Today, June 30th, is my little boy’s birthday. I can’t believe a whole year has gone by! His birth isn’t much out of the ordinary, but it’s one I’ll never forget…especially since you were a week past your due date!
I had a pretty average, uneventful pregnancy. A few early labor scares, but nothing too dramatic. We ended up having to move to our current home a few days before his original date, and that was the only time I was legitimately terrified. Because when everything you have is stacked up inside a UHaul, attached to the back of your truck-you need to go in labor! But we did muscle through it, and I spent the next three days arranging his room (which was the first to get unpacked and settled before anything else!), and trying to get everything else in order before my son made his grand appearance into the world.
Those three days went by extremely slowly. I was beyond ready to have him. I’ve never weighed more than 110lbs my whole life. Before delivery, I gained a total of 50 with Bruce, which my doctors loved. My Ob said he usually either had to encourage patients to not eat so much and over-gain, or they didn’t eat enough. So although my gain was healthy, I never got fully used to the beach-ball in my stomach (but maybe no one ever does). By the due date, I could barely walk around my new home. I was anxious to have my son, now not experiencing any signs of labor or Braxton Hicks contractions, and the round ligament pain was unbearable.
|So over pregnancy|
But he didn’t arrive. And two days later, I had an OB appointment. After checking to see if my cervix began to thin at all, she asked, ‘So, when do you want to have this baby?”
My answer: “Two days ago. on his due date.” No exaggeration. Because I hadn’t even started to thin out, she recommended that since inducing at 41 weeks, should he not come over the weekend, was just as risky as letting him stay in, I agreed on the induction. “Can we go visit my father-in-law in Florida? Or will that be too much?”
I’ll never forget the look on her face. “Do you want to have this baby in Florida?” My puzzled expression must have given her some answer. “Because if you go, that’s what’s gonna happen. You’ll end up in labor in Gainesville, and have him in some random hospital with a random Doctor. they won’t know you, and they’ll be mean to you.” I’m sure the last part was a joke, but it was enough to keep me home. I trusted my OB and Midwives, and I really didn’t want anyone else to deliver if I could help it. I sought out the best in town, dang it, I was going to utilize them.
So I spent the next five days doing what any mom-to-be would. We waddled around yard sales looking for home decor. Watched the entire first two seasons of “Orange Is The New Black”. Drank an entire bottle of hot sauce. Twerked in the shower. Even my husband did *his* part (nudge,nudge, wink, wink). But still, no baby.
Little did I know, since I was so used to the ligament pain, my labor actually started at around 11:20pm that Sunday night. We had orders to see my Doctor at 9am Monday, and if I wasn’t to be rushed across the street to the hospital (so convenient!), we would return that night to start induction. And, of course, that’s exactly what happened. So, taking the suggestion of eating as much as I wanted (because once admitted it was popsicles and water until birth), I polished off a lunch and dinner of giant BLT’s, I craved soooo much bacon during this pregnancy, took a long bath, and we went to the hospital.
They were surprised I didn’t want a wheelchair. I was surprised the birthing suite was so nice. My husband was happy he had a couch to sleep on. In retrospect, I should have taken advantage of the DVD player instead of settling for basic cable. Also, whoever left the plastic hook used for breaking your water, should it not break on it’s own-nice gag. It scared the crap out of both of us. We joked with the night shift nurses about the name of our baby when they asked what we were having. “Well, it;s supposed to be a boy, so we are naming him Bruce. Unless the ultrasounds were wrong. if it’s a girl, we’ll call her Caitlin.” That always got a laugh.
Pitocin was administered with South Park playing in the background. My mom visited. Later, my Dad, once he returned from work. I glared at my husband for eating tasty trail mix of which I was forbidden, and routinely sent him for popsicles.
We couldn’t sleep for the nurses coming in every thirty minutes or so to either check things or start other things, and it was a while before my dear husband drifted off to sleep on the sofa. I was just about to fall out myself, uncomfortable with the occasional contraction when all of a sudden…
Did I just F*cking pee myse-OMG! Yep. 4:00am on the dot, my water broke.
