It’s Kaylen. So I know in my last post I said I would talk about “people changing” in this post, but I’m going to hold off; that is a little too deep for right now. Why? Because I am feeling absolutely sleep deprived and do not feel like digging that deep. But I promise this one will be interesting, or at least relatable for most women…And, hey guys, don’t stop reading–maybe it will be a good thing for you to get a women’s point of view on…LABOR pains (literally and figuratively).
Let me start off by reminding you that my identical twin sister and I were pregnant at the same time (neat, yes). She was due 7 weeks before me. And we did not even plan it like that! Anyways, we both really possessed this overly confident attitude about labor, even kind of dismissing the entire process as if we had it “in the bag”. We were convinced our pain tolerances were too high to let such a process give us any type of anxiety. We also both felt VERY firmly about NO pain medications. You should have seen my birth plan… I am a nurse, and looking back on it, I would have hated being the nurse taking care of me (but she was amazing). If somebody had handed me that birth plan, I probably would have giggled (internally [hopefully]) as I walked away–it was soo specific! But I know a lot of first time mom’s can relate. And I know they can almost all relate to their plans not going as planned, either…
I partly blame my twin. She gave birth to her precious boy, Orry (although they were expecting a baby girl due to a faulty ultrasound!) weeks before Ace graced us with his presence. Of course my strong sister did not get any type of pain medications, and simply told me, “Labor does not hurt, it just feels…weirrrd.” Hmmm. Okay. I can handle weird!
Wrong. I felt like I was being stabbed with a line of knives at the bottom of my uterus, while trying to push out a cinder block. It is amazing how UN-NATURAL natural labor feels. And those breathing techniques I learned in class went completely out the window. I went on for 7 hours before I demanded the epidural. Yep, guilty. I then delivered my sweet boy within the hour after receiving the epidural! I can tell you this–I was a different person (my husband’s words) that last hour…The experience became somewhat enjoyable! But I hated how shaky my hands were afterwards. And a big part of me was disappointed in myself, but I was too enthralled with my little one to notice this feeling then. I actually am just now noticing it, 10 months later. I have been waking up at night, dreading the pain of labor already (we now have a baby girl due in June). I still don’t know what I am going to do–epidural or no epidural (and I am NOT trying to degrade women that advocate pain medication during labor, it just was not MY original plan)…BUT, now that I know the type of pain to expect, and the amazing effects of an epidural, I am having an internal debate.
I remember scolding Lauren for telling me labor just felt “weird”. She laughed, responding, “Yeah, I felt like I was dying. At one point I yelled, ‘Just cut me open!’”.
I know she was trying to do me a favor and get my mind-set on a “weird” feeling instead of extreme pain going into the process, but I think I would have rather known what to expect… You know, to have SOME part of my plan go, well, as planned!
After the delivery, we were moved to the overflow unit…Definitely not the nice room I expected. Oh well. I then had 12+ visitors that stayed in my room the entire day…So absolutely no rest or privacy for this exhausted momma.
Then the kicker: The day of discharge, they gave us the WRONG BABY. We obviously noticed before we headed home, but I will never forget that feeling of terror when I realized MY baby was not in our room! His pediatrician assured me Ace had been in the nursery with him the whole time (he was getting circumcised and assessed [I'd seen a circumcision in nursing school and did not want to see my baby cry like that...turns out, he did not even cry!]). I ended up being really hard on myself for not going with him to the circumcision–if I had went, they would have never brought back the wrong baby…But nothing I could do at that point, other than order a report from the hospital describing every second that my baby was not in my arms–where he was, who was holding him, etc. My anal-self heavily assessed his body numerous times to make sure he did not receive any extra vaccines, or something crazy like that. I guess I was hoping the written report would give me some peace-of-mind. I also called the Patient Advocate to make sure she was aware of this occurrence. She, very dryly, apologized for the incident and assured me that my baby was safe in the other family’s room the whole time. Ummm, WHAT?!!–Ace’s pediatrician had assured us he was in the nursery with him the whole time (!!!!), I told her…
“Oh yes, yes, I am sorry. I am mixing you guys up with another family this happened to 2 weeks before you”, she replied.
At this point, I was baffled. This is obviously a huge mistake for any hospital to make. And again, being a nurse, I understand that mistakes get made every day in hospitals, but this one just did not seem excusable. I had to let my frustrations fade at this point, but I still remain baffled to this day.
Please don’t get me wrong, the experience is all so beautiful and what a true blessing our little Ace is. I just would advise new moms to A. Not be too hard on yourself if things do not go as planned, because they probably will not. B. Set BOUNDARIES. Tell your family when they can and cannot visit. YOU are the one that has carried this precious baby for 10 months, and waited your whole life to meet. Oh, and pushed out of YOUR body.. It should definitely be a day all about you/your baby/baby’s daddy. Don’t worry about making others happy at that point–they will get their turn when YOU tell them. I at least have that much planned for this next labor. The rest, I am not so sure about yet…