Our Birth Story

Birth 1a

At the time, I was in my late 30s, and my so-called biological clock finally caught up with me and started banging on my ovaries.

And like a lot of events in my life, things don’t always go according to plan. It would take a bit over a year to conceive as I had a couple of issues in my reproductive plumbing. But after help from an OB, a lot of scheduled unsexy sex and temperature monitoring, it happened.

I don’t remember much of the medical jargon, and I was in a daze half the time. But this comic is pretty much the gist of what went on.

Birth 2a

I had placenta previa. And based on my blood pressure readings, it was assumed that I was also preeclamptic. I was put on a schedule to give at 36 weeks and 6 days early — basically the same day I was scheduled for a routine checkup. It was expected that I’d be giving birth anyway as my placenta had barely moved. So I wasn’t surprised. I just wish I had my hair and makeup done that day so I’d look halfway decent in photos. I’d check Facebook and a lot of my friends who had given birth had crisp eyeliner, airbrushed skin, and blow dried hair. But not me. I looked like a marching band had trampled on my face in all of my photos. You bet I didn’t share those on Facebook.

Birth 2b

I’ve always dreaded needles because in my case, needles are rarely inserted successfully the first try. It usually takes a few tries in one arm, for example. If that doesn’t work, they’ll try the other arm. And if that doesn’t work, they’ll usually call another nurse in who, apparently, is THE expert at needle insertion — until they try me.

Based on nurse and nurse assistant comments, I may hold the record for “tiniest veins in the world”.

Birth 2c

I don’t know what’s more unpleasant: getting a catheter inserted into your pee hole, or a paper cut on your eyeball.

Birth 2d

Was I nervous? I don’t quite remember. I did know of someone who had to stay at the hospital for a month after giving birth. She was also preeclamptic. She had a seizure, and was “out” for what seemed a very long time. So seeing I could have possibly gone through that frightened me a bit. But it frightened my husband quite a bit more.

I just hoped the baby would come out okay.

I was eventually wheeled into the O.R., and I can’t recall if I was given a spinal block or epidural. All I know is that I couldn’t feel my bottom half moments after.

Birth 2e

My husband was a good companion as always. He comforted me. Caressed my head. Told me that I peed a lot upon checking the pee bag on the side of my bed. Apparently, it was a good sign that I peed quite a bit. I forget why.

Birth 2f

“You will feel a lot of tugging”, the doctor exclaimed. That has got to be one of the strangest sensations. That tugging. It’s like you feel like your entire bottom is being pulled apart, but you don’t feel any pain — until later, when the medication wears off.

Birth 2g

I gave birth to a beautiful, red-headed little boy. The nurses seemed pleasantly surprised. I, too, was sort of surprised. But not really, considering how genetics works. While my husband has light blond hair, green eyes, and skin as white as snow, I on the other hand, have black hair, brown eyes, and skin as yellow-beige as Nars Creamy Concealer in Custard.

Birth 2h

I had to stay at the hospital for a little while longer. The doctors and nurses seemed very concerned about my blood pressure not going down. It hovered around 200-something over 100-something, so I was given a combination of medications to help keep things at a normal level.

Birth 2i

My son didn’t latch on. And my milk output wasn’t Niagara Falls great. I was given a hospital-grade breast pump to draw more milk out. That, and I was given a supply of formula to supplement. Though I tried my best to feed the baby breast milk exclusively. Out of everything I’d been through, this is what caused me the most stress. It’s often said “breast is best”, and I felt like a failure every time I couldn’t pump enough milk, and my son was given a bottle of formula instead.

Birth 2j

Nights were a bit lonely because everyone was asleep. But the nurses would come in to check on me every once in a while.

Birth 2k

I loved my nurses. One gave me ice chips when I was feeling dehydrated. One wiped my bloody, clotty vagina when I was writhing in pain and couldn’t get up to the bathroom. And when things were unbearable, I was given lots of pain medications.

Birth 2l

Leaving the hospital was bittersweet. I felt like I made some good friends.

Birth 2m

But I couldn’t wait to bring our son home. And at that moment, I was happy. Everyone was happy.

Birth 2n

And my cat had something new to play with.

Birth 2o

timeline

 

*Side note: Yes, my car seat was facing backwards when we went home. This was just faster to draw.

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22 thoughts on “Our Birth Story”

  1. I stumbled upon this from Bored Panda’s FaceBook page…

    Wow, reading this brings back memories of the birth of my son 11 weeks ago. Like you, I also blogged my pregnancy but I haven’t touched my blog since the day before he was born. I think my last post was something along the lines of “omg, omg, OMG I’m going to get induced TODAY”.

    My boy arrived 22 hours after getting induced… and we stayed in hospital for another 3 nights, the longest nights of my life!
    Thank you for sharing this, I LOVED the illustrations! You’ve inspired me to finally write up about my own x

    Keep up the good work!

    Like

  2. Hi, I’m a 32 y old dad of 2 lovely daughters and stumbled upon this via bored panda.

    Sadly, I recognised a lot of our first birth in your drawings. There were some differences ofcourse as everybody has their own story. Some things were better for us, some things were worse. I read your story and your drawings and felt exactly as I did on the day/night my first daughter was born. Gutted! It’s hard to explain to other people how bad a day can be when everybody excpects it to be one of the happiest of your life. Besides the normal struggles and insecurities you get as a new parent, you get all of this as well.

    preeclampsie – HELLP syndrome is something very serious and sadly we don’t know that much about it. I’ve seen the effects on my wife and daughter and know that it’s something that didn’t stop once we left the hospital. It’s something we will have to carry with us for the rest of our lifes, physically and mentally. I saw my wife and child slip from the palms of death and my worst fears were at the brink of reality before it started to be better. I’m happy with the ending now, but not a day goes by in which I don’t recall the events of that night.

    I wish you and your partner and kid all the best. Cherish your moments and enjoy eachother. Keep in mind that your body went through some hard times and that you will need a lot of time to adjust and that that’s absolutely fine. Talk to your partner and get his feelings on this. Speaking out of experience, it’s a hard toll to carry as a partner. Nowhere near the same as what you went through but it can feel lonely to go through this while playing the “hard man”.

    Best wishes

    Like

    1. Hi Yves! Thank you for your thoughtful response.

      It was very much an intense moment in our lives. And pre-eclampsia is definitely something that more women/couple should be knowledgable as it’s no joke.

      We’re all doing much better now. I actually gave birth some time ago, and our son is now a bit bigger 🙂 But I felt I needed to document my memories and feelings on the matter, especially when we didn’t have a lot of photos as it happened so suddenly.

      Anyway, I am glad your family is doing well 🙂

      Have a wonderful day!

      Like

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