and then down the hall where we were greeted by two nurses. The one nurse looked to my wife thinking she was the one in labor while the other one, who actually knew me just looked confused. First off, rude for my wife, second, I am in labor and hurting, I don’t have time for misgendering bull crap. Luckily I was so distracted by this whole labor thing, dumbest thing in the world by the way, that I just ignored it, hoping that my epidural was waiting with my martini in the room.
We get in the room, and there was no epidural or martini waiting. At this point, I wasn’t paying attention to much because every time one of those stupid contractions came I wanted to yell at any man that believed that women were the weaker sex. That ridiculousness is painful and I just told my wife to get something to help since there were no gold badges to be earned by going without. I believe I even said I would take a hammer to the head if they didn’t hurry up with the drugs.
Our nurse came in and introduced herself. She showed me the exercise ball and offered that it might help while I waited. To this point I hadn’t been able to sit down because it was just easier to deal with the pain standing up, but hey, I was definitely not the expert, so I gave it a try. I went to sit down on the ball and it was much lower than anticipated. While I sat there, waiting for the next stage of suck to come on, I was wondering how dangerous this experiment would be for me. This was my first time sitting down in several hours and I choose to do it on a ball. Balls roll. I pictured the next contraction coming and me shifting to try and escape the discomfort. Then me over compensating, the ball flying to one side of the room, and me to the other. The ball was so low I didn’t think there was any chance of me getting up off of it in time to avoid such a fiasco so I was mentally preparing to get up before the next one hit. Just as I was gaining momentum to get up, the contraction hit. Luckily, I survived the three stooges scenario and the sudden on set of pain shot me right back up to the standing position like someone shot my butt with a cattle prod.
Little did I know, while I was anticipating my demise, my wife was getting to know the nurse. My wife went and asked the nurse for an update regarding the pain meds. During this brief exchange, the nurse took the time to ask if she was my sister. Luckily I was distracted, because although I know that it was not an intentional slight, my patience was lacking at that time and I probably would have said the same thing I said a few minutes later when I was updated. My wife came to check on me during my contraction and after the fun had passed, and then she told me about the exchange.
“For f@#k sakes!” Like seriously, I was thinking that our folder should’ve come with a warning label to avoid such things because that was not the time to bring our small town into 2018. Despite the fact that I knew I would probably be there all day, I did not have time for this, especially back to back incidents. I knew that there would be a staff switch over too eventually, so I was hoping that there would be no more incidents to poke my patience and I could just focus on this having a baby thing.
It felt like forever, but the doc with the epidural came. The draw back is that I had to sit on the bed to make it happen, oh yeah, and I had to do it while sitting still. Simple right? I was sitting on the bed waiting wondering what was going to come in first, the next craptraction (aka, super crappy contraction) or the big needle in my back that should help. The doc was prepping my back for the goods when the craptraction came on. Talk about the hardest thing ever, to sit still while enduring a sharp pain through my hip. Then a step in the process I was not anticipating…a phone call. It makes sense. Doctors in the hospital are not exclusive to one patient, so it is inevitable that they will be called, but this was less than opportune timing. As there was already a giant needle in her hand, I just assumed she would knock that out first, but I was wrong. She put down the giant needle and picked up the phone. Again, I am completely understanding, doctors are doctors, but I was not in the understanding mood at that particular moment. Especially having to endure a few more craptractions in the seated position, sans drugs. The longest phone call ever, at least in my head…in reality it was probably less than a minute. Once she was off the phone, it was perfect timing for me to sit still as a craptraction had just come on. After what felt like forever, it was done. In theory, the suck should subsided soon enough.
Well, as predicted it had helped take the edge off quite a bit. Unfortunately, it only lasted for a good 30 minutes. When I told the nurse that it was getting bad again, she had a bit of a confused look and then called the doc that put it in to see if they could top me off. I didn’t know what the normal timeline for this stuff was, so I thought it was normal. It wasn’t until the 3rd top off in as many hours, that I clued in that apparently it should last longer. I heard the nurse on the phone explain the situation to the doc. Leave it to me to somehow screw up the thing that will make it easier for me, but you know, it was a theme. Every time that the epidural was topped off, it had even less of an effect. I came to the realization that I might need to embrace way more suck than I was originally planning.
