16H: For Christmas, R.'s brother and sister offered me a special pregnant lady massage session. I could choose between one with a hot bath (more expensive and longer) or one without (then I could choose two massages), and since I have a bathtub phobia, I decided to go with the massage without the tub and a pedicure because I wanted to have nice feet on the d-day that was only 2 weeks away now.
Since I no longer had a travel pass for the parisian metro, I thought I'd save myself a ticket and walk from my place all the way to the massage parlor over by the Louvre. It was an hour long walk, but it wasn't like I had anything else better to do. So I set out on my walk. The last 10 minutes of my walk was a bit tough...but I made it and was very proud of myself!
17H - 19H: The masseuse started out with a leg massage, and I had to ask her to stop a couple of times because it made me dizzy and nauseous. I felt bad for her, she looked all confused...and I didn't want to cancel it, I mean come on! I'd walk for an HOUR to get here!!! She said it wasn't uncommon for pregnant women to feel this way as the leg massage bit worked up circulation. She asked me when I was due and I said, "In two weeks."
19H - 21H: R. came to pick me up and we went to have burgers in the area. Of course, I didn't want to risk the chance of catching toxoplasmosis, so I had a pasteurized mozzarella burger.
Then R. and I split ways. He was meeting up with friends for drinks and I went home...by metro this time.
00H: R. got home and crashed into bed as he had one pint too many. I closed my book, and dozed off too.
00H40: I woke up to stomach pain, and I realised it was a very mild contraction that was making me want to pee. These contractions kept coming in every once in awhile, but I didn't think anything of it, I'd had them before and they were completely unpainful.
01H30: They got slightly more painful and I felt like maybe I needed to do a number two or something. All the while, I was making trips to the loo to pee that made the discomfort go away. I was whining a bit, and thought it'd be a good idea to start timing these contractions.
02H30: I shoved R. (who was dead asleep) a couple of times and told him I was having contractions and stomach pains, and to my surprise he said while clutching his stomach, "Me too! I feel like hurling!". He got up and dashed to the bathroom. I thought, "Uhhh! HELLO?!! What about my contractions?!" So maybe those burgers weren't very fresh, and this was just food poisoning...though we did have different burgers...Then I remembered what the midwife had told me to take two capsules of Spasfon (medicine for stomach and uterus pain) and if it went away, it was just a false alert. I took two and gave R. two as well.
03H30: I was in pain and was still going to the loo thinking I just need to get that number 2 out and I'll be feeling better. The medication had worked for R. who was still in bed, half asleep, but was writing down my contraction intervals.
04H30: The Bloody Show! That very morning I had googled bloody show and had read something about it being an indicator of delivery being just around the corner. And then it dawned me for the first time that this might be it, today might be the big day. Once I lost the mucous plug (with the bloody show), my contractions started to be very painful. I was shouting into a pillow a little, moaning, still ...I'd say this was like having bad food poisoning and bad menstrual cramps at the same time. R., being a good student, asked me what I'd like to eat, because the midwife had told us to eat a good, consistant meal before setting out for the hospital, because once you get there, you weren't allowed to eat anymore, and since labor usually lasts for about 10-15 hours for a first child, I would need all the energy I could get. I told him I really didn't care and that food was the LAST thing on my mind (if food isn't on my mind, then that pretty much means I was in a lot of pain...). He went to the kitchen anyway and started whipping up a storm. Meanwhile, I was clinging to the toilet seat.....
5H: I was screaming for dear life at this point and really could care less what the neighbors thought. The contractions were about 2 minutes apart. What made me scream was actually contractions (yes, of course), but also my uterus was pushing down by itself. Like it was trying to expell the baby, and that is painful! I remembered reading in my pregnancy book, and I quote, "If you start feeling a pushing sensation, it is probably too late to go to the hospital." Wait a minute!!! I thought this was just the beginning! It's only been going on for about 5 hours! I didn't tell R. right away, I thought I had to atleast deal with the pain till 7AM before leaving the house otherwise I'd have long hours of agony at the hospital...and I preferred agonizing at home.
