graham’s birth story – the bizarre preface
when i imagined what childbirth would be like, i suppose my vision was pretty cliché. i figured i’d spend the last few days before my due date wondering if that would be The Day. when the time came, i thought i’d labor at home for awhile, while lee timed contractions and we excitedly asked each other “is it time to go yet?” i hoped i’d have the bags all packed and waiting by the door, and we’d strategize which route to take based on the traffic that time of day. maybe i’d even get a dramatic water-breaking moment like they do on tv. buuuuut life is unpredictable, right?
let me take a moment here to say that my pregnancy was a breeze. my biggest complaint was not being allowed to sleep on my back or stomach, and i felt pretty normal even through the third trimester. let that be an encouragement to all the pre-preg girls out there who, like me, have read the loooooong list of horrible symptoms of pregnancy and assumed it would be nine months of misery. while it’s true that most women endure at least a handful of chronic discomforts and strange or gross indications of pregnancy, it doesn’t have to be miserable.
however, in the last two weeks of my pregnancy, things got weird.
my long baby had grown to the point that he seriously crowded my bladder (normal). but when i would lie down at night, he would shift so that he shoved my bladder to the side (not normal). i would wake up with two bumps rather than one – one for the baby and one for my distended bladder! (when i showed the gruesome photo to my very experienced midwife, she actually pulled the Seinfeld-esque, “um, i’ve never seen that before,” and hurried out of the room to consult a specialist.)
it was such tight quarters in there that graham’s little head actually pinched the urethra closed when he was in this nighttime position. this made it impossible empty my bladder in the morning without manually pressing on it from the outside to force the fluids out. kinda funny, kinda scary, really annoying.
the specialist was concerned enough for the long-term health of my bladder and urinary tract that he had me setting an alarm for every two hours at night to get up and pee, and measuring my output to make sure i wasn’t getting overfull. how unfair is it that all that extra pregnancy fluid is processed more quickly while you’re sleeping?
when the oddity persisted, i resorted to “sleeping” sitting up and leaning over a tower of pillows to prevent the baby from wedging himself in the corner of my belly (i was paranoid that reclining would give me a posterior baby.) i guess that’s what karma gave me for having a breezy pregnancy, right?
i know we’re bordering on TMI, now, but all these gory details are necessary to set up why i spent more than four hours in early active labor before i realized it.
stay tuned for part 1 of graham’s birth story tomorrow morning…it’s a good’un.