I was in a wretched mood, griping at spouse because we got there two minutes after we were supposed to already be checking in, and I was terrified that after all the preparations I'd put into being psychologically ready to have this baby, and into making sure my parents could take off work to pick my older child up from school, that I'd be sent home because they were too busy for me.
This wasn't an unfounded fear, as when my daughter was born I had gone in more than once to be induced and been sent home because there were too many other people having children that day, and in her case, the pre-eclampsia was killing her placenta, and she really did need to come out.
I was also terrified because my daughter had been a pitocin induction, and pitocin induced contractions hurt, a lot.
I was also afraid because parts of my right leg never felt quite right following the epidural. (Hm, pitocin leading to an epidural, who'd have guessed?)
So it was with trepidation, fear, and irritation that I checked in on the verge of tears.
Upstairs they hooked me up to this machine and that one, asked a plethora of questions, ran an IV of precautionary antibiotics, checked under the hood, and brought out the prostinaglandin of choice along with a breakfast menu.
I ordered a cheddar cheese omelet with hashbrowns and cranberry juice. There may have been toast.
Within minutes of the little pill being placed at my cervix, the contractions seemed to get stronger and more regular. I ate breakfast and live tweeted how I felt about the whole experience. I was touched by the outpouring of attention, even though the hashtag #twitterbirth hadn't yet been stumbled upon.
Spouse plugged in his laptop and continued to do work and take business calls as the contractions built.
As the contractions got harder I did a lot of walking, up and down the hall, turn around and back again. It occurred to me that they would do well to have a round walking track with interesting things to look at for laboring mothers. I was told that the lobby preferred if we didn't go downstairs, but I didn't ask if I could go out on the terrace. In retrospect I should have, it would have made walking a lot more interesting.
Around three or so, my OB breezed in to break my water since I wasn't dialating as quickly as she had hoped. After the first gush it was perhaps five minutes before the intensity of contractions started to grow exponentially and it must have shown in my face, since the nurse started insisting that I wanted an epidural, or would want one. Spouse was in her court, because it seemed the thing to do. I figured that if they were going to hurt like last time, I'd be begging for one eventually and I might as well get it sooner than later. What sense is there in suffering longer than you have to if you're going to make that choice anyway? Right?
Well, of course, fate had a lesson to teach me. It was that I need to just give up on the silly notion of epidurals.
The anesthesiologist, Mo, came up and got to work at about four, and it felt very different than the last time. There were tendons I remember feeling pop last time, but I thought, "since last time was problematic, perhaps this is right." That said, the needle going in hurt many times worse than the last time and was ultimately worse than any of the contractions going on at the time.
The doctor told me I'd need to lay on my back for an hour while the meds got to work. You know, because that's a great laboring position.
Well, the contractions still hurt, and the nurse checked back every so often with an ice pack to see when the numbness had set in. Ultimately, on my right thigh, where I already had some longterm numbness, the icepack felt only a little cool. Everwhere else it was still nice and icy, and the contractions felt just like the always did.
At about four thirty, in all of this, Spouse decided he was very hungry and went to grab a burger. He came back and asked me if I'd like some, and I decided that since my OB had said I could eat, maybe half a cheeseburger was a great idea, despite the pain. I figured, all this work is making me hungry, and dang it, I'm going to eat. So at about four forty-five, I ate half a cheeseburger shortly after an internal check and frown that made it look like perhaps I wasn't progressing well.
Interestingly, the eating of the cheeseburger made the contractions hurt worse, a lot worse, and so the nurse went off to call Mo back to see if a different placement would work. When the nurse came back in she helped me roll onto my side as the contractions were coming very close together and I was in a lot of pain.
At this point, in my head, I was a fox. I'd given up on being me and decided that this must be what a fox felt like when it was giving birth, and I embraced that, clutching the side of the bed and choking back the yelps and screams I didn't have any desire to make.
The nurse came back in and glanced at me, cancelled the call to Mo and called my OB back in, sounding panicked, then she said, "try not to push. I mean, if you have to push, push, but try not to push."
The OB was only two or three contractions away, and she arrived just in time for my three push boy to come, screaming and crying while half out, into the world.
They handed him directly to me so I could introduce him to the breast and get to know him before daddy cut the cord.
Soon they'd be gently washing him while the doctor yelled for a shot of pitocin because I was bleeding too much while a nurse massaged my belly.
The nurses giggled that he was definitely a boy since he had some pretty severe hydrocele. In retrospect, it was fairly comedic.
Then he was swaddled and brought back to me where he nursed and blinked at me, and I was completely in love with this little nameless boy covered in soft fur, white pimply dots, and some notable stork bite.
It wasn't until the next morning that we named him, until then he was my surprisingly red haired little
I can hardly believe how much he's grown.
He's been nursing for a full two years now. Hard to believe, two great big years.