Friday, September 2, 2011

Part 3!

(favorite picture so far!)

Someone told me you need to eat more calories when you're breastfeeding than you did when you were pregnant. Due to my new-found baby brain (remember nothing, think everything is sad and/or magically wonderful, speak in sentences like, "I wish my mouth was there." "What?" "What?" "You wish your mouth was where?" "I think I mean to say I wanted that donut.") I'm not sure if that someone was a nurse who told me about the extra calories while I was in the hospital, or if I dreamed it and Julia Roberts told me whilst in the midst of eating plates of spaghetti - but I'm thrilled regardless. Because I'm hungrier than ever.

Also, my weird dreams have not gone away. Most of the time they involve me living in France with David Sedaris and his boyfriend, but sometimes they also are super realistic and I dream I was feeding the baby, and then I wake up and realize I haven't fed her yet. But I have breastfed the sheets pretty good.

Anyway, Labor and Birth Part 3! The Final Part! Because I'm fairly certain no one wanted this much detail about the whole thing!

Where was I? Oh yeah, I tried to bite my baby daddy - which was the only time during the whole ordeal he dared to let out a little laugh and an, "Ohhh kay. Let's not do that." Later he told me it was kind of hard not to laugh at the fact that I was SCREAMING my A off every three minutes. Not because it was funny to see me in pain, but because it was a totally crazy experience. And because I was making the most noise I've ever made in my entire life. People talk about birthing soundtracks - and I had one made. But trust me, you would not be able to hear Nicki Minaj over me no matter how loud you turned that sh%t up.

So, I had gone from 3 to 7 cm dilated and the room got super busy. Which was nice because once I knew other people were getting ready it helped me get through the contractions without pushing because I knew it was going to happen eventually. The other thing that helped me get through them was my boyfriend. Not only did he never let go of my hand (not that I would let him, I had a death grip on that sucker), but every time I started a contraction he would get right up in my face and match my screaming with his equally as loud encouragement and calming words, which was probably an awesome sight. The two of us, nose to nose, supportively yelling at each other - me never opening my eyes, grunting and yelling like a combo of a tiger and a woman being stabbed, and him calmly repeating, constantly repeating, thank God repeating, "You're doing great, just get through this one. You're doing really great loves. I love you. You can do this." It might not sound that romantic to you, but as I'm typing this I have tears streaming down my face, because I could not have done it without hearing all of that every three minutes. He was safe, confident, and strong enough to shove some of that into me through yelling right back at me, and because of that I can honestly say we did it together.

I mean, I pushed that little sucker out, but it was nice he was there to watch.

Ok, so after the nurse and doctor realized things were happening quickly she checked me again and I was at a 9 and something. So she said she would let me go three more contractions and then I could push. And I was like, "DEAL!" Of course the doctor was like my mom trying to get me to eat rice when I was little saying, "Only three bites, then you get dessert" when really she meant finish all the rice then you get dessert. So after she said three more, the doctor quietly slipped out of the room to - I don't know, fix her hair? Who knows where she was going, but she left, and then about fifteen contractions later she came back and I was still 9 and something, but she was going to let me push anyway. Because she loves me.

So I started to push, which I kid you not, was the best part. I always thought the pushing would be where all the pain and whatnot would kick in because, you know, there's a human coming out of your VADGE. But it didn't really hurt, it felt right. Like what I was supposed to be doing all along. Suddenly I wasn't screaming anymore, things were gonna happen! But unfortunately that last bit of cervix kept pushing my little lady's head back in, so the doctor decided to do something fun.
"Ok, I'm just going to manually hold your cervix back. This might hurt," she said. You know what else might hurt? Falling off a moving roller coaster. You don't need to tell me that, I'm Fully Aware.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that nobody told me the doctor's hands were going to be all up in my business the whole time. And I mean all up in there. At one point she could have been playing solitaire in my vagina and it wouldn't have shocked me.

I also thought pushing was a constant thing that didn't stop until the baby was out, but that's not how it went. I pushed through a contraction and then stopped to catch my breath and then relax until another contraction hit. Sometimes the time in between would be so short I wouldn't really have time to breathe and other times I'd get so calm I'd start to think, "Oh my gosh what if I don't have another contraction? This is how I'm going to have to live. With a baby half pushed out. That's going to be pretty uncomfortable for a while." (Logic did not enter very much during pushing.) But then I'd have one and things would resume as crazily normal as they had been.

When I say pushing didn't hurt I don't mean it was easy and fun. It took a heck of a lot of work and concentration and I was trying as hard as I could to make it all go smoothly, but I could not tell what was happening. Everyone kept telling me I was doing a good job, and at one point my boyfriend said, "You're doing great loves. Every time you push you make a lot of progress." To which I replied:


Because now was not the time to be messing with me. But the doctor quickly jumped in to defend him and said, "No, no. He's right. You're making a lot of progress." But still I didn't believe her. And then after the next push everyone was talking suddenly, and gasping, and I was like, "Oh great, my vagina fell off." Because I had no idea what they were all so excited about. And then the doctor said, "Amy. Look down. Look down."

So, I looked down and OH. MY. GOD. it was her head. Her tiny, precious, dark-hair covered little head. It was the most surreal thing that has ever happened to me. I mean, I knew a baby was coming out of there, but there it was. A real baby. My real baby. My little girl. I could only see the back of her head, but it was the most gorgeous back of a head I had ever seen. And all I could do was say, "Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!" Over and over. And I looked up at my boyfriend smiling and beaming and lit up and couldn't stop saying "Oh my god!"



"It's just her head that's out, you still have to keep pushing!" the doctor yelled.

Oh whoops. Apparently I got so excited to see her I forgot her body was still up in me. Details. So I gave one last, totally pain-free push and she came right out and immediately up onto my chest where I could NOT stop smiling at her. In an instant I went from total focus, pain, concentration - the most focus and pain I've ever experienced in my entire life - to a second later feeling none of that. None of it. No lingering anything.

Suddenly it was just pure happy joy.

That sounds cheesy I'm sure, but it's true. I was in love with everybody, I didn't stop smiling or laughing for about 48 hours after she was born, I wanted to immediately braid a friendship bracelet for the nurse who had helped us and tell her she was my new best friend, I wanted to get up and hug the doctor and tell her she was my new best friend, I wanted to have my boyfriend crawl in the blood-soaked delivery bed with me and tell him he was my true best friend, forever and ever and ever.

And then a bunch of other stuff happened. Placentas and stitches and umbilical cord cutting, but I was holding the little lady the whole time so I did not care at all! You could have sawed off my leg and re-attached it and I probably wouldn't have cared. Because I had this now:

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this:


  1. i totally teared up reading this!! amazing and beautiful.

  2. Oh, Amy. Amy, Amy, Amy. Only you could write something so hilarious and touching and kind of gross at the same time. I've already told you this, but really -- this is probably the best and most realistic summary of birth that I've ever read. Mazel tov! Manischewitz for everyone! Except the baby. Not until she's 4.