It was 4:30am in San Antonio, Texas. I said goodbye to my little dog Luna and drove myself to the hospital, which was only a mile away. I was scheduled for an induction at 5am.
I walked in with my luggage, knowing I’d probably spend a few days in the hospital. I met with a very obnoxious billing lady who asked me a series of questions about how I would be paying today. I had $20 in my bank account.
After I successfully avoided her questions, a nurse showed me to my labor room. Obviously it was nice af, only the best for the brokest of all single moms.
It was time to start the pitocin and a nurse blew out three of my veins. It wasn’t until a different nurse, wearing bright blue eye shadow came in and tried that it was successful.
“Do you smoke crack? Do you use any type of drugs?” This must have been asked of me 4 times. By the fourth time, I finally said something along the lines of “Is there a reason this continues to be asked?”
I planned to go through the induction alone and wait for my mother’s arrival later in the evening (She was flying in from Virginia). Well, that didn’t work out so well. After that nurse blew out my veins, I called my Aunt.
“Hi, can you please come to the hospital?”
“I figured you’d call, I am already in the bath and was waiting”
I love her for this. She knew I’d need her. She came immediately.
The pitocin was rough. It was painful. Much more painful than I anticipated. At 9am, my water broke as I stood up trying to make it to the bathroom.
Labor pains feel like the worst period cramp of your life. The contractions are so awful you can’t focus on anything else but trying to make it through the next minute. You feel like squeezing something to make the pain go away, but it doesn’t.
By lunchtime, I asked for an epidural.
This was the strangest sensation I have ever experienced. I guess I didn’t really understand that I wouldn’t be able to move my legs. I was numb from the waist down but I had no control over how I laid or anything. My legs didn’t feel like they belonged on my body.
My mom was able to catch an earlier flight from Virginia and she arrived around 5pm. After my mom arrived, my aunt left.
My labor drug on and on and on. Nothing seemed to be really happening. It was 9pm and I was only dilated 5cm. The nurses had given me the maximum amount of pitocin. Penelope’s heart rate started to act funny and all the nurse’s and my doctor came rushing in.
They started shouting numbers and putting oxygen on me. My mom started crying and freaking out. My doctor suggested we do a c section immediately. My mom begged them to give me more time. I basically told her to hush and let the doctor do her job.
I was wheeled into the operating room where Katy Perry song’s were playing and everyone seemed oddly calm. I apologized to one of the very cute resident’s for not shaving down there for maybe 4 months.
The procedure started and it wasn’t that long until Penelope was out. The first thing I said to my mom was “Is she cute? Do you like her?” I was out of it.
At the end, while my doctor was sewing me back up, I started to be able to feel the incision.
“I can feel that.”
“No you can’t, you’re fine”
‘No really, I can feel that”
The anesthesiologist picked up my IV and injected something.
I woke up in recovery a few hours later.
In the recovery room, I was in and out of sleep. My mom was rushing back and forth between me and my new daughter. I had my arm over my eyes mumbling things about “Jim Bob Duggar” (One of the stars of 19 Kids and Counting) and telling the person next to me in recovery to shut up. Obviously, I am not a good candidate for heavy sedation.
Then, I was taken to the postpartum room and they brought Penelope to me. The nurse said “It’s time to breastfeed your baby” and I will never forget what I said. I said “Why, what happened?” I was so out of it, I forgot I had a baby.
I did end up breastfeeding her. I breastfed her for the next 4 years. I didn’t plan to do it that long, I am not some weirdo. But it happened and it never stopped so here we are.
I spent the first night alone. My mom went to stay at my house down the street from the hospital. I could barely move to pick up Penelope at my bedside. I had to call the nurse to hand her to me. I remember thinking “How the fuck am I going to do this alone?”
But I did. I did it alone and have done it alone for 4 years. Of course, I have had some support, but for the most part, I do it alone.
Want to read more about my single parenting? Don’t Feel Sorry For Me.. There Is A Positive Side To Single Parenting
Need parenting tips? 3 Morning Routine Tips: Kid Edition