Labor and delivery, like pregnancy, is not as glamorous as it is cracked up to be! Spoiler Alert: It’s pretty gross. As I’m nearing this very event, I’m replaying the ridiculousness of Josie’s birth in my head over and over and over again. Read on for a few laughs, some TMI, and the ugly truth.
It was a Tuesday morning. The day before, the doctor had told me to call him on Friday to schedule an induction because he didn’t see any movement towards labor in the next few days. He was wrong. I woke up early Tuesday morning to hear my husband in the bathroom with what he thought was food poisoning. Yuck. Lying in bed, I started feeling some regular contractions, and so it begins.
As a relatively “normal” person, I could be embarrassed by what happened next. But as a first-time mom in labor, with minimal dignity left (and unbeknownst to me, so much left to be lost), it was all just a part of the experience.
A couple things to keep in mind as you read this: Ryan was getting sick this entire time, so not only was I in labor thinking I was probably going to die, he was also having some…struggles. (Think, arriving at the doctor’s office and both sprinting to our respective bathrooms.) Also, when I use words below like “asked” and “said” – what was really happening was I was losing my mind, screaming bloody murder. Enjoy!
8 MORTIFYING Things I Did During Labor:
- Losing it from both ends…and leaving it on the floor: [At Home. 7:30 a.m.] Just before my contractions got painful and I knew this was labor, I spent some time in the bathroom…in the worst way, with no control of where certain excretions were landing. Almost as soon as I was empty, my contractions became painful and we quickly started the process of getting out the door (quick shower, grabbing the hospital bags, calling the doctor). Unfortunately, during that scramble it did not cross my mind to clean up the bathroom. (Shout out to my mother-in-law, who called to see if there was anything she could do while I was laboring…and Ryan said, welllllllllllll…….)
- Mint-spitting: [Hospital Triage. 9:45 a.m.] I had read on the internet (a dangerous game) that your mouth gets dry during labor so you may want a mint, so I packed some mints. While I was being checked in Triage, I asked Ryan to get me a mint. As soon as the mint hit my lips, my body rejected it. But instead of taking it out of my mouth and asking Ryan to throw it away, I violently spit the mint to the floor and screamed, “I don’t want that mint!”
- Ripping off my clothes: [Labor and Delivery Room. 10 a.m.] Finally in a labor and delivery room, wearing a hospital gown (backwards), a sweet little Patient Care Tech came in to obtain 2 pieces of information – my social security number and a copy of our insurance card. While Ryan was getting the insurance card from my purse, I was shouting my social security number to her, one number at a time between contractions. At about number 4, I got so hot I thought I may burst into flames, so I just whipped off that hospital gown and sat there, butt naked, mooing like a cow in front of this poor girl, shouting the remaining digits at her. It took 10 minutes.
- Kicking off my blankets: [Labor and Delivery Room. 10:20 a.m.] What?! I’m now freezing? Of course I was, I was naked in a hospital room. So my body is shaking and my teeth are chattering and I’m sweating up a storm, so the nurse offers to bring me warm blankets. After about 15 minutes, I’m so hot I feel like I could burst into flames. Cue the ridiculous toddler-like kicking off my blankets and screaming, “I’m hot! I’m hot!”
- The vicious cycle: [Labor and Delivery Room. 10:30-11:30 a.m.] I repeat the above several, SEVERAL times for over an hour. But never in a calm, “I think I’m getting warm so I’ll fold these blankets down.” Always in an emergency-like state, screaming at the tops of my lungs.
- Begging for the epidural: [Within earshot of all of Central Indiana. 8:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.] This started while I was being checked for labor at my doctor’s office earlier that morning. (Newsflash: they don’t give you an epidural until you get to the hospital.) And the screaming for the epidural continued until the nurse finally told me that I’d have to be officially registered as a patient (that makes sense) and an entire bag of fluids needed to be dripped into me through my IV.
- Making the highest paid guy in the room hold my barf bucket: [Labor and Delivery Room. 11:40 a.m.] It’s pretty common that after you get an epidural, your blood pressure drops and you vomit. I did. While the Anesthesiologist held the bucket. Dear Sir, I’m so sorry that you got stuck with something so gross and way beneath your pay grade.
- Hot Doctor: [Labor and Delivery Room. 12 p.m.-6:30 p.m.] Of course I’d get a hot doctor while I’m at my absolute worst. And he’s just hanging out down there using mineral oil to create a slip ‘n’ slide (his words). Luckily he only saw me post-epidural, so at least I was relatively sane.
[Labor and Delivery Room. 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Pushing. Josie is born. All is well, and aside from bringing new life into this world, pretty uneventful (thank you, epidural!]
- Post-Delivery Bonus! Wetting the bed. : [Post-Partum Room. 8:00 p.m.] The nurses told me I’d know the epidural was wearing off because I’d feel the need to urinate. So when that need arose, I thought to myself, “I guess I can get up and walk to the bathroom now.” What my brain must’ve heard and then transferred to my lower region was, “Pee now.” So I did. On the bed. I apologized profusely to the nurse while she changed my linens. And an hour later, when I felt the urge, it happened again. Full bladder. On the bed. New linens. But still no shame.
Like I said, I could be embarrassed by these things. But as a pregnant woman, you slowly lose dignity over the course of 9 months…probably for this very reason. And now, I’ve got this ridiculously hilarious story to tell.
To all first-time pregnant mothers: All or none of these things may happen to you. Don’t be surprised either way. You can do it! (Also, I highly recommend the epidural…)