Happy Birthday Myriam: A Birth Story

My first baby was born 6 years ago tomorrow. This is the story of her birth.

My beautiful baby girl. I've never thought that we looked ANYTHING alike but when I put her hair up in pigtails on Saturday I saw myself looking back at me.

     Six years ago I was hooked up to an IV and pumped full of pitocin to help induce my labor, all because the sonogram that I'd had three days prior had everyone concerned that Myriam was weighing in the neighborhood of 10+ pounds. And with two more weeks to go, before I reached full term, I had reason for concern. You see, ever since we found out I was pregnant I had prayed, fervently that my baby wouldn't take after her father's side of the family. Well, just one characteristic, her head. The Hubby has a(n) enormous large head and the thought of birthing that watermelon noggin had me freaked out concerned.
     Up until it was decided that I should be induced I toyed with the notion of a "natural" birth meaning sans pain relief. As soon as they said induction that idea went out the window. I'm a wuss anyway, I don't know that I was ever very serious about the whole natural childbirth thing anyway but I never expected a C-section.
     I was scheduled to have a midwife deliver my daughter. I did all of my prenatal visits with a nurse/midwife, with an OBGYN overseeing everything. My midwife had delivered thousands of babies and I was very comfortable with her and her abilities. She was there when I checked into the hospital and even started the pitocin drip. After a couple of hours it was decided that breaking my water would help to "move the process along" so she got out the crochet hook and the next thing I knew I was sitting in a lake.
    And for the next few hours it did seem to do the trick! I went from one cm to six and was fully effaced. Myriam was head down and engaged and I was practicing how to hyperventilate at every contraction. I really wasn't prepared for the pain; it wasn't the worst pain I've ever been in. That fact surprised me, frankly. But I couldn't focus on anything but the pain. The best way I know how to describe it was, it was like having pain tunnel vision. All I could see was the waves of contractions that never really ended before the next one crested. I called for the epidural, but the anesthesiologist was in the OR and I would have to wait so they gave me a drug "to take the edge off". And boy did it!
     I loved the drugs but the drugs didn't love me. Because after awhile of staring at the ceiling and watching the ceiling tiles switch places I began to panic because I was certain that I was forgetting to breathe. The more I concentrated on remembering to breathe the harder it became to remember how. I was in the throes of a panic attack and beginning to hyperventilate for real when one of the nurses came in and told me if I didn't calm down they were going to put me on oxygen. For some reason that did the trick. Either that or that's also when the anesthesiologist came into administer the epidural.
     I was informed by the man that wanted to shove a turkey baster huge needle into my spine that I would need to curl up into a ball and hold VERY still. I informed him that both things were impossible the former because I had a ten pound baby (plus all the gook that goes along with birthing babies) in my way and the later because the contractions were making my stomach roll like a bowl full of jelly. But we both managed and a few minutes later I was "resting comfortably" and watching the monitor report the contractions that I no longer felt.

Funny sidebar--I worked the day before I was induced. In fact, I worked up until they wheeled me into the OR. I had my Blackberry in hand and was emailing my final instructions and approving ad copy. I even went so far as to speak to an ad rep about some proposals while breathing through a contraction. That poor guy may be scarred for life. Yeah, I was that kind of business woman....

To be continued....

Peace Out!
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All images and written work, found herein, is the sole property of Rebecca Burton and may not be used in any capacity without express written consent.