*You can just skip this entry, my feelings won’t be hurt. It must be National Sappy Week or something…
I spent the first day of the long weekend alternating between wanting to go into labor and knowing that my doc was out of town for the weekend. He told me on Friday to not go into labor until after 8:00 pm on Monday.
The second day of the long weekend I pulled weeds and tidied my flower beds. I had a long conversation with the-one-who-was-my-child and explained that there comes a time in a young baby’s life when s/he needs to get out and see the world. Baby said, “uh-uh.”
On Memorial Day the-man-with-the-nice-ass & I went to dinner at his parent’s house. Steak on the barby. I was completely and totally resigned to the fact that I would, indeed, be pregnant forever. I was many days overdue and my body had stopped believing pregnancy was anything special… no more peeing every 5 minutes, no more heart burn, no fatigue… nothing….. just the acceptance that this was the new “way it is” and would continue to be so FOREVER.
I woke up around 1:30am (Tuesday) feeling, well, odd. I decided this was probably labor and settled in for the long first phase. I told my husband I was in labor but “not to worry, go back to sleep, this first part takes a long time.” Things were, frankly, a bit more uncomfortable than I had been led to believe they would be so I took a long, hot shower, shaved my legs, washed with fancy microscrub cleanser, and used up all the hot water. By now it is around 3:00 and my husband is awake and calmly reading a paperback.
I put on grey eyeliner and my favorite grey yoga pants. (I wore them to the hospital and home from the hospital and I’m wearing them right now too.)
Around 3:45 we realize the contractions are two minutes apart and I said, without a single notion of how insane I sounded, “Well, maybe only every OTHER one is a contraction.” We had several Three Stooges moments while my honey tried to call the doctor’s office, the emergency room & the on-call doctor….. every time he would get an answering machine he would hang up, panic and then ask me for the phone number again…. Until I snapped, “It’s in the fucking speed dial.” Not a proud moment for me, but pretty funny.
I distinctly remember at about 4:30 stretching my arms across the kitchen table, looking at my sweetheart and saying, “Dammit, And, this really hurts.” I was rapidly losing my faith that I had a high pain tolerance. I was not entirely sure I could handle 36 hours of this. Yes, 36…. Because that is what baby school taught me…. 36 hours of labor. Suckers.
We arrived at the hospital around 5:00am and Three Stooged our way into the emergency room. See, in baby school we learned that, “If you go into labor after 8 pm but before 7 am go to the emergency room entrance.” So we went to the emergency room entrance and I stood stupidly in front of the automatic doors for a full 10 seconds before I realized they were not going to automatically open for me…. So I hiked it around to the ambulance bay and went in that way.
So, when you get to the emergency desk, what do you say? Hi. I’m pregnant. It was one of the more absurd moments I’ve ever experienced. One savvy old nurse rolled up with a wheelchair and told me to hop in. We went careening down the halls to labor & delivery…. My husband sprinting along behind us with the overnight bag flopping everywhere and reams of paperwork half filled out. (Stupid, really, in hind-site… the paperwork he was filling out was the same stuff I had filled out earlier and was on file in labor & delivery AND I had a copy in the overnight bag.)
Thank heavens we had the sense to only bring in an overnight bag and leave the “what if” stuff in the car. My best pal (a former labor nurse) told me they used to delight in sending home expectant parents who showed up to labor carrying the car seat.
My first L&D conversation went like this:
Nurse Prissybritches, “Are you sure you are in labor?”
Meek Me, “Well, no, I’ve never done this before.”
Nurse PB, “So this is your first baby?”
Meek Me, “Yes” (What the fuck? Doesn’t it SAY that right there on the pre-registration paper you have in your hand that I filled out THREE WEEKS ago… do you think that has changed in the last three weeks?)
Nurse PB, “Well, we will put a sheet on the bed so you don’t mess it up for the next delivery when we send you home.”
Meek Me, “ok” (What the hell? This might not be labor? What is it? I may die…. Ok, if I die I’m taking as many of you with me as I can….)
Nurse PB, “Whoa, you are 5-6 cm.”
Me, hopelessly, “You mean I’m only half way?”
At this point my husband actually said, “Think glass half-full honey.” And then looked at the nurse, dead-pan, and asked if I was really in labor. I love that man.
My sister showed up about then and the nurse actually sent her down the hall to get another nurse & the delivery cart. The doc-on-call came in and the nurse whispered to him and his eyes got huge & he said, "I'm going to go call your doc and hurry him along" and he left and we never saw him again. I was cruising around during the contractions.... I absolutely could NOT hold still or sit during them. My honey was boggled.... it was not going according to what we saw in the video.... he was not "slow dancing" his wife through the contractions or rubbing her back. (He still owes me all those backrubs.) Never did get to use the birthing ball, the jacuzzi tub or watch the videos we brought for during the long early-active labor stage. I really wanted to get in that tub but the nurse said I didn't have time if I wanted to get threaded for the epidural. At that point I was thinking I was in for 36 more hours and I wanted the drugs.... little did I know…...
So she couldn't get the IV in.... and Nurse PB LIED about it to the anesthesiology nurse… who also couldn’t get the IV in…. interesting since I have giant you-would-be-a-fabulous-heroin-user veins. Finally the anesthesiologist did it. They gave me the interthecal..... loved the interthecal. Right when he got it started I told them I wanted to push... they all said "Don't" but that's like telling someone not to throw up.... it just doesn’t work. My doc was there by then and he examed me & said, "Ok, no cervix is there and you are at 10cm so go ahead and push if you want too." I'm thinking, "You mean I did all of the transition without any DRUGS??? In baby school we learned transition is the ouchiest part. I didn't mean for THAT to happen."
I pushed for about half an hour & I could feel everything but the pain was minimal and ta-da… baby. At one point, Husband had one leg, Sister had the other & the doc was catching and he said, "huh, well I guess we don't need the nurses, we can do this" and he looked over at the nurses and said, "Uh, we're crowning over here" and they all scurried around.... apparently they were all impressed with our speed & efficiency. He was born at 6:58 am. (Do the math…. I got to the hospital around 5:00 am….. the nurses said I was easy to chart.) And, of course, he was perfect. 8 lbs, 10 oz & 22 inches long.