Perhaps I should back up a bit. As I mentioned, the doctor told me that because of the nature of my contractions,
the difference I was feeling (despite having already been through FOUR false alarms),
I should come in to Labor and Delivery to be checked out. You should know this about me: I am a positive person, I am constantly accusing my husband of being a big ol’ naysayer. But in this case, I was miss “this is ridiculous, why am I going in again, I am going to be pissed to be sent home again, blah da de bla bla”. And remember. I had “Hot Cocoa” on my nails and they were 2/3 chipped off. And, while typically I don’t care about dirty hair, I did a hasty wash, threw on some eyeliner and blush, and called my mom, while in a towel.
“The doctor wants me to come in.” I said sheepishly.
And for the first time, her voice was different. “I think this is it.” She said.
We didn’t tell my husband.
We called my mama bestie to have her “On call” in case we needed her to pick up my daughter from school, and off we went.
Just in case, I wore my lucky underwear and purple socks, but I was still skeptic city.
Upon our arrival at the hospital I was greeted as an old friend; everyone there knew me. The residents and I were on a first name basis. It was embarrassing. But I had to admit, the pain I was feeling was different. And the monitor showed the same. I was having strong contractions every three minutes, regularly.
But, alas, as it has always happened when it comes to me and my labors, my cervix was not opening. Not at all. Not even one centimeter.
So I waited in the bed, for hours, contracting to the point of agony, when I started to cry.
I cried from the pain.
I cried from the uncertainty.
And, most of all, I cried because I hadn’t said a proper goodbye to my daughter.
I had had fantasies of how we’d spend our last night together as a tripod; A special dinner, and then maybe I’d sleep with her that night, since it would be our last time being just us.
As a side note, late in my pregnancy my kid discovered a PBS kids show called Peg and Cat. The theme goes like this:
It is a show that encourages counting and early math. But the lyrics go
“We are two, na na na na na, Me Plus You, na na na na na…”
and every time I would hear this I would think,
“It’s me plus you, girl. It’s us. What the hell are we going to do with a fourth? And a BOY!?” I still get a lump in my throat when I hear that song.
Anyway, back to the hospital.
I was contracting and thinking and perseverating and all of a sudden, I started to cry.
I cried to my mom, really from the pain. “I can’t go another weekend like this.” I said. And I consider myself to be strong. Emotionally, I may be a basketcase, but pain-wise, I am pretty darn tough. But I just knew, much like the first time around, that it was time for this baby to come out.
At about this time my OBGYN showed up. He confirmed what the residents had said, that my cervix was still closed, but added that it had softened a lot, and said that my contractions were really strong and regular on the monitor, inevitably putting stress on my uterus.
“We’re having a birthday party today.” he said.
And then I cried some more.
Out of relief, out of fear, and out of, pardon my french again, the “What the fuck?!” feeling of having planned everything, every last detail, and having it all turned upside down by a sideways (literally) baby.
And I still hadn’t called my husband!
At that point the doctor offered me an epidural for the pain, but I declined. If i couldn’t experience a natural birth, my dream, I’d at least experience natural labor. And that I did. I am no masochist, but it made me feel like I could, at least, have some control over my body.
And so we called my mama friend. She would watch my daughter, and host a playdate with her son, whom my girl refers to as her “prince charming”. And then we called my husband. He was in a big meeting. He was told to rush out. He asked for permission to go home and change out of his suit. He was told no, there was no time.
I was forced to take off my all of my clothes, including my lucky socks. And so when my husband arrived, handsome and dapper in his suit, I had him put on my lucky socks, in their neon purple glory, under his gray slacks and ultimately under his full scrub attire.
The next bit was a blur; I met with anesthesiologists, got an IV, met my labor nurse…it was really happening. And my nurse, Katherine, held my hand and told me I’d be OK, as I told her how scared I was to go into surgery. How unprepared I felt. How my three and a half year old needed me. I am very superstitious and her name starting with a K, the same as my Nanny, comforted me. It was a sign, like the signs I had experienced during my first birth. My angels were there. And there were more of them to come.
But then Katherine told me it was time. So my hair was placed in a net and I was placed in a wheelchair and I hugged my mom and husband tightly. It was time. I couldn’t stop shaking. It was time.
Time to meet my son…
(Stay tuned for more…and it involves some more signs from angels and maybe even a little spontaneous singing in the OR)