Monday, September 24, 2012


I know I’ve really been slacking off on this whole blogging business. What can I say? I’m too tired? I’m busy all the time? I have writer’s block? My life is so incredibly boring that there’s not much to report? I’m spending all my spare time installing a bomb shelter in my back yard and stocking it with ammo and canned goods in preparation for the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Yep.

Remember when I wrote that I was going to post birth stories about each of my children around their birthdays this year? I didn't remember. My oldest daughter turned 22 several weeks ago, and my youngest child turned ten a little over a week ago. THAT jogged my increasingly feeble memory banks. At least it gives me something to write about though.

Danielle's Birth Story ~ September 3, 1990

Danielle ~ 2009

Danielle, my second child and first daughter, was due on August 20, 1990. My dear friend, SUZ, and I walked all over Springville that summer, much of that in August, in a vain attempt to jump start some labor. Man, we walked a LOT that month. August 20 came and went. It was HOT and I was MISERABLE. I was also working full time and had a 21-month-old toddler to take care of. I had a doctor appointment a week after my due date, at which my doctor told me that if I didn’t go into labor prior to Labor Day, he would “start” me the day after that. An end was in sight.

I continued working that week, and I told my supervisor that my doctor was planning on “starting” me on the day after Labor Day, but I would come to work before my appointment. Our department was really busy with election polls, and would be required to work sometime during the Labor Day weekend. We decided that rather than working on Labor Day, we would work the Sunday before.

Here it was Labor Day weekend. I was nearly two weeks overdue and it was HOT! My mother, attempting to cheer me up, took me out to eat on Saturday evening, just the two of us. How WELL my mother knows me… good food ALWAYS cheers me up! We went to one of my favorite restaurants, El Azteca (which, sadly, is no longer around), and I ordered the humongous platter that included two of everything, plus chips and salsa, soup AND dessert. To my mother’s amazement, I ate EVERYTHING. I couldn’t really believe how much I ate, and I don’t surprise myself very often. My husband, James, and I were both working the next morning, so my mother took my son, Anthony, for the night since she would be watching him while we were at work the next day. I went home and slipped quickly into a carne asada coma.

Sunday morning while I was getting ready for work, I started having abdominal pains. I assumed it was due to the massive Mexican feast my body was most likely still attempting to digest. I drove to work and on the way noticed that the pains were exactly every 15 minutes. This was no case of indigestion, my friends. This was labor! The early stages, but labor nonetheless. Finally!

I showed up at work and told my supervisor that I would definitely NOT be in on Tuesday. When she asked why, I announced that I was in labor. All the women in my department immediately transformed into mother hens. “Are you alright?” “Shouldn’t you go home, or to the hospital?” I told everyone that it was going to be awhile before it was time to go to the hospital, and that I would rather be at work with something to do to distract my mind from the pain. Also, the hospital was only a few blocks away from work. It was about 12 miles from my house. I was better off being at work. Every ten minutes or so, someone would ask me how I was doing. Not really helping take my mind off of the contractions, people! I did call my husband at his job to inform him that he shouldn’t make any immediate plans. I am now a literal LEGEND at that company. I will forever be “The Woman Who Worked an Entire Shift While in Labor.” {insert impressive trumpet music here}. The thought of this always makes me laugh inside, as if the Coding Department has been passing down my story to every new employee for the past 22 years, each employee adding and embellishing the story to outlandish and mythical proportions. It wasn’t that extraordinary. What else would I have been doing? Probably sitting home alone, watching television and kicking myself for not going to work on what would be my last day for at least six weeks (unpaid)?

Anyhoo, I worked my full shift and then stopped at the hospital on the way home. They monitored me and told me that I would definitely be back later that night. I went to my parents’ house and told everyone the news. My mother said she’d keep Anthony there so I wouldn’t have to wake him up in the middle of the night to bring him to her. When I got home, James and I watched some television and he fell asleep. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. The contractions were about five minutes apart, but they were really painful. I took warm baths and held off waking James as long as I could. At about 2:00 a.m. I finally broke down and woke him up to drive me to the hospital. He asked how far apart the contractions were, and I told him. He wasn’t impressed. Five minutes apart really isn’t impressive, and even I was doubtful the hospital would admit me. But the PAIN was more intense than five-minute-apart contractions should have been (based on my own personal experience with my firstborn). So James humored me and drove me to the hospital. The stop light on Main and 4th South WOULD NOT TURN GREEN at this time of night. Seriously, people. We sat there for at least a good five minutes with absolutely NO OTHER CARS in sight ANYWHERE. I had the passenger seat of that little Subaru reclined and was lying on my side in the fetal position, in some SERIOUS discomfort {read: AGONY}, and that effing light would not turn effing green! So James did what any devoted husband would do in this situation. He said, “Fuck it!”, and drove right through the red light across Main Street. I guess he figured that if he got pulled over for it, he had a really good reason to run the light sitting {read: writhing in pain} in the passenger seat.

At this point, I had been in labor for about 18 hours already. Even though the beginning isn’t that bad, having your abdomen feel like it’s in a vise in regular intervals for 18 freakin’ hours takes a TOLL on a human being. I was exhausted, and it was after 2:00 a.m., and I hadn’t had any sleep or anything to eat for those 18 hours. And it was Labor Day. Yippee!

