acupuncture, baby shower, back labor, Best Start Birth Center, birth center, breech baby, breech tilt, c-section, cesarean section, Chinese herb AND labor, chiropractic, frank presentation, Labor and Delivery, midwives, moxa, moxibustion, natural birth, sacrum pain, San Diego, San Diego birth center, smiling baby, swimming and labor, teaching hospital, UCSD Medical Center, Webster technique
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Soooo….remember that last post I wrote about having “two weeks to spare” before the baby would arrive? It turns out I was in labor… the experience was dramatic, exciting, and a little traumatic, but was like a train rolling at 9,876 miles an hour (once I realized what was happening) so I couldn’t exactly turn back.
So, I wrote the post about “finishing” the nursery. Basically, I had just unpacked all the gifts we received but hadn’t really done laundry or loaded up the fridge with delicious treats, like I had planned. Actually, that day, I had a backache and so I didn’t feel like cleaning the house, doing laundry, or grocery shopping. Ty had a quick camping trip planned for the next day, so the fridge was loaded with beer and snacks. The backache is key here…it was in my lower back (I keep saying tailbone but I’ve been corrected that it was more the sacrum) and I thought, because the baby was breech, that his butt was just grinding on some nerve in my back. The pain would come and go but wasn’t that big of a deal, so I set up my plank off the side of the couch so I could rest upside down (thinking the baby’s butt would get off that nerve if I had gravity on my side). This was one of many techniques I was trying to get that baby to flip. I had tried acupuncture, moxibustion (fascinating), chiropractic, the breech tilt, swimming, etc. Anyway, I spent the day watching TV, planking, and having this backache. Here’s my sister performing a mild moxibustion treatment on me. She burned the moxa, a Chinese herb, next to my pinky toe for several minutes. When I had this done by an actual acupuncturist, the baby moved around like CRAZY! Apparently this technique often works but obviously not all the time. The candles are to keep the stick aflame, not for ambiance.
So around 8pm, the backache hadn’t gone away yet. In fact, it seemed to be getting a little stronger and when it came around, sometimes I kind of whimpered because I couldn’t do anything to ease it. Obviously, because I’m writing this in retrospect, YOU know it was labor, but in the moment, I definitely did not think it had anything to do with labor. I mean, NOTHING was going on in my stomach. NO tightening, no stomach muscles clenching, nothing. Tyrone went to the local hamburger place and got 2 hamburger combos. He stayed there for an hour, hanging with the locals and drinking the beer that came with my combo. He brought me home a gigantic burger and fries (which I ate in their entirety). Around 9:15pm I decided to go to the pool to swim some laps, hoping it would ease the back pain and get that baby to flip. I swam for about 30 minutes, we went home, and I got in bed just in time for some serious aches. At this point, Tyrone points out that we would be idiots to not at least consider that I could be in labor. I mean, I’m 2 weeks from my due date and I’m having regular “pains,” even though they don’t feel like contractions (or what I thought contractions were going to feel like). Tyrone later tells me that he had reached around my belly during one back ache and felt that my stomach was hard as a rock from the contracting. Ok, so he calls the Birth Center and the mid-wife tells us we could come in so I could get checked out. At this point, I’m feeling a little desperate so I throw some yoga pants on and we leave the shih-tzu to hold down the fort.
The Birth Center is just a few miles away but AS SOON as I walked in the door, my water broke and SHIT GOT REAL. We arrived around 11:45pm. My recollection gets a little fuzzy around now because I got incredibly focused and self-centered. I remember ripping off my clothes because it was immediately 900 degrees in there. They gave me a quick ultrasound to confirm that baby was still breech (which disqualifies me from birthing at the center) so I slipped into some sexy lime green, elastic high-waisted capri scrubs the nurse gave me and we ripped down the street to UCSD Medical Center, running red-lights all the way. By 12:15-ish, Tyrone dropped me off at the entrance (only to find it was locked) before he loaded me back up and took me to the ER entrance. A nice man loaded me into a wheelchair and spun me around to head toward Labor and Delivery while Ty parked the car. In the elevator, I felt the baby coming out. I’m not joking. When the doors opened, I remember yelling at the front desk that the baby was coming (I could literally feel it with my hands, sorry for the visual) and they just stared at me like, “is this lady serious?” All of a sudden, they sprang into action and I was in a prep room getting hooked up to all sorts of machines. They confirmed I was 9cm dilated and that they could see his butt coming out first. I could have told those ass-hats that (and I believe I did, actually). Here is a photo from Tyrone’s point of view when he was waiting to hear if he could come in or not. Why so many people? UCSD is a teaching hospital and half a dozen more residents trickled in to see the circus. See the guy in the back facing the camera? I accidentally kissed his forearm. There was a moment and I went for it and I don’t think either of us regretted it.
Basically, despite my absolute best efforts, I got the dreaded c-section at 12:51 on January 11, 2013. My hair was still wet from the pool. I had a whole section written here about what happened, but it started getting too emotional, which isn’t my thing. When Tyrone and I have told this story to friends, it comes out really silly and funny and like a slapstick I Love Lucy sketch or something. But in reality, this has been really sad for me.
I am a happy, healthy mother now with an amazing son and new little family. However, I am mourning the loss of an experience that I have looked forward to and imagined all of my life. In time, I am hoping to find peace with the experience.