I consider it pay back for getting covered in his placenta juices, etc. during birth. Speaking of birth, here is my youngest’s birth story:
Oliver’s birth started with sweet potato pancakes.
Despite having gestational diabetes, I insisted that Kintu and I go to the Maple Cafe for breakfast the morning of my scheduled induction (which I was having due to said diabetes). When I arrived at the hospital my blood sugars were through the roof and I sheepishly admitted to cheating on my diet that morning. The nurse smirked and moved on as I changed into my birthing gown (which had a unicorn on it, of course) while we waited for the midwife to come brief me on my induction.
When she arrived I was told my induction would start with a suppository pill being inserted into my vagina. This pill would hopefully cause my cervix to soften and open. That sounded easy enough. A few min after its insertion, some mild cramping told me the suppository was doing its job, my heart fluttered, or rather, threw itself against my rib cage.
This was it.
A couple hours later another pill was inserted and I settled in to watch a couple episodes of South Park (I’m so sorry, sweet baby.) A couple hours and some contractions after that they started me on an IV drip of Pitocin. I was nervous, almost every mommy blog I had come across about inductions regarded Pitocin as a helluva drug. Turns out it wasn’t even that bad! I heard the contractions were going to be equivalent to the earthquakes in Mordor and they were totally regular. Why can’t I post an emoji here? I need a rolling eye emoji!
Kintu and I ate lunch and after finding out that he had never seen it, watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The contractions started to become distracting about the time Rudolph was getting kicked out of the reindeer games. Poor Rudolph, poor me. I held off for a while but finally texted my sister/doula to come. She arrived and set up an essential oil diffuser, filling the air with the smell of vanilla and oranges. Soon the contractions become much stronger and I was desperate to find a comfortable position to labor in. This proved difficult due to some pain that I had in my pelvis called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. Which basically feels like your pelvic bone is going to rip apart every time you move funny.
After the hours of being in a hard hospital bed the pelvic pain became more unbearable than the contractions themselves. I was brought birthing balls and heat packs and nothing seemed to be working. I suddenly realized that there is no way I’d be able to push a baby out with my pelvis feeling like it was being Hulk smashed. Dreams (really weird dream to be honest) of a non-medicated birth flew out the window. We discussed my options and I decided narcotics (yeeeaaaah boy) were the best plan for my pain management.
As soon as the drug hit my veins I was overwhelmed with the relief it offered and even cried. I relaxed into the hospital bed which suddenly felt like it was made of velvet. Putting on makeup became the next most important thing on my list and I flicked on some mascara amidst the discussion of the difference between seals and sea lions. (Sea lions are brown, and walk on land using large flippers and have little ear flaps. Seals have small flippers, flop around on land, and lack ear flaps.) After that I half-slept for a couple hours, feeling the contractions roll through my body and squeeze my belly in a dream state.
I awoke to my contractions coming in “couplets” which meant that before the first contraction completely subsided another would begin to crest. These types of contractions are not optimal as, 1, they are not as useful and 2, they are not fun. The midwife came to check on my progress and suggested that we break my waters to get things going even more. I agreed but asked to go to the bathroom first because my number 1 labor fear was still that I might pee on my midwife (you start to worry less about that as time wears on). As I tried to get out of bed to go the bathroom I awkwardly slipped into doing some kind of half-assed splits on the corner of the bed and SPLOOSH— there went my waters. “Well!” I said “Pretty sure that’s not urine.”
Soon the contractions became all consuming and I labored on the birth ball while hunched over the bed, moaning and lowing like a cow. I was informed that was nearing shift change time and and that I was about to get a whole new batch of nurses and midwives. I was eager to birth before they switched midwives on me. I was very much so used to having this midwives hands in me, new hands were not my idea of fun.
With that thought I suddenly had the urge to vomit. It’s the most excited I’ve been to throw up as I knew that it was a sign of being in transition, meaning birth was, in theory, imminent.
I switched to laboring on my knees on the bed and was soon frustrated with my clothing and wriggled out of them. Ok then, I was really ready now, all in my glory I soon began to feel the urge to push during contractions. Unfortunately, every time I did this little Oliver’s heart rate would drop. They checked my cervix and I was at a 9 with a hard lip— i.e. not ready for pushing.
I was flabbergasted, how could it not be time for me to get this baby out. I was told to stop pushing and keep relaxing through the contractions. I tried not to let frustration well up inside of me as I told my body to relax, sucking on the oxygen mask like an addict. What seemed like a thousand contractions later I started begging for laughing gas. Once again I found myself flipping over to my back, the hospital bed adjusted to look like a huge white throne for my naked throbbing body.
Suddenly I knew my baby was about to arrive.
“Hes coming!” I choked out, “I’m sorry but I’m pushing!”
The nurses and midwives started to scramble, throwing on smocks and laying down towels. I felt a gas mask go to my face but I shoved it away, it was too late. In one push Oliver’s head came popping out like a jack in the box. “Ok, keep pushing!” Internally I rolled my eyes, (where is that emoji??) did they think I was just gonna stop there? I grunted, making a sound not unlike Link pushing a block in Ocarina of Time.
Then came the next contraction and I bore down with intensity, there was nothing but me and Oliver, out came his shoulders and I felt his little body slide forth into the world.
I blinked, was it really over? Tears started to flow as they laid him down warm and wriggling against my skin. “Oliver! Oliver! Oliver, Oliver Oliver.” I rejoiced. Hearing his name seemed to breathe life into him as he opened his mouth and started to wail.
I closed my eyes and behind the red of my lids I heard and felt the nurses and midwives busying themselves around me. My hands clasped Oliver’s miniature figure and I brought him to my lips.
All at once I had a craving for sweet potato pancakes.