But first, the scoop.
Several people have asked for my "birth story." That makes me conflicted. When I think back 10 months ago to my no-baby days... I remember being fairly freaked out by birth stories. I didn't want to know about the tears, the number of stitches, those alien and unknown things called hemorrhoids. It grossed me out and frankly, it scared the bejeesus out of me.
So I'll tell an abbreviated version. I wont go into the details of what my placenta looked like. I wont discuss mucus plugs or exactly what getting an epidural feels like because while I know all the other mothers out there can take it... I don't want to be the reason any of you yet-to-be-mothers choose a life without children. Cause let me tell you, the horror stories from friends put me off having kids for 9 years. Bear in mind that while I am telling of the excruciating pain of labor, unless you are a genetic freak like me an epidural is the ultimate pain salvation. You will not be like me. You will be fine.
Anyway, back to the anesthesiologist.
I went into labor at 4 in the morning. And when I say went into labor, I mean sprinted into labor. There was no fancying about and putting on makeup. I didn't slowly pack my back, hot roll my hair and muse, "Gee, I wonder if this is a false alarm." I sat straight up in bed in the dark, and within 30 minutes I was yelling at Matt (who was in the shower), "If you don't want to deliver your kid in this hallway we need to go now."
We got to the hospital. I dilated fast. The contractions were massive.
At one point Matt smiled at me and said, "Hey, you're not being as mean as I thought you'd be."
And as I rode another gigantic contraction like a big wave in Maui, I responded with a string of expletives that would have put the father on A Christmas Story to shame. So much for being nice.
The anesthesiologist came in and gave me an epidural. All was right with the world. I apologized to Matt, sucked on some ice, and joked with my parents. And then, two hours later, I realized something was wrong. I could feel again.
The anesthesiologist (let's call him Jed) came back, looked puzzled, and dosed me again. Another hour passed, and it happened again. By the fifth time Jed looked thoroughly alarmed.
"You feel discomfort?" he asked.
I glared at him, panting, forehead covered in sweat, "On a scale of one to ten, this is a seventy."
"Huh..." he pondered, scratching the American flag bandanna on his head.
"She woke up during surgery a few years ago, do you think that has anything to do with it?" Matt asked.
"Uh Oh," said Jed.
"What do you mean Uh Oh?" I shrieked. I was dilated to an eight at this point and was coming to understand why the little girl on the Exorcist levitated above her bed.
"Well, it's rare, but sometimes people metabolize medicine at an accelerated level, try and lift your legs," Jed said.
I gave it my best attempt, but they were lifeless stumps.
Jed sucked his breath through his teeth, "Sorry, I cant give you any more doses. Looks like your going to have to do the rest of this naturally."
Now at this point, if I could have reached him, I would have snatched Jed's bandanna and glasses off his head, chewed them up in my mouth and spewed them around the room.
Anyway, within the next two hours Jane was born. I did it naturally. I didn't die. I did however, refuse to participate as the nurse commanded me to "look at it, there's the head." But when they put Jane on my chest I realized what my mom and every other friend had told me was true. It is, in the end, all so worth it, even if my epidural didn't work.