Thursday, March 8, 2012

Flexibility Matters

I smile because I am holding my son. Also? IV pain meds.
 It's impossible to say how much my life has already changed, and what more is to still come.

I was supposed to be induced for labor on Thursday, February 23rd. I was. I spent the entire day in labor, walking back and forth between a 3 foot space. I was hooked up to an IV with pictocin and minerals in one arm, and a fetal heartbeat monitor and a monitor for my contractions around my stomach. But I walked within the space I had, because it would help me dilate. 

Around six that night the midwife checked me, and found I was 3 cms dilated. Hooray! So I kept walking. I would sit on occasion, but that was very uncomfortable. The contractions were getting stronger and stronger as they upped the pictocin drip. It wasn't until 2 in the morning that I realized my legs hurt too badly to walk on, that they were swollen purple. So it was time for the epidural. They broke my water and set me up on some awesome IV pain meds.

I was told to get some rest, which I would have loved to, but people were checking on me often, and I had a blood pressure cuff that went off every 30 minutes or so. I named it Eeyore because of the sad noise it made after it finished deflating. I was 5 cms by this point.

A few hours later, very early on Friday, the midwife came in to check me again. I was only 6 cms for some reason. Breaking my water should have sped up the contractions, but instead my body just plateaued out. They started talking about a c section, but said we could try taking me off the pictocin for an hour and then starting it back up again.

We tried that. It didn't work. I actually went back to 5 cms dilated. I could have waited until later on in the day to see if I would dilate further, but it was a numbers game at this point. Once they break your water, you have a high chance of infection. My body was showing no signs of dilating further, and the longer we waited, the better chance there would be that they would move me from an unscheduled c section to an emergency c section where they are worried about me and or the baby.

So I decided on the c section, and less than 10 minute later they started prepping me. They gave me this nasty tasting stuff to prevent heartburn, which I promptly threw up (I would have rather had heartburn). They put pressure garments on my legs so I wouldn't clot. They wheeled me into this large, cold OR, and upped my epidural so I couldn't feel anything from the waist down. A thin blue curtain draped across my chest separated me from the doctors. My husband sat with me, holding my hand and looking funny in the hospital gown they gave him. 

I was scared and cold and nervous something would go wrong. But I was lucky. The baby came out no problem. He was perfectly healthy. And while I am still sore from the labor and operation, I am healing well. 

I would have rather not be induced. And then, I would have rather not had a c section. Nothing about my son's birth went how I'd planned, except the most important part about both of us being healthy.

On our way to see the doctor. He sleeps blissfully unaware.
Writing is a lot like that. You have all these ideas and expectations. It comes with the territory. We're imaginative people. Why wouldn't we imagine what it's going to be like to get published, to get an agent, to reach any milestone we have our heart set on?

But it's important to remember that life has other plans. Being flexibile can completely change your experience of an event. I could have gotten really upset and pissed off about how the birth of my son turned out. I could have been mad that I also have to recover from major surgery after being in labor for a day and a half while taking care of a newborn. 

But why? Why get all caught up on how you wanted things to be? Why not plan for every outcome and just know that things are going to change, things are going to be different, and that's okay?

If you get too upset about the curve balls life throws you, just look at this picture. I dare you not to laugh: 

Sausage baby! To the rescue!



  1. More photos, please :)

    look at that hair.

  2. OMG SQUEEEEE!!! Your baby is so cute!

    I don't know what it is about motherhood, but I never would have said stuff like that before my baby. It's like there's this crazy switch in the brain that just gets flipped. Wow.

  3. He's precious. Congrats on you both being healthy. My son was difficult, too.

  4. Arh what a great result though! Great perspective on the event. It's so true. Adjusting to what life throws at us is just better for everyone in the long run.

  5. Congrats, Elizabeth!

    I know exactly how you last labor and delivery sounds very much like yours. C-sections take far longer to heal than normal deliveries...but my son was SO worth it.
    (he is almost 26 now) :)


  6. The bonus of a section baby is no conehead look or blotchy cheeks. (My niece was the conehead, my son had the blotchy cheeks.) And you and he are both doing fine, which is the most important thing!

    And I didn't laugh. Just wish I lived nearby to get a baby fix!

  7. Huntress: Happy to oblige! I didn't want to over saturate my blog with baby pictures, but since you asked for them... :D

    Rena: I know! I would have never had paid attention, except now I have one of my very own. :D

    Miranda: Sorry to hear that, but at least we all came out okay.

    Freya: Yes! I prefer to look on the positive side of things anyway.

    Sharon: Thanks! Sorry about the difficult labor yourself, but yeah he was so worth it.

  8. You have the best attitude ever! Good for you, and I'm glad you are both healthy. And in the end, I'm sure its all worth it!

    Oh, and kudos to you for turning this into a writing analogy! Funny how even having a baby and surgery couldn't shut off the writer's brain.

  9. Charity: Yeah, I might not have the energy for anything writing related at the moment, but I can still think about it!