Exhausted, and annoyed at the epidural not working, I just wanted the time to pass. Further to that, I was not allowed to stand up anymore since my legs were supposed to be numb, so instead I was stuck in the worst position ever for those silly craptractions. The nurse wasn’t quite sure how to deal with me because I didn’t really want anything. Every time a contraction came, I just embraced the suck and breathed through it the best I could. It was brutal at times though, which prompted the epidural doctor to come back and check it out. At least the constant poking and prodding broke up the day, but it didn’t help with the pain. After the first epidural was removed and a second one attempted, I knew that all hope was lost. The contractions were getting stronger and stronger each time and I had come to the realization that this was just happening, and it pissed me right off. I did not plan for a natural birth, this was crap! I planned for a dope me up as much as you are allowed to type of birth. I rolled my eyes at all the granolas that preached the all-natural, home births. How many centuries of evolution and this whole thing is still crap. Medicine, on the other hand, has had incredible advancements. Some of which benefit women who have to endure enough while their bodies are taken hostage by foreign bodies for nearly a year. Yet, here I was, ready to get the full uncut, natural version. Argh.
My actual doc came in from time to time to check in. My patience was gone and she said that I was pretty close, but she would prefer if we waited just a little longer. Shortly after that, she came in and let me know that she had to go do a c-section, but would be right back. I hadn’t even started the pushing portion yet, so there was still plenty of time. She suggested that I try getting up and into another position since my epidural wasn’t working anyway. Sure enough, the moment she said I didn’t have to be laying down on the bed, I was all for it. She left the room and I put the rest of the room in a panic as I went to jump down. I was surrounded by cords and catheters that were getting in my way, so I said just take out what wasn’t needed. I was much more mobile but also decided that it was time. It was happening whether I was given the good to go or not. I kind of threw my student doctor off, breaking all the rules and over riding the medical professionals in the room. She called for back up and then I got into position to knock this out. This sucker was coming out. I was done.
Since this all happened within a few minutes of my doctor leaving to do the c-section, another doc came in to help. Remember that warning label I was talking about. This poor doc had no idea what she was walking into. I’m pretty certain I was still wearing my ball cap at this point, which I can imagine is not the standard look for popping out kids. I was a horrible patient at this point. Apparently this whole thing requires your legs to be practically behind your head, or at least that is how it felt. I’m pretty certain both my wife and the nurse were a little scared as the doctor told them to hold my legs because I did not want anyone touching me. I was not a fan, but I stopped caring and decided that it was more important to carry on than to protest.
Pushing for the first time is an interesting feeling. It is pretty much like you are trying to take the biggest crap in the world and it is just not cooperating. I remember thinking to myself, what on earth did I sign up for? I didn’t have much time to contemplate the errors in my judgement as the rhythmic sound of the baby’s heart beat had dropped dramatically after the first couple of pushes. I had been staring at that screen all day, so I noticed it, and the doc noticed as well. She told me that the baby’s heart rate had dropped and that we were going to have to get her out. As such, she would have to use the vacuum which meant that she would do about 10% of the work and I would have to do 90. Again, not ever meeting me before, she didn’t really know if I was joking when said that I didn’t like those numbers, give me new ones.
We kept carrying on and the doc was making use of her vacuum. Clearly it was not a Dyson otherwise it would have upped the numbers to at least 20%. Had to have been an old school version trying to keep up…maybe Hoover or Eureka. I was dutifully pushing and the doc pulling away, when *pop*! I looked to see the doc stumble back a couple of steps and then return to re-attach. “What are you doing?” “I’m sorry, ” she replied. Then we were back at it. A little while later, I was pushing again, and she was pulling, then *pop*! Each time I heard that noise, I just pictured the my kid popping out. “Stop doing that!” Her head dropped and she tried not too laugh, still trying to figure out how to deal with me. She was a trooper though and was adapting and rolling with it in the midst of the chaos.
I learned very quickly that this was a whole new world of suck and I was not mentally prepared to go after it oh natural. The ridiculous pressure made it difficult to figure out when it was a contraction and when it was rest time. I just kept rolling with it until I needed a break. The words ” get it out!” would come out at least once every break. It’s amazing what I picked up was going on amidst all of that. I heard noises coming from the hall that were just poking at my focus. “What the hell is that noise?” My wife calmly responded that it was kids in the hall. “Who the hell brings kids to the maternity ward? Tell them to go away.” Once again, she calmly responded that she was pretty certain they weren’t going to do that. She was also pretty certain that if we could here them, then they sure as hell could here me.
