I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting him for at least another week or two (I knew I wouldn’t make it to my May 3 due date), but as they say, “Ready or not, here I come!”
So, Baby C arrived on Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 9:47 in the morning. He was 6 pounds 13 ounces and 19-3/4 inches long. Now that I’m holding him from the outside, I doubt I could have carried him another 3 weeks if I wanted to!
The whole thing was surreal and I’m still trying to make sense of it. I had a routine doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, at which time I was told that I was four centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. (I’m sorry – what?) So, my husband and I were sent to the main hospital to get checked out in triage. After an hour in observation, three hours of walking around aimlessly, and another hour of observation, we were told to go home – I may be at this stage for another week or so. But, of course, we should come back if my water breaks or if I start having contractions five minutes apart for at least an hour. So, home we went. Well, I went to work first to tie up some loose ends. Then I came home.
The plus side to the trip to triage? I found out what contractions felt like. Prior to that, I just thought the baby was sticking his butt in the air!
Wednesday morning, I woke up at 3 and could not get back to sleep. I couldn’t get comfortable. I walked around the house, took a shower, tried to lay down, and just tried with all my might to get back to sleep. And these contractions hurt. By 6 o’clock, I told Cute Husband he wasn’t going to work that day, and by 8, my contractions were close enough together that we were back at the hospital. After another hour of observation in triage, it turns out I haven’t changed. So, home we went, with instructions to come back if my contractions are less than five minutes apart for at least two hours.
I managed to catch about an hour and a half of sleep during the day Wednesday. I sent Cute Husband to work to get things he could work on from home, but I was miserable the whole day. I kept track of my contractions – all about eight minutes apart. But by 9 o’clock that evening, they started to get very close together, averaging four minutes apart. I told Cute Husband I couldn’t wait until 11 to go to the hospital – we left the house (in complete disarray) at 10:30 and arrived at the hospital before 11.
We were in triage for what seemed like an eternity. And it turned out some of that constant peeing I was dealing with was a little bit of amniotic fluid, too, though my bag never broke. This time, though, the nurse said we would be admitted (which was music to my ears – I did not want to be sent home again) around 2 in the morning.
I can’t say I remember much about labor and delivery. I opted against the epidural, figuring that if I made it to 4 and 80 without even knowing it, surely labor couldn’t be all that bad. Instead, when it got really bad, I asked for the weakest drug they could put in my IV, which turned out to be something called Nubain. Apparently, Nubain doesn’t work very well on most pregnant women, but I was as happy as a lark. Cute Husband said that the contractions that made me scream, “I am going to die!” were suddenly reduced to heavy breathing. I still had some bad contractions, but those were much fewer and further between than they were before Nubane was introduced.
The best thing about Nubain was its ability to send me into a state of delirium. I was imagining all sorts of things, and my contractions became these images wherein I could actually see them coming and going. And I could also see the big contractions coming – with just enough time to open my eyes, grab onto the side bars and try to keep my breathing regular. I think I snapped at my husband more than once because he wasn’t constantly at my side (keep in mind the Nubain kept the smaller contractions at bay – even though I was still having them, I didn’t really feel them). And when he was nearby, all I wanted from him was constant reassurance that I was doing a good job and that he was proud of me… and for him to wipe me down with a cool towel because that room was like a furnace (despite his need to wear a fleece hoodie with the hood up and to be wrapped in a blanket). I can remember saying some weird things in my Nubain-induced delirium, but my labor was, thankfully, a hazy blur.
Delivery, on the other hand, I remember somewhat clearly. I remember telling Cute Husband that there was too much pressure and I wanted so badly to push. And every time, he told me I couldn’t push because it wasn’t time. And every time, I think I demanded a nurse to check and see if it was finally time. But once it was time to push, I tried it and decided, no, pushing was too painful. My obstetrician was there and told my husband that he would let me figure out what I needed to do, and when it finally came time to push, I said no and demanded my epidural. I don’t know if anyone laughed (I probably would have if I wasn’t the one delivering the baby), but my husband said I only had to endure ten more minutes of this and promised it would be over. And when the contractions happened again and I did that whole “hold your breath and count to ten” thing, I was determined to get it over with as quickly as possible. So, in three contractions (I think I got two pushes per contraction), Baby C was finally out… and I felt so much better.