It’s been a while… aka. what I wish I had known before having a baby

I didn’t mean to take such a long break but the thing is if I have nothing interesting to say what’s the point in talking?

Just over 3 weeks ago I had a kid. I am not dead tired. I sleep for a good 7 hours every night – not straight, but still. I’m fine. Storm is either an easy kid or parents tend to hyperbole – I don’t know.

The birth however was horrid. I don’t buy into the whole miracle of life thing. If I was living in the 16th century both of us would probably have died. My body went on strike. I was fully dilated – and then my uterus apparently went on holiday.

Nothing happened. I was in labour and had contractions but the baby didn’t budge. And why didn’t I know the birth itself is a piece of piss? Ladies, the exit of the baby is nothing to worry about. Oh no, it’s the hours and hours of bloody contractions you need to worry about. TV-shows and movies don’t do us any favours, y’all. They fucking lie.

So here’s how it went down.

4 am – I woke up with a bit of stomach ache. Is it now? Is this the day? Finally??

5 am – Yep, this is unfamiliar. Definitely contractions. I woke up boyfriend and told him this was it.

6 am – Called the hospital. Contractions were 7 minutes apart. They told me it would be hours and hours. “Don’t worry, and get as much sleep as you can”. Alright then. I told boyfriend he should go to work and finish as much as he could and inform his coworkers and boss that he proobably wouldn’t be in tomorrow. According to the midwife I talked to nothing would happen until after midday. It was the first time after all.

7 am to 9 am – The pain increased. I screamed a lot into the pillows. I told boyfriend to get back home. The midwife was a fucking liar.

9 am – Contractions were 2-3 min apart. I called the hospital again and was told: “Oh no they need to be like that for HOURS. Wait two hours and see”. Right.

11 am – Boyfriend had come home an hour before and was feeling utterly useless as he couldn’t really do anything about anything. I told him: “We’re going. NOW!” I called the hospital again and the midwife said that she “could understand I wanted an assessment of the development”.

We arrived at 11.45 and lo and behold. The birth was happening and I was 7 cm dilated.

I was so set on getting the epidural – but my widwife adviced against it, or rather warned me. It might delay the birth. If we don’t do it it will probably be over in a few hours. If you get it it probably will last until tonight…

Alrighty then. So I decided to power through. My only pain relief was warm water…like a damn idiot. I spent the next couple of hours in a bathtub half asleep between contractions, naked and not caring about modesty or pride. The pain was all I could deal with. At 2.05 pm the water broke – and that’s another thing that wasn’t like I thought. I thought my water would break and then I would know I was in labour. But all the time between 4 am and 11 am I wasn’t actually sure because it could be false alarm. So finally the water broke while I was in the bathtub and well I couldn’t see it but I believe I looked like one of those water spraying things in a hottub.

And then…nothing. Except unbelievable pain. Some of the contractions were alright, they felt like they were supposed to and I felt like pushing like I was supposed to. But the majority was just tsunamis of pain that left me unable to do anything but cry. Several times I whimpered and begged to be able to stop. “I can’t do this”. Boyfriend and Midwife assured me I could. I was doing great. I was okay. She made me stand, she made me squat (I’m still trying to block that mental image out tbh, me naked, crying, sweaty, wet from the bath squatting on a hospital bed – yeah it’s a fucking beautiful experience)….

But I wasn’t and I wasn’t. I got a drop to help the contractions along…that didn’t help. And then…all hell broke lose. Suddenly the room flooded with people, doctors, interns, more midwives. They all introduced themselves but honestly everything is a blur from here on. He was going to be taken with ventouse. Someone said to me afterwards: “I can understand why you said yes to that”. But I didn’t. I didn’t have a choice at this point. His puls was dropping every time I had a contraction and pushing didn’t move him fast enough – or at all actually. I was next to delirious with pain –  and keep in mind this had “only” been going on for 3 hours at this point. This was a fast birth! My deepest respect for anyone in this for longer.

I can’t describe how painful the apparatus they used was but the birth itself was nothing compared to the contractions. For me the relief was instant. 5 minutes after he was out and he was put on my chest (he needed immidiate attention and oxygen due to the stressful birth) I was joking and laughing. My first words to him were: “What’s the matter with you, baby? Why didn’t you come out?” and the next: “You’re going to be an only child”.

I didn’t scream during the birth. I didn’t swear or yell at boyfriend. None of the movie stereotypes. I remember just wanting to sleep. I was so tired. The fear every time a contraction came. And the panic when I didn’t know what to do. “You’re pushing the right way now” But I had no idea what I was doing differently from before when I wasn’t…

And the horror didn’t stop. I was broken. Not irreparably but that was the trouble…I needed stitches. And a lot of them. But not until after the placenta was born and I sprayed three midwives with blood. I’m telling you it was like a scene from Walking Dead when they split open a walker.

And then I was sewed up – which was not as painful as the rest but still pretty fucking painful. I don’t know how many stitches but it took about half an hour. But baby Stormy wasn’t done. He needed to have some bloodwork done and to eat right away so he was given a shot glass of formula. His blood sugar was extremely low because of the stress. He had his blood sugar tested every 4 hours throughout the night and was fed formula to get it to the right level. We didn’t sleep much that night. And the next he got severe gas pains. The third night we were back home and he was the unhappiest baby ever. Boyfriend had to carry him around the entire night to keep him from crying. I still couldn’t walk properly so he did the diaper changes and the walking around for the first couple of days.

Was this my life now? Screaming baby and being miserable because my child was miserable?

And then…he settled. He still has gas pains but manageable and usually only in spells. He mostly sleeps during the night – and the day – or he lies there and talks and babbles – which might still keep us awake but it’s cute so it’s okay.

This Monday daddy went back to work and we have to manage by ourselves during the day but I think we’re going to be alright. Although I do miss being able to hand him over when he’s being fuzzy. Anyway, it’s kinda like the birth – I might feel like I can’t do it but it’s not like I have an actual choice 😉

Now it’s been almost 4 weeks and my uterus is pretty much back to normal. I don’t look pregnant anymore. I still have about 16 pounds (8 kg) of pregnancy weight left but I’m okay with that. I never expected to look the same. I’m not losing weight from breastfeeding. Some women do, I don’t. That’s fine. Baby is gaining weight and is healthy. All in all -we’re doing good.

4 thoughts on “It’s been a while… aka. what I wish I had known before having a baby

  1. Happy to hear you and Storm are doing well! He DOES sound like a good baby – glad to hear you’re not dead tired and sleeping enough! Good work getting through that labor – that must have been scary! I give you MAJOR props for not getting the epidural! My mother had all 3 of her kids natural without any drugs and I still wonder HOWWWWW haha APPLAUSE FOR YOU ALL AROUND!

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  2. I love reading birth stories. And holy cow yours was intense! And terrifying.

    I felt like my quicker birth with Evie, which was about 8 hours total, was much more traumatizing than the longer 72 hours with Asa. I don’t know why; it was an “easy” birth. But it just felt so much more intense. I’m so glad Stormy is settling in and is happy! Some parents definitely like to hyperbole about parenthood but every kid is different. Asa was SO easy but if I’d had Evie first it would have been a different story.

    PS this was the most entertainingly written birth story ever.

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