Denial And A Bad Epidural: The Story of Elias’ Birth
I was in denial. I was nine months pregnant, due in two days, having contractions every few minutes, but I had convinced myself that I was not in labor. This is the story of Elias’ birth.
Slapping his last card on the table Mark yelled “Dutch Blitz!” I won’t lie, I was relieved someone else had won. I had been getting so competitive that I had to stop and remind myself to breath. When I felt my stomach tighten, I jokingly told Mark and my neighbors to quit getting me so worked up because they might send me into labor.
Mark and I said our good nights and went to bed shortly after that.
Mark and I were peacefully sleeping, when I sat straight up with eyes bulging. “Good grief this baby is sitting directly on my bladder. Ouch!”, I thought to myself as I rushed to the bathroom. I was used to the baby bouncing on my bladder at that point, but it felt ridiculous to have to wake me up from a dead sleep just to use the bathroom.
Stumbling through the dark, I made my way back to my bed, but the pain hadn’t gone away. “Odd” I thought to myself as I lay down. I had barely pulled the warm covers around me when I darted up again. “Ok that is not normal.” A cramp surged though my belly as it hardened like a rock. I waited it out, and in a few minutes my stomach was as soft as jello.
After a few minutes of these crazy episodes, I snuck out of our room and began to pace the hall. I didn’t wake Mark up because I was in denial, and I was sure he would have to go to work the next day. “He needs his rest.” I told myself.
Between contractions, I paced the baby’s nursery like a caged animal. Thinking that if I walked around the pain would magically go away. It didn’t. Another contraction crested over me and sent me to my knees. I hunched over a rocking chair that I had set up in his room and moaned like there was no tomorrow.
After the peak of the contraction leveled out, I picked up a little picture book that was ready for the baby. I hoped this would somehow distract my mind. It didn’t. I now realize how weird I was being.
After the book, I decided that I should time my “pain.” I wouldn’t allow myself to call them contractions because then that would mean I was in labor, and if I was in labor then that meant I was going to have a baby, and I didn’t know how to have a baby. I didn’t know how to be a mom for that matter.
I couldn’t time my contractions anymore. On the last line, I simple wrote “Ouch!” That was my final entry.
I started getting really sick. It was like my body screamed, “Ahhh… we are in pain. Throw up!” I tried to convince myself that that never actually helped anything, but oh no! I wouldn’t listen to myself and with each contraction I got worse.
I finally darted into our bedroom like a mad woman. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “Mark, I am going to DIE!” but I figured that is not a very fun way to wake up so I yelled, “Call the Doctor!” instead.
Mark sat straight up and just staired at me like I was crazy. The words were barely out of my mouth when I darted out of the room feeling very sick. Making noises like a sea-lion, I barely made it to the bathroom.
Poor Mark waited a few minutes and then cautiously poked his head into the bathroom. “Are you alright?” he asked. He then realized that I was in labor because I held up my “hold on a minute” finger with one hand and grasped my stomach tightly with the other. Unable to talk, I stared at him with eyes that screamed “HELP ME! THIS REALLY HURTS.”
As if on cue, he started punching numbers into his phone. By the time I could breathe again he was telling the Doctor all of my symptoms. When he got orders to take me to the hospital it was like two chickens were set loose in our house and both of them had their heads cut off. Random stuff was being thrown into bags as we tried to run out the door. We were a mess.
Mark and I left for the hospital. I wanted Mark to speed the whole way to the hospital. I thought maybe that would make me feel better, but he remained calm under pressure. That is until he realized we had no gas in our car.
Mark looked at me, and then at the low fuel light, and then back at me. I knew we wouldn’t make it to the hospital without gas so I told him to stop.
As Mark was pumping the gas, I clutched the door handle and cup holder in our car and winced in pain. As soon as I could speak, I begged him to please hurry (as if the poor man would take his sweet ol time).
When I looked out the window and saw his nervous, crooked smile I made a mental note: 1) I love that man. 2) and When I am nine months pregnant-ALWAYS have gas in the car.
