Animal’s birth story (Uncensored)

Today is Animal’s birthday. I think a birth story is appropriate. Here is what I was doing one year ago today.

October 30, 2005

It was one week until my due date. I was fucking miserable. I was 60 pounds heavier and I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Seriously, I just looked at that link from Wikipedia and started laughing my ass off because that IS EXACTLY HOW I LOOKED.

Anyway, I had been having “false labor” for 2 weeks. I begged my midwife to strip my membranes, and then to do “cervix stretching”, which let me assure you, is not a pleasant procedure. I never thought I would have demanded this sort of intervention, but by 39 weeks I was experiencing excruciating pain from a condition known as Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction. Now, I’m one tough broad, but the separation of your pubic bone during pregnancy is nothing to fuck around with. I couldn’t roll over in bed, get out of bed, or walk up the stairs without experiencing severe pain. Needless to say, I wanted the baby OUT. My midwife relented and started me on homeopathic versions of black and blue cohosh. I alternated between the two for 24 hours. Nothing happened. I was feeling restless and anxious and pissed off. I called my mom and told her that if I didn’t get out of the house PRONTO, I was going to have a panic attack.

6:15PM
I blame (thank) my Mother for the true reason my labor started. She was driving me home from our quick shopping excursion, in her usual manner, which includes running red lights and veering off of the road. While I was gripping the door handle and trying to remind myself that she hadn’t killed herself yet, in 40+ years of driving experience, I felt a little *trickle*. I figured that it was just spotting, due to the aforementioned CERVICAL STRETCHING, but I joked to my mom that “I either just peed my pants or my water broke!” We got to the house and when I got out of the car, it just kept on trickling. I went to the bathroom and checked things out. No blood. Aha! Maybe this was it. I decided to call my midwife and see if she thought I was leaking amniotic fluid. She said “Usually when your water breaks, there is no doubt about it. Your socks will be soaked. Call me back in an hour.” I ate dinner and fiddled around on the computer for a bit. When I stood up again to call the midwife, a huge gush came spilling out of me like a goddamn waterfall. It was all the way down my pant leg—no mistaking what had happened! My midwife, Ann, said that she would be right over to administer my first round of antibiotics, since I had tested Group B Strep positive. By 9:30PM I had received the antibiotics, and was still not experiencing contractions. My midwife decided to go out to grab something to eat (which I later found out was just an excuse to leave me alone to relax). I was watching a rerun of Desperate Housewives. No sooner had her car backed out of the driveway and I felt a strange “pop” and a sharp pain in my crotch. Immediately, the first contraction began. Two minutes later, another contraction. They continued on every two minutes. They were uncomfortable, but not yet painful. I tucked my boys in for the night and cleaned up around the house. My husband called the midwife and she returned to start filling the birthing pool. During this time I sat on the birthing ball and leaned on my bed listening to Norah Jones while B rubbed my lower back. I also sat on the toilet for quite awhile-it felt so much better! The worst part about the whole thing (and one which I reiterate again and again in the birth video) is the fact that I had to wear Depends undergarments. . The amniotic fluid just kept coming and coming! At one point, I actually had to send someone to the store for a SECOND pack of those damn things! I had not prepared myself for the fact that during my entire labor, I would be feeling that I was continually pissing myself. And so, for awhile, I stationed myself on the john.

