1. Do not ask anesthesiologists ANY follow up questions. When the doctor came to place my epidural, he asked me to stick out my tongue and say aaaah. After I did, I asked him why he needed to see my mouth, and he said calmly. "Just in case something goes wrong and we have to do an emergency c-section. I want to make sure I have everything I need to intubate you." I didn't totally learn my lesson from that exchange, though, and I asked the anesthesiologist who rounded the next morning what would happen if I developed a spinal headache, and he very matter-of-factly explained exactly how a blood patch works. NO THANK YOU, SIR.
2. Pitocin contractions? ARE NOT LIKE REGULAR CONTRACTIONS. Take it from me. I have had 3 non-medicated births and 2 with epidurals. Both epidural births were the direct result of Pitocin. Those contractions! THERE IS NO BUILD UP. No slow wave that you can breathe through while envisioning petals opening. Just panic-inducing agony. My mantra during contractions was Welcome, Baby, and I would smile very consciously while I thought it to relax my face and jaw. But once the nurses rammed the Pitocin up to 12/20, this mantra was drowned out by oh-my-god-I-am-going-to-die-help-me-oh-my-god while I practically bit off my own tongue. And the frequency! They were TRYING to get me to contract every 1-2 minutes, so there was no relief. It's both terrible and NOT THE WAY SPONTANEOUS LABOR IS at all. So, listen, if you have only ever known Pitocin, and you feel like a wimp for getting an epidural, DO NOT. Those are demon freak contractions and not like natural labor.
3. Also, Pitocin is a miracle. I had some scary bleeding right after Dorthy was born, and I remember having terrible contraction-like pain every time she would nurse early on. This time? Thanks to the giant bag of hormones, my uterus shrunk down right away and didn't even hurt when the nurses pushed on my stomach, and I barely had ANY post-birth bleeding at all. So freaky.
4. I got so lucky. The epidural at the exact time I screamed for it. That Minnie could handle all of the interventions. No complications from any of the drugs. And the biggest thing-- besides, of course, this delectable baby asleep in my arms right now-- I had absolutely no recovery pain of any kind. Right after birth, I started taking 600 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours, and I kept this up for 2 days. And I felt NOTHING. No uterus shrinking cramps. No lower back ache from the epidural. No soreness ANYWHERE. I did not even need an ice pack. It was my easiest recovery of any of the births. The worst part was waiting for the epidural to wear off so I could pee by myself like a big girl. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!
5. It really took a little while, though, for my body to totally get its shit together after that 72-hour labor. Oh, no, sorry-- it was only like 68 hours. My milk did not come in as fast I was expecting it to, for example, and we really had to come home from the hospital because I could not sleep, and the lack of sleep was KILLING ME. So even though I didn't have pain, I did figure out pretty fast that I still needed to take it easy.
|Stuck under a baby|
|What color will these eyes be?|
|One drink too many|
|Would only sleep if I was standing up|
|Getting by with a little help from our friends who drop off Culvers|
|This Instagram template is awesome, and I am ACTUALLY DOING THINGS thanks to it.|
|90-degrees today. Gulp.|
|And he chatted the whole time|
|Not too cool for the sprinkler.|