In two weeks Benjamin will turn two-years-old! He loves to tell everyone that his birthday is “Febu-rary 8th!” This impending milestone and a friend’s birthing story I recently read have inspired me to edit the notes I jotted down about his birth and turn them into a real birthing story. If you’re not interested in the gory details of birth…this story isn’t for you. Go do something else.
(Brief note: this is me 6 months pregnant. I will never post pictures of me right before delivery on the interweb. I only show a handful of friends those pictures. I was wider than I was tall. Really, it’s unbelievable)
It was Friday, February 6th, 2009. I was DONE being pregnant. OVER IT. I was exhausted and uncomfortable. Nay, miserable. The idea of sitting in my office chair at work for one more day was unbearable. “I WILL NOT go to work on Monday. I WILL NOT cut into my maternity leave. I MUST have the baby this weekend,” I unreasonably decided to myself.
After work, Daniel and I took a long walk. This was my general plan: walk until a baby comes out. I was also taking Evening Primrose Oil like there was no tomorrow. We ate spicy Thai food with friends and stayed at the restaurant until late. Just before going to bed at midnight I had the bloody show. It looks exactly like it sounds…just…kinda bloody. Although this doesn’t usually mean you’re going straight into labor, I took it as a sign that my weekend delivery plan was working and told Daniel (who promptly fell asleep). Although excited, I listened to the soporific tones of Jim Dale reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to put me to sleep. I had been having some menstrual crampish contractions for a couple of days but started to have actual contractions immediately after the bloody show. By 3am the contractions were waking me up and becoming regular: 10 minutes apart, 8 minutes, 6 minutes. By breakfast time they had spaced out and early afternoon Daniel and I took a long walk. My mom and I washed baby blankets and clothes and watched North and South, then I took a hot shower.
By late evening the contractions were much stronger. By midnight they were 3-4 minutes apart, strong and had been that way for an hour. After explaining our status with Christy, our midwife, over the phone, we headed to the hospital but when we arrived my contractions began spacing out to six minutes and I was only dilated 2 cm, 90% effaced. They SENT US BACK HOME. I was in no mood to be sent home. I was ready to have a baby. Also, car rides during labor? Not fun. At the hospital they gave me a sleeping pill so I could sleep during the contractions at home. Sleep? During the contractions? Yeah, right. As soon as we got home they picked up again: Night Two of no sleep. By the morning I was doing some serious laboring in my bed. Daniel was pretty sure it was time to go back to the hospital but to my labor-crazy mind, the hospital is the place where they poke and prod you then SEND YOU AWAY. No, thank you, I said. Daniel called Christy and explained the strength of my contractions and how many minutes apart as well as my unreasonable refusal to go back to the hospital. The saintly woman came to our house at noon to check me: 6 cm. Contractions were 3.5 minutes apart. “Please go to the hospital right now. They won’t send you home,” she said.
To be continued…