My God… the beauty and horror of childbirth. Literally no one can prepare you for a full blown human pushing its way out of your body. Thank the Lord for modern medicine.
With all of Noah’s pregnancy complications, I was ready to get that child out of me (hence the photo of me jumping on the trampoline at 9 months pregnant). Thankfully my doctor agreed and scheduled me for an induction, so in the middle of the night (1am), I get a call from the hospital saying they have a room open and I should make my way over there. I have had my bags packed for months at this point, so Aryan and I grabbed our bags and pillows and made our way to the hospital. I told my family to come meet us in the morning, but they are absolutely nuts and showed up shortly after we got there.
The nurses started the Pitocin (the stuff that gets your labor started) around 3am, and from then it was just a waiting game to start dilating—I was only 1cm when I came in. The contractions weren’t so bad at the beginning, and they sort of just felt like period cramps. This went on for a few hours until my doctor came by around 8am and recommended I get the epidural as she didn’t want to put any extra stress on me or the baby (since my body proved it couldn’t handle pregnancy all that well). I was like hell no- I am a strong woman, hear me roar, I don’t need an epidural yet- I want to feel the real pain! The doctor was like don’t be stupid & they got me hooked up with the anesthesiologist an hour later.
I was most terrified to get the epidural. So many women do it everyday, but I was convinced I was the one woman that would be paralyzed. However, the doctor sticks the needle in my back (not bad at all) and goes along her merry way, while I continue to lay there and my family tries to entertain me. Things are moving real slow still at this point, but I decide to do my makeup and hair just in case things start moving along, because ain’t nobody got time to look ugly in your baby’s first photos.
Around 3pm, I am in severe pain. I am so confused because I have an epidural and that is supposed to make it not hurt- right? The pain was one-sided and constant, so I knew something wasn’t right. My mom started freaking out at this point and I was just trying to stay alive. I don’t really know what to say or do, because it is my first time giving birth and I have no idea how it is supposed to feel (maybe I should have gotten a doula?). I basically black out from pain for the next few hours (family and friends are in and out of the room and I am pretty positive I do not even acknowledge them). I don’t remember what happened but I know my mom yelled and cried and next thing I know, a different anesthesiologist is coming in to redo my epidural. No one can be in the room besides a nurse, and all I remember is that I was passing out so the nurse was holding my entire body up with her little body and giving me smelling salts so I could come to. It was really freaky! I’m honestly so grateful I was so out of it, because typing this sounds so traumatizing, but it truly didn’t feel that way at the time.
The second epidural works and I am pretty sure I ask the Doctor if I can make out with him, I was so happy to feel relief. I start shaking (that’s a thing- labor shakes) and all of a sudden within the hour, I go from 6cm dilated to 10cm, and Noah is ready to make his grand debut. I’m pretty positive the messed up epidural was causing me so much pain, that my body was like “NO! You cannot have a baby with your body like this.” I had been in labor for almost 20 hours up to this point, so for the pushing part to get there so quickly all of a sudden was crazy.
Thankfully our local baseball team, the Houston Astros, were playing in the world series for the first time in about 20 years (or something like that), so that had kept everyone entertained during the labor. If you know me, you know I HATE baseball, but what else does one do when in labor?
It is time to start pushing as the series is coming to an end and I kid you not- no one is paying attention to me! At this point, I have thrown up twice all over myself (I am so doped up with epidural that I cannot move) and my mom is just staring at the TV with a towel in her hand. My IRAQI mother people… Caring more about the game than me haha! Meanwhile my doctor is on the phone with her friend from LA giving her shit, since the Astros are about to win. It was honestly such a funny sight and helped ease the anxiety of what was about to happen.
Between the Astros & my failed epidural, I was so exhausted and confused that I didn’t even kick anyone out of the room. Aryan (obviously), my mom, my mother in law, my two sisters and my cousin are all there just watching me push this child out of my body, and I could care less to kick anyone out.
After pushing about 10 times (you basically reenact trying to push out some poop during a contraction- like honestly that is the only way I can explain it), Noah comes out and is immediately handed to the team of 10 nurses and doctors who have been waiting for him to make sure everything was OK. Thankfully, my sister was close to his “station” and told me everything was OK and that he was a beautiful, healthy baby boy. Aryan is literally stunned that he doesn’t move an inch or even smile- I have to keep telling him that we just had a child to try and get him to snap out of it. Eventually after 10 minutes, the shock wears off and he is able to hold our baby.
Then they try to hand me Noah & I beg them not to because I don’t know how to hold a newborn- I was truly in tears from fear. The nurse (obviously) force me to take him and it was so beautiful and terrifying to hold him. I was so scared to break him, and I was going on 48 hours of being awake that adrenaline was leaving my body and exhaustion was setting in. The nurses were trying to help me breastfeed him (hello culture shock!). At that point, I felt so exhausted and confused, I told them I am so sorry, I couldn’t do it since I didn’t want to hurt Noah or myself at that point. A nurse proceeded to set up the breast pump and was able to pump some colostrum out for him. I end up passing out, while my mom and mother in law finger feed Noah some colostrum. It wasn’t how I imagined my first time feeding my baby going, but I had to listen to my body.
Next thing I know, I am waking up to Aryan, his mom, & my mom asleep on the couch with my little baby making sweet noises in his little crib. Finally rested (two hours), I am able to be alone with my baby, feed him, and love him. It was so magical. I felt absolute bliss, and I am so grateful for that little man!
A few practical notes about childbirth:
- Nurses are God’s gift to this earth. Bring gifts for them. They will advocate for you and be by your side the entire way and they deserve everything in this world. They also clean your shit and help you pee after your vagina has been ripped open.
- You will likely shit yourself. Pushing is essentially just shitting like you do on the toilet, so why wouldn’t you shit when you push? It’s fine. They clean it up and you will never know better (unless your husband looks and tells you).
- You might throw up. Don’t worry- it is a normal part of childbirth.
- You might get labor shakes. It is hormones (I think?)- not because the room is cold.
- Colostrum is the first stuff that comes out of your boobs after childbirth- not milk. It is basically liquid gold. Your baby will lose a few pounds after they come out, but they will eventually gain the weight back when your milk comes in.