Like most expectant mothers, by the time 40 weeks rolled around, I was ready to have my baby NOW. However, I told myself (and everyone else) that he would probably arrive late, thereby hoping to jinx him into coming early. And I guess it worked, because two days before my due date, I was up all night with regular contractions. That morning, I timed them and was thrilled to find that they were only four or five minutes apart. They weren’t too strong yet, though, so I decided to go into work (my office was 2 minutes away from the hospital).
After about an hour, the contractions started picking up the pace a little bit, and since I wasn’t having a particularly productive morning at the office (shocking, I know) I decided I might as well head over to the hospital to see if they’d admit me. I was a little afraid that the nurses would point fingers and laugh if they decided it was too early to admit me (I know you all worry about the same thing deep down) but everyone was very nice and took me seriously. They hooked me up to a monitoring station, where I sat for an hour or so sipping juice before they determined that yes, the contractions were holding steady at 3 minutes apart, but I wasn’t dilated much, so it would be better if I came back when the contractions were stronger in a few hours or so.
A little disappointed, I called my husband (not wanting to be caught driving if the contractions stepped it up), who told me that his office was having a work party at Tucanos for lunch. Spouses were invited, and while it seemed like sort of a weird thing to do to go out to lunch in early labor, we figured it was a free meal of delicious food. So we went. While there, the contractions stepped it up big time, and by the time lunch was over I was about ready to keel over from trying to look perky while wanting to yell and possibly curse every three minutes. My husband’s hand was a mangled claw from my squeezing it under the table.
However, despite the painful lunch, I didn’t want to go back to the hospital unless I was SURE this was real labor (I didn’t want to be sent home twice. Prideful, prideful). The nurses at the hospital had told me to come back when the contractions were so strong I couldn’t talk through them (I never did figure out what they meant by that, by the way. I could yell the whole time. Did that count?) So I went home and tried to take a bath. Tried to watch a movie. But I wanted to die, so I figured that was good enough and went back to the hospital.
They admitted me, thank all that is holy, and things progressed pretty rapidly from there. The epidural wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d thought it would be. In fact, after it was placed I told my husband how much I loved it every five minutes or so for the rest of labor. Only a few hours passed, and I was ready to push. So I pushed. And then pushed some more. And some more. After three hours, they decided my baby just wasn’t angled right, wasn’t going to come on his own, and they needed to do a C-section.
The rest is a little bit of a blur, since by then it was 2 a.m., but after some slicing and dicing and some pain-killer that didn’t quite work, I heard the song I’d been waiting to hear: baby boy’s cry.I’m sure I’ll never forget the moment my husband brought him over and let me see his little face. I think the phrase “all worth it” sums it up pretty well.