Somewhere between 5H - 5H30: I told R. I wanted to push...and that got him to stop cooking. He quickly dialled the hospital and explained the situation to Dahlia, the midwife on duty that night, and said that we were going to come on foot (it's only a 15 minute walk). She said no no no, call an ambulance, which R. did promptly.
05H45: R. was gathering everything together and telling me to get my shoes on, I was busy screaming with every contraction. Our place looked like a warzone. The only thoughts in my head were, "Where the F*** is the ambulance?!" and "F*** it! I can't get my shoes on, I'm going without them!" Ok, I did succeed in putting on my boots, how? I will never know, but I didn't end up going barefoot. We started going downstairs to the hall way and met the ambulance guys half way down the stairs. I let out a couple of screams in the staircase...I got into the ambulance, layed down on the bed thing, and R. got up in front to show them the way since he didn't know the address and I was unable to tell him at that point...I was in the back with one guy and he said to tell him when I was having a contraction. I thought, "Hell, as if screaming wasn't enough."
06H00: We got to the hospital, I got wheeled inside and into the elevator, we got off on the wrong floor, had to get back in, got to the 3rd floor for emergencies. Dahlia and another midwife were there to receive me, they stripped me of my clothes like there was no tomorrow. R. came stumbling in after with all our stuff and got immediately to work "coaching" me screaming, "Look at me!!! Look at me!!! Breathe!!! Breathe with me!!" I kept screaming WAIIIITTT!!!! WAIITTT!!! as in I'll breathe with you once this contraction gets through...but the whole point of breathing is to get through a contraction. Hmm, the things we say when we're in pain. Dahlia told me to hold still as she checked how much I'd dilated. I remember thinking if she's gonna tell me I'm at 3 or 4 I'm getting that damn epidural!!! This is just too much for one woman! She said, "Madame you're almost fully dilated, I'm going to break your water, that's the only thing holding your baby back. You may push with the next contraction. There is no time for an epidural." WHAT?!! Already?? I felt a warm trickle between my legs. So I pushed and pushed. I ended up using the good ol' pushing technique since I was unable to even recall how to do the other one. I thought, oh well, too bad for hemorrhoids...What really shocked me was that Dahlia was helping me "open" up if you know what I mean, and I thought to myself, "Weird, you'd think that'd hurt but actually it doesn't." They were all telling me we could see her hair and I thought, bullshizzle, you're just saying that to get me to push harder. Then at one point the baby's heart rate dropped, R. looked at me and said, "You HAVE to push harder now!" He looked panicked. They got the doctor to come in with the sucker. Dahlia told me I had to continue pushing, the sucker was just there to guide baby's head. I heard some metallic thing clink together and prayed that it wasn't forceps. It wasn't. It was the KNIFE.
People have always told me an episiotomy doesn't hurt because you're in so much pain at that point you don't even feel it. Well girls, let me tell you I felt every single second of that cut. Contraction pains I can forget, but the episiotomy I cannot. He did it at the same time as a contraction, I don't think I've ever yelled like that in my life before. And then things went pretty fast, he got the sucker in, the midwives were telling me to push, the doctor said don't, it was confusing, I felt weak and out of breath, my head was spinning. Somebody sprayed my face and mouth with water. That was nice. I was completely out of it when R. said, "Look between your legs." I saw a big purple head and my first words were not very elegant (Oh putain...) but I wasn't expecting to see her so soon.
06H42: I hadn't even felt her head come out, I pushed for the shoulders and she just slid out. They quickly put her on my chest and wiped her down. I was still dazed and confused. The doc asked me one last effort for the placenta,I remembered that horrible thing that could happen if the placenta wasn't whole, and was ready to push hard, but it just popped out like jello. Piece of CAKE! R. looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "On est parent."
I think I couldn't have asked for a better birth. Dahlia said we came just in time or R. would have been the coach and the midwife...if you'd have asked me would you do it again on that same day I would've said NO. But I asked myself the same question a day later and the answer was YES!