Monday, November 26, 2007

The one where the shoulder got stuck

Tessie requested birth stories. I said I'd deliver (Ha ha! Get it? Deliver? I crack me up.), so here is birth story number one.

My first child was due May 25, 1994. My water broke around 1:00am on May 22, 1994. Well, not so much broke as leaked a little. What I heard them call later a "high leak." But, the fortress had been breached, so into the hospital with me. First, though, a shower, because back then I didn't feel like I could function without a morning shower (yes, children had much to teach me). We arrived at the hospital around 2:00am. I had yet to feel a contraction, but according to a nice young man who strapped a monitor on me, I was having them every two and a half minutes.

I continued to not feel any contractions, so around 6:00am they gave me pitocin and went ahead and gave me an epidural so I wouldn't have to feel any contractions. Wasn't that nice of them? Well, my doctor couldn't get the needle in the spinal space because things were kind of swollen back there, so after two *very painful* tries, she called in the anesthesiologist who whipped it right in there, no problem.

Then a totally uneventful 11 hours or so. Lots of news on TV about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's death three days prior and funeral arrangements. Lots of various people coming in and out to check vitals and probe areas that prior to this day had been fairly private. My favorite was the nurse who came in and said, "Hi, I'm [whatever her name was] and I'm here to swab your vagina." By that point, of course, they could have been bringing in busloads of tourists with cameras requesting to photograph my nether regions and I would have spread 'em and said, "Knock yourself out."

Anyway, around 5:00pm or so, I started to feel fairly intense pressure. I sort of vaguely recalled someone saying something to me about feeling pressure and what I should do (which as it turns out, was TELL SOMEONE), but I couldn't remember what exactly she had said. So the next time someone came in to check me, I said, "Someone said something about feeling pressure, and I'm not sure what they said, but I'm feeling pressure." She checked my cervix and declared me ready to deliver. So the doctor came in and we started the whole push, stop, okay push thing. The head delivered, and then... the shoulders wouldn't. I wasn't really fully aware of the situation until later, but one of the delivery nurses (who happened to be a neighbor of mine - raise your hands anyone whose neighbors have seen your hoo-ha) grabbed a stool to stand on so she could push on my belly to help push the baby out. It didn't come to that, because the doctor was telling me to push REALLY hard, and since I figured the doctor knew what she was doing, I did, and the shoulder came free.

My first daughter was born around 6:00pm. I could tell you the exact time if I wasn't too lazy to go find something that lists that particular bit of data, but I am, and it really isn't necessary to the story. The story which is now over, except for the part where I tell you she was a BIG baby, 8lbs, 10oz, and you all cringe and squeeze your legs together.

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