Monday, August 18, 2008

She Actually Pushed Herself Out

Roughly nine years ago in November I decided that, with K turning 5 soon, off to kindergarten and whatnot, and my "marriage" on the skids, I'd ditch my BC pills and give K a sibling.

Now mind you, I didn't even want ONE kid, but once I had K I knew I would have another in five years because 1- only children just seemed WRONG to me and 2- I had read a study that said siblings that were at least 5 years apart did better in school academically than those closer in age. By the way, so far, the study was right.

Let me explain to you just how fertile The Jaded NYer is. I went to my OB/GYN and told him I wanted to get pregnant. He advised me to finish the pack of pills I had already began and then discard the rest, that the hormones should be out of me completely after another cycle and then, since I was a healthy 24-year-old, after that month was up I should be good to go in terms of getting pregnant.

I was pregnant within a week of stopping the pills. Ask Irene, she was outside the bathroom stall as I took the damn test.

During this time I was living in Riverdale, working part time at a Senior Center and spending my entire paycheck on ebay and at Loehmann's. Hardly in a position to have another kid. But I was gonna do it anyway because I'm just that hard-headed.

I couldn't find a mid-wife this time around, but I found an awesome lady doc who worked out of Columbia-Presbyterian- HELLO! Jackpot! (For you non-NYers... it's like THE best hospital to give birth in)

For the most part, I was more excited about this baby, even if it was a month ahead of schedule, I was excited. See, I had somewhat of a void to fill- Grandma had just died three months prior to conception and I was in such a downward spiral that honestly, the only thing that kept me alive is knowing that another being lived off of me and therefore I NEEDED to stay alive.

And in my dreams, Grandma would visit me and make all this food and feed me. She never spoke, just went about her chores and cooked heaps of food and fed me. Like she was getting me ready for the baby. Like maybe she already KNEW the baby, and that this particular baby would need lots of food for some reason. I never questioned any of it. I just ate whatever she served me and told no one (until now).

We kicked around names like Julia for a girl and Joshua for a boy. The old ladies at the Senior Center would rub my belly on a regular and one even crocheted the CUTEST little hat for the baby. And want to know something funny? For a while I would get a stink eye here and there from the old biddies, and I couldn't figure out why. These old Jewish grandmas would be talking Yiddish about me because I heard my name and I'd picked up a few Yiddish words here and there. I mean really- you don't live in Riverdale all those years and NOT learn some Yiddish!

Finally one overheard me say something about my husband, and she says, "Oh, you're married?" And I was like, no this bitch didn't! But I couldn't be mad- I never wore my ring so I can see how she'd think I was having a bastard child. "Yes, I'm married. We've been together for like 5 years now."

"Oh so you were HS sweethearts?"
"No, I met him in college."
"College? How old are you?"
"24. Why? Florence, how old do you think I am?"
"OH MY GOODNESS, honey, we thought you were 17 or something."

After that, they all loved me again... crazy old biddies...

N was due right around the time C was supposed to go away for RA Training but opted to stay home and let the RD handle it on his own. Smart move, because as soon as the bus pulled away and I stepped out of the shower (again with the shower! Apparently when I shower it induces labor!) and began to towel off, I felt some weird leakage coming from "there."

I was like, "Um, hon, I think my water broke." And he's all like, "WHAT?!?! How?" And I'm like "Dude, I don't know, but something is leaking and it's not PEE!" So I shoved the towel between my legs while he called campus security to get a transport to the hospital. And yes, I know, EWWWWW @ towel between the legs. But what was I gonna do?

By the time security came to get me it was a very slow leak so I got dressed and left the towel behind while he sped- over every freakin bump along Broadway- to the hospital. Once there, this wack-ass male nurse decided that, after testing the fluid I was leaking that NO, I wasn't in labor nor had my water broken so I should go home.

"I'm not going home; my water broke. Test it again," I told him with the stankest of attitudes. So stank, in fact, that he got someone else to take care of me. And lo and behold... my water broke. If I hadn't been carrying those extra 25 pounds in my belly I would have jumped out of the bed and yelled "IN YO' FACE!" to that male nurse. But I gave him the side eye instead. He got the point. I'm sure of it.

The next few hours were pretty crazy. My mom was there, C was there and K was there. My amniotic fluid was completely gone but I was not fully dilated. You know what they do to women who've run dry but aren't dilated? They get this sadomasochist drug called Pitocin, which makes your cervix dilate.

V-E-R-Y ********** P-A-I-N-F-U-L-L-Y.

It was a pain like nothing I've never known. Not menstrual cramps, not hitting my head on the radiator as a kid, not giving birth to K, NOTHING hurt like FORCED LABOR. N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!! I was hell bent on delivering naturally again but this Pitocin was making it a really hard choice.

I was losing oxygen. I was crying. I think I might have swung on C and cursed him out. But no one could convince me to get the epidural. For all his faults I have to say, C can be really smart sometimes... he went to the waiting room and sent my mom in.

"Raquel, what are you doing? Get the epidural. No one will blame you. Just get it."

That was all it took. She left the room and I cried. "No one will think any less of you," my beautifully beautiful OB/GYN said to me. I cried and cried and FINALLY said ok. The epidural guy was there the whole time on stand by.

Um, did y'all know that to get an epidural you have to sit up and bend forward so they can stick the needle in your spine? YES, with a nine month old belly- IN LABOR- I had to bend forward and get a shot in my spine... that hurt EVEN MORE than my contractions. But hell if that shit didn't feel like heaven when it kicked in... all of a sudden the world was beautiful again.

Until it wasn't, because OUCH!!!!!

"The epidural wore off. I need another one."
"No you don't sweetie, it's time to push."
"NU-UH! But I can feel it. I thought I wasn't supposed to feel it!"
"Oh no, the epidural just relaxes you; you still feel it."

Then WHAT THE FUCK, lady?!?!?!

But there's no arguing with Mother Nature or obstetricians. It was time to push. But then it wasn't.

"You need to stop pushing for a minute."
"Sweetie, I said stop pushing"
"I did stop"

So why did N come out anyway? 'Cause that crazy bitch clawed her way out. Ripped me nice and good, too. After she (and that bitch-ass placenta) were out they took a helluva long ass time trying to stop the bleeding. I swear, I saw my final hour for a minute there. Especially when I heard my doc "whisper" to the nurse, "I can't seem to stop the bleeding. It just won't clot."

But of course she fixed me 'cause I'm here to tell the tale, but that shit put me off babies for good. I mean really- what kind of devil child CLAWS their way out of the birth canal to the point of killing you?

The cute and snugly and cuddly kind, apparently.

*smooches...wishing N a happy eighth birthday, with a touch of Jaded snark, of course*
and she's still a little spitfire; she eats like her stomach has no bottom, has the stamina of 300 Energizer bunnies and is 52 lbs of solid lean muscle. for real. she kinda scares me sometimes...

and for those who want an update on the party, there was no drama. I'm so disappointed... but it was super fun and N had a blast. As I gather the gossip from the friends and fam, I'll see if anything is blog-worthy LOL!