Why was this taking so long? Ever since the doc said we gotta get this kid out, I had been powering through. I’m surprised I didn’t break the table I was yanking on the handle thingies so hard. The one thing that didn’t slow was the commentary.
Me: “How much longer?”
Doc: “I can’t answer that.”
Me: “You’re right there!”
Doc: “How long is a string?”
Me: “What the hell does that mean?”
Doc: “Exactly. But I can see the hair on her head.”
Me, confused by the string comment still, I look to my wife and say, “Ha, she’s not bald!” since our other daughter had a decent head of hair and my wife was convinced this kid was gonna pop out all Mr. Clean style.
Me: “Get this thing out!”
Doc: “Only a couple more pushes and she will be crowning.”
Me: “I don’t know what that means! You’re not helping.”
This is about the same time that the go, go, go, Stop! game began. I was so annoyed. Now, I know that the doc was trying to keep the damage to the minimum, but I just wanted it done. I was not a fan of the fact that I was feeling every little bit of my little bits being ripped apart slowly as the little Kool-aid girl made her way into the world. I remember thinking two things. 1) It is incredible the completely selfless sacrifices that women make for these little humans before they even have a chance to meet them. And 2) This was my religious moment. Nothing confirms that God is a dude more, than child birth. Like, seriously. Dumbest thing in the entire world. Men would have tapped out after the first hour of contractions, and here I was on hour 23ish learning a whole new meaning to love hurts. Come on! Just get this sucker out.
A few more stop and goes, then a good push and I hear, “Great job, the head is out.” Confused as to why I am still hurting I respond with, “What are you waiting for? Pull out the rest!” Clearly in my head, once the head came out, then that just meant that the portal was fully open and you needed to clear it before it closed again. Don’t want to get stuck in some alternate universe forever now, do ya? With a slightly quizzical look on her face, the doctor responded, “Yeah, that’s not how it works.”
Alright, this was it. The feeling of having the world’s most painful crap was coming to an end, I just needed to buckle down and make it happen. Apparently the 10% had gone out the window and it was all on me now. A few more pushes and suddenly there was a feeling of relief, paired with a loud and distinct *plop* as this purply, red and grey pile of goo had made it’s way out of me and onto the table. This was it. The magical moment where I had created life and the first words that came out of my mouth in response to our second born were, “That’s disgusting!” It’s a good thing that the pile of goo came out of me because it meant my wife couldn’t get mad at me for that observation. When our first was born, it was via c-section, so we didn’t get all the sound effects that apparently occur the old fashioned way. Within a matter of moments, the tiny human was wiped down and thrown onto my chest. I looked at this little tiny little purply, grey human. Her eyes were blinking wide and she was looking around trying to figure out what the hell just happened, and why on earth it was so damn cold. Then came the words that come to every loving mom when they hold their kid for the first time…”Sup kid?” Yep, I made that.
It was a whirlwind after that. The back-up crew came in to help out and I looked over to my right to see who’s arm was reaching in, making sure that all the fluids were out of the kids mouth. It was one of the male nurses that I know. Since I didn’t see when he had come in, I took the time to say hi. “Oh hey Tim, how are you doing?” I think he was a little thrown off by this. One by my completely nonchalant conversation in the midst of it all and two, by the fact that he felt horribly uncomfortable in the delivery room and would rather blend into the background. To be fair, my vajay-jay and it’s damage was on full display. It felt like it was destroyed worse than Dresden in 1945. My conversation with the nurse was short lived though as I was distracted by the large shiny needle moving toward my nether regions. I swear the doctor had a maniacal smile on her face as she brought the giant needle in for a poke. “What the hell are you doing with that?” The doctor looked up at me through my spread eagle legs to inform me that stitches were required and that she was going to numb the area so that I didn’t have to endure any more pain in the process. Because, a giant needle tickles as it enters the most sensitive area of your body, but I didn’t protest. A few pokes and she put the needle a safe distance away while she began to put the masterpiece back together. However, as I was chatting away, I saw her reach for the needle again. “Oh hell no. There is no coming back. Once things leave that area, you can’t bring them back. Are we putting that thing back? (Pointing at the baby).” She smiled and shook her head. “Do you want me to fix this or not?” I begrudgingly agreed…I figured it was kind of an important area, I might as well let her fix it how she sees fit.
