I was so determined to go late with her, I should have known she would come early. The wednesday before I went into labor, I was telling everyone who would listen that I could easily go for another month feeling the way I did. Then I went went for the internal exam that changed it all, heh...
I know the doctor expected me to be more dilated than I was at that appointment, but when she told me I was dilated at all, it made me nervous. I have this totally unfounded theory that women either dilate slowly ahead of time, or all at once, and since I was an "all at once" with Gracie, and went into labor within days of being told I'd started dilating, I worried I wouldn't go late after all. When I had all kinds of crazy pressure the rest of the day and night, I worried I wouldn't even make it til March. But denial is a strong thing, and even though my BFF the L&D nurse kept saying, "Um. You might want to consider that you're in labor...", I laughed and said, "oh, PISH. Cervix of steel, remember?!"
4am on February 25th, I was rudely awakened by painful contractions. I told myself it was just false labor from the exam, but I knew better. I don't even really remember if I had any more contractions while I laid in bed, but I was so amped up I couldn't fall asleep again. And all I could think was, dangit, I really wanted a March baby!!
I got showered and dressed and ready for work as if nothing was happening- if it WAS false labor, I was going to feel like a complete jackass if I stayed home and acted like I was maybe in labor. I had contractions the whole time, but tried to write it all off. I carried Grace down the stairs, I was bending over too far and too long, etc...but I also painted my toenails, just to be safe. I told Stephen I didn't think I"d make it til March, but I was NOT in labor, and he should go to sleep. I didn't think he believed me, but I guess I was more convincing than I felt, because he actually did get some sleep that day, thank GOD.
I went to work and the contractions started in earnest. Everyone was watching me like a hawk while I tried to pretend nothing was happening- again, denial is a strong thing, and I just kept thinking, if I'm not really in labor, I'm going to feel so stupid. So I went and hid in my office...and the contractions spread waaay out. The doctor had said not to wait too long before calling, second babies come faster, but I was NOT about to call the office having contractions ten minutes apart. I got up and walked around, and they came back instantly. At one point, I went down to the cafeteria, and literally seconds after a blinding contraction, saw an infectious disease fellow who jokingly said to me, "what, haven't had that baby yet?!" I smirked and walked away.
The pattern repeated the whole time I was at work- try to walk around, have contractions, get annoyed by PEOPLE (I just kept thinking, wtf, why are all these RESIDENTS here????), go back to the office, contractions stop. Finally decided after my coworker showed up that I really needed to go home. I drove home, stopping at McDonald's for lunch (I wanted one last splurge!) (ha. yeah. I continue to splurge.) and came in the house to find Stephen sleeping on the couch. No, Stephen wide awake on the couch, on the verge of a heart attack, wondering who was coming in the house in the middle of the day. I sent him upstairs to keep sleeping and tried to keep contractions going. Bounced on the exercise ball- that made them stop. Swept the kitchen. That made them continue, but damn, cleaning is annoying. Walked on the treadmill, that made them continue, but was boring and irritating. I finally broke down and called the doctor's office.
The nurse was skeptical when I told her my contraction pattern, until I told her it was my second baby, when she became far more serious and told me to come in to be seen.
I woke Stephen up, and was shocked by how calm he was. As I was slammed by a contraction, he said something about "...if this turns out to be go time..." and I grunted, "THIS IS GO TIME." I guess that's what he needed to hear? Because his whole boogey changed, and we were out the door in seconds.
Disgustingly lost my mucous plug in the doctor's office waiting room. You know you wanted to know that.
After the world's shortest NST, the doctor pronounced that I was dilated to 4cm and obviously in labor, and should head to the hospital. She asked if I wanted an epidural. HA. I wanted one TWO HOURS BEFORE SHE ASKED ME.
While we were moving the car from the doctor's office to the hospital, Stephen, in an attempt to distract me, said, "OK. We need to talk girls names." The only reason I did not kill him was because our child needed a father.
We called our parents from the hospital, and I writhed around the couch in OB reg. People stared and I was mortified. It sucked.
We finally got sent to L&D, and rode the elevator with two other couples. One was really friendly and chatty. The other barged ahead of all of us to the registration desk, told the woman behind the desk that she was 41 weeks pregnant and there for induction. They had not registered downstairs, and actually started an argument with the woman about whether or not they would go back down there to register. I have a really clear memory of turning and giving Stephen the world's biggest "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???" look ever, and he took my arm and pulled me back. I mean, SERIOUSLY?!
FINALLY, we got into L&D. My nurse started the IV right away, and I expected things to be just like the day Grace was born- instant epidural.
I waited another hour and a half, writhing and cursing and progressing to tears when I heard my nurse and the anesthesia nurse whispering to each other, convinced I was never going to get the epidural and that I would have to deliver without it. Some dipshit ER resident, doing his OB rotation, came in to do some pointless ultrasound to see if the baby was head down. God I hate residents.
Epidural finally in place, I settled in for the fun part of labor. We could pick a girl's name, get online, update friends, relax, and enjoy the process. Except then the on-call doctor came in, found me at 6cm, broke my water, and told me the baby would be here within the hour. whaaaa??? NO!!
Sure enough, within seconds, my contractions changed, and I knew it was time to push.
Pushing this time was amazing. I could see everything, and as I felt Katie slide out, I looked down and turned to Stephen, who said at the same time, "it's a girl!!!"
The first month of Grace's life felt like running the marathon. I felt every. single. step. Every second. It was agony. I thought there was no way I would survive, that surely I could not do it.
This month has flown by in the blink of an eye. It's totally unreal to me that Katie is a whole month old. And the fact that it went by so quickly makes me awfully nervous about how quickly the rest of this year will go by. I'm no fan of the newborn period, to be sure, but because I've done it before, I know: the best is yet to come.