Remember the game of telephone you used to play when you were little? Everyone would sit in line and the first person would whisper something to the second person, who would then whisper what they heard to the third person, and so on. The last person would announce what they heard and everyone would laugh because it would be something completely different that what was originally stated.
Well, as adults we can call this game a few different things, but I will say it's mere miscommunication. This is precisely what happened to my birth story. A couple weekends ago at Sue's baby shower a friend of mine asked me to recount my birth story because they had only heard bits a pieces from a few different people. I got to almost the end and this friend then asked, "And is that when you let out a blood curdling scream?" I laughed thinking it was a joke, but most assuredly it was not. I asked who she had heard that from, and she listed four people the information passed through, the first being my eldest sister who happened to be in the delivery room when Zoe was born. Isn't is crazy how quickly misinformation passes? Before this I had even heard I had two, no three blood transfusions while in the hospital. Oy.
I had decided shortly after Zoe's arrival I would not post my birth story because pregnant women are so inundated with scary stories and I did not want to be another story to freak them out. I know a lot pregnant women right now. Well, that went out the window because the birth story going around is much scarier and gorier than what actually happened. Here it is in a very condensed version:
Charles and I arrived at the hospital the morning of the induction. I was already four cm, so at 5:30 the nurse hooked me up to a pitocin drip set at the lowest setting. Two contraction free hours spent watching Dan in Real Life later, the doctor came in to check me. I was the same so he upped my dosage and broke my water. That did the trick because two hours later I was a six. I sent Charles to the gift shop for magazines. By 10:30 the contraction were two minutes apart, and Star magazine no longer interested me. 11:15 I am 7 cm and get an epidural. All is right with the world and I relax enough to sleep. 12:30 I wake up to feel, well nothing, at least from the waist down. I call the nurse and she asks me to wiggle my toes. I can't. She checks me and I'm 9 1/2. She pages the doctor. He comes in and explains that I need to have "some feeling" to aid in pushing. He said they could turn down my meds, but unfortunately they were already at the lowest setting. They page the anesthesiologist and he tells them to turn it off completely.
The good thing about an epidural is that the meds take a while to leave the system. The bad news is when the finally do, you feel everything. One hour later I can move my left leg. Two hours later the epidural has completely left my system and I feel the urge to push. And by urge, I mean you push because it's the only relief available. After about a half hour of vomiting between contractions and hearing "You're doing great" I want to hurt someone. And I would, but I am already exhausted. An hour and a half into pushing I am delirious from fatigue and pain. The doctor can't understand why the baby's head won't descend further. We find out why later. She finally gets down far enough for the doctor to use the suction. No tears or stitches, thank you very much, and at 4:41 a very healthy 10 lb 4 oz baby girl was born.
This is where the story probably gets mixed up. My placenta would not expel on its own and the doctors only have a limited amount of time to get it out. He has to physically extract it with his had while with the other hand he massaged my abdomen. This hurt worse than childbirth and between moaning, and blacking out between three and four times, I lost quite a bit of blood. The next morning I recieved two units of blood from one transfusion. We even went home on the scheduled day, albeit a little bruised and exhausted.
I hope that this clears up any misinformation, as funny as it's been to hear. Sorry my prego friends. The birth was still a great experience and wouldn't have changed a thing. Seriously. Okay, maybe I would have preferred a fully working epidural the entire time, but that's it.