Monday, September 7, 2009

{My} Labor Day....

I know most of you see Labor Day as the official end of Summer and the start of the new school year. Or as just another 3-day week-end where you can barbecue with friends and family. But I am now seeing it as something else entirely. Everyone gets a day off from work. Week-ends, holidays, vacation days...but Moms never get a day off. EVER. We are Moms 24/7.

We have Mother's Day, sure, but what about a holiday that honors the physical labor we endured in order to bring you into this world? My Labor Day was March 10, 2005...
officially, anyway. But it actually started a few days before that on my actual due date, March 3rd.

I started having contractions and thought, OK this is it. I called my best friend, Carol and she came down to my house because we were going to "walk this baby out". Only the contractions were never consistent or consistent enough to send me to the hospital. Carol left the next day and I went to my OB appointment alone. By this time, he was seeing me every two days because I was full term, heading into the realm of overdue. That day, one day past my official due date, as I was making my appointment for Monday, the receptionist said, "Well, I will make you the appointment, but I don't think you'll make it." We ended up hedging a bet of $50 that I would have this baby before Monday.

When I walked in on Monday morning, her jaw nearly dropped to the floor. I asked where my 50 bucks was. I was serious. I needed more diapers. I was also miserable. I was ready to have this baby born. Like...
now. I also started thinking that I should have taken Dr. Koning up on his offer of an induction when I saw him on the 1st, my birthday. But I wasn't overdue then and I wanted to let The Diva come naturally. I had been having what I now know to be back labor for two days already. The Lamaze instructor never mentioned that, only that if you were in labor you would know. You would have pain all over your belly.

Yeah, ummm, I didn't have any pain in my belly. At. All. Nada. Zilch. Not even a twinge. No, my back hurt, badly. But I thought that was normal. I was, after all, carrying a 10 lb. overdue baby in my belly, right? {She ended up only weighing 6lbs. 15oz. So much for ultrasound accuracy, huh?} So my OB called the hospital to get the induction schedule and and I can't get in until Thursday. Uh, Thursday? You have got to be kidding me! I am going to have to deal with this pain until Thursday at 5 am? Oh joy!

Wednesday night I was busy getting everything together for the hospital. My suitcase, the baby's suitcase, the car seat cleaned and disinfected...you get the point. Only I was in horrendous pain...in my back. I tried soaking in the bathtub, that worked for about ten minutes. I tried sex...that lasted a bit longer. I tried the stretching exercises we learned in class...But nothing really took it away.

About 2 am, when I was out on my patio, sweating in the freezing cold, pacing back and forth crying "There is no pain. There is no pain." I realized I must be in labor. Great. I can wake up my snoring Husband and tell him to take me to the hospital now or I can go at the already scheduled time. I chose the latter.

Driving to the hospital, the fog was so thick, I couldn't see the end of the car hood. I was in so much pain. Every little bump and turn just exacerbated it. And my Husband was driving like a maniac, all the while telling me to "breathe". I finally said "Fuck you! You breathe!" Oh, yeah, this was getting fun. When we got to the hospital, we went straight to Labor & Delivery.

The desk nurse asked me why I was there
. Ummm, OK. Can you not see the giant belly protruding from my body? Did you not hear me coming down the hall, audibly wincing in pain with every step? I was incensed. I said, "I am here for an induction but I think I am already in labor." Her response? "Oh good!" Yeah, good for who, lady? This shit hurts!

She then lead us into our LD&R room, my Husband helped me change into a gown, I got in the bed, got hooked up to a contraction monitor and a fetal monitor and she began to examine me. She asked me if my water had broken yet. I said "No", then she said "I have to check anyway". I told her I was a nurse and would know if my water had broken...it hadn't yet.

But when she had me shift positions so she could check The Diva's position more accurately, her heart rate dropped from 156 to 52. The nurse called a code and I was suddenly surrounded by 10 more, put into the Trendelenberg position and started screaming "What's wrong with my baby???" I got no reply. The Diva's heartbeat would not stabilize & when my OB broke my water, it was dark green & black. She had had a bowel movement inside of me. I was immediately prepped for an emergency C-Section. I went into the O.R. alone because my Husband was outside the lobby waiting for my friend who could not find Labor and Delivery by herself. I was pretty pissed off about that.

This is the end of my actual Labor Day...sort of.


The Diva was born with meconium aspiration {For those of you who don't know, that is when the baby has a bowel movement in utero & inhales it} & was in the NICU for the first 18 days of her life. She was on a ventilator for the first eight of them.

The NICU was at a different hospital because her birth hospital did not have one. So there I was stuck in a hospital bed, while my baby was taken to yet another hospital without me. What made it both worse and comical was the "Lithium Nurse" who talked to me not 5 minutes after I woke up from the anesthesia. The birth hospital did not have a NICU, so my baby had to be transferred to another one that did. I was not amused. I asked to be transferred along with my newborn, but it was a no go.

Then "Lithium Nurse" says this to me, "Your baby has to be transferred to another hospital with a NICU. We do not have the facilities to care for her here. But we will have our own NICU within a year and be able to take care of all the babies then. It will be state~of~the~art, staffed with the best Neo~Natal doctors." She said all this with a huge smile, a lilt in her voice and the speed of a crack whore. My response was "And exactly how does this help me and my baby out now?" The shocked look on her face was classic. Even in my groggy state, I could still unleash a a good one-liner! HA!

I'm digressing again...

Now that's a Labor Day!

So while you are having fun today, barbecuing and socializing, take a moment to thank the women whose very personal and extremely physical labor brought your children
{and you} into this world. All Moms have endured what men will never be able to do...grow and give birth to a human being.

I mean really, would any man choose to push a bowling ball through the head of their penis? No. Not by choice. And certainly not stone cold sober. Or pain med free. A man would also most definitely never let you forget his pain and sacrifice, either.

Go on now...give credit where credit is due.


{
I found out before I published this article that my friend, Greg from TellingDad.com had the exact same idea I did for Labor Day. So please go visit him as well. Tell him I sent ya.}



5 comments:

Amanda said...

The part about your DH telling you to breathe made me laugh. With our oldest, my doctor was rushign me with pushing and not letting me catch my breath. She says "PUSH!" I say "I'M NOT READY YET!" And then she turns to my husband and tells him to tell me ot push. he says "You get paid ot do this and arent' the one who has to go home with her." We still laugh about that. He knew better.

Intense Guy said...

Ouch. I wonder why childbirth have to be so ... difficult? It sounds like a true ordeal and a half.

LadyStyx said...

I bet if guys had to do that... they wouldn't be in such a rush....

Jamie said...

That is so sad that they would not transfer you to the hospital your baby was at!!! I can not even imagine!

Cat@3KidsandUs said...

I love your story...while it didn't go exactly as expected, you have a beautiful little baby and most certainly a day to remember!

 

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