Updated: Jul 16
I was in labor 34 hours.
I started to feel contractions at $1 car wash in Tujunga. It felt like a deep, throbbing pain hijacked the center of my body. It’d throb for a few seconds, then stop. Throb for seconds longer, then stop.
It was painful.
I was with my mom, dad, brother and husband and thought I could have the baby at the car wash! My mom said I'd have to wait until the contractions were longer and more frequent before I'd be in a position to deliver the baby... I did everything I could to take my mind off the pain.
My family and I drove up Angeles Crest Highway and watched the sunset.
Then, I worked all night and up until 4 in the morning. I could not sleep. I took Lupe's advice and walked 3 miles in the foothills of Los Angeles. I ate spicy food. I played intense game after game of Pacman at the laundromat. I benched the heaviest carpet roll I could find at TJ MAXX. I went to the hospital twice, and was sent back both times for a lack of dilation.
3rd time's a charm!
I made my husband drop me off at the ER entrance so they'd take me seriously this time. At 11pm on a Friday night, I was admitted. 5cm dilated and contractions 3-5 minutes apart. I was in so much pain! The doctor recommended two types of drugs: Stadol or the epidural. "What's Stadol?" I asked. I'd never heard of it. "It's a pain reliever with mild hallucinogenic effects." The doctor said. "Hallucinogens in the hospital?!" I tried to play cool.
"I'll try it."
As he administered the drug, I couldn't stop laughing. I couldn't believe the hospital had hallucinogens, and they crept in like mushrooms! How is a hospital giving me a hallucinogen? I'd been in pain for 24 hrs and you had this drug all along?! It worked instantly! I was tripping at the fact I was tripping in a hospital and about to have a baby. I kept laughing. As soon as I felt it hit my brain, I took a deep breath and relaxed. I could still feel the contractions, but no pain. Physically I was feeling good. Mentally,
I was tripping!
I closed my eyes and painted the canvas in my mind pure white. On it fell pieces of a map/puzzle of the United States of America and every state was a separate piece. My family and friends were all a piece of the puzzle. This baby was a piece of the puzzle.
I was so touched God would trust me to grow a child. I was so grateful I could carry him. I made a vow that I would honor this sacred responsibility. We all have a sacred purpose in life, and being able to grow and have a child is a very sacred purpose. I must have been tripping for an hour when the nurse came back and asked if I wanted the epidural.
I'm no hero.
Of course, I said yes.
Without making it too obvious that I like drugs, I asked if I could have more of that Stadol. The nurse explained that I could have done 2 doses of Stadol, but since I got the epidural, the Stadol wouldn't work again.
I immediately regretted getting the epidural.
The epidural kicked in, and got real opiate tired high. I didn't want to be this kind of opiate high. I wanted to be third eye high. I immediately thought about having a second child just so I could experience that Stadol hallucination again. It was revelatory.
I took the epidural. I fell asleep. By the time I woke up, the epidural had worn off and I was in full blown labor. At 11am, the baby was finally ready to come out!
I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed.
It was the hardest thing I’d ever done. 100% conscious. Pushing a 10" human head out of a 10 cm hole that is my vagina. I felt like I was running a Triathlon. Only I wish I had done more training.
My "coach" aka my mom was a little too hyphy. She was standing by my head and accidentally choking me. My husband was at my feet. I didn’t want him to see the sh*t coming out of my vagina, so I made them switch places. "Push!" The nurses yelled. I pushed. “Push harder!” My mom chimed in. I couldn't push anymore. I thought about what it'd be like to have a C-Section. All anyone could say was "push" or "keep pushing". "I'm pushing, you a-holes!"
I was pushing,
and I was exhausted.
The doctor waltzed in at a quarter to 1pm and said, "Wake up, Valerie!” "Wake up!"
"BITCH, I'm up! Where have you been?!"
The doctor gave me a rope. I looked at him. He looked at me. I knew this was the moment. I took a deep breath, grabbed the rope, and with all my might, mind, and strength, I pushed.
Out came the baby!
Thank You, God.
Once the baby was out, I could care less about my birth plan. I had a "pregnancy plan" which is like a post-pregnancy protocol. It said things like: No slimy eye ointment, no weird umbilical cord photos of Facebook (mom), but by the time my baby finally came out, I could care less. The nurses rushed to wound manage my vagina. Mitchell rushed to the baby, and the baby and I were alive.
I was amazed by what just happened.