Vagina Vengeance, or: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

22 Mar

I had the most horrific, gruesome vaginal delivery of anybody I know. What do you think?

The first day of FCATs (for you non-Floridians, that is the No Child Left Behind high-stakes test that Florida students have to take and pass to graduate), I felt the anxiety levels climbing. For the past several weeks, my obstetrician had been warning me about my escalating blood pressure levels, afraid that I would fall into the risky hypertension zone if I wasn’t careful. He wanted me to stay away from stress, red meat, horror films, etc. At 37 weeks pregnant, dealing with the stressors of getting the students rolling and fearing their plummeting scores was no picnic. By the end of the first day of testing, I had a massive headache, and I was especially swollen. After work, I stopped by my Obstetrician’s office to pick up some paperwork. Aware that my blood pressure had been climbing the past few weeks, I asked a nurse if she could quickly take my BP as a precaution. She told me that the office was closed, and to head across the street to the hospital’s Labor and Delivery ward. I followed her instructions. In the hospital, they tested my blood pressure for two hours and collected my urine to test (ew, gross, right? Keep reading; it gets worse.) Upon reading my scores, the OB on shift had me stay the night for further observation. And then another night. After about 72 hours of observing my vitals, one of the doctors in my practice told me that I had preeclampsia, also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension. As a result, she wanted to get the baby out of me ASAP before my astronomical protein levels climbed even higher, rendering me possibly comatose.

Like a whirlwind, I was moved from ante-partum to the labor and delivery unit, where the doctor broke my water and hooked me up to oxygen and a million other machines. The team started me on Pitocin to initiate contractions, and I was officially in labor. I had a magnesium sulfate drip thrusted into my veins. If you’ve never had “The Mag,” let me tell you something: it makes one feel like one has a nasty flu. Imagine being in labor with a fever and other flu symptoms. It sucks. It was a necessary evil, though, to prevent me from having a BP-induced seizure (which this epileptic is prone to.) Of course, when they shoved the catheter in me, that was just as pleasant as a spring day…or not. I will admit to being slightly amused watching the nurses empty out a milk jug of pee from under my hospital bed, and having no knowledge as to how it got there. But I’m just weird. Moving on…

Two hours later, I was dilated enough to receive an epidural. There was never a question as to whether or not I would have one; I’m no fucking hero. For the next eight hours, I labored painlessly as the epidural worked its magic. I even napped a little; good thing, because I would soon learn how much I needed that rest.

When the nurse told me it was time to push, the doctors eased up on my epi so I could feel the contractions. What they did not anticipate is that my kid wasn’t in the mood to be born, and after the first twenty minutes of pushing, the medicine wore off completely. I pushed and pushed and pushed for two hours. Two hours of unmedicated pushing. Nobody else among my friends and family pushed for that long. Moments before that final push, my kid turned sideways in my birth canal, and even though she was a teeny preemie, her exit caused a third-degree tear in my baby door. For those of you unfamiliar with the terminology, a third degree tear means that I was split from baby door to food dumpster. In other words, there was a brief window of my life when I only had two holes, not three.

The nurses put my brand new baby on my chest for skin-to-skin bonding, and I remember looking down from my kid long enough to see my OB stitching me up with a length of thread longer than my body. Seven months later, I required additional surgery to repair the disaster area that used to be my lady-parts; that’s how badly I tore. To add insult to injury, I pushed so hard and for so long that I blew a bunch of capillaries in my eyes, and every bit of white part was red for two weeks. Even my kid’s pediatrician made fun of me for that one. (She took one look at my eyes and said, “Rough vaginal delivery, huh?” Thanks, Bitch.) (Remember that episode of Family Guy where Stewie tries to crap in his diaper but blows the blood vessels in his eyes instead? Yep. That’s precisely how I looked.)

Doesn’t that sound horrendous? Gentlemen, doesn’t that make you glad you were blessed with a penis? Ladies, do you pity me? All that pain, all that pushing. Most of my friends who experienced vaginal deliveries pushed for anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, just to put it in perspective.

And even though I had the worst possible vaginal delivery, I still would rather do that again than face major surgery to pull my kid out. My stitches did not require me to wear elastic-waist pants (just those delightful hospital mesh panties, of which I stole dozens.) While my recovery was painful as shit, it didn’t limit my mobility. My discomfort did not prevent me from holding my brand new child, as many other C-section moms I know experienced. I didn’t have to worry about resting her on my stitches while holding her in the rocking chair; I just made extra sure not to sit on her. The resulting surgery, seven months down the line, was a bitch. The preemptive medical work leading up to the corrective surgery was a bitch. It was also pretty rotten to hear my OB tell me that he’d rather I never deliver vaginally again. I decided, though, to fuck his recommendation and attempt a vaginal birth in the future, should Pterodactyl be blessed with a sibling one day. There is no way I’m voluntarily going through what my dear sister Daisy suffered, and she was among the lucky ones!

Tell us: what was your vaginal birth like?


© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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6 Responses to “Vagina Vengeance, or: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

  1. I.R. March 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    “What was your vaginal birth like?”

    I loved every minute of it.

  2. daisyandviolet March 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    Well, yeah, because you were on the receiving end. You’re closer to the c-section folks than you are to me…

  3. CJ March 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Oh wow. It’s amazing how much pain and trauma the human body can take. And it’s equally amazing that anyone has siblings. =)

    • daisyandviolet March 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      =] Agreed. I’m sure there are worse labor stories out there, but among my several mommy friends (and family), I’m the Vaginal Holocaust Survivor.

      It’s a wonder I can even sit here and type this to you. I thought I was never going to sit again. 0=] Thanks for reading and commenting!

      -Violet

  4. peace4lauren March 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story. I too, suffered horrific birth trauma and a third degree tear. You can read my story at peaceoutofpieces.com. No one really understands the depth of that pain until they experience it. Hope that you are “healed” now. I would be interested to know the type of surgery you had to correct the damage.-Lauren

    • daisyandviolet March 30, 2012 at 11:17 am #

      Lauren,

      I perused your blog, and I am so sorry to read about everything you had to deal with as a result of your labor; both physically and mentally. I don’t know if you’ve dug that deep into our blog, but I have two posts which may interest you: “Why I Quit Breastfeeding…and that’s ok!” and “Shrink Rap,” both of which touch upon mental health issues and their implications. PTSD is no joke. My husband suffers from it (but he IS a soldier and DID acquire it during war), but rape victims, car accident victims, 9/11 victims all suffer from this debilitating illness. I hope you are growing and healing every day. (PS, my surgery was called an “episiotomy repair” even though I didn’t have an episiotomy in delivery.)

      -Violet

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