Raw, uncut and uncensored real talk about what went down on
the day that changed my life and Baby Daddy’s life forever …
The potential fourth title
to this post was going to be “NOT LIKE THE MOVIES” because as much as I love
The Google Machine, a lot of what I knew about childbirth (le sigh) came from
the movies. Labor starting, is NOT, I
repeat, NOT like the movies. I didn’t
know I was in labor until I was casually texting my mom during my morning pee
when I had run out of new posts on my Insta feed. I said “oh yeah I’ve had these weird period
cramps overnight and some blood just now” when she asked how I felt (at 41 +
weeks pregnant). It was such minimal
blood that I almost didn’t mention it, had it not been my mom asking I would’ve
left that out. Like I always do, I
dismissed her as dramatic when she told me that was my water breaking (because
movies). This was a very long pee though
so I also texted Baby Daddy (Ok, ok ok, it was my morning poop) and told him
what my mom said. I then went to wipe and when I turned around from flushing,
Baby Daddy was behind me with our bags for the hospital, not taking “no” for an
answer. Our drive to Cedars was very
uneventful because I did not think I was in labor so we didn’t get our
movie-moment where I get to Kirsti Alley to his Travolta all the way through
traffic. What I would like you to take
away from the above anecdote is that labor does not have a clear start and you
might not be sure you’re in labor. The
verdict on this scenario is thumbs up because it kept our shit calm.
We were admitted right
away, brought to a small exam room and seen by a Cedars doctor. They told us we were in labor and then
reality set in, oh shit, this is the real deal.
Then they told us our OB was out of town on vacay in Napa. Ok I guess that was my one movie moment, our
freakin doctor that we have seen for ten months exclusively is on vacation.
However, this wound up being a blessing too because the female doctor at
the practice (who was SO gentle that I’ll talk about men vs women OB’s in
another post) was the on-call doctor at Cedars.
She introduced herself to me, I apologized for the extra foliage in my
Southern Birthing Forest but I wasn’t really sorry because she’s a chick. If my dude doctor had been delivering us I
would’ve been more embarrassed because I’m nothing if not a consistent
Baby Daddy ran down to the
car and got all of our stuff while I was wheeled into a delivery room. I didn’t see them, but apparently David Caspe
and Paul Giamatti’s baby mama’s were delivering in the rooms next to me. Excuse me while I pick up those names I just
We hung out in the room for
a few hours watching TV while we waited for my cervix to dilate. Men: picture a drawbridge opening and the
bridge needs to open wide enough for a boat to get through, it’s the same
concept with a cervix and a baby’s head.
I tried to hang on as long as I could but at a certain point, I did have
to capitulate and ask for the epidural.
In retrospect I would have started the epidural sooner because when the
pain stopped I got a huge burst of energy.
The anesthesiologist numbed me with a teeny bee sting and then put the
epidural in my back. Within ten minutes
I was able to take a nap. I woke up when
I felt what I can only describe as my baby knocking on the door
internally. While our nurse thought I
had hours to go, I knew it was way closer.
As of half time the score
Positive vs Negative is: 3-0, Positive.
Not bad drive to the hospital; strangely positive alternative delivery
doctor; relatively painless and quick dilation.
My instinct was right, Lil’
Mama was indeed knocking at the door.
Sorry for mixing metaphors, but instead of the bridge visual, the
physical sensation did feel like a door knock.
Our nurse barely had time to get the doctor and I actually had to do
three prep pushes before the doctor made it down the hall to us. Lady Doc barely assumed the position when
this Birthing Beast did the Ultimate Power Push and all of the sudden I had a
slippery baby in my arms. I’ll have to
verify with Baby Daddy, but I don’t think it took longer than 6 minutes. It did not hurt one bit, the only odd
sensation was my hips separating as she came out, and they said we had a level
2 laceration (on a 4 point scale) that required two stitches. Another point on the board for Positive. Oh wait, I forgot to add that I vomited all
over myself the ENTIRE pushing phase of the labor. It’s very hard to vomit while laying down and
pushing with your Lady Flower, and the puke was dripping down my chin. This is still a positive though because the
nurse told us that the puking was what dilated me so quickly and helped with
the power-pushing I was doing.
