Friday, September 25, 2009

How I Became a Mommy Again - Part 2

So there I was, bent over the sink, trying to wash the dishes. It seemed that puttering around the house doing light chores was all that it was going to take to bring on full-blown labor. My mom was already on her way to help me wrangle the restless kiddos, and it was a good thing too, because round about 1:50pm I was beginning to seriously consider that fact that I may be in labor. It would take my husband at least an hour and a half to get home, and he was closer to the hospital anyway.

Off and on during the last couple of weeks before I was due I had experienced some unreasonable fears about the sink being full of dishes when I left for the hospital. I know that sounds ridiculous, but hormones can do strange and crazy things to a person. Through the pain that was now coming every five minutes or so, I was genuinely glad that I wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore: the sink would not be full of dishes when I left for the hospital. I continued to shuffle about and tidy up here and there. I put my toothbrush into the overnight bag and got some snacks together to take for the kids. Then I told them to clean up their toys. Let me just say that when a woman is in labor the last thing she wants to do is argue with two toddlers about picking up their mess. I believe I almost cried.

When my mom arrived we grabbed the bags and herded the kids into the car. The drive to the hospital went smoothly (besides some occasional clutching and rapid breathing on my part). We were able to get a close parking spot, and the elevator door opened for us immediately (before having my first child I worked in that hospital for over three years and that just doesn’t happen). There was a bit of a speed bump when we got to the birthing unit though- it seemed that quite a few other women were already in labor and there wasn’t a delivery room immediately available.

It was just about 3:10pm, and I made a quick call to my husband to let him know that we were at the hospital. He wanted to know, was I really sure that I was in labor, because he was terribly dehydrated and needed to stop somewhere to get a beverage? I told him that if I wasn’t in labor this time I would eat my hat, and that he could get a cup of water at the hospital.

While I paced the hall and tried not to scare anyone coming into the unit for their pre-birth visit, the nice lady at the desk was on the phone telling whomever was on the other end of the line that they needed to find me a room because I looked “really uncomfortable.” I think that’s code for “if you don’t get this woman out of the hallway she’s going to cause a scene when her baby pops out onto the floor.” I’m also pretty sure that my pacing was making everyone nervous: my mother kept kindly suggesting that I sit down, and I tried, but pacing seemed to suite me better.

In an effort to preserve the peaceful atmosphere of the hallway the kind nurses decided to put me into a recovery bed while a room was being cleared at the inn. I changed into one of those indecent tushy-baring hospital gowns and was directly delivered into the hands of the chief resident. She promptly hooked me up to the monitors and checked my progress. I was already eight centimeters dilated. Apparently the doctor was right when he predicted that this whole thing would go rather quickly. Now all we needed was for he and Daddy to show up before it was over.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How I Became a Mommy Again - Part 1

As the end of August neared I was beginning to feel like I might be pregnant until apes ruled the planet or Jesus came back. My back ached, my feet were swelling, and my energy levels were pretty much caput. It didn’t help that everyone around me, including the doctor, was incredulous that I hadn’t gone into labor early.

There was also that one false start: about a week and a half before the baby’s estimated arrival date, I was having regular contractions coupled with lots of pressure and was told to go to the hospital to be checked. I really didn’t think I was in labor, but the books (and my mom) all say it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even though my contractions continued at regular intervals during the three hours that I spent in the hospital, my cervix stubbornly stayed at 2cm dilated. I had the pleasure of being “that” person who goes into the hospital pregnant and leaves with the baby still snuggle swimming around in gobs of amniotic fluid.

At any rate, August 29th came and went, and I was still feeling some anxiety about recognizing real labor (which wasn’t helped by the events in the previous paragraph). Three days later, on September 1st, I arrived at the doctor’s office for what I desperately hoped to be my last OB appointment. As it turns out, he had scheduled me to have my water broken at the hospital on the 3rd: due to the size of my first baby and the ensuing difficult delivery, the doctor felt that it was unwise to persist in being pregnant for much longer. One way or the other, that baby was coming out in the next two days. I foolishly thought that being scheduled for induction would take the pressure off of me and that I could put away that annoying stopwatch.

That evening it was business as usual. I went to bed and had to get up around 2am to go to the bathroom. Nothing out of the ordinary. Then the contractions started. They were only coming every twenty minutes or so, but they were bad enough that I couldn’t get back to sleep. I propped myself up on the couch and dozed between them. After a few hours the sun came up and with it up came the kids. We had breakfast; they made a mess; I did a lot of sitting around trying to keep my eyes open.

Things were becoming pretty darn uncomfortable down there, but still the contractions persisted in being punctual every twenty minutes. Owing to the fact that I had been experiencing uncomfortable contractions for weeks at this point, I felt less than benevolent toward my current condition. I was sick of pointless pain that didn’t seem to be accomplishing anything. “Well,” I thought to myself, “the nurses make you walk to bring on labor in the hospital, so I may as well get off my butt and see if I can’t make this thing happen.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: why, oh why, do women look forward to going into labor? Especially those of us who have done it before. It hurts! But somehow we forget the caliber of ouchiness that can be reached and we go on our merry way, walking, and doing housework, eating spicy food, and any number of other things to get to that blessed place of mind-numbing pain faster. Even now as I type this and cradle my new little treasure I think, “is it really all that bad?”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Life at Present

No, I did not fall off the face of the earth. Neither was I abducted by aliens. Nor did I have an accident involving angry buffaloes. What I did have was a baby. And she is so sweet and cute that I've been having difficulty finding the time to blog about my life, which right now consists of snuggling this sweet little angel face and taking care of her darling siblings. Perhaps one day I shall have a laptop which would make blogging while snuggling a little bit easier. But, really, who can blame me? Wouldn't you rather squeeze this tiny pumpkin instead of sitting in a hard computer chair tucked away in a corner of your bedroom simply thinking and typing about squeezing her? I knew you would understand!

The PG rated version of my birth story soon to follow!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

She's Finally Here!

This sweet little girl arrived in quite a hurry at 4:01pm Wednesday, September 2nd.

7 pounds 20 inches