when fin was born i did a quick recap of my labor, but i shyed away from writing a post with all the details. but with e’s upcoming birth constantly on my mind (even though we are still 3 months away), i keep looking back on that night finley came into the world. and i wanted to finally share it all here, now.
i will never forget that it was 12:36 when i looked at my iphone in the dark. i took my phone into the bathroom, turned on the light, and shut the door. pat stayed asleep. i didn’t immediately have an “ah ha moment” that i was in labor mostly because i didn’t know what labor felt like. also i was hesistant to be alarmist about the whole thing – i wasn’t one of those women who felt a slight cramp and screamed “it’s time!” to be honest, i felt like i had to go to the bathroom…but like…the painful kind of needing to go to the bathroom. maybe you don’t wanna know that, but it’s the most accurate way to describe what it felt like (at first). and so…i did go the bathroom. i actually did. which was confusing. cause i was like…hmm, okay. guess i’m not in labor after all. so i got back in bed.
but i was wide.awake. like really, really awake. and then i felt something else. i got up again and went into the bathroom. pat stayed asleep. this time i didn’t go. i just stood there at the sink and realized maybe i should start timing these pains i was having….
i walked back in the dark bedroom. i remember i left the bathroom light on so there was some light shining into the room. i looked at my phone as i felt another contraction and i leaned over on the bed. pat = still sleeping.
i woke pat up and said “i think i may be having contractions.” he went back to sleep.
i never got back in bed. i sat on it, and i leaned on it standing up. i kept timing. again, i was confused…because wait, it’s only been ONE minute since my last contraction. is that normal? but then okay, now it’s been seven minutes. and then, shit, that time it was only like 30 seconds.
by this time maybe i was making some noise, because pat rolled over, looked at me CLEARLY LABORING, and quite casually asked me if we should call the doctor. this coming from the man who LITerally every time i had called him for the past month at his office picked up the phone asking if i was in labor.
so i paged the doctor. pat stayed in bed.
things got more intense fast. contractions were really making me double over and i realized we were going to be going to the hospital soon. so i went to my closet to figure out what to wear when you are about to go deliver a baby. (my answer was leggings and a t-shirt. this is always my answer.)
pat got out of bed! he went into the bathroom, used it, and then got back in bed.
at which point i turned on all the lights and told him to get the FUCK OUT OF BED and start packing his stuff for the hospital.
meanwhile, the doctor still hasn’t called me back. now i’m dressed and packed. pat walks into the bedroom in his boxers holding a bottle of scotch. he asks me if i think he should pack it so he can have a celebratory drink when the baby is born.
i’m not making that up.
(the scotch was brought, if you can believe it.)
the doctor calls me back. and is also rather casual with me. why is everyone being so CASUAL? he tells me i can either continue to labor at home if i’m still comfortable or i can head to the hospital if i feel it is time. excusemewhat. in whose world am i supposed to know if it’s “time?” i’m in pain and i think the baby is coming, why don’t you tell me where i need to be THANKS.
i look at pat and tell him i feel like we should go. my contractions are painful and they are pretty close together.
i carry my own suitcase to the car and WAIT FOR PAT. jesus christ.
once we are in the car i can no longer talk because of how much pain i’m in. PAT HAS A WAKE-UP CALL!!! hallelujah, i have my husband back. i can literally feel him come out of his place of shock and denial and begin to look at me like “ooooooh you’re in laaaaabor. k sorry! i’ve got this now.”
we call all our parents and tell them we’re on our way – not to come yet but that we’ll keep them posted as soon as i’m checked in. i check into the hospital around 3 am. i’ve now been in labor for about two and half hours. they admit me, get me into my room and gown, check my dilation (i’m at 4+), and hook me up to the contraction/heartbeat monitors. and then everyone leaves me. and by everyone i mean the nurse and pat. (nurse went to call my doctor, pat went to deal with insurance.) i call my dad and tell him he can think about heading over whenever he’s ready. my water breaks.
“dad, i gotta go, my water just broke.” i press the little red button they tell you to press if you need anything. “yes?” “um hi, my water just broke everywhere and WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYONE.”
up until that point, i was actually worried my water might break and i wouldn’t know it. HAHAHAHAHAHA. like maybe i would think i just peed myself again. or maybe it would happen in the shower and i wouldn’t know. when your water breaks it’s like a waterfall gushes from your vagina. and it’s not like the water you see in a glass at a restaurant. we’ll leave it at that.
i text pat “hi my water just broke.” he runs back into the room like i’ve told him the baby has just been born. the look on his face is almost panic. good thing he has his bottle of scotch.
meanwhile the nurse has returned to help me to the bathroom to change into another gown. and this is the part of the story where i black out. no, really. because once my water broke, i did not have contractions. i had ONE LONG CONTRACTION THAT WOULD NEVER END. it felt like i never. stopped. contracting. i couldn’t speak. i couldn’t open my eyes. i dry heaved. pat said i was making noises he’s never heard a human make. some sort of gutteral moaning sound. i thought i was going to pass out – i really did. i thought “well, this pain is going to knock me out and they will have to give me a c-section to get the baby out.”
i SCREAMED for an epidural. or, i tried to scream. it came out as a mumbled moan. then they make you sign PAPERWORK?! like 20 pages of it. in case the epidural causes something bad to happen. i remember holding the pen while the nurse held the paper for me and signing with my eyes closed. she actually started laughing. OH YEAH REAL FUNNY THE WOMAN IN LABOR IS SIGNING HER NAME ON THE WORDS AND NOT ON THE DOTTED LINE CAUSE SHE’S IN TOO MUCH PAIN TO READ WHAT SHE’S SIGNING OR OPEN HER EYES.
they made pat leave the room while i got my epidural. (where is pat EVER?!) this is when the nurse got awesome. she grabbed my shoulders, made me look her dead in the eye, and said very calmly but seriously “if you can’t sit still for this epidural, it might not take, and then it won’t work. so i’m going to sit you up and try and help you be still.”
when the shot was over the anesthesiologist told pat in the hallway that he’d never witnessed a woman be so still or quiet while inserting the needle.
it took. my feet got numb immediately and that feeling traveled all the way up. i felt like i could breathe again.
pat came back in the room!
the nurse immediately checked me again and i was 9 AND A HALF CM DILATED. um, okay. listen. i’m really, really, very glad i got the epidural. i am. but this basically means i was ready to start pushing by the time they even gave it to me! i had already done so much of the work! so then my doctor came in. (finally. where are all these important people when you need them.) he was worried that because i had just gotten the medicine and it was already time to push that i would have a hard time pushing and it could slow things down. naaaah doc. i got this. i will push my brains out you watch.
they gave me a little oxygen mask to put over my mouth while i was pushing – didn’t know that would happen. the nurse held one knee and pat held the other. she would count to 10 while i pushed and then i’d get a break. but…i started to push past 10. like i’d just keep pushing and the nurse would be like “no! time to stop!” NOW she was worried about me passing out?! i was not gonna pass out, i was alert and ready to get this baby out. the doctor told her to let me push if i felt like i could handle it. so i just kept pushing.
i didn’t really feel a single thing. i got up on my feet in a squat position cause i felt like that would help. it did. pat saw her head. he looked at me like holy.shit.balls. that is her head. that was my motivation to KEEP.pushing.
and then…and then she was born. at 5:51 am. 5 hours and 15 minutes after i had woken up.
now do you see why i’m worried about having e in the car?