My perception of the birth of my second child has changed dramatically in the last few months. An educated perspective has helped me understand why, even though his birth was a better experience than the first, I still felt empty afterwards.
My second child was born eight days early and I didn’t even know I was in pre labor for over 12 hours when I showed up at the hospital. It was around six am when I woke up to go to the bathroom. As I sat on the toilet I noticed my panties were wet and there was a lot of clear mucous on them. I started to panic even though it was my second pregnancy. I called to my husband. “There’s something in my underwear, can you come here? I’m freaking out!”
“No! I have to get up for work soon!” It was the most disheartening thing he had said to me up until that point. I was worried and he didn’t care. I cleaned myself up and went about my business for the rest of the day, even throwing a Tupperware party that night. By nine pm, I was reflecting on the baby’s movement throughout the day and realized that he hadn’t really moved much since the morning. I started to worry and so we made the decision to go get checked at the hospital.
I wasn’t in triage long before I had at least two nurses stick their fingers in my vagina to see how effaced and dilated I was. “Honey, you’re in labor. You’ve been in labor since this morning. We are gonna start you on Pitocin since you are not in active labor yet and your fluids could get low.” I was admitted to the hospital, completely unprepared.
Everything was going well until I got up from the gurney to go pee. I was hooked up to the usual baby heartbeat monitor. Two nurses rushed in to the bathroom to see what I was doing.
“What’s wrong?” I asked while washing my hands.
“The baby’s heartbeat dropped, you need to get back into bed.” The one said. I got worried and so I did everything they said. They moved me this way and that way. At one time there were three nurses in my face trying to move me and eventually, sticking, what felt like their whole hand, up into my vagina attaching a heartbeat monitor probe to his head. I felt like I was being raped. Then they started using the word C-section and having me sign the paperwork while they waited for my OBGYN to make the final call. At that point, by the time he arrived, I was on all fours (a position recommended in natural labor to help the baby) and his heartbeat was fine. I was allowed to avoid a C-section, as long as the heartbeat stayed the same: thank God! But they made me fear for the life of my baby when in reality, my stress made the problem worse, not better. I can’t remember anything else about my little Eli’s labor and delivery except he was born early in the morning “naturally” instead of through surgery. Those are my memories…..that and the blueberry pancakes my mother spilled all over the hospital bed from IHOP……