Ian is napping so I’ve come to find a little time to write down some thoughts from the labor and birth.
As many of you know, anxiety and fear built their way up in my pregnancy, and the week leading up to the birth was no exception. I had a choice as to when to be induced and I wanted so badly to go naturally on my own. I finally decided to be induced after hearing my chances of a c-section were already at 30%. We set out for the doctor’s on Thursday, the 28th for medication to help my cervix prepare for the medicine to be given on Friday.
It was a beautiful day on Thursday and after we made the decision to go forward with the induction and do part 1 of the 2-part process, we left the hospital and were told to return the following morning for 9:30am.
We had lunch and a long nap (which would come in handy later). I went on a cleaning rampage since I knew this was it, the house would not be cleaned for a while–at least not without enough sleep–and so after I felt like we did all that we could, we had a last supper at a tapas restaurant. The hostess and owner learned of my impending birth the next day and wished us well…and it still didn’t seem real.
Until that night.
11:15pm rolls around and the cramping that I had all day and was told would be normal started to come in intervals, and stronger. And then I realized it: I was having contractions and this was labor.
Or was it? The doctor said there’s a chance I could go into labor on my own, but I hadn’t believed it as they made it sound like it was rare. I was afraid that after we rushed 45 minutes to the hospital that we’d be sent home with the words “false labor” ringing in our ears.
Bub called the doctor after he took notes at how often the contractions were coming: 4 minutes. I yelled at him to find out what was normal…I couldn’t remember from class if that was when you start heading to the hospital or not. The doctor said that since it was a first birth that this would go on for several hours and we had a ways to go. I was not happy to hear that I had a ways to go in this pain that seared through my pelvis making a menstrual cramp feel like a quick jab to the side. My husband called back and the nurse warned that if we came in that we should be prepared to return home if I was not at a point of true labor. It was after three hours and a hot shower that I called the nurse myself. I remember telling her clearly: You have to help me. I said that I couldn’t bear it. I needed help. She said to come in. I was already hanging up and yelling for Bub.
We were those people driving down Route 1 very fast, running red lights with music blaring. Bub would honk at least 3 times at each intersection. We made it to the hospital in 1/2 hour and it was then 2:30am.
At one of the busiest hospitals in the city and only the valet and security men were around which I found strange since I thought surely there were ill people or people in labor like me needing care in the early morning hours? I swallowed my pain and tried to walk to the OB admitting area despite an offer for a wheelchair. I decided I had nothing to be ashamed of and accepted one to get up to the fifth floor: the labor and delivery area.
The doctor confirmed I had progressed and dilated, but not to a grand proportion. He suggested a hot shower, a walk, and if I wanted, an epidural. I was already thinking of an epidural in the car. I had my shower and I was not into the exercising idea.
We were admitted and the nurse didn’t let me even lay down when she said “I heard you wanted an epidural. If so, we have to start your IV now.” And I was on my way…I don’t want to be a poster child for epidurals but the whole process was so smooth and pain-free, I didn’t understand what people meant when they said that they were scary. Perhaps if I could see what they were doing. The anesthesiologist who administered it wore a bandana over his head with flames on it. The nurse wore a circus looking shower cap. I thought how fun, it’s like Halloween.
I napped a bit even though I was so excited; I was here. Going to have a baby. This is it. This is IT.
Switch nurses. New shift.
“I want to deliver this baby with you before my shift ends. I think we can do it.”
I got a little medicine to help further push me into full dilation. With that came a scare: baby was pressing on his umbilical cord after rapidly descending. Shift left, shift right. Stay there. Phew.
I was using an oxygen mask from there on out, glad to have the assistance, but forgetting to use it in between pushes.
The pushing was the best part. I used a mirror to focus my energy. I saw Ian’s hair, his head, and then the famous ring of fire moment. The moment we learned about in class, when the baby’s head crowns.
This was IT.
Except I thought we had so much more pushing to do. The doctor arrives and I think, what’s wrong, but he calmly states: this baby will be out on the next push.
He was right.
My little bug was born and my first thought was, he is all mine. I love him so much. And I didn’t even check to see if he was a boy or not–until Bub yelled: It’s a boy! It’s a BOY!
So now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go feed my little 8-day old bug.
Thanks for all of your kind words during this amazing time!
itsy bitsy mama