July 19, 2011

Rhythm: a birth story

This week's prompt asked us to write about a time that rhythm, or a lack thereof, played a role in your life. And don’t use the word “rhythm.”  (I admit this is roughly 75 words over the 600 word limit.)

We arrive at the hospital Sunday night and not less than an hour later, the Cervadil’s inserted.

I’m told to get some sleep.

7am the next morning, they take out the Cervadil and an exam reveals I need more help.

They start the Pitocin.  

Around 9am, I feel mad tightening in my stomach every so often. Sometimes it makes me catch my breath.

Around noon I get up to pee.  When I manage to get back into bed and somewhat comfortable, I feel a sort of twist inside on my right side near my lower abdominal area. I then feel like I wet the bed.

I start to panic: Surely my water couldn't be breaking just five hours after the Pitocin started! Something must be wrong with my sweetpea!

DH calls the nurse. I feel this incredible urgency to take a dump.

I panic more as I think about all the I Didn't Know I was Pregnant shows I watched where the moms end up giving birth to their babies in the toilet.

I try to convey all this to the nurse. We go round and round. Finally I allow her to check and she confirms my water broke.

Just like that, I was in active labor.

The contractions are fierce and scary (I was petrified of shitting out my baby!) and I was letting everyone know.

“Do you want an epidural?”


The room becomes incredibly warm: Sweat drips from every pore as I clutch onto the nurse, roll my back in position, and listen to the anesthesiologist tell me not to move over and over again and again.

“All done,” says the dude with the needle the size of my baby.

I lay back and wipe the sweat off my face and feel nothing as the numbers on the monitor race up and down every so often.

Nine hours later, with no solid food for 28 hours (thanks to gestational diabetes), I vomit for 10 minutes straight. 15 minutes after that, I’m told to push down like I’m on the toilet… like I’ve never pushed before.

My legs are dead;  DH holds one while a nurse holds the other.

Two hours later, they insist upon a c-section; the baby’s heart rate keeps dropping (only) when I push.

Once I agree, the room closes in on me: I become incredibly warm…anxious…hungry…tired… then I start panicking that something would go wrong. It had been 16 hours since I could last feel my legs and now they were about to make it so I couldn't feel my stomach either. I was drop dead tired and pissed off; I feared that I would miss the birth of my baby because the whole thing had taken so long.

I drift in and out of consciousness.

Finally they wheel me away into an ice cold room and hook me up like Jesus onto a flat table. I start to shiver.

I want to close my eyes so bad. DH sits by my side the whole time trying to make me smile. Finally after what seems like an hour of lying there with a big sheet hovering over me, people start to move about, peaking over the curtain and telling me that I'll feel some pressure but no pain.

Different voices saying different things.

Pressure on one side and another.

"It's going to feel like someone is sitting on your chest now," a voice declared.

I feel a tug and hear excitement in the various voices as the narrator of the event, the anesthesiologist, tell me they pulled her out.

Different voices saying different things.

Finally an itty wail and some deep laughter.

“She’s beautiful!”

The curtain still blocks my view. I urge DH to go to her (later learning it was the most awesome experience for him - to meet his baby girl for the first time).

And then I see her.


She is beyond pefect, beyond beautiful. And she's all mine.


  1. God Pitocin is the drug from HELL! There's no warning, just BAM and you're at the peak of a wicked contraction. What a memory this post invokes for me! Great job!

  2. I'm sixty-two and can still remember nearly every detail of the births of my three children. Loved reading about your experience and seeing the result. Beautiful baby! Beautiful child!

  3. Wow you went through a lot to get that beauty into this world! so worth it isn't it? Thanks for telling your story.

  4. it's soooo worth it, Julie! :)

  5. I LOVE birth stories! And that photo at the end? Awww- :)

  6. What a sweet story! And that Pic....OMG so adorable! I was worry about going through labor and then having a csection, so my baby made up their mind, at 9lbs 9 oz, it was a csection from the start!

  7. There is something so tribal about the ways in which women can recall such details about the birthing experience and how we are driven to share them. Thank you for sharing your story.

  8. I love how you told this story...I could in fact feel the rhythm.

  9. What a lovely tribute to your baby--I wrote my son's birth story for his two year birthday.

    Nice job with the rhythm prompt!


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