On the 19th, I had tried to induce myself into labor by drinking 3 ounces of castor oil mixed into a Braums milkshake. I have not had a milkshake since. And let's just say, one week later, still no enema was needed. Which is also not surprising since my acid reflux was so bad I could eat nothing, and yet, I would still spontaneously puke egg yolk. I won't even go into being nine months pregnant in August, in Oklahoma. Total strangers would come up to me and say oh honey, I am so sorry.
Have I been able to convey how miserable I was? I had even tried attaching my electric breast pump to the only thing fabulous about my pregnancy, my large breasts (I would love to have those babies back because they were, SPECTACULAR). Instead of starting contractions as it did for my high school friend's sister, Julie, (who ended up having an emergency c-section that we all secretly thought was due to messing around with the breast pump) I was only able to get a jump start on my colostrum. And the humiliating and awkward crab/squatting tribal woman walk? nothing, but I was so hopeful. I remember crawling around my living room during an entire episode of Oprah.
But when the time to deliver actually did arrive? Whoa mama! I woke up at 1:30am with a pain that went around the front of my stomach and felt like I was tying a knot at my spine. I thought oh wow, this really is it. Five minutes later I was laughing that I had even confused Braxton-Hicks for labor contractions. I woke my mom up who told me to get into the shower. She woke up my dad, and after driving me three times to the hospital just to drive me back a few hours later, went back to sleep. I remember taking my shower and thinking how pathetically huge I had gotten that I couldn't even control my bladder. I started crying and when my mom asked, in a panicked voice, what was wrong, I cried that I could not stop peeing on myself.
By the time we got to the hospital, only a couple of miles away, I was having contractions about every two minutes. I think my mom was a little freaked out and my dad could not understand why I insisted on crawling, on my hands and knees, to the hospital doors. (you know what I just thought? why didn't he drop me off at the door?) Anyway, after stopping every minute to rock back and forth while moaning on my hands and knees, I was now in a labor and delivery room.
My friend, and constant support even during my hormonal rages, LouAnn, had told me to opt out of painkillers before my epidural. She had told me that it would just make me feel out of it. So when the nurse said I needed to take some Demerol because they needed to slow down my contractions, I tried to say no; but no matter how much Lamaze breathing I did, I could not get on top of them. The nurse went ahead and gave me the Demerol and then told me that I would have to wait almost four more hours for my epidural because the doctor didn't come in until 6 am. I didn't really care. I was more focused on the fact that it felt like I had a gigantic wooden corkscrew, like the kind they used to use to raise and lower orchestra pits in a theatre, being turned every few minutes and consequently spreading my hip bones apart.
After the Demerol kicked in I no longer cared about the pain, I still felt it but I had calmed down. I panted and focused while my mom rubbed my back. After a series of particularly hard contractions, I told my mom that this was just like having an orgasm, but not quite being able to get there. She pretended to not hear me, and I will always thank her for that.
Then came the checking and the rechecking. Apparently, my baby was facing the inside of my leg. I had so many different people checking me that I just hoped they all actually worked at the hospital. There was one petite nurse, I really liked her, when she would check me I would have dilated to a seven and then an eight. However, when my big burly man doctor checked me he pushed it back down to a six.
Finally, after nine months of hell, and as my mom so clearly remembers, two remaining months of depression and misery, my beautiful baby girl was born, at exactly 9:30 A.M. on September 26th of 2000. I remember my mom and I both looking at her and then at each other. My mom said it first, oh my goodness, she looks just like Mark (my soon to be ex-husband). But from that moment on all of my worries, all of my hang ups about being a single mom, and most importantly, my anger disappeared. She was absolutely perfect and she was ALL mine. I am still amazed that this was eight years ago, it really does seem like it just happened. Happy Birthday baby girl!
*A side note regarding having a baby in the small town you grew up in:
Go through your yearbook and familiarize yourself with the people and faces. You never know who your nurse will be that will help you to the toilet, kneel down in front of you to look at your stitches in order to tell you how to perform a sitz bath. Because as my recovery nurse was kneeling in front of me and squirting water on my stitched up waa-waa, I was reintroduce to Julie Laramore, from junior high. They should have a sign at the entrance of the maternity ward, "Check all modesty and pride at the door".