I noticed that standing during contractions intensified the pain, but my midwife told me that my labor would go quicker if I remained upright, despite the additional pain, so I walked and stopped and leaned on door frames, walls, and furniture during contractions. I didn’t want to get in the pool until my contractions were unbearable, for fear of slowing my progress, and so far they were completely manageable. Around this time, we realized that the pool (perfectly heated to 100 degrees) was leaking! It was spilling water onto the carpet and had to be drained, patched up, and refilled. Ann contemplated running home to get a new pool. She checked my cervix to see if she might have time, and I was 5cm, 100% effaced and baby was in 0 station. It was now midnight. She decided she’d better just stick around. She worked with B, patching and refilling the pool (and trying to get it back to a good temperature, since most of the hot water had now run out). I was in my room alone, and the contractions were beginning to intensify a bit. I was back on the birthing ball, but now making low moaning noises, which really helped. I decided to try lying on my left side, since I was getting a bit tired. The contraction that hit while I was lying on my side didn’t feel right at all. It felt very wrong to be lying down, and I couldn’t believe that I had labored with my last two children strapped into a hospital bed. I began to feel nauseous and as is usual for me during labor, the pukes started. My midwife came in the room and excitedly explained to me that “throwing up equals ten good contractions!” I had never seen anyone so excited about vomit. She sprinkled peppermint oil in the “puke bowl” and it made my nausea really fade. I was starting to think that I may want to get in the pool, so Ann decided to give me my last round of antibiotics. I was leaning on my bed, waiting for the antibiotics to end, and my next contraction came in a fierce wave of pain. It took me by surprise, and I started yelling. I remember Ann telling me to blow out the word SHUSH as loud and as hard as I could. I could hardly do anything but collapse on the bed. My legs completely gave out on me. I felt a pain in my crotch and the next contraction came right on top of the last. It was just as painful, except this time I could feel pressure in my ASSHOLE. I started screaming to Ann that “he is IN MY ASS!!” Seriously. I’m not kidding. I really told my midwife that I thought my baby was coming out of my ass. She asked me if I wanted to get in the tub, but I couldn’t move an inch. She pushed me up onto the bed. I was sideways and barely on the bed when she checked me and said “Oh yeah, we’ve got a head knuckle deep!” She rushed around, grabbing her materials and asking me to blow through the next contraction. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. The urge to push was so unbearably strong! The contractions didn’t even hurt anymore, I just wanted the baby out! I didn’t have to push at all. I grunted a bit and blew out some air and my uterus did the work for me. His head began crowning. This didn’t really hurt either, and I was surprised to not be feeling “the ring of fire” as Ann continued to rub KY jelly around and helped me stretch around the baby’s head. I grunted a little more and his head was out. Then I felt an overwhelming need to push and I felt his shoulders break through. This part really DID hurt, and I found out later that his hand had been up and his fist breaking through with his shoulders was the reason behind the super crazy pain. I screamed like a animal! Whenever we watch the birth video, B laughs like a hyena at that part. Like it’s really funny that I’m screaming like a banshee because A 9 POUND BABY WITH BIGASS SHOULDERS AND A FIST IS COMING THROUGH MY VAGINA. But it was quick, and as soon as his body slipped out, there was no more pain. The baby was immediately placed on my chest and began breathing. It was fifteen minutes after midnight on Halloween morning. He didn’t need to be suctioned. The cord was cut when it stopped pulsating and 10 minutes after the baby, the placenta was birthed. Animal scored a 10/10 on his Apgars. I was able to walk around immediately after his birth and he was alert and active enough that I was able to get him to successfully latch on to breastfeed within the first hour. Birthing my baby at home was an amazing, life changing event in my life. It empowered me beyond words and gave me the experience I had missed in my previous births. (Even if I did have to wear Depends, piss my pants for 4 hours, and have the terrifying thought that I was going to deliver my child rectally.)

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15 Responses to “Animal’s birth story (Uncensored)”


  1. 1 Jenn October 31, 2006 at 10:04 am

    You are insane. who has there baby at home. The hospital it the way to go. How could you do it with out pain meds? no way man. I could never do that.

  2. 2 Ja7 L7+ October 31, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    Wow, great post. I love reading real-life experiences that are well-written. Good show.

  3. 3 Magdalena October 31, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    Lovely photo. I wished and wished for that kind of birth, but I unfortunately was unable to bring that to fruition for several reasons, among them my own health issues and also because it is such a rural area that there are not many midwives around.
    Congratulations to you for seeking a better way to birth.

  4. 4 thordora November 1, 2006 at 5:31 am

    I had Ros without any drugs (nitrous doesn’t count in my eyes, and I dropped the mask anyway) it was in hospital, but it was the most incredible thing, doing it all by myself. I still feel so strong from it!

    I took had the “giant shit” feeling. I locked myself in the bathroom before the labour nurse figured out WHY I was in there. I was to out of my mind to realize WHY my ass hurt so much.

    About 20 minutes later, there she was.

    I LOVE birth stories. They make me want to sqee! Thank you for sharing yours.

    Jenn-women have been having babies safely with midwifes for a very long time. If I could have, I would have stayed home myself. Your body knows what to do, and the midwife will know too.

  5. 5 Becca November 1, 2006 at 6:46 am

    Happy birthday(yesterday) to your sweet baby boy. Lovely birth story too! GO HOMEBIRTH!! 🙂

  6. 6 puddlejumper December 15, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    What a beautiful photograph…

  7. 7 Jenn December 17, 2006 at 9:07 pm

    Thordora-

    Yeah I was just playing. I had a all natural, midwife assisted birth with my second daughter, at the Birthing Cottage here in Orlando. I would do it a million times over again.

  8. 8 Heather December 21, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    What a wonderful homebirth story 🙂

    My husband would have NEVER let me live it down had he filled, emptied, patched, and refilled the tub and I didn’t make it in!

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  9. 9 thordora December 23, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Whew Jenn. That’s better. 🙂

    I will never ever forget the “it’s coming out of my ass!” feeling either.

  10. 11 alimum December 28, 2006 at 5:43 am

    I had SPD as well.

    I envy you for having the courage to have a home birth. Although I am positive I would have ended up rushed to an emergency room if we had gone that route, not to mention I adore my OB and she delivers at a hospital, I read your story and feel a twinge.

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