So Tuesday came and went. Then Wednesday it seemed like my leaking problem ceased to exist for a few hours. By Thursday my water had broke a second time and so I was sure this was going to be it. So far I still had not had any contractions. On Friday, my midwife calls me but being half asleep I answer thinking it’s a telemarketer and tell her that I am not here, that I am in the hospital in labor and go back to sleep. Finally, Friday night I am so done; my water broke twice and I’m still not having any contractions? Come on, child, I am so anxious to meet you! I can’t go out of the house without a towel between my legs and this is getting old, fast. Fine, what type of induction methods do we have? Lets try some red raspberry leaf tea, some castor oil in hot cocoa (seriously, why do people put oil in cold drinks to let it stay together?) Anything I can think of! But, again, nothing for a few hours so, fine, dear child, I will wait a little longer and if I do not feel like I am progressing by Monday, I will call the hospital midwife, because so far we are not running a fever, your heartbeat is perfect and we are healthy. So no reason other than impatience to rush you, I’m sure you are stubborn like your mother. 5:49am, I wake up on Saturday morning to a contraction. Oh my god, finally, this is it, this contraction is the first feelable contraction to my labor, to your arrival! Since I sent your father home a few days ago, I have him come back over. Contractions up until that point were about 10-20 minutes apart. Around 10am contractions get closer and start lowering down from 7 minutes to 5 minutes to 2 minutes. And all the while I just walk around our kitchen table until finally I’ve had enough and me and Yellowman go upstairs to the bedroom. Starting from around noon, it seems like contractions are almost back to back. Around 5pm, I get worried, I’m not feeling like Im progressing that much but I am in barely bearable pain with contractions stacking one on top of the other. I am trying to walk, I am trying to use the big ball for support, I am using Yellowman as an anchor almost bringing him to the floor. We get into a groove where as soon as I start to contract, he is right there behind me, applying pressure because I can not handle this without him. What an amazing man he is. Calm throughout the whole thing; completely responsive to my needs. Not always knowing what he needs to be doing, but with my grunt and frantic pointing he is there, every time. Never a complaint. I try and use Swedish fish as a distraction for the contractions; to chew through them. Yellowman thanks me as I feed them to him as a thank you for helping me through this. I start thinking about the hospital and the need to go there. This is going on too long, I feel small amounts of needing to push, but barely any at all. We go down to the bathtub and I run warm water. I don’t stay there long, we come back upstairs. Another hour goes by and the contractions are seemingly more back-to-back; so close, one on top of the other. I need to go to the hospital, for the amount of time this has been happening, something isn’t right. But by this time, I can’t fathom how to get through the contractions and the pain to get down the steps. We wait it out for another two hours hoping that I feel some change. Around 8pm, I have to go regardless if I think I can make it down the steps or not; the past few hours have been a magic mix of knowing I need to leave, but feeling unable to tackle those stairs through these contractions being right on each other. Finally, I make it downstairs into my mother’s car. Yellowman follows behind her, and my sister and niece follow behind them. I can barely stand it, I can barely get out of the car, I can barely walk up to labor and delivery. But we make it. The nurse greets us, “Hi how can..” – “I’m in labor, contractions are back to back, my water broke Tuesday, contractions started this morning. I’m going to need an epidural, I’ve stopped progressing” as I try and talk through the contractions, as I try and drag Yellowman to the floor with me. She asks if I need a wheelchair; I tell her I can’t sit. I need to be up. I need to bear down. I need Yellowmans support. We make it to a room. She tells me I have to lay down; I explain again that I cant. I manage to lay down so someone can check me. 8 centimeters, you can’t get an epidural. My eyes roll, ok, I get back up, we move to another room to get ready for delivery, a step or two in-between each contraction. We get into the room I’m staying in and I take off the robe “You guys are used to naked, right? I can’t stand this, its choking me” – “Yes, but I need you to lay down, the midwife will be in here to check you” I can’t. I can’t. I’m bearing down. Every contraction brings me almost to the floor, and by association I almost bring Yellowman to the floor with me, my arms wrapped around his neck, his shoulders holding me, his hands keeping me standing. “You need to try.” The midwife comes in. I manage to get on the bed. She checks me – “9 centimeters. Your uterus is swollen, the baby can’t come down, you need to stop pushing for about 30 minutes” ..I look at her in-between contractions, “Of course I can’t stop.” –“You need an epidural so you can calm down and let your uterus rest for a bit, then.” I know. I only came in because something was wrong. I listened to my body. I know at this point I need an epidural, c-section is on the table. She tells me if after an hour there is no progression, she has to call the OBGYN.
Now, for an epidural, you have to sit, leaning forward on the bed, not moving at all. I am 9 centimeters, in full-blown labor with contractions every god-knows how often and I can barely even stand the thought of sitting on the bed. Somehow, I do this. I still don’t know how. And finally I lay down on the bed, epidural starts to kick in. I did not expect to be able to feel things, I must’ve got a spinal block and an epidural mixed up in my mind. It was just numbing, like when your leg falls asleep but you can still move it. I’m laughing because I got it wrong. I’m actively trying to move my legs and feet just to see how far I can move them. Not very. I can still feel the contractions, though. Not a lot, but enough to make me not relaxed enough. I ask and they up the dosage. An hour goes by and I am progressing. Another hour goes by (its midnight now) and she can feel Sugarbaby! Finally! They turn off the epidural so I can feel my contractions and push effectively but my contractions are staggered from the epidural, they give me pitocin. I am too tired, too exhausted from feeling as if contractions were back-to back for the past, almost, 12 hours. It takes 3 hours of pushing. Her head is right here, and it still takes me three hours of pushing. Because I am trying to not be in a mind-state of “I can’t do this.” Of course I can do this, I have to do this, there is no other choice, but I do not know how. Every time you tell me I am doing fine and good, midwife, you come back and yell at me to do more. Through the last bit, I can’t fathom how I’m going to do this, you yell at me tell me I need to push harder. I am pushing as hard as I can! Finally, I tell my midwife to shut up inbetween a contraction because I cannot take the yelling. Of course she isn’t yelling at me, but she is not helping me be productive, I think to myself “You need to find a different way to talk to me”. I tell her to shut up and I focus on this nurse who tells me that I am in control of my body. I repeat the nurse. “I am in control of my body” ..I am in control of my body. Thank you. I needed the reminder. I repeat it and I push. Eventually Sugrbabys head is out. My midwife tells me to reach down, or to open my eyes and look in the mirror. And I think to myself, why. Why would I look down or reach her when I can push one more time and have her in my arms. I say no, go with the flow of the next contraction and within moments my child is in my arms. I open my eyes, I see her. I do not know at that time if Yellowman was able to catch her like he wanted. I only know she is here. She barely makes a noise, just looks at me, looks around wide-eyed and calm. This is my child, this is what I worked for.
Sugarbabys Arrival, Part I