In the midst of it all, I forgot to ask. “Did I crap?” Surprisingly, the answer was no. More surprisingly, I was almost disappointed by this news. I was looking for the triple crown: Morning sickness, hemorrhoids and pooping on the table….it clearly was just not meant to be.
There was a whirlwind of people around and the kid was just chilling on me. My wife was recovering in a nearby chair. Overwhelmed with the realization that we had another small child, which was great because I’m pretty certain she wanted to smack me half the time for my commentary throughout. As I was asking her if she wanted to hold the child, my actual doctor walked in with a what the hell smile on her face. In the grand scheme of baby delivery, she really wasn’t gone for that long and yet I some how went from baby being in my tummy with no pushing, to baby being out of my tummy and all clean and wrapped up. To be fair, with the added emphasis on getting her out, I pushed that 7 lb 14 oz bundle out in 34 minutes. Pretty good for my first go around. We laughed at my timing and then I realized that the baby had the same birthday as my wife. “Happy birthday! Best birthday present ever! I’m not giving you another one, and I didn’t keep the receipt so no returns.” If I was joking throughout the painful parts, you know that the jokes were coming now that it was all done.
Pretty quick after the baby was out, we needed to move to another room so that the next prego could unload in there. The nursing staff wanted for me to wait for a wheelchair, or at least for help to get to the new room, since I did have an epidural after all. Once again, I explained that it didn’t work and they just about jumped on me as I hopped out of bed and started walking out the door. I survived the walk down the hall and then I had the time to decontaminate. Yeah, yeah, miracle of birth and all that jazz, but that miracle is a hot mess! Luckily my open and honest conversation about this stuff sparked a new piece of information just the week before so that I didn’t get a surprise after the fact. Everyone prepares for the fact that you get your period for an unreasonable about of time after having a kid, but nobody mentions that you lose a chunk of your blood volume right after. You are like one walking horror show and it seems like no matter what you do, you are stuck with the live version of Carrie until your uterus is satisfied. My wife was exhausted so I sent her home to get some sleep, but had to call her back because I was still trailing blood everywhere. They don’t mention it in prenatal classes, and my wife had a c-section, so she wasn’t mobile immediately after to experience such awesomeness. Luckily, I was able to contain the leak, the ship did not sink and I was able let my wife go home and get some sleep.
One thing that I realized right away with our new baby girl, was that she was super chill. She woke up every 3 hours or so to eat, and then would settle right back in. Between feedings and the nurses coming into check on us, I didn’t get much sleep that night, but I was oddly not exhausted. I was fascinated about the fact that I had burst pretty much every blood vessel in my upper body, resulting in petechiae covering my entire upper body, including my face and my eyes. I also couldn’t help but notice that one part of my jaw hurt and I remember spitting a little bit of blood earlier in the night, so I investigated that further. Apparently my overly enthusiastic delivery standards caused me to move a tooth. Fantastic! I patiently waited for morning to come, and then we would be able to introduce our oldest to her new little sister. One thing that I did do overnight, because why not….I weighed myself. When I got into the hospital the morning before, I weighed 258 lbs. At about 3 am the following morning, I was down to 249 lbs. Boom! What a weight loss plan!
Our daughter came in to meet her new baby sister the next morning. It was the cutest thing in the world. The baby was sleeping in her bassinet when our daughter came in. She quietly walked up to the bassinet and softly said hi, introducing herself as her older sister. It was super cute. Shortly after, both the delivery doctor and my doctor came by. I shared my displaced tooth discovery which received a head tilt since they had not seen that before. Yeppers, breaking new ground once again. Oh, and apparently all the burst blood vessels made sense since the typical first birth brought about 2 hours of pushing. That’s right, my wife hates how long it takes me to get out of the house some days, but at least I am efficient at popping out kids. Priorities…
We gave baby her first bath and then headed home before lunch time. I was walking a little like I spent too much time on a horse, but we were both happy and healthy. We felt so incredibly grateful to have these two amazing little girls as part of our family. It was time for brand new adventures of offspring to start.