I was in the hospital having my first baby. I just received my epidural and was comfortable and happy. Finally, I could get some rest. Prior to getting the epidural, I was tired but too afraid to sleep. I had heard horror stories about women that had “missed their window.” I was determined, that would not be me.
I drifted in and out of sleep as nurses checked on me and my baby throughout the night. Every couple of hours they would flip me from one side to the other. Because of the epidural, my legs were mostly numb but I could wiggle my toes and roll my ankles. I was so happy to be out of pain but still fully awake and alert to remember and enjoy the event that I had waited for almost a year to happen.
I remember the story that my Mom told me about when I was born. She went to the hospital, they put her to sleep and woke her up to tell her that she had delivered a baby girl. She was too medicated to remember or enjoy her delivery.
As I dilated and the baby moved down, his head was so close to being out that the nurse could see it. “If you reach down, you can touch his hair” she told me. Why would I want to do THAT?? “Ah…no thanks. I’ll wait for the whole baby.” I tell her. “Would you like to feel your baby’s head?” she then asked my husband. He looked at me and I could tell we were thinking the same thing. “No, thanks. I’ll wait too.” It is not that we aren’t loving parents. We just weren’t comfortable with the messy stuff. The nurses tried to tell me that as soon as he was born, they would put him right up on my chest. “Would you mind cleaning him off first? ” I couldn’t wait to hold my nice, CLEAN swaddled baby. They were sure that I would change my mind in the moment that he arrived. Not likely. I have a weak stomach when it come to blood and other body fluids.
At some point during labor, I start to feel nauseous and become afraid to drink for fear of throwing up. I sparingly suck on ice chips. I welcome the small amount of water that melts from the ice. My mouth is dry and I am so thirsty. As I sleep, I dream of endless bottles of water, juice, and Gatorade.