"You know when I told you Holland might be the same size as Marley?" This is my doctor talking, as he is pulling Holland out of my vagina. "Well, I lied. She's BIGGER."
My new baby, Holland Giselle Van Tuyl, weighed in at 9 pounds, 1 oz. THAT'S RIGHT. I PUSHED A 9-POUND BABY OUT MY VAGINA. I don't know whether to feel intensely proud of this, like I scored a Purple Heart medal or something in battle, or if I should be embarrassed, knowing that everyone is inwardly wondering about the wrecked state of my vagina.
It all started on Friday, June 3rd at around 6am. I woke up with some contractions. I'd been having Braxton-Hicks all week, but these felt a little...different. More intense. My adrenaline started pumping and my fight-or-flight response kicked in. This was it! We were fleeing allright...straight to the anesthesiologist!
"WAKE UP!" I hissed at Ian. "WE'RE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL. LET'S GO!"
"Huh?" said my bewildered husband. "Do I have time to take a shower? My hair is DIRTY."
"NOOOO!" I hissed.
5 minutes later, Ian ambled out of the shower and Marley and I were dressed and ready to go, waiting by the front door. This was actually GREAT timing, because my doctor was scheduled to be on-duty ALL DAY. Baby Holland was right on schedule!
"Whoa, you're at least 7 centimeters, and your sac of waters is bulging..." said Dr. Nystul as he inspected the situation 30 minutes later in triage. "We need to order your epidural now if we're going to get it in time! And we need to get you into a room right away!"
Turns out the hospital was FULL. The wait for the anesthesiologist was bound to be long! I instantly panicked. My worst fears were coming true. I wasn't going to get my epidural in time, and I was going to have my baby in the hallway! For fuck's sake!
Luckily, they were able to get a room for me, and they wheeled me in there. They didn't want me to walk in case my water broke before they could get me the epidural.
My doctor came in few minutes later. "Whew," he said, sinking into a chair. "It's crazy out there! It's like a bunch of jumbo jets, all trying to land at the same time." Apparently FIFTEEN PREGNANT PEOPLE were there, all trying to have their babies that morning.
Just then, the anesthesiologist walked in the room. "I'm here for the VIP," he said.
"Are you here with the epidural?" I instantly perked up. "If so, then yes, that's me, I'm the VIP!"
Turns out my doctor had messaged the anesthesiologist to haul-ass to my room, claiming that I was a "VIP." Yes! Just then, a SECOND anesthesiologist showed up, again saying he was here to help the "VIP".
Lookie here, I thought to myself. I have not ONE but TWO anestisiologists in my room! This is awesome.
Anesthesiologist #1 informed Anesthesiologist #2 that he was assisting the "VIP", and that it was all getting taken care of.
"Why is she a VIP?" asked Anesthesiologist #2.
"She's a friend of Nystul's," said Anesthesiologist #1. Yes folks, that's why it's helpful to get in good with your doctor! Needless to say, the epidural was administered, and my mood improved drastically. Maybe this wasn't going to be as bad as I thought!
20 minutes later, my doctor came in and checked me again. "Whew," he said. "Yup, you're ten centimeters. Are you ready to have a baby?"
So, I had my baby. I pushed through FOUR contractions, and out she came. No episiotomy and only a few stitches. And very little pain! Honestly, I've taken poos that hurt worse than this. I couldn't believe it!
Meanwhile, my husband was in a far worse state, huddling over the chair next to my bed, with the oxygen mask on his head. Luckily, he didn't pass out.
Soon Baby Holland was in my arms, like she had been there all her life. I had made it through labor and delivery! GREAT SUCCESS!
Anyway, based on my experience, I know consider myself an bona-fide expert on pushing out 9-pound babies, and have compiled a helpful list of tips and techniques.
1. Think you might be in labor? Get to the hospital. Now! It's better to get their early and get sent home then to delivery your baby on the side of the road.
2. Get in good with your doctor. Become a "VIP," and OWN it. It helps to wear lipstick, and maintain an aura of mystery. You COULD be a VIP. What do they know?
3. Get your drugs. Get them early. As my anesthesiologist said, "press the button early and often." Don't--under any circumstances-- forget about the epidural button. I forgot about the button the first time and boy did I pay for it.
4. Do not attempt this at home. Are you crazy?
5. Only have your baby when your doctor is on-duty. Do not attempt this delivery with a stranger.
6. Do NOT attempt to push out 9 pound baby if it is your first child. Wait for baby #2, after everything is a little more stretched out.
7. Make this your last baby. Unless you are sadistic, consider making this your last child. They say babies get progressively bigger with each one. What, you want to try pushing out a ten-pounder? You're in the wrong spot...go find a blog for crazy people.
8. Don't be afraid to ask for more drugs. After you've pushed out the 9 pound baby, there is bound to be some wreckage down there. You might be a little more uncomfortable. Don't be afraid to act like a weenie and request MORE DRUGS.
9. Don't even think about wearing your pre-pregnancy clothes yet. Your baby was 9 pounds. What, are you high??? Wait for that shit to settle down a bit. Rome wasn't built in a day!
I hope you have found these tips and tricks helpful should you find yourself in the precarious position of pushing out a plus-size baby. Good luck, may the force be with you!