Friday, 2 August 2013

A Frantic Arrival

I miss my nipple rings.

The piercings still seem to be there but I've taken the jewellery out for now because it makes breast feeding that much easier and more convenient, and AJ is a demanding little boob-man so it doesn't do well to keep him waiting.

In a little less than two hours from now as I write this it will be one week since I gave birth. It did not go according to plan.

This was my first pregnancy. I'm not some kind of hokey earth mother type. Alright, I'm probably not far off in the eyes of many people either (I avoid excessive chemicals, I don't bother with cosmetics, I wear my hair long and tied back and think the last time I used a blow drier was about three years ago give or take and only because I had to attend a wedding), but home a home delivery never appealed. I wanted the security of being in a hospital or birthing centre so that if things went awry I could get whisked off to an emergency room and get what medical intervention was deemed necessary.

Better still, I'd be alone with my partner and sister-in-law (a former midwife herself) and possibly my brother so his sick sense of humour could distract me from what was going on. There would be a selection of music in the background, preferably Behemoth and Darkthrone with maybe some Ozric Tentacles if the pain relief medication made things trippy.

Turns out my body wasn't willing to cooperate with the plans I'd laid out.

I woke up at around 3:00AM with a bloody show on July 26th with some cramping and a general feeling that things were, at last, underway. Overall, it was a relief. Or so I thought at the time. Being a first timer I was pretty much set for the whole thing taking about a day from start to finish, if not much much longer.

I went to the hospital at around 12:00pm only to be told that 1cm dilation was not enough to be admitted into the labour ward despite my contractions being about 2 minutes apart and so damned bad I could barely stand. I get told to go back home until my waters broke which, being a first timer, could probably be another twelve hours, but could equally be between four and twenty-four. I wasn't best pleased about this, particularly at the suggestion that I should just go home and take some paracetamol. After pointing out that this was far beyond the threshold of pain where paracetamol would do anything for me I was given some co-codamol. That didn't exactly do much either beyond sending me into something of a daze.

About three and a half hours later my waters broke as I screamed my freaking head off, complete with a few choice words of profanity. This was after spending the interim in almost as much discomfort and perhaps uttering the words "FUCK THIS NATURAL BIRTH BUSINESS I WANT A FUCKING EPIDURAL!" Turns out I was just dilating a lot faster than expected and it hurt. So as my waters break The Impending Husband called the hospital to make sure that we WOULD be admitted this time as I try to get dressed. By the time I got dressed I felt something very, very, very uncomfortable trying to work its way free from my insides. Turned out it was the amniotic sac protruding. The Impending Husband had no idea what this was but decided it wasn't good so called the paramedics.

An ambulance turned up and the crew was brought upstairs to my bedroom by my mother. The crew took one look at me and decided that I was going to have a home birth and to call another ambulance crew who'd done one before. So they plied me with gas and air which resulted in me screaming a little less while I sucked it down and occasionally trying to smack The Impending Husband for trying to help me drink in between and more or less drowning me in the process.

The second crew turned up and one of them walked in he smiled at me and went “Hello there, I'm James!” in the most lovely, reassuring way possible. My reply was to scream “Fuck!” as violently and loudly as I could, only to have my mother scold me for swearing at the nice man. Neither the time nor the place to worry about little courtesies I feel, though in my defense when that contraction had passed I did make a point of greeting James in return.

Introductions over, James examined me and decided it was prudent that a midwife be called. So they did. She turned up at about 17:00. By that point I was exhausted, weak, dehydrated from having vomited, and the baby was crowning. I had to have the midwife and one of the EMTs contorting my legs while I pushed back against them, The Impending Husband was behind me, all shouting encouragement while my mother hovered in the background, occasionally offering me her hand to squeeze. I'm amazed I didn't break it, quite frankly.

So an hour of gas, panting, swearing, nearly sobbing and exhaustion on my part with encouragement from The Impending Husband and orders to push like in some movie I'd managed to get AJ into the birth canal but couldn't quite manage to push him all the way out. The midwife had to slice me open a little to try and avoid any tearing and that finally did the trick. All of a sudden the little man slid right out followed by the words " . . . Fucking hell. I just had a baby.... OH MY GOD HE'S SO BEAUTIFUL"

He didn't cry. He just kind of whimpered, then got passed to me and then started to snuffle a bit and then unleashed his bladder on me that made me laugh. Got a shot to speed things up for the placenta which I nearly shot across the room. After that, I was sewn up and cleaned up by the midwife and the wee man checked out. Neither of us needed any follow ups at the hospital so we were allowed to stay at home and didn't have to get subjected to further prodding and examinations.

This was definitely not the plan. I wanted a hospital birth in case of any hiccups, music playing in the background, and my mother nowhere in sight for the day. As it turns out, the only drugs I got were just enough to take the edge off things, the only soundtrack was me screaming loud enough to disturb the neighbors and my mother discovered yesterday that I have nipple piercings and a tattoo. Although she's been gracious enough not to say anything. Or perhaps that's too smitten with her grandson.

And now those piercings are out. For some reason the thought of that makes me tear up a little, but I suppose they've been part of me for as long as The Impending Husband and I have been a couple. Slightly longer, in fact, but only just. The tattoo isn't going anywhere, though. Odin is still watching my back for me. 

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