From the Blog

The Birth Story, A Side Note

The Birth Story, Chapter One
The Birth Story, Chapter Two
The Birth Story, Chapter Three
The Birth Story, Chapter Four

So I want to thank everyone who has been following along on this story. Thanks for your comments, and thanks for making me feel heroic. It was truly a bizarre circus of unexpected experiences.

I want to emphasize, throughout my whole time in the hospital, I was most afraid of being in pain. Sure, the nose bleed sucked. But it didn’t hurt. Even though it went on for three hours, and I needed blood transfusions, I really didn’t get nervous until they started talking about packing my nose or cauterizing my sinuses. Because that shit sounded like it was going to hurt.

Throughout my whole pregnancy, I was nervous about pain, because really, I can’t emphasize enough: I am a BIG BABY. I’m not proud. I don’t even like having blood drawn. I can’t even take the smell of rubbing alcohol. I’m a complete child about pain.

Like responsible people, we went to the birth classes, and we saw the videos. But like a fricken idiot, I didn’t educate myself about labor until after I was pregnant. So I had nine whole months to freak myself out.

It ended up, my whole birth experience was relatively pain free, all things considered. I had the same recovery from the c-section as anyone else. And that did suck. I wasn’t able to sneeze, laugh, or clear my throat for about a week, because I didn’t want to use my stomach muscles. Plus my overall recovery was a bit slower because of the lingering HELLP syndrome stuff.

Although, the day after delivery, after the nose bleed stuff calmed down, my nurse asked me what I thought my tolerance for pain was. And I told her I have very little tolerance for pain. Because I am a big baby. She seemed surprised.

“I think you need to rethink that, sister,” she said. “You have barely used your morphine.”

They give you a green button to push for morphine. I usually forgot to push the button. But I thought I was getting pain meds continuously, and the button was just a temporary boost.

But my nurse explained that, no, if you don’t push the button, you don’t get any morphine at all. So I had been sitting there, thinking I was getting pain meds the whole time, when in fact, I’m an idiot.

“Oh,” I said, and started pushing the damned button. But by then, it seemed like the pain in my abdomen was not really that bad. All that anxiety for nine months, and I ended up mentally placeboing myself when I actually had something to worry about.

As I have written my whole birth story, I have started to worry that I am violating some sort of unspoken code among women who have had babies. Like, we are not supposed to share our experiences, because if child-free women knew how much having babies sucked, we’d die out as a species. There were a couple birth stories that I did not hear before my delivery, my sister’s being one of them. She told me later she purposefully did not share her story until after I had my babies. I thought that was very gracious of her.

And here I am, blabbing away. I have a number of friends who are pregnant right now. All of them are first time moms. And I am spilling the beans. I’m violating the code. I’m a sucky friend, writing my whole circus act on the damn internet.

But I have to say, what happened to me was really rare. I had weird shit going on. I’m older, I had twins, and I was high risk for weird shit. So what happened to me is not a common experience.

I hope by clarifying this, it will prevent experienced moms, or some mysterious order of oath enforcers, from coming after me with pitch forks for violating the code, or divulging unspeakable truths. Really, it’s not my fault. I can’t shut up about stuff.

And for moms who do happen to have weird shit happen, please, just remember to push the green button.

The Birth Story, Chapter Five.


  1. Hi Heather…

    Just want you to know something. You can blab all you want. The weird truth of the matter is that I know you -even if you don’t know me. I kind of forget that you DON’T know me. That you haven’t heard all of my stories…

    So, it doesn’t seem weird to me at all that you have blabbed about this stuff. Because the truth is, if I was sitting in your living room (which I feel like I am), and I was holding one of the babies, (which I would do), then of course you would tell me all the gory bloody details – because that is was girlfriends do.

    So blab away, I expect nothing less.

  2. Heather, I love your truth-telling. I think it’s a wonderful gift. Because if we don’t talk about this stuff…then the next expectant mom who experiences some of this stuff thinks it’s something that she shouldn’t talk about…that it’s embarassing or gory or she’s too wimpy for not being able to take it all in simple stride. Thanks for being real. Amy

  3. beckyjopdx says

    Being a mom to 4 and for almost 18 years has taught me that I don’t know shit.

    With that in mind, I’ve read almost 2 decades worth of parenting advice (I use that term loosely), birthing stories, and fluff pieces in magazines and on websites. I’ve been involved in parenting groups including one of the largest ones on the whole interwebs.

    Your birthing story is so incredibly well written and so fascinating – it is one of the best stories I’ve read even when I throw out the whole ‘parenting’ category. I hope someone out there with at least half a brain and a whole bank account offers to publish it. Just amazing.

  4. Thank you, all. It’s been helpful to gather my thoughts as I’ve been slowly writing this story down.

    And now, no joke…I have to go feed a baby.

  5. As a nurse and a new mom. I don’t know why you think you’re a baby. Because, OMG, you’re a fricking rock star!

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