BlogHer Birth Stories – Or, How I Suck At Being Pregnant

I should be dead.

If this were any other time in history, I should not and would not have survived both my pregnancies or deliveries.

Because of that, I have agreed to participate in Discovery Health’s Baby Week, which you can watch June 14-19th at 8 pm E/P on Discover Health.

Why share my labor and delivery stories? Easy…because I know I am not alone. My two children would not be here if it were not for an amazing team of doctors and nurses and the advancement of medical science.

You see, I suck at being pregnant. No really, I’m terrible at it.

I don’t mean terrible in that I whine a lot and crave pickles…I mean terrible in that my body absolutely hates being pregnant. So much so, that it revolts and tries to kill me and the baby.

I would be one of those women who died in childbirth way back when. The covered wagons would have moved on after burying me along the trail.

From the moment I found out I was having a baby, I began to vomit. Both pregnancies. Both times around. And not in that cute “oh she has morning sickness, must be a boy (or girl, depending on your favorite aunt’s superstition)” kind of way…but in the “I lost 22 lbs and had to be put on heavy drugs” sort of way.

I threw up in my purse. I threw up in my car. I threw up in elevators. I threw up at stores. I even threw up at a hockey game. And once I almost threw up on the Governor of California as I was conducting an interview.

Once I got past the puking, somewhere around the end of the 2nd trimester, I went into labor.

Way too early. With both pregnancies. Yes, both times.

I had contractions. I began to dilate. And just for an added bonus, my amniotic fluid was low.

With both pregnancies. Yes, both times.

So it was deemed necessary once we STOPPED labor, that I lay flat on my back for the remainder of each pregnancy with a monitor strapped across my very, very large belly.

Something I am guessing was not possible in those covered wagon days.

And I then continued to labor, under the guidance of a dial up modem and remote nurse, for several months.

That’s right- contractions and labor for SEVERAL MONTHS.

When it finally came time to let the labor take it’s course, we had another problem (did I mention how bad I SUCK at this whole pregnancy thing?) – my first child was breech, and with low fluid he could not be turned. He also thought it would be fun, you know for added drama, to get the cord wrapped around himself a few times.

So on a gray March morning my husband and I headed to the hospital, knowing this child would not be a natural delivery and expecting just about anything, considering the way things had gone thus far.

But here is where that “amazing thing about life” part comes in…on March 24th, 2003 at 7:52 in the morning, doctors performed a c-section and pulled out a perfect baby boy.

I think we were stunned that not only had the operation gone smoothly, with zero complications, but that mom and baby were healthy.

There I was, laying cut open on a table, after laying for months upon months in my bed, and it worked. It actually worked. I had a healthy, full-term child.

As for my daughter, born nearly exactly two years later? She came with more drama. Same puking pregnancy. Same bedrest tale. Preterm labor. Low fluid.

But my sassy girl? She decided to NOT wait or let the drugs to stop the contractions work. No, she decided it was her time on March 30th, 2005 at 6:39pm.

Now, that 6:39pm is important. Note that time.

We live in a suburb of Los Angeles. And my contractions began that day around 3pm. I was in a hospital bed at 3:15pm, and by 445pm – PEAK RUSH HOUR- my doctor ordered an emergency c-section as my little peanut’s heart rate dipped and dove.

When the c-section was ordered, I made the call to my husband. 30 miles away in Los Angeles, PEAK RUSH HOUR, traffic. For those who don’t know, that is easily a one hour long commute. One and a half during peak rush hour.

Scared for my daughter’s life, I was resigned to the fact he would miss her birth.

I was wheeled into the OR, prepped for surgery, and placed on the operating table. More scared than upset, I tried not to think about it. After all, he’d have a lifetime with her. I hoped.

At 6:38 my husband entered the OR. The doctor said “cut now” at 6:39pm.

Another healthy child and mom. And a big brother at home anxious to meet his new sister.

I encourage you to go take a look at Discovery Health’s Baby Week – and share your birth story. We’ve come together as parents to discuss what we did during pregnancy and after our children arrived…but it’s rare we talk about how they got here.