At about this time, exactly 4 years ago, I was getting in bed with my mother (shut up – it was way cooler in her room and I was like a sweat machine throughout my entire pregnancy).
It was 10 days until my due date and while I knew I was going to have a baby at the end of the whole pregnancy thing, I hadn’t quite been able to wrap my mind around the whole ‘labor’ portion of the program. In fact, I completely avoided the entire subject. I skipped the last chapter of every pregnancy book I had (and that’s a lot of books), I didn’t watch any preparation videos or take any classes. I didn’t even discuss the approaching event with friends or family. I successfully tricked my own mind to forget about it completely. I am amazing (and scary) in the way I can mind fuck myself.
Anyway, I had to get up and change my shorts three times in just a few shorts hours after I went to bed. I kept waking up to what could only be explained by my peeing my pants. I didn’t smell anything funny – but whatever. I had read in my books that weird shit happened to pregnant chicks all the time. I thought maybe I was just a late bloomer in the “peeing my pants a little bit” category.
I woke up to back spasms several times over the next few hours, as well. It was strange because I knew I had been careful not to pick up anything heavy lately, due to my pregnancy and all, but I must have done something, sometime, because my sciatica was acting up quite a bit.
It wasn’t until about 4 a.m., when my contractions were about 2 minutes apart, that it occurred to me that I might be in labor. I woke my mom up with this revelation, and she told me she’d known for hours I was in labor. I guess I’d woken her up while moaning in pain or something. I’m rude like that sometimes.
I hadn’t even packed a bag yet. I thought I had 10 days left. Also, packing a bag would have meant actually admitting to myself that I was going to give birth at some point very soon. I wasn’t really down with that at the time. So, I packed a bag, got in the car, STOPPED AND GOT GAS (what the hell? She couldn’t have filled up before I was about to give birth to a small human?!?), then off to the hospital. After finding out that the hospital closest to my house didn’t give epidurals, we were off to another hospital (the one in the original plan). My doctor moved to Vegas 3 weeks before I was due to have the kid, so it didn’t really matter to me where I had him.
That reminds me – I need to look her up and make sure to send her a Fuck You card for all the consideration she gave me at that time. Not even any notice or warning. Just up and left. Whatever. I guess that’s what I should have expected from an OB/GYN who wore Birkenstocks to work.
Long story, short – the epidural fell out. I wouldn’t dilate. I was given medication to help speed the contractions up in hopes I would dilate. Didn’t dilate. Froze on what I was sure could only be the metal slab on which I would die having contractions. Got bumped three effin times by emergency patients for my c-section. Had a c-section. Heard nurses counting towels and thought they were counting toes. Was confused when they were at “13″. Went to recovery without seeing my baby. Saw my baby 4 hours later. Stayed for 3 days. Went home. Had a panic attack. Adjusted to the fact that he had blond hair. Read “how to” manuals on everything from feeding to changing to cognitive skills to swaddling (did anyone else find that word to be misleading? I thought it was something in the diaper changing process).
So, here I am, 4 years later, still reading the “how-to” books – but not as many. I play it by ear and take it one day at a time.
I’m a little more confident with my Mommy abilities these days.
I’ll never make the mistake of letting him eat whatever he wants all day just to “teach him a lesson” or prove my point.
And I’ll never ever take any second we have for granted because each one is a blessing. I sometimes forget how lucky I really am to have such a wonderful child who is healthy, funny, and pretty fuckin cute, to boot.