Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Version of Childbirth vs. the Movies

I meant to write this post before Mother's day but I never got around to it, so it will have to do being a couple of days late. 

In honor of being knocked up [and therefore having one thing on my mind: babies], I thought I might share the differences between movie births and actual births. 

Hint: they're not the same. 

My sister-in-law is currently pregnant with her first and, like I was with my first, is terrified of the birth process. I swore in my younger days that I was going to request a C-Section just to avoid the awkward "poop during labor" scenario. Turns out I was just young and stupid. 

The birth of my first daughter was the best moment of my life. The entire experience was so pleasant that I'm absolutely looking forward to the next one! I'm excited to push a kid out of me. Something's wrong with me. 

Anyway, let's get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?

6 Differences between my Childbirth & the Movies:

1. Most women's waters break to start labor
False. In fact, only about 15% of women's waters actually break on their own. The other 85% have theirs broken by doctors to get labor a-movin'.
Turns out I was one of the 15%, though. My water broke in the morning as I rolled over to attempt to get out of bed! No contractions, no other indicators. In fact, I wasn't even aware that my water had broken until later that morning.
Speaking of which...

2. A woman's water breaking is a giant gush of fluids, Niagara Falls style
Also false. Well for most of us Fifteen Percenters, anyway. According to a Baby Center survery of over 1,000 moms, only 14% experienced the movie-themed "waterfall" effect when their water broke.
As for me? I thought I pee'd myself while attempting to roll out of bed. Which isn't really that rare of an occurrence when you're 109 months pregnant. It wasn't until later that morning when I was at work and experienced"trickling" effect that I thought perhaps something much more was going on. Surely I couldn't be peeing myself that often. I called the hospital and they had me come in to check if it was amniotic fluid or pee. Turns out it wasn't pee, so yay! Baby time!
My sister went into labor via contractions and had to have her water broken with both of her boys. Every mom is different!
Pictured: as Jane waddles down the street, a sudden gush of fluid indicates that she has suddenly gone into labor!
Not pictured: The poor bastard with a mop cleaning up after her uterus.
3. There's no time to get to the hospital! 
For some moms this is 100% accurate. For me, it was a lot of waiting. Even though my water had broken at 6 am that morning, I didn't have an actual contraction until they started the pitocin. When your water breaks you only have a 24 hour window to have that kid before there's a risk for infection so they gave me the option to start a pitocin drip and I happily obliged. I wanted to see my baby girl and I wasn't going to wait any longer than I had to. Plus they wouldn't let me eat and that was not cool.
I did my make up and hair while waiting. #badass
Once they got me started on pitocin the contractions started rolling along and I wanted to get that kid out of me as quickly as possible. I waited too long to ask for an epidural so I got to feel way more of the contractions than I cared to. Luckily we live in a small town so the anesthesiologist was in the hospital already and came right up.
I had Addi at 8:41 that night, so I was technically in labor for 14 hours, though it didn't feel that way since I didn't have horrible contractions the entire time.

4. You want to murder your husband.
I honestly thought of all the pregnant people in this world, I would want to murder my husband the most. Turns out that wasn't true. We totally teamed it up and he helped me through the entire thing. I could tell he was terrified, but for some reason I thought that was pretty damn cute.
Yeah, sure, they got you into this mess. But they are also there to help you through it.
So try not to murder them.

5. Epidurals are like magical unicorns, only better.
This is 200% true. My mom had all three of us naturally, mostly because epidurals just weren't that common when she was pregnant with us. Everyone was all scared of the whole "spinal tap" lingo [can't really blame them] and the long-term effects so they just didn't do them much.
Now days it's epidural central. THANK GOD.
Once I started having contractions, I wanted to kiss the ground my mother walked upon. I said over and over, "I don't know how moms do this without medication!" Natural birth mothers became my new heroes. Seriously. I worship them. Do I think they're a little crazy? Sure. But I get why they want to do it. I'm not here to start a debate on drugging my kid, I just don't share those values.
The minute after I got my epidural I felt like everything was again right with the world. I actually got to ENJOY the birth of my child!

I couldn't feel her coming out [which I was okay with], I couldn't feel the giant tongs they had to stick in my lady parts to get her out because the cord was wrapped around her neck, and I didn't care afterward when they had to put like 1,000 stitches in either. And you know why? Drugs.

6. The entire birth process is awful, sweaty, incredibly painful and all around a miserable experience.
Like pregnancy, some women love birth and some probably don't. I truly enjoyed every second of my daughter's birth, even though there were complications at the end that nearly caused me a heart attack. I slept maybe 4 hours the entire time we were in the hospital because I was riding high on adrenaline and the fact that my baby girl was finally here!

I cannot stress enough to first-time pregnant moms or people who are just mulling over the idea of having children that it is absolutely, positively one of the best things in life. 

Pregnancy can sometimes suck but once you have that baby in your arms you couldn't give a crap about all that other bad stuff. 
Including crapping on your OB during labor. 

I still have no idea whether the dreaded accidental labor poop actually occurred. The doctors and nurses spare you the embarrassment and allow you to keep your dignity if it does happen, so don't stress. 
Just go, man.

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