Giving Birth, Names, and Santa (first two pages of Chapter 13)

By the time I gave birth, Nikki was back in the kids’ lives. It was awkward at first, but after a while we got used to seeing each other and started to become the fucked up little family we were.

I had my first contraction at 1:30am on June 28th, 2011. My boy wasn’t due until July 13th, so I was not prepared and had no idea what I was feeling was indeed a contraction, so I went back to sleep. I woke again at 2:30 and just thought I really had to poop, so that’s what I did.

Then they became more frequent and at around 3:15 I realized something was going on. I woke Jack up, but he had work the next day and said “I don’t want to get no sleep if it’s a false alarm so I’m just going to stay home,” so I drove myself to the hospital. I had a contraction in the car when I arrived, and another when I got into the elevator.

I originally went to the emergency room because, like I said, I had no idea what was going on. But they assured me that thirty-eight weeks was considered full-term so they shipped me off to the maternity ward. I went up to the desk, told them I thought I was having contractions, and was put in a room to wait. During the wait I had more contractions and really felt like I had to poop, so I went to the bathroom. While I was in there I got so bad that I literally just laid on the shower floor, afraid I was going to pee and poop myself, and pulled the nurse call button. Five nurses came running in and explained that no one had told them I was there. They checked me and I was already six centimeters dilated.

I kept asking for drugs, but one nurse was insistent on getting all of my information first. Finally, when she was done, she told me I was too far along for them to give me anything. I asked if she knew that the whole time and just didn’t tell me so I didn’t freak out, and she admitted that was exactly what she had done. Thanks a lot, lady.

Since I was already so dilated, they wheeled me into a birthing room. I called my mom, Nate, and Jack on the way. My mom answered and came immediately. Nate didn’t answer. Jack answered and said he wasn’t coming. The next day he asked me why I didn’t call – turns out he was asleep and has no recollection of the phone call.

When I got into the delivery room they checked me again, and I was ten centimeters dilated and ready to go, but my doctor hadn’t arrived yet. I told them I felt like I had to push, but they were very insistent that I wait for her to show. I was told it’s law that the on-call doctor arrive within thirty minutes of the time they’re called, so I held that baby in for half an hour. I watched the clock the whole time.

I was still on methadone and somehow the labor had kick-started my withdrawal, even though I wasn’t due my dose for another few hours. I was thrashing around on the bed and a rather large nurse yelled at me that I was going to throw myself off the bed. I glared at her and yelled “HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LABOR AND DOPE SICK?!” and she left me alone after that.

At exactly thirty minutes from the time the nurses told me the doctor would be there, I started pushing. The doctor hadn’t arrived but I was not waiting any longer. I told the nurses they had to deliver the baby because he was coming, and I started pushing on my own. My feet weren’t even in stirrups – I had to hold them up by myself. Every five minutes or so I would give up. I would say “No, it’s impossible for a human being to come out of my vagina. I cannot do this.” They assured me I could. I didn’t believe them, but I started pushing again.

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