Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Call of Duty

Britta's body is a wonderland.It produces the most beautiful children. Even if one of them is half Mark. I'm slow to report but I must share my experience with the arrival of precious Adalie. For months, Britta joked with me about being in the room when the baby was born because Mark told her he wasn't really good with the whole birth "thing" so she asked me to come in and help her out when the time arrived. I was completely honored. Britta is my sister in every sense of the word and I love her dearly and it meant so much to me to even be asked. Fast forward to B day. I got to the hospital and was happy to see that Britta's friend Clancy was in town and Britta's mom Bobby was in the room. Apparently Britta was trying to be wonder woman and go natural with her delivery. Admittedly, I had a good laugh with myself when I heard this. Not that I think that Britta couldn't do it, but I just know my girl.

Note: To all you amazing women who've chosen to deliver natural and remain drug free during your labor & delivery, I commend you...but I think you're a total masochist. No one thinks you're mother of the year because you've elected not to go the epidural route. Why not make the entire process a little more pleasant by numbing your downtown?? I think using a tampon hurts. I can only imagine how delightful squeezing a little watermelon out of me must feel. Not all drugs are bad. Especially ones approved by the FDA :)

Note 2: Britta's OB/GYN is freaking AWESOME. He was my buddy from the get go. Not an ounce of ego in him. He came in and watched Britta enjoy some contractions and kept whispering to me that he knows Britta will cave and then he bet me $10 she would ask for an epidural.

Sure enough, Britta came through for us and begged for an epidural. At this point she'd barely reached 3 cm. I love that girl. I sort of wonder if Britta had the whole Angel/Devil dilema thing going on. Clancy was the Angel saying "You are strong, you can do this, let me help you" and I was (of course) the devil saying "Drugs are good, take them and let Clancy help you"

After the epidural, we had a really fun afternoon just chatting and making jokes and around 4:45 Britta told her nurse she really had to go number 2 and wanted to try to do so before the baby came. The nurse tells Britta that isn't number 2 that is the baby's head in the birth canal. WOO HOO! Nurse starts getting everything ready for the baby and the Dr. comes in. Now...when Britta asked me to be in the room during the delivery, I assumed It would be sitting in a chair in the room saying encouraging things. I got the shock of my life when Dr. Neilson told me to get on her side and grab her leg. Clancy and I got on either side and each grabbed a leg. Mark was by her head...

I REALLY tried hard to look at Britta and not down at her crotch but seriously couldn't help myself. Clancy was the respectful friend keeping eye contact but I was too enthralled. At one point I saw this gray-ish small bubble down there. Clearly never having seen my vagina at this angle, I asked the Dr. if I had one of those bubble things. He laughed and said "Um no. That is the head crowning." Phew.
Britta pushed for all of 10 minutes before we were graced with little Adalie. I cried louder than the baby did. It was such a beautiful experience and I felt honored to be there to witness such a miracle. While Britta and Mark were holding Adalie, I stuck around Britta's downtown to ask more questions. Dr. Neilson told me he was delivering the afterbirth and did Miss-ask-a-lot-of-questions want to watch? Heck yes I did. Again, I didn't mean to be as eager as I was but I was just awestruck about the entire experience. I might have got my face a little too close during one of the placenta tugs because a huge spray of blood nearly hit my face. It was like Carrie when the pigs blood spills on her. Everyone laughed a little too hard at that.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and the atmosphere was fun and relaxed and we laughed a ton. Britta, I'm sorry I couldn't stop staring at your crotch. Thank you for allowing me to share the experience with you. I shall never forget it.


bv said...

Awww...insert quiet tears here...

Thanks for being part of our special day. Who knew that it wasn't a catcher's mit that you would need but a freakin' rain poncho and umbrella!!!

Thanks for documenting the day and holding my heavy leg!!!!

The Lingwalls said...

Just precious. I'm glad you think stuff like that is amazing and not yucky! I'm still kind of bummed about the lack of inside out buttholes.

