My Labor of Love

The last two weeks have gone by quickly, but have no fear readers- time has not erased the memories I have of Tuesday, the 23rd. I've been mentally scripting this post since I got my epidural and am delighted that CeCe has decided to sleep peacefully so Mommy can get back to blogging.

When I awoke at 6 a.m. that Tuesday with stabbing pains in my gut, I told myself one thing over and over: "If this is false labor again I'm going to kick somebody."

Of course, it was the real deal. Thankfully my mother was by my side to whisk/ help me waddle to the hospital and we proceeded to get down to business. As my contractions intensified I was sure the nurses thought I was insane. Despite all the breathing techniques we learned, my reaction to the pain was to squirm around, moan, shake my hands frantically above my head and tap my feet against the railing of my hospital bed.

For those women of the world who endured drug-free childbirth, I applaud you with one hand, and use the other to shake you while screaming, "What were you thinking?"

Just let it be known pregnant-world, there is no medal awarded for not taking advantage of pain medication during labor.

I toughed it out to 5 centimeters then thought "I made it halfway naturally- that is admirable. Bring on the drugs."

Because some idiot father in California passed out during his wife's epidural, hit his head and sued the hospital, my anesthesiologist wouldn't allow anyone but the nurse in the room for the big event. Luckily, he was quite the soothing presence. With his salt and pepper beard and surgical cap that attempted to hide his ponytail, he was the type of guy who if asked what his favorite Grateful Dead album was, you know he would have a well-thought out answer.

The doctor chatted me up during the process, calling me "mama" the whole time, which I feel was more of a 1970's throwback term of endearment rather than a reference to my status as "mother." And once he had that little silver tube in place, there was no trying to understand- he was my magic man. I was numb from the waist down and kept poking my own legs in amazement at my lack of feeling.

But the love of being numb wore off when it came time to push. While the nurse kept telling me I was doing great, I certainly couldn't tell. You do what you think is pushing, unsure of what muscles you are using or if any progress is being made- and then you feel it. The bowling ball reaches the end of the tunnel. It wasn't painful, but the pressure was overwhelming.

Because they anticipated I would take a few hours of pushing, they didn't call the doctor in right away. Well the medical staff certainly underestimated how badly I wanted to meet this baby. I was quickly informed to stop pushing, to which I said, "Um, yeah, not an option right now. Sorry."

The doctor actually had to jump forward to catch CeCe I popped her out so fast. I started pushing at 9:00 and my daughter was born 29 minutes later. That didn't surprise me at all - UK had a basketball game that night, and tip-off was at 9:30.She had her priorities straight.

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