We arrived at the hospital, and it was at this time that it really dawned on me that James was basically humoring me. He didn’t really think that they were going to admit me. He thought I was exaggerating the pain. How did I know this? When I asked him to grab my overnight bag from the back seat of the car, he said he would come back for it IF they admitted me. IF. THEY. ADMITTED. ME. I would now like to confess the fact that ever since that moment, I have wished upon that man a bad case of kidney stones, just so he could get a little taste of the agony that IS labor and childbirth.

We got to Labor and Delivery and I was stuck in a little room and asked how far apart the contractions were. I told the nurse five minutes. She was not impressed. But hospital protocol was to monitor for at least a half an hour, so she also humored me and hooked me up to the monitors. She left the room and rushed back in about six minutes later. She pointed at James and said, “YOU! Go get her bag out of the car and get her registered.” She then told me that they were going to be moving me into a birthing room and ordering my epidural NOW (thank you, Jesus). James left to fetch my bag. I asked the nurse what was going on and she informed me that my contractions were not five minutes apart. They were about two and a half minutes apart. Apparently I was having a BIG contraction (that I was timing), and then a small one (that I was not even counting as a separate contraction). They had me moved to another room, an IV started and the anesthesiologist was finishing up with my epidural before James even got back from the car. Epidural was patchy {read: not working at all} on the right side. It had been like that with my first delivery, so I didn’t stress about it. I knew there was nothing that could be done.

Everything went crazy fast after that. Some doctor I had never even heard of showed up (apparently, my doctor was out of town), and delivered Baby Danielle. We didn’t know whether we were having a girl or another boy. I was so ecstatic to have a baby girl! She was perfect! A nurse wheeled Danielle to the nursery and took James with her.

Danielle Newborn

As the doctor was stitching up the cruel, torturous and barbaric incision that the medical profession calls an episiotomy, I could feel EVERYTHING on the right side. I was squirming a little as he pulled the sutures through, and he (in my opinion, STUPIDLY) asked, “Can you FEEL that?” I should have kicked him in the face. My feet were still up in the stirrups not five inches from the sides of his head. But I wasn’t raised that way (a pity really), so I just told him that the epidural didn’t work on my right side. So he gave me a local anesthetic injection. I know what you’re thinking…. And, yeah, it hurt. It. Hurt. A. Lot.

After that, the doctor left, the nurses cleaned everything up and James stopped in to tell me goodbye. He had to get to work. Don’t feel bad for me or anything. I think it’s just plain bizarre for the baby’s father to stick around in the hospital room with the baby’s mother for her entire hospital stay. I ENJOY having some time to myself. I see that dude every freakin’ day, for cryin’ out loud! But maybe that’s just me. Whatever.

The nurse asked me if I wanted some pain pills. Um… Yes, please! I took two Percodans on a stomach that hadn’t had anything in it for awhile, forgetting to ask for some crackers or something. You can see where this is going. They wheeled me into my room on the Maternity Ward, and got me settled into my bed and brought breakfast in. That’s when the nausea hit. I’m dead weight from the waist down on the left side. I’m in a bed with rails. Alone. And I’m GOING TO VOMIT. I vomited and started hemorrhaging, then the nurse got me into the bathroom to help me clean up and I proceeded to pass out on the toilet. Let the good times roll, people! Note to self: do not ever take narcotic pain meds on an empty stomach. Ever. Everyone and everything got cleaned up and I got a little rest and then they brought Danielle to me in her little hospital bucket.

My mother-in-law (who is a nurse) showed up and told me I looked really pale. Duh! I ALWAYS look pale. Because I’m a pasty white-girl and that’s how I roll, you know? But I looked REALLY pale. I FELT pale. And weak. And pretty faint. But I survived and we brought Danielle home the next day.

Danielle ~ 3 Months Old

Danielle was an extremely GOOD baby. She rarely got sick, was happy and funny and loved her brother, Anthony. He loved her too. He gave her a high five the first time he met her. She is now an intelligent, humorous, and mature woman (we say she’s 22 going on 40). She’s a wonderful mom to her daughter, Addalie, and a wonderful daughter, granddaughter, niece and sister. I love you, Danielle!


Amanda said...

I love birth stories -- thank you for sharing yours! And yeah, my ex wasn't even in the state for my younger son's birth. Folks were asking if I was upset and all I could think was "What possible use would he be if he were here?" It was just me, the midwives, and family. Got that kid from first contraction to birth in just under 5 hours. Bless him.

Lyn said...

Yeah. The fathers are pretty much useless. What CAN they possibly do? With my second youngest, I basically wanted to punch X in the face; and then I didn't even want him there at all when my youngest was born. I wish I could have banned him from the hospital. ;)

Suz said...

She is beautiful. I remember those walks. We should take some walks now, just because we want to be together. We need some girly time.
Luv ya

Suz said...

She is beautiful. I remember those walks. We should take some walks now, just because we want to be together. We need some girly time.
Luv ya

Lyn said...

We do need some girly time. It sucks that we live two whole cities away from each other and can't easily just take off and go for walks. I sure could use some excercise!

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