Hey all! Back with the next installment of our birth story. If you missed Part I, it’s here.
Lying down made the contractions less bearable, but not impossible. Jared and Jacie settled down for a nap. We all slept for a little while when suddenly I woke up with the worst pain I have ever felt (up to that point). I knew that if all my contractions were going to be like this, I would not last. I HAD to get to the bathroom immediately. Jacie woke at the sound of my distress and helped me breathe through it. I remember thinking that birth must be imminent if the contractions had gotten this bad this quick. Jared and Jacie helped me get off the bed and get to the bathroom with my portable IV thingie. I got in there and had the worst diarrhea EVER. Still, I had read about voiding bowels before a natural non-induced birth. I just didn’t know it’d be so violent and painful. I didn’t think to bring it up to the nurse. After I finished in the bathroom, I felt much better, but the contractions were still pretty strong. While I was getting the antibiotics, I was also hooked up to a portable fetal monitor. It showed that my contractions were “piggy-backing”. They were lasting about 5 minutes each. One contraction was working to push the baby down and another smaller contraction followed it up directly to turn the baby in the right direction. The sucky thing is, I had diligently laid on my left side the entire pregnancy. He was in the perfect position until two days before I went into labor. SUCK! We tried the polar bear position to help him get turned around. Didn’t work, unfortunately. There wasn’t enough amniotic fluid left in there for him to twist around in easily.
Once they unhooked the IV and fetal monitor, we walked around – contractions barely hurt (comparatively) when I was moving about. As they got worse, I squeezed Jared’s hand or stopped and wiggled my hips. We were all super tired and I felt bad for Jacie and Jared having to stay up with me. Again, I have no concept of how much time passed. We went to the bath at one point and the water helped the contractions increase in strength. I was hooked up to the IV again and OMG my stomach hurt so bad. Jared stayed with me in the bathroom as I went through it. I remember him making me laugh despite the pain. He’s amazing. This time I mentioned it to the nurse. She said, “Oh yeah, antibiotics cause stomach cramps in some people, but it’s probably just your contractions getting worse.” It was stomach cramps on top of contractions. Intense pain every four hours when they reapplied the IV. Plus, I had to stay in bed or on the toilet and couldn’t really stand to walk around with the cramps in full swing. It was terrible. They listened to my concerns and said they could put me on a different medication next time. It would take longer on the IV ( the first was a half hour to drain into my vein, but the new meds would take a full hour). The new stuff would last 8 hours instead of 4. Hours passed again. I couldn’t eat because the contractions were coming quickly and painfully and I definitely couldn’t sleep. At some point, they checked how far my cervix had dilated. It was completely effaced, but only 2 cm. I was cheered by the knowledge that the effacement is the harder part. Now it would be no time until birth. Wrong.
The next antibiotics dose was due. It hurt even worse than the other medication. At this point, I had an annoying little girl nurse who has never gone through anything like this and wanted to be my cheerleader. I hate cheerleaders. I don’t want to be told that I’m doing a good job by someone who has no idea what it feels like. I wanted to punch her barely-out-of-nursing-school face every time she opened her mouth. And she kept coming to check the baby’s heart rate ALL THE TIME. Well, that’s how it felt to me. It was really every 30 minutes. However, I was writhing on the toilet with the new dose of drugs for what must have been hours now that I think of it. I kept telling her to go away. Jared said he was very impressed by how polite I remained through this whole process. I am too because I was so tempted to start yelling at this 20 year old who kept telling me how well I was doing and “if I can just sneak in here and grab a heart rate.” Do you not see that I am on the toilet and in incredible pain? Or, do you not see that I am in the tub and in even worse pain because not only am I dealing with stomach cramps, but the tub increases my contraction strength? No you cannot sneak in here! Go away, you idiot child.
It came out as “Would you come back later?” No please or thank you, so take that bit o’ sass.
It was during this time in the bathroom when I was death-gripping Jared’s thigh and crying and moaning through each cramp/contraction, that something happened I hadn’t expected. Jared cried. I didn’t know that at the time because I couldn’t look up at his face to see the tears, but he told me later. My mom also told me that when he went out again to update our families he cried with his dad. Jared hadn’t cried in the entire time I had known him and he’s told me that he hadn’t cried for years before I knew him either. He just didn’t react that way in any situation. With the lack of sleep and the sight of his wife in so much pain, the tears flowed. I’ve never been so touched. It felt like in Dune when Paul cries for someone’s passing and the Fremen are completely amazed that he would “give water to the dead” when water is so precious to them.
And that’s why I love her, because her brain works like mine. Dune reference FTW. I can say, without a doubt, that watching her hurting like that for so long is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Like she said, I really don’t cry, but it hurt so much to see her hurting, and there was nothing I could do but just be there for her while she struggled. It didn’t feel like enough. I wanted to be able to take over for her or something, but the best I could do was just hold her hand and kiss her hair and make sure she was drinking and eating between contractions. It was pretty awful, and made moreso by the fact that it was happening to someone I love so completely. When they finally forced me out of the room to get some food, my dad and I went down to the cafeteria and I just broke down. All I could tell him was that “I love her so much, and she’s hurting so bad”. I only managed to eat a couple bites of food before I had to go back upstairs and be with her again, but I’d regained my composure by then. I guess my dad must have told everyone what happened when he came back up. I didn’t even know that she knew I’d cried until a day or two later when she mentioned it. That’s when I told her that I’d also cried while I was with her in the bathroom. I half thought she’d noticed me shaking and just hadn’t said anything, but I guess she had other things on her mind at the time.
Okay, that’s a rough one, but we’ve got at least one and maybe two more entries before the baby actually makes his arrival. And then there’s the story of what happened after the birth, but that’s a story neither of us has actually written yet.
But hey, I do have some more adorable pictures, so let’s look at those!
These are our friends Jordan and Liz, who I mentioned last time. They came with us to the farmer’s market and Liz was all too happy to take Gryff off our hands for a few minutes. She barely even snarled when I tried to take him back.
This one’s cute because it shows him in the last 0-3m onesie we ever shoehorned him into. He’s just way too big for them now and he looks a bit silly. He fits really well into things marked 3m, though, and we’ve got quite a few of those. We also got some new sleepers that are marked 3m but look enormous, so maybe they’ll actually fit him when he gets to 3m?
Anyway, thanks for reading, and we’ll talk to you soon.