Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Free Bagel!

Bagel moved out of his studio apartment on Sunday at 10:59 a.m.

After having been so miserable for the last several weeks, I am actually quite well now by comparison. And Bagel is doing fine. He's got a bit of jaundice now, but we're home from the hospital so we can set him out in the sun for a few minutes at a time without the Safety Police clucking at us.

Gory birth details follow, so the uninterested or the squeamish can skip to the next post.

I started having contractions about 5:30 in the morning. They were exactly as painful as the ones I'd been having for the last several days so I didn't think anything of them except "Great, MORE of these damn false labor contractions." They started hitting every 10 minutes. I was in a lot of pain but I figured if I was going to be in pain anyway, I might as well get something done, so I started a load of laundry, took out the trash, and made a few items for sale. After a few hours of this, they started getting really painful. I was banging my head against the wall. But I'd already called the hospital and they said I had to wait until they were regularly 3-5 minutes apart. They NEVER were 3-5 minutes apart. In fact they stopped being regular. They were 4 minutes, 10 minutes, 7 minutes, etc. and they hurt so bad that I thought I'd go to the hospital and see if they could give me anything to stop the contractions or alleviate the pain.

If we'd left any later, I'd have had that baby in the car.

I got to the hospital and put on my gown, and my water broke as I was giving them a urine sample. And the contractions immediately went to one-right-after-the-other, with me screaming for drugs. By the time they got around to checking me, they said I'd dilated to a 5 and even though I hadn't yet filled out my paperwork (!) they would permit me to get an epidural anyway. The anesthesiologist was called in a big hurry. They had me swing my legs over the side of the bed for the epidural, and I got one leg over, but the other one wouldn't go because I couldn't close my legs. And then I had to push, so it was too late for the epidural. The anesthesiologist went off to his previous appointment and five minutes later I had a baby, completely and entirely unmedicated. We had been at the hospital for only half an hour.

I hadn't really made any plans as to whether I would have an unmedicated birth, and if you'd asked me about it at the time I would have just screamed "GIVE ME DRUGS!!!!" at you, as I was screaming it at anybody with a hospital badge at the time. But looking back on it now it wasn't that bad. Now that I know how much pain it is, I don't know if I would recommend it to everyone; but the recovery is certainly going much faster than my previous ones. I can sit on my computer chair without my inflatable doughnut. Also Bagel's head was not at all pointy.

I had a small episiotomy, but Bagel got circumcised, so we're even now.