Friday, August 1, 2008

Labor ~ For Real (and we'll throw birth in there too, cuz I'm feeling generous)

Yeah I really don't need to be doing this (see below), but, well, whatever... So anyway, here is the next installment of:
I said that we would discuss the actual business of labor today, so we shall. Warning: the opinions expressed herein are just that, opinions. Albeit STRONG opinions of a Mama who has done this FOUR blessed times. However, you will find that others are just as strong in their beliefs, and may not agree with my method. For the record, though, I think you should listen to me. ;)
That being said, now that you are lying in an oddly shaped bed in a gown that is about as modest as a cotton ball, you will be hooked up to every manner of machinery. Don't be afraid. Just revert back to childhood when we all had dreams of being an astronaut and pretend that you are defying gravity. Some of those pre-epidural contractions will make you see stars anyway, thereby adding to the illusion.

The epidural, you ask? Why yes, my child. You must labor your pretty little head off until you hit about 4 centimeters dilation. Hang in there. It will hurt, but you will live. But the minute you reach that most important milestone, then, blessed... oh so blessed... relief is all for you.

Yeah, you could go on and writhe. That's your call. But I can promise you that your children will not be born with 16 eyes and brain damage because you choose to go with the epidural. You won't be a hero any less if you opt for this route because you STILL labor, and you STILL push another human being out of your loins. The difference is that you will be able to rest and relax so that you save your energy for the pushing. But before we get to that...

I am sure that I probably lost some readers with that last paragraph. I hope you can still be my friend and we can simply agree to disagree here. The very best thing would be to post your thoughts for Amy Beth's Roomie on your blog, so she can see both sides. Moving on...

We are now at the pushing part. You're almost done here, girlie. This is where the rubber meets the road. Where you are finally almost able to meet that little sweetness that you have been caring for over these last 9 months. Keep your focus on that.

I am sorry for being so graphic here, but the bottom line is that the way to accurately describe the right kind of pushing is to liken it to taking the biggest dukey of your life. It is the exact same action. Just grab those knees (it also helps if your coach(es) can each take a foot and provide counter-pressure) and push, or bear down, with all you've got. Once you feel a contraction coming on, that's your cue to start your push (you will know that it's time before anyone else, including your nurse). You can usually get 2 or 3 good pushes in with each contraction. Then you rest. Have your coach put some ice in your mouth so you don't dry up like a prune and wait for the next one while breathing deeply.

I am wringing my hands because there is one little wicked detail that you probably should know here. It's wrong. It really, really is, but just remember that every-single-person who has given birth this way has experienced this (and if you didn't, the rest of us really don't want to know). Oh, sweet precious girl....here goes, because it is better to be informed.....SINCE pushing is the exact same action as....well, you know....it is perfectly normal to have a small accident whilst doing so. It is really no big deal, and the nurses totally expect it. They will just wipe everything up and replace the little blue thing under you so fast that you won't even have time to think on it. I know. It will be ok, sweetie. I promise. Ok, now I have definitely LOST readers, but y'all PLEASE tell her that it's normal before you go!

So anyway. Before you know it, the baby will start crowning. You will feel pretty strong pressure at this point and you will hardly be able to contain your urge to push, but as soon as the head is out, it is imperative that you listen to your Dr. and resist. TRUST ME. If you continue to push, you could tear and you do not want to do that. I'll let someone else handle all of those details, because I fear that you are already twitching over the dukey thing, so we will just quickly go to the point that you are about to give one last push.

THAT, dear girl, is the best feeling you will ever feel. There is no feeling like it in the world. The minute that precious baby slips out of you. Oh, no words. I bet most Mama's are tearing up right now thinking of their own experience because it really is the most amazing thing. All at once, you feel profound physical relief, and JOY that is inexpressible as you look at that little person for the first time.

At this point, they will lay him/her on your belly and Coach or Dr. will cut the cord. They will end up taking the baby over to the little area set up in your room to check all of his/her vitals and all that stuff, while they finish with you. You may have to push one more time, but honestly, I don't remember ever having to do that. Anyone? It will be to deliver the placenta (lawsy mercy, we won't even go there). Then they will stitch you up, if need be, and get every one back to working order. We will discuss post-partum next week, though. This is already ridiculously long.

So girls, did I miss anything, or was my experience completely different from your's? Tell it, she's listening! And if you want to participate in this Fetus Friday, go here.

Have a great weekend, friends!

19 comments:

MCC said...

Great post. I wasn't tearing up, but I was smiling REALLY BIG.