Clancy in Idaho said...

Britta was a ROCKSTAR!!! I, too, was honored to participate in this miracle! I loved watching your face, Michelle, as much as anything. The awe it held was priceless. Birth is really such an amazing process. Unless you've been there, it's impossible to describe the wonder.

A note back: You can think, if you wish, of the populace of women who deliver "natural" as wankers... but, as one of those "wankers", I have to speak up. I'm not looking for a mother of the year award by choosing a drug-free birth. I DO NOT make the choice to go "natural" so I can hope for praise. I don't make that choice for any reason beyond my own satisfaction. I choose it because I wish to be an active participant in the ENTIRE experience. Not to negate anyone else's choice, least of all, Britta's. After being there for Adalie's birth, my perspective on an epidural birth is very different than it was before. An epidural does not make a birth anything less than miraculous, just as choosing to have no epidural does not lessen it. Birth is birth and it's amazing no matter.

I choose no epidural because I believe my body was designed for this purpose. I choose to cope with the pain rather than numb myself to the experience. I don't agree that "numbing" would make the entire experience more "pleasant". Definitely for some people it would and does, but not me. On the contratry, I think it would be very UNPLEASANT to be numb to it. For me, personally, the level of joy I can experience is compensatory to the level of pain I can experience. It creates a more joyful experience to have the SHARP contrast of the intense pain. It's something that is hard to explain. For me, it is a right of passage and a gift of honor to my child to go through this "pain". Again, that is my own personal choice and reasons, but I wanted to speak out to let you know that this "wanker" is not looking for approval from anyone but herself... no mother of the year, here, I am just choosing my experience the way that suits me best.

I, admittedly, had a bit of a "chip" on my shoulder about epidurals previous to the birth of little Adalie. Britta allowing me to be there and experience that changed that whole perception. I am grateful for that experience where I got to honor birth for what it was regardless of epidural or no epidural.

I think the greatest gift we can give expectant mothers is to honor their choice about how to experience this incredible event. If they choose an epidural, we honor and celebrate that. If they choose not to have one, we honor that too and do anything we can to facilitate that process. That is the best gift I have received. Love and support in MY choice. :)

Sorry... that turned out to be a long note!! I so love you and think you are the greatest. I was so happy to share the leg holding with you, and watch your cute face at the emerging of Miss Adalie!! :)

Earl Family said...

You are so funny for posting this!! I commend your friend for inviting you in, I was one of those who chose to have no one but my hubby and doctor and those individuals who HAD to be there in the room with me.

And for the record - if anyone is keeping a record, I am one of those that is very much PRO Epidural...even if only one out of my three worked! I'd do it again, if I could do it again, but I can't because our baby factory is shut down now :(

Michelvis said...

You're right Clancy, I should clarify my remark about pleasant and numbing. I meant not numb to feeling as a whole but more so get the drug to numb your downtown julie brown to make the process itself a tad bit more pain-free. Maybe I should replace wanker with "masochist" thats all I meant by the comment. Sorry If you felt attacked in any manner. Love your guts girlie!

bv said...

remember that time when i thought i had to take the dump of a life time and it was just adi cakes?!

and dude, for the record i made it to an 8 with elsie poo and i had two epi's that didn't work with deedleton so cut your crap! not sure if it was the pitocin or what this time that made it worse but the epidural was worth it!

bv said...

nice emeilia earhart photo, you fool!!!

lizzo said...

IT's about time you updated your blog! This is a great entry. My favorite is when you asked if you had a baby head in your vagina.

I love you.

Clancy in Idaho said...

No problemo... I didn't actually feel attacked at all. I'm just a wanker with a voice that must be heard!!! ;) LOL!

Melissa said...

oh michelle! i am laughing so hard right now! this post brought tears to my the hilarious way.

i had reese basically with no drugs and i'm ok not "experiencing" the pain. would you have knee surgery without drugs? i'm with you...bring on the drugs!