About me

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Precipitous G

Stories about becoming parents are so close to my heart.  I love to hear stories about labor and delivery, from the unplanned home-birth to the C-section determined months in advance.  My favorite, however, are the speeding-to-the-hospital-almost-didn't-make-it ones.  Perhaps it's because I loved hearing the story of my brother's birth: two weeks before his due date, my parents racing to the hospital, labor a mere 70 minutes from start to finish.  So now that I have my own precipitous labor story to share, please indulge me.  I'll try not to get too technical.

Looking back, I think that labor really began on Tuesday.  For the boring story, read this whole post.  For the really interesting story, skip to the last few paragraphs.

I woke up on Tuesday in a touchy and grumpy mood;  bouts of insomnia and contractions had made my Monday night super fun.  As we began school work for the day, I found myself doing as much cleaning and contracting as I was doing instructing.

I had a doctor's appointment at noon, and the doctor revealed that my body's preparations had progressed slightly since the previous week.  She also offered to perform a procedure that might possibly encourage labor (to which I enthusiastically agreed).   I left the office feeling very excited, only to be a little disappointed to come home and read online how the procedure is no guarantee of labor.

Throughout the day on Tuesday, I kept having contractions, which were neither strong nor regular.  I set about to ignore them, and instead took care of some pressing homeschool business: photographing our basketball drills. (The weather was unseasonably warm--over 70 F--which is why we're wearing shorts.)

At around 4 pm, B left with M for Greek school, and I decided to call the pediatrician about Z, who had been sick for a couple of days with a fever and terrible cough.  I explained to the receptionist that I was very close to my due date, and asked if we could be seen that afternoon.  Unfortunately the only appointment available was for the next day.  (It turns out that Z had pneumonia, which led to total craziness, but that's a different story.)

By suppertime, I was feeling quite exhausted and irritable.  I put T to bed, and made Z lie down early  with a book and took a shower.  When B and M returned from Greek school, B decided that we should watch The Bourne Supremacy because a part of it takes place in Moscow and he's going through his annual Russian phase.  We timed my contractions for an hour--they were every six minutes but not painful.  When I ate a bowl of cereal, they stopped altogether.

And Tuesday night was like Every. Other. Previous. Night.
Occasional contractions.
Nothing productive.
No labor.

And then, at 5:30 am, things got INTERESTING.
 (For those wanting to read the good parts version, start here.)

I had two very strong contractions within 5 minutes, and just somehow knew that I was in labor.  After doing a quick happy dance, I roused B.  His response was: "Well, I'm not going to get out of bed yet.  Why don't you call the OB and then we'll see."

To which I responded.  "No, dear, this is it.  Please get out of bed and get moving."  (He was still in bed 15 minutes later.)

I then called the OB on call and waited for 15 minutes while he called me back.  I described my symptoms.  He also seemed pretty skeptical that I was really in labor, but told me to come on in to the hospital.

At this point it was 6 am, and I had finally convinced B to get out of bed and get T ready to go.  I changed out of my pajamas and got the big kids up and dressed, all while pausing to breathe through very strong contractions every five minutes or so.  We weren't really sure how we were going to provide care for the kids.  A working friend had volunteered her house (for its proximity to the hospital) and her sister had volunteered to drive over while she went to work.  So, when we were finally in the car at 6:15 am, we called her to let her know that B would be coming with the kids.  I made B promise to get a special treat for the kids to have for breakfast.

I then convinced him to drop me off at the hospital first, despite the fact that my contractions had slowed to every eight minutes or so.

I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am, and had no idea where to go.  I wandered for a couple of minutes before I asked someone, and then trekked up to the third floor.  The admitting nurses were a little disappointed when they saw me.  We joked about how they were all prepared to catch the baby the minute I stepped out of the elevator.  My OB called by chance while I was at the desk, and said she'd be right over. I filled out the paperwork, and the nurses told me to sit down.  I couldn't sit, but paced a little until my nurse came to lead me to a room.

My nurse looked at me a couple of times, and then said "You don't look like you're in enough pain.  I can't decide if I should take you to triage or to a delivery room."

By some amazing inspiration, I said to her that appearances can be deceiving, and requested that she check my progress.  She agreed, led me to a room, and told me to change into a gown.

I'll never forget the look on her face when, at around 6:50 am, she checked me.

"Oh! You're at 9 cm!"

The next 10 or 15 minutes were a blur, but I remember that the room suddenly filling with people and being asked a lot of, what I thought at the time were, silly questions.  At one point I was asked my date of birth, and the next question was "How old are you?"  In my head I wondered why the person asking couldn't do the math, but I managed to be civil when I answered.

I also remembering apologizing a lot because I couldn't not push.

At 7:10, my OB arrived, and managed to elbow the on call OB out of the way in time to catch G at  7:19 am.

And at 7:35 am, I saw B's shoes under the curtain that covered the door.

His first words?  "I thought I told you to wait until I got here!"

It couldn't be helped, dear.

 G's smallest, biggest fan.

So, welcome, G--all 9 pounds, 4 ounces of you.  We're so glad that you've joined our family.  (And now the girls are outnumbered 2 to 1.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


(Whoops!  Forgot to post this earlier.)

... that another boy child has joined our family.


born on December 5, 2012
9 lbs, 4 oz
21 1/2 in