I just never used the epidural, so the only additional feeling you get is like one of those indian burns (remember, your brother did it to your arm & it hurt like heck)...your V will feel like that to the 10th power. But other than that..you're right..it's like a BIG dukey.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

That's all I can say at this point. I need to go have a moment with myself to prepare for what's about to happen in two months. BECAUSE RIGHT NOW, I AM NEAR FAINTING.

Duckygirl said...

Oh, I so wish I could have read something like this before I gave birth the first time! It's 'all the stuff your mama never told you' :) And just as a quick note, the accident thing only happened once out of 7 for me...but it's nice to know it happened to others.

Thank you for reality!

-Laura

Emily said...

hahahahahahaahahaha. You and Gayle B are sisters. No doubt I'd love you too. :)

carrie said...

that is a wild ride for sure! And exactly right. that last push? Oh yeah, the elation when it's over is priceless.

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

Well, I had a C-section with the girls, that was easy-schmeasy.

But with my 9 lb 2 oz. Bubba, it was a whole different story. My dr. is my hero and he let me have the epidural as soon as I was settled in the bed because we induced labor and we knew it was happening. The only bad thing is that I had to get a booster epidural towards the end because it took so long. All that to say, I never felt contractions with either of my births.

And the accident thing? My nurses made me have a pre-epidural enemia (sp?) so I wouldn't have to endure that. So, yes, it's totally normal and expected.

Bubba was a big boy, his head was 15 inches and his shoulders were 17 inches. So there was a lot of stitching up for me. A lot. Even though I never felt the contractions during birth, I totally paid the pain price with the healing stuff afterwards. I didn't really know how bad it was until 3 yrs later when I was prego with the girls and one of the nurses saw it on my chart and filled me in. It explained a lot. After that, a C-section is like candy.

JenB said...

My, girl, that was really well said. And I DID tear up! As a former L&D nurse I will say that most women in fact do go #2 when they are pushing. (can't believe you said "dukey"---dying laughing here) And it's no big deal---to the nurses anyway. The moms are always embarrassed. As was I. :)

Andrea said...

I love your enthusiasm in your storytelling!

About 5 years ago, my friend was telling about her labor (she was the 1st of our little group to have a baby)and we were getting all the details and I asked her if she pooped and she was like, "No, can you believe it!"
and her husband was behind her Mouthing, "YES SHE DID!" It was soo funny! (Those nurses are quick to clean it up!)

Anyway, thank heavens for c-sections!

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

I'm laughing because now, one of your Google ads? It's for a site that offers advice on "Signs of Labor".

Lora Lynn said...

After 2 c-sects, I finally got a V. labor. and it was so worth all the fighting with the drs to get it. Way easier to recover from than a surgery (i'm not anti-csect, those things saved my babies' lives). but there's nothing like doing it all myself!

Kent said...

let me just say YEAH!!!!! for the C-section~! Oh and with my first labor my sweet Dr. gave me my epidural at 2 cm. i really do NOT think I would have lived to get to 4cm. I must say that I think stitches are better where I had them than where some of you did!

Angela said...

ROFL!! ~ This post is all the more hilariously real if you've ever actually chatted with Gayle and heard her voice!

Love ya, girl! Awesome post...
Angela

Caroline said...

I would agree with everything!!

Thankfully one of my labor symptoms with all five has been diarehha. Gross right? BUT it cleaned me out good before the action started.

I agree with the moment of birth. THE BEST FEELING EVER!! It's weird. No pain after that...just joy. Sweet joy.

Gotta GROW with it said...

some parts of this post made me wanna do it all over again! others...like remembering seeing my M.I.L at the foot of my bed acting like "johnny bench" horrifies the moment. WHAT was i thinking letting her in there?!!

gayle, my dear...i don't remember *that* part...the one that happened doing "pushing"...are you sure? ;o) love how really REAL you are!

Gotta GROW with it said...

so distraced in all those thoughts, memories, pictures in my mind!! i forgot to tell ya i've moved! you can find me here now:
http://growinwithit.blogspot.com/

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey, Gayle, oh did I pick a great time to stop by....LOL!

Thanks for leaving me a note & I hope you got to read the article. It was pretty exciting!

Rhoda

JenIG said...

I *Heart* Epiderals.
high five, sister

Halfmoon Girl said...

I've been away, so I'm catching up. I have to say that I have never heard the term "dukey" before, but I can well imagine what that is. I did the natural labour thing (and still remember every single minute). With my second, I pushed out so much "dukey" while gasping and hyperventilating over the pain that the stench made me start to gag. How is that for the miracle of birth. My sis in law, who is also a nurse, got to be the "wiper"- there isn't an award big enough for anyone willing to take on that job!!!

DaNella Auten said...

LOL Yeppers, had the dukie thing happen... I was MORTIFIED!!!