Mini-calendar by Monkey Mind.
Friday May 7th. I am 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I am not really enjoying pregnancy like I previously was. The baby is not fitting as well as he used to and every move he makes is getting to be more and more uncomfortable to me. I want him to come out now.
I head to my regularly scheduled doctor appointment. I whine a bit to my doctor. She checks me and I am 2 cm dilated, starting to efface, and the baby’s head is quite low. She asks, “Would you like me to sweep your membranes?”. I enthusiastically reply yes. This is exactly how I got my first baby out — my dear doctor swept my membranes, at which point my water broke, and then 12 hours later I was holding Seth in my arms.
Anyway, membranes are swept. She tells me to head home, go for a long walk, eat some spicy food and a pineapple, and partake in other activities that will not be mentioned at this time. I head home and finish sewing the camera bag I had started that morning. I figure I will need it soon. Plus sewing seems like more fun than that other stuff. I finish the bag, have a long walk, and go to bed, where I sleep all night.
Saturday, May 8th. I wake up. I don’t feel super great. I know the baby will be here soon, even though nothing official is happening. We all have a long walk in the morning. I try to have a nap, unsuccessfully. I get up and decide to clean the basement, which is a terrible disaster. At least 357 toys are strewn across the floor. I start cleaning. I pee my pants. I go to the bathroom. I go back to cleaning. I pee my pants again. I go back to cleaning. I pee my pants again. “Neil, I think my water might have broke. Or I peed my pants?” Sometimes I do that. Neil continues with yard work. I continue trying to clean the basement, but I go to the bathroom at least every 90 seconds where I continue peeing my pants. It dawns on me that my water probably really did break. I didn’t drink THAT much today to be peeing that often. And I don’t USUALLY pee my pants. I keep cleaning the basement. It takes me pretty much three hours because of the frequent bathroom trips. At one point my pants are completely soaked and it is at this point I am 99% sure my water broke. I call Neil’s mom and ask her to come over and let her know she’ll probably be staying awhile.
Neil’s mom, grandma, and sister arrive at 4:30. I am starting to have contractions every once and awhile. I have a shower. I’m starving so I eat some hot dogs and a salad. Then Neil and I go for a drive to get a coffee. Neil wants me to try a London Fog. Sounds good except that I am having contractions every five minutes or so. Still not terrible, but the memories of what labor is really like are coming back, and I am afraid! We aren’t gone for long but the truck ride is enough to convince me we should maybe go to the hospital soon.
When I get home the contractions are still about 5 minutes apart so I decide to try to relax on the couch and watch tv while Neil’s mom puts the kids to bed. By this time labor is really starting to suck. I had always told myself I would stay at home as long as possible, but I already want the hospital and a nurse to help me and a shower and the close-by-ness of drugs. When the kids are in bed, we leave.
We get to triage at about 8:15 pm. My contractions are still every 5 minutes, but sometimes every 2 or 3. We get into triage. I am still fairly “happy” and can cope with contractions.
Still, I am ready for it to just be over already. The nurse checks me at about 8:30 pm and I am 4 cm. That was not what I wanted to hear. I was hoping for 7 and wanted at least a 5. 4 was not reassuring to me. Anyway, I was admitted to the low risk labor ward, to room 26- the same room Ben was born in!
I get to my room and get in the shower. I sit on the birthing ball and yell a lot and eat ice chips. After about 20 minutes I need something better than a shower and a ball. I’ll try the gas. The gas is good but my whole body turns to pins and needles and I may fall off the ball in the shower so I get into bed. The nurse checks me. I am only 4-5 cm. Okay, that’s enough. Give me the good drugs. I don’t care if I need an IV, just pull out the big drugs NOW. She starts and IV, calls the anesthesiologist, and asks me if I want to try Fentanyl. Sure, why not. The Fentanyl is great. Narcotics are my friend and for at least two contractions I feel a lot better. But that’s about the most it does for me, besides making me feel totally drugged, which I don’t mind. My Dr. is there now, and she comes to examine me. It is 10 pm and I am now 7 cm. Thank goodness. She leaves and on her way out I say thank you and then I almost say, “I love you!”. Don’t get me wrong, I DO love my Dr. but I’m not sure if that would be appropriate timing for telling her. It was the Fentanyl talking. I am still waiting for my epidural and I tell Neil that the nurse must have lied to me telling me the anesthesiologist is coming soon. I say, “Sometimes we do that”. You know, lie to patients and tell them the drugs are coming soon when really there are two patients ahead of them in line for the epidural (I’m a labor and delivery nurse).
Anyway, wow, labor is SO terrible right now. I am yelling a lot and a lot of curse words are running through my head. I am not normally a swearer, but this is bad. For some reason I keep wanting to say “Holy Mother of God!”. I don’t know why, I have NEVER said this in my life. I think maybe it’s because subconsciously I am wondering how dear sweet Mary possibly survived laboring and delivering in a barn.
At about 10:15 I am starting to feel pressure. Like a baby’s head is coming soon. My nurse checks me. NINE cm. Almost there.
Next contraction, yes, a baby’s head IS coming. NINE AND A HALF cm.
Next contraction, push. TEN cm.
Next contraction, OLIVER!!!
It is 10:25 pm and Oliver is here! What a relief! The Dr. puts him on my chest and I hold him and rub all the vernix off him and I cry and feel so happy and so relieved. He is so beautiful and so tiny and looks so much like his biggest brother to me.
The Dr. checks him over and checks me over and gives us the okay to go home the next day if we want. Sadly about 30 minutes later Oliver is still grunting and working a little too hard to breathe so he is whisked off to the NICU for observation and is later admitted where he spends the next 36 hours. Deja vu as this is exactly what happened with the middle brother in the very same room. Remind me to request a different room next time. Oh never mind, remind me that three children are plenty and I will not be doing that again.
I guess someone forgot to remind me, because our fourth is due in 5 1/2 weeks!
From Nikki Moran of Outnumbered.
P.S. — Sarah has started a website collecting birth stories, too! She welcomes your submissions.
Note from Design Mom: throughout my 6th pregnancy, I posted reader-submitted advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family. My baby is hardly a baby anymore — here’s her birth story and her newborn photos — but the series has been so popular that I’m continuing it indefinitely. You can find all the stories in this series by clicking here. Have a story you’d like to share? I’d love to read it. You can send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.