Monday, June 20, 2011

Am I in labor? Labor #4

This time, I had the feeling it was going to be a boy, and I was right!  I was also pretty certain that I had his name picked out, but I wanted to wait until he was born to make the final decision.

The THREE previous children had all been born during week 37 of my pregnancy, either the beginning, middle, or end of that week, so when it came time for my mother to come help, we planned to have her come week 37.  I became VERY GRUMPY as the week wore on, and the time for my mother to leave quickly approached, and there was still NO BABY.  I was very concerned about how big he was going to be, considering how big the others had been despite arriving early.  I ended up taking Marie to see the doctor that week because she had an ear infection.  After we got home from our appointment, the doctor's office called to let us know that while we had been there, someone had brought their child in with chicken pox.  NICE!  Then I not only worried about whether or not this baby was going to make an appearance while I had help, but I also worried that we were going to have chicken pox at our house with a new baby!  (Thankfully, there ended up being no chicken pox at our house.)

I did not want to make so many unnecessary trips to the hospital this time, so I thought back carefully over my experience with Marie and decided that frequency and regularity of contractions was NOT what I was looking for, despite popular opinion.  My clue that it was time to leave for the hospital was wanting to punch smack ANYONE near me who dared to BREATHE in my presence bother me when I was having a contraction.  I thought it was pretty sad that, so far, the only time I'd been able to tell that I was in labor was the time my water broke!

We were down to 3 days left with my mom.  Marie still had her ear infection and was very grumpy because of that.  I had been having an irritating contraction about every 45 minutes or so, but, despite the determined get-this-labor-moving walk we had taken that evening, nothing seemed to be happening.  I got up with Marie around midnight and ended up rocking her for an hour, and by the time I put her down I noticed that the contractions were hurting, but they were still very irregular.  I tried to go back to sleep for an hour or two, but I felt like someone was stabbing me in the stomach every so often, and I really wanted to smack someone during each stabbing incident.......hey!  I must be in labor!  I woke Husband up around 3am, and we told Mom that we were going to the hospital.  This was 8 days before his due date.

Of course, as soon as we started for the hospital, the contractions slowed down again, and I was worried that they were going to send me home, but when the doctor checked me I was dilated to 7cm.  (OF COURSE, it was the ONE doctor I didn't want because he had gone to high school with my brother-in-law!  OF COURSE!)  My labor had gone pretty quickly the previous 2 times, so I thought I would try doing it without drugs this time.  I was able to easily talk through my contractions, so I decided to walk down the hall to see if I could get things moving along.  By the time I got to the end of the hall, I realized that I had made a BIG MISTAKE in getting so far away (30 feet or so) from my room.  Suddenly I felt like I was going to throw up during each contraction, I also felt like I was going to pee on myself if I relaxed during the contractions, and I still had to get back to my room! 

By the time I got back to my room, I was dilated to 9cm.  I didn't want to start screaming at everyone in the room every time I had a contraction pee all over myself, and I couldn't stand the contractions without being able to relax, so I had my nurse send for the anesthesiologist.  The wonderful nurse lied and said I was only dilated to 8cm so that the anesthesiologist would give me something, and I opted for a spinal block this time.  The only worry was that it would wear off before the baby came (For some reason, I could never think clearly during labor.  It was pretty obvious THE BABY WAS COMING!).  I LOVED the spinal!  It took the edge off of the contractions, but I could still feel them and I could move. 

My contractions never did get regular.  Even when it was time for me to push, I would push through one contraction and then we would all wait and wait and wait (with every part of me just HANGING OUT for all the people in the room to see) for the next one;  thankfully it only took pushing through 2 or 3 contractions for him to come out.  I thought the spinal was GREAT.....until I FELT THE BABY CROWN!  (Later, I asked someone why nobody had warned me that I would feel the baby come out, and she said, "Oh, you didn't feel the baby crown.  You only felt 'pressure'."  ?!?!?!?!?!? I guess we have differing definitions of the word "pressure".)  After feeling that, I thought FOR SURE he had done some damage on his way out, but no!  All 8 pounds 11 ounces and 19.8 inches of him made it out without leaving permanent, severe damage necessitating any stitches.  He was born at 6:49AM.

Again, I had the extraordinary experience of holding my new baby as soon as he was out of my body.
My BRAND NEW baby!!
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY CHILD-BEARING EXPERIENCE, when I looked at his sweet little face, he actually looked like the name I had picked out!  (He still looked like a cute little stranger, though;  quite adorable, but no "AHA!" moment when I looked into his eyes.)  On this blog, I will call him "Joseph".

Minutes old!  The serious face!

When I looked at him later, I really thought he looked like a sumo wrestler or a football player:

He had a little crimp on his right ear.  I loved it when my babies had something like that because then I could be CERTAIN there were no baby mix-ups while we were at the hospital =).


Anonymous said...

Few things are better than newborn froggy legs!

Joanne said...

I am mad jealous about the holding the baby right away, but not of the "pressure", youch! Your made up baby names are v. similar to my kids real names, ha!

Doing My Best said...

Mrs. Irritation--SO TRUE!

Joanne--I think we have GREAT taste in names ;-)!

Laura Diniwilk said...

YES, he TOTALLY looks like a football player! I love that you have a bajillion kids so I get to read so many birth stories in one sitting :) Birth stories make me happy.