Well, as many of you know, at my 40 week appointment, I told my doctor I was ready to be done being pregnant. I didn’t really think he’d take me seriously, but to my surprise, he said, “Well, then, let’s schedule you for an induction. When are you available?” Here’s baby Christopher’s birth story- the condensed version.
Sean and I decided to have the baby induced on his due date, March 26, 2011. So the night before, in my usual anal retentive manner, I repacked all the hospital bags. And Sean and I had a really nice dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in town, Rosemary’s. When we got home, I was much too excited and nervous to sleep, and I spent the majority of the night awake and waiting in anticipation.
The next morning, I had a big breakfast as my doctor informed me I wouldn’t be able to eat anything once I was admitted. I had a waffle and eggs and sausage, and it was amazing. We stopped on the way to hospital to get some muffins for the nursing staff (bribery will get you everywhere, I’ve found).
About a block away from the hospital, I looked over at Sean and noticed that he had tears in his eyes. I, being the sensitive-natured woman I am, started picking on him to stop being such a baby and that nothing had even happened yet. Sean informed me he was not being emotional; he’d merely bitten his tongue. Well, I happened to think this was hilarious, and I stared laughing hysterically. So hysterically, in fact, that I thought I’d peed my pants. Until I realized that even when I stopped laughing, I was still peeing my pants. I finally realized: my water had broken. Luckily, I’d thought ahead and worn black yoga pants, so hopefully no one in the hospital lobby noticed mah wet drawers.
Anyway, so we get upstairs to labor and delivery, and of course, the staff was expecting us, and I informed them I believed my water had broken in the parking lot. They did a check and confirmed that it had. (Nice timing, Swimmy). So, because I hadn’t started contracting on my own, they started me on athen IV of fluid followed by more fluid and pitocin. When the contractions started, they felt sort of like intense cramps, and I thought, “No problem, I can handle this.” A few hours later, the cramps had turned into the most intense pain I had ever felt in my entire life. I can see why those women on the reality tv pregnancy shows I watch scream in agony. I myself am not a yeller, and I spent my contractions holding Sean’s hand, trying to do yoga breathing, and stopping the tears from coming out my eyes. When the nurse returned to my room and checked my cervix, I’d dilated to 6 cm. I asked if I could please have an epidural.
The aenesthesiologist came in, and while he was sort of a weird dude, to me he was like an angel sent from heaven. An epidural is a very weird feeling when they are putting the catheter in. It’s like the feeling when you hit your funny bone, only over and over for a few seconds and in your spine. For me, that was most uncomfortable part of the epidural experience- I had heard that the numbing agent was most unpleasant, but I personally found that electrical feeling was worse. And then, twenty minutes later, like magic, I felt no more contractions. I was so relaxed, in fact, that I fell asleep for about an hour. Amazing.
When the nurse checked me again, I was about 8 cm, and they called the doctor to let him know I was progressing quickly. He arrived just as I’d completed dilating, and he told me about how the pushing would work. I did a few practice pushes, and the doctor told me how, with first time moms, a lot of time, pushing takes a while because the baby will come down the birth canal and then float back up because those muscles had never been stretched before. So, I mentally prepared myself for the hard work ahead.
So with the first three contractions, I pushed with all my might. After the first push, I heard Sean say holy sh!t, and he told me the baby’s heafd was out. Then, push again, and push again, and a room full of people was yelling at me to STOP! OPEN YOUR EYES! And when I looked down, there was my baby. He was very blue. And silent. Until the nurse started rubbing him, and then whoa! The lungs on this kid, I tell you what. He can scream with the best of ’em.
Finally, they handed my baby to me, and he fell silent and looked right at me. Holding Christopher for the first time was an amazing thing that I will never, ever forget.