And that’s when the real pain started. Contractions came on strong. My Doctor was on staff and came in to check out everything and we discussed the future procedures. My husband looked terrified as he watched the monitor go off the chart with each contraction. They assured us that our baby would be making his grand appearance, most likely, around lunch time…
|SO unhappy right about now….|
Even with it being hours away, we called our list of people waiting for news at 5am…my Mom driving the 45 minute trip back to the hospital she had just left a few hours before. My Dad told me later, he was about to leave the parking lot when he caught his Son-in-law outside the entrance of the building, spinning around in circles freaking out because my water had broke. It took a lot of convincing by the nursing staff that this would still take a while. Me? I just wanted it over with.
When it got time to push, I was asked if a few interns and med students could be present during delivery. I didn’t care. My husband and Mom were there (my dad opted to stay in the waiting room) and that’s all that mattered. I lose track of exactly how many people came in and out of that room within that Hour. A marching band probably could have came through and I would have cared any less. I wanted him OUT. He was scaring his Father and Grandmother with every contraction.
My own mother had all three of her children via cesarean. She almost didn’t want to watch (probably out of sheer terror) and if my Doctor hadn’t asked her if she wanted to be there, she might would have ran out the door. But he is very good natured, always joking and taking everything in stride. He kept the calm of the room, assuring us of no present danger or need for any emergency procedures. He was always confident that I could deliver naturally…even when I wasn’t so sure.
My husband commented after 15 minutes of pushing, that he was surprised I hadn’t called him an a-hole like all the movies show the leading woman, screaming while in labor. After a few more minutes, I did muster one out, but it wasn’t nearly as serious as my fictional precursors. My Mom tried helping, but everyone noticed that at the beginning of that hour, she started at my bedside and slowly crept farther, and farther away with every push. My Doctor eventually left to do quick rounds. Various students wandered in and out. My baby wasn’t coming. It wasn’t until the last ten minutes of pushing that my Mom ran out the room. I thought we scared her off. She went to get my Doctor. I could hear her telling him, “You have to do something, he won’t come out…” and my doctor laughing his way to the bedside. then his expression changed. “You’re right. He’s NOT coming out!”
My ultimate fear had come true. Nothing life-threatening or serious. Just that my child’s head was literally too big. He was stuck. A quick episiotomy, and we were back in business. I owe a lot of unforgettable moments to my Doctor that I would have regretted if he didn’t make me do them. I didn’t want to feel his head as it started to crown because honestly, I was a little freaked out. But he forced my hand below and made me do it-so amazing what the human body can do. “Hey mom, you’re all the way back there!” He joked, my poor mother now feet from the door. Then he told me I was going to have this baby-two more pushes, and I did.
|Bruce, just minutes old|
8 pounds even, 22 inches long. I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face when his first sight was my Doctor, and then me; Terrified and confused. Trust me son, you weren’t the only one. Definitely wasn’t the only one screaming either. I screamed, my husband screamed, my Mom ran like a bat outta hell. But we did it. “Yeah, it’s a boy! See, look, there’s his nuts!” Way to break tension, Doc.
|Like mirror image|
Since we had already discussed delayed-cord clamping, I had the awesome opportunity to hold my baby while we were still connected. My doctor let me hold the cord to feel the blood coursing between us, which I’m glad he did; not out of fear, but because I wasn’t totally paying attention. I was engrossed in this little human being I just brought into the world. I did notice my doctor threatening to dump a bucket of after-birth on a nurse’s head, but I never took my eyes off that baby. He was perfect. And after nine months of creation, a total of 32 hours of labor (starting at home) and an hour of pushing (most of which was pointless because of his head!)…he looked just like his Daddy. *sigh*
|My Little Man|
|24 hours old|
So his birth wasn’t at all out of the ordinary, but was still what it was. We had no problems in recovery. No jaundice or anything of the sort, and we were both released with a clean bill of perfect health. Now here we are…one year later. Can’t wait to see what else is in store.