I always love hearing labor and delivery stories. No matter how many episodes of a Baby Story you watch, you just never know what to expect. Like I approach most things in life, I went in with a vague idea of how it might go, knowing all the possibilities but keeping an open mind.
Thursday morning I noticed some cramps and typical aches and pains. At this point I was 4 days overdue. Aches and pains, as well as frustration and exhaustion, were a daily issue. So I didn't give it too much thought.
I went to work as usual. The cramps/aches/pains were coming and going, but nothing consistent or alarming. I didn't know what contractions were supposed to feel like. So I convinced myself these were not them and started timing them anyway. They started at around 12-15 minutes apart at 8am then got closer throughout the day. But I was still able to work and walk around and talk, which further convinced me it wasn't real.
I got home at the usual time, called the doctor and told him "I think something might be happening but I dunno. Just gonna wait it out a while." I didn't want to be one of those people who was sent home or labored in the hospital for dozens of hours. I preferred to go through as much as possible at home, where I was comfortable. I called my mom to give her the heads up, but told her it might be a while. She warned me that even the first baby can happen fast, so I should be careful. She almost had my sister in the car! Always listen to your mom, kids. Lesson learned... again.
Tony and I made a nice dinner of baked ziti, and never got to eat it. Cuz by around 6pm it was time to go. And I figured my doctor and nurses wouldn't want to see baked ziti vomit in the delivery room floor. If this was really it, I mean. Still unconvinced.
The ride to the hospital was rough. Contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart, although they seemed to be right on top of eachother. Tony did his best to avoid bumps and I kept breathing. Not sure if you've heard this, but contractions HURT. By the time we got to the hospital and the doctor checked me, I was 3 cms dilated. Oh, so I'm not being sent home? This is really happening? Wait, no. I changed my mind! Toooo late.
Details are a little hazy at this point. Things happened FAST. I got an epidural not long after we arrived. But it didn't work at first. Did you know that sometimes they don't work? Things they don't tell you. I spent another hour or two feeling ev-ry-thing... except my feet. Not helpful. The doctor checked me again and I was 5 cms. The epidural doc finally came back in and upped the dosage. Now I couldn't feel eh-ny-thing. Total numbness. Ahh.. that was nice.
An hour later, I was 10 cms and ready to push. Uhhh.. what?! It was 10:30pm. We had been there about 3 1/2 hours. The people in the room next to us had been there since 7am that morning and weren't 10 cms yet. I was all, guys you're doing it wrong. I am so much better at this than you!
I pushed through total numbness. Like when you get novacaine at the dentist and they ask you to spit water and it gets all over you. Except waaaay different. Cuz I was trying to spit out a baby. And I couldn't feel a damn thing. I had no idea if I was making any progress. Tony and the nurse coached me through and assured me I was doing great. Thank god for them. I even turned to Tony a few times when the nurse stepped away, asking him if they were just bullshitting me. He kissed me on the forehead and reassured me again. Love of my life, that man.
It was such a relaxed, calm environment. Not like in the movies. I wasn't freaking out or sweating or biting on a stick (can't speak for Tony though), I was just kinda doing it.
And then he was there. 12:08am. Our baby Des. They put him on my chest and I couldn't get over how much dark hair he had! Where did that come from?? Des was screaming and grabbed my finger right away. Quite a grip, my strong boy. Me and Tony and the baby were in our own little world. Laughing and crying and giggling. The doctor still had some work to do on me (epidurals, they are good when they finally work). Nurses were around doing their thing. I have no idea. They let me hold my baby there for a long while, Tony cut the cord. It was amazing. The doctor guessed the weight was 7 lbs 4 oz. Wrong! 8 lbs 10 oz. And I felt every one of them. Still do. Ow.
Now we're a new family. A tired, sore, happy family. I am still recovering phsyically (seriously, ow), and mentally drained. But wow. What an experience. What a life I have. If only everyone could be so lucky.