My due date came and went without incident, and my 40 week appointment was the next day. I went in with really mixed feelings- I was achy and sore and irritable. I hadn't slept in days. My hips hurt. I had horrible sciatica. I couldn't breathe. But I also wanted the ultrasound to show that everything was fine, because I really, really didn't want to be induced. REALLY did not want to be induced.
The ultrasound was impossibly, adorably perfect. He was sucking away on his little fingers, fluid levels were good, and his weight was estimated at 8 lbs, 3 oz. He measured fine and his heart rate was fine. I told my doctor I didn't expect her to find any change, but she brightened and told me, "No! You're at just over 3 cm!" So we talked and decided to schedule induction, but she was optimistic he would come on his own. "Tell him to come tonight," she said, "I'm on call!"
(Funny side note: my doctor is part of a huge practice, and I always, always hoped she'd be the one to deliver me, and always had this funny feeling she would deliver our caboose.)
I left telling her I'd see her later that night. Ha ha ha, of course.
And for the rest of the day, felt just awful. Tons of pressure, cramping, hip spasms, you name it. But not a single contraction. I attempted a belly shot while the girls were in the tub, and just couldn't even do it. Stephen came home from work, sighed sympathetically, and we watched tv and went to bed.
I woke up at 1am to go to the bathroom, and realized about three seconds later, aw shit. I don't have to go to the bathroom. I'm in labor. I'm gonna labor through the goddamn night again. SUCK. But then I looked at the clock and thought, ooh! My doctor is on call! Game. ON.
(this is where probably this is boring to everyone on earth but me but I really need to remember all the details so feel free to skip ahead to the adorable picture at the end.)
Stephen woke up shortly after me, and we were at the hospital by 4:15. There wasn't that much progress from earlier in the day, but the nurse assured me that if I was in pain, no worries, we'll watch awhile and I'm sure we'll admit you. Stephen asked, after she left the room, if we were getting sent home. I knew we weren't- this ain't my first rodeo, I AM in labor- but I bet we'll be down here awhile. And after three contractions, the nurse came back and said she'd talked to my doc- admit, epidural, break water, baby! Relief! ...Except not. Because we sat in triage, with me on a narrow, hard stretcher, unable to really move, until 6:30 in the morning. By the time they came to take us upstairs, I was arching off the stretcher and puking. Not cool.
It didn't really look up that much when we first got to labor and delivery- the nurse couldn't get the IV, anesthesia wasn't coming, I was having contractions on top of contractions, and I could feel them changing and started to SERIOUSLY panic- I cannot have this baby without an epidural. I cannot do this. The nurse is calling and calling and calling, and I'm leaning forward on Stephen, which is helping with the pain, but not enough, so I did what anyone would do in that situation, and I bit him.
I. Bit. Him.
What?!??!?! I don't know. I mean, the minute my teeth hit flesh, I actually stopped and thought, dude. I just bit him. What is wrong with me??? The nurse THEN tells me anesthesia went to another room first, and that is when I gave up and just started openly sobbing. Shut up, I was in PAIN, I had been awake all night long, and I was DONE.
Finally they came. And the epidural numbed my legs but not my contractions. And I started sobbing again. After three redoses, finally, I may survive this after all. My doctor came in and told the nurse she had a meeting so the midwife would break my water, but she was close by, so call if things happen quickly. Then she said, "Oh, and I"m not on call anymore, but I'm staying for this one." Which, because I am a dork, made me really happy.
Midwife comes and breaks my water. And oh yes, I am complete, except a small anterior lip. Let me just tell you, in case you needed to know: I never, ever, in my whole life, had any intention of laboring to complete without an epidural. I see no valor in pain. THAT SUCKED.
So the nurses change shift and my nurse is chatting with me and reminds me to tell her if I feel the urge to push, which I'm a little worried about because of all the epidural doses, and so I ask if I can sit up yet, and she says, "Nooo....and actually I need you more on your side right now," and I look up at the monitor and it says the baby's heart rate is in the 50s. And my first thought is equipment malfuction, it happens all the time. And then I listen, and his heart rate is clearly in the 50s. And it's not budging. And I get really, really scared. And the nurse says, "Okaaay, we're calling for OB assess..." and reaches back and pushes a button on the wall that, in my world, is called a code button. Eight million people come running in, and as they're coming, she's telling me to flip on my other side but I can't because I"m dead from the waist down so she actually bodily lifts me off the bed and flips me over and that seems to do it. Everyone starts flashing us those huge "everything is fine! move along! nothing to see here!" smiles at us, and one person perkily informs us that the anterior lip is compressing his head too much, but changing position helped and everything is fine! In the exact same tone of voice I have used a million times at work when I am also internally thinking, you have no idea how close you just came to disaster and I have no time to explain it to you because i need to go change my underwear. So it was a relief to see my doctor walk in, to say the least.
As they were cleaning him up, my doctor had them turn up the lights and look, and was quietly assessing things and pronounced a second degree tear- "I'm so sorry," she said, "You were not going to tear, I know you weren't. But he really had to get out." Sorry?! Good night.
His name is James Jarett. He is perfect.