For what felt like an
awkwardly long time, it was just me, Baby Daddy and this slippery newborn in
the room. I had previously Googled how
to make your daughter President of the United States and it was widely
suggested that you immediately breastfeed after delivery. So we tried.
It didn’t work. I tried jamming
my nipples in there and it just wasn’t happening. Finally someone came and rescued me from my
embarrassment and offered to sponge bathe our baby. I actually tried to pretend what we were
doing was not trying to breast feed but that we were just laying there and her
mouth happened to be trying to find my nipples.
I’m not sure how convincing I was.
Whatever. I did not poop the
table, how many of you women can say that! Oh yeah! No table poop!
After being handed a clean
baby and trying to pretend I’ve held a newborn before, Baby Daddy and I were
squired up to the smallest recovery room known to man. I was glad I brought my own towel and my own
pillows because the hospital gives you a teeny towel (that wasn’t even big
enough to handle my hair, let alone a whole body) and shit pillows. We then spent the next hours with our baby
and tons of nurses and doctors, filling out various papers. My favorite was the one I had to sign that no joke said “I hereby declare I am an
unwed mother”. Loud and proud mitches,
loud and proud. I don’t have a lot of
advice for the recovery part because that’s all going to vary depending on how
beat up you can get, from my vantage point it seems as if I had a pretty good
deal. I will say if you get one of those
postpartum girdles, I was given bad advice which was get the size you were
pre-pregnancy. That would make me a
Small, and we bought a Small but I couldn’t (and still can’t on day 3) get it
on. Baby Daddy ran out and got me a
Medium and it seems to be working so far.
Practice with your car seat
before you leave the hospital, we had no idea how to get her in the seat and
some peasant actually honked at us for taking too long.
Final Score: Positive
Experience overall. Will absolutely try
to have more kids. Pregnancy sucked way
more than birthing.
We arrived home to our baby nurse, Davey who was an angel sent from
heaven. The single most important thing
I want EVERYONE who is about to give birth to take from this post is I don’t
care what it takes, if you have to put a fund on your registry for your friends
to contribute to, or straight up eat ramen for months to get the pennies
together, GET A BABY NURSE. Despite all
our blessings in the hospital, the experience was draining on all accounts, to
come home to an expert whose daily job is to take care of newborns genuinely
felt like checking into a hotel. I was
able to jump in the shower and collect myself while she re-organized our
nursery (I really thought I had that set up perfectly and I learned I had
nothing set up logically). She then took
my screaming child, not exaggerating, Lil Mama was a SCREAMER of epic
proportions, and gave her a tad bit of formula because she said the baby was
just super hungry because my milk’s not in yet.
She then squeezed my boobies to get some colostrum out and helped me
change and soothe the baby. When you
have stitches in your bits, blood on your nips and haven’t slept in days, it’s
amazing to have someone do the thinking for you and help out. Baby Daddy was exhausted and as clueless
about Dadding as I am about Momming and having a nurse eliminates the scary
guesswork. She is expensive and I don’t
want to alienate people with elitist bullshit, but I’m serious, if you have to
get a cheaper crib, or cut out manicures for two months, figure it out and get
We also jacked as many diapers (adult and baby) from the hospital as well
as the Demerol spray they offered for my Birthing Forest, which basically felt
like it was recovering from a forest fire.
Do this. We snagged some
disposable changing table covers and our nurse brilliantly had me repurpose
them for MY bed, as a protective layer to sleep on so I don’t ruin our
mattress. Grab a bunch if you can.
fear the birth. Grab as much gear as you
can from the hospital. Hire a nurse
(whatever it takes). Bring your own
towel. Practice with your car seat in
advance. Love your partner for giving
you the most perfect, adorable and intoxicating smelling person that you
finally get to meet. Don’t be
embarrassed about anything that goes down in the 48 hours or so you’re at the
hospital because you’re never going to see these people again. Good luck to my friends who I know are about
to give birth, and I hope you pick my brain with any questions because nothing
is ever off-limits with me. Also, please
don’t hug me unless I go in for it first because my nipples are on fire right