We arrived at the hospital. After a quick exam, a nurse informed me that my blood pressure was sky-high, but that I was in active labor. When I arrived I was so nervous. I thought they would send me home. I couldn’t bear the idea of that much pain being for nothing.
On the other hand I couldn’t imagine staying at the hospital because that would mean I was actually going to have a baby. Like I said earlier, I didn’t know how to do that. No wonder I had high blood pressure.
By the time a nurse handed me a hospital gown, I began to think that I should’ve taken some kind of birthing class. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. One minute I was putting on a little gown that was more like wearing a piece of paper than actual clothes, and the next minute the nurses are trying to make me walk to my room which was down the hall.
I wanted to blurt out the obvious, “This gown doesn’t have a back on it” but no one seemed to notice but me. Being an incredibly modest person, I grabbed a nearby sheet and cocooned myself in it before waddling down the hall to the delivery room.
Having no birth class experience, I had to improvise on breathing techniques. All I could think of was “Shark Bate Who Ha Ha” from Finding Nemo. I was crazy, but at least I was still breathing.
My mom came to visit me. Thankfully she pulled my hair up into a big bun on the top of my head between contractions. I was thankful for her company.
My in-laws came to visit me and I was thankful to see them. By this point I was in a lot of pain. I wanted an epidural. And I wanted it now!
A man I had never seen before walked into my room. I knew instantly that I wanted to hug him. Praise the Lord for anesthesiologists.
As soon as I saw him I almost yelled, “STICK the needle in my back! But he was already briefing me on what he was about to do. The nurse told me to hold completely still while he put ‘a cattle prod” into my back. There I sat looking like a little praying mantis hugging my nurse’s neck. The nurse rubbed my hands and told me I was doing a good job when the guy inserted a seven-foot metal rod in my back (at least that is what it felt like). Then it was over. I had an epidural. Onto heavenly birthing bliss…right?
The worst part of labor stuck. I had a contraction that peaked and wouldn’t drop. I could have traumatized the whole hall if I would have let out one good scream, but I was so lost inside of myself that I couldn’t.
I didn’t scream, but as hard as I tried I couldn’t find my “happy place” anymore- the pain was too much for me. I was shaking uncontrollably and getting sick with each contraction. I cupped my hands around my face, and then nearly pulled my hair out on that one. My epidural wasn’t working!
Everyone in the room held their breath as they watched the monitor spit out a ribbon of paper that was recording my contractions. The nurse even agreed that that was a really bad one and wondered what was wrong with my epidural. The anesthesiologist just happened to walk in the room as it peaked and with a puzzled look on his face said, “Well that isn’t supposed to happen.”
Thankfully he came over and flipped a switch on my back (a.k.a.I have no idea what he did) and I started to go numb about a half and hour later. Praise the Lord!
I started laughing and talking again. The epidural was working.
I enjoyed a Popsicle.
I was ready to have the baby. The doctor prepared the room and everything was in place when I was hit with a nap attack. I couldn’t think about pushing or having a baby, all I could think about was sleeping. I wanted to dismiss everyone and tell them we would do this another time, but they were persistent. No naps until later.
I kept pushing, but the doctor took it easy on my and let me rest a lot. I was so tired.
Elias Mark Baker entered the world. Mark technically delivered him, and after he did I reached down and scooped him into my arms.There I was in my delirious state amazed that little Elias was actually a person. I didn’t cry, but he did. I didn’t scream or squeal, but that little baby let me hear it. It was the sweetest voice I have ever heard. I could cry now just thinking about it.
I was too in shock then. I remember just staring at his face in silence, amazed that he actually had a face. I don’t know what I expected or what I thought he would be, but I was shocked and amazed that in my arms was a little 7lb. 11oz. baby boy.
I sat there tired, delirious, and very much in love. Elias changed everything that day. I am so thankful for February 6, 2010 and for the miracle God allowed me to hold in my arms. He truly is a gift.
Love this baby!
I couldn’t believe I actually got to keep him.
A few days after we brought him home.