HAAA-ppy NEEEWW YEAR!! (Did you put the Em-PHA-sis on the right sy-LA-ble? Good.) Hope it has started it off wonderfully for you all. Here in the Heartland it has gone reasonably well, despite this being one of Dave’s holidays to work. There is snow on the ground outside, lots of tracked in snow inside, wet coats and hats strewn about and my agenda for today includes a nice heap of laundry to fold and two filthy bathrooms to scour. I’d say 2013 seems vaguely familiar. Annnnnyway…
Now that Evelyn is well on her way to her two-monthversary and I am finally about to post her birth story, I wonder if it is obvious what my new year’s resolution is. Good guess. Yes, I am finally going to put together our wedding album from 8.5 years ago. I figure it is best to work backwards to it though, so we’ll start with the most recent undocumented event, little Ev’s big debut. And also, I understand if you gentlemen readers decide to scoot right about now. I’m 98% sure I just lost Dave, but there is a 1% chance he stuck around to correct my misremembered deets and a 1% chance that he stuck around just to be nice. So without further ado…
It was a Sunday morning around 6:45 and I got up to get a drink of water. Oh the irony! On the way to the sink, I realized that either my water had broken or I was suffering from incontinence at the ripe old age of 30. But since I had never had my water break with the other kidlets before they had to break it in the hospital, I decided to snatch the denial card and go with the latter. I also decided against telling Dave, just in case he would try to counter with the rational card and make me head to the hospital right away. There was no great gush and it didn’t seem like much “water”, so I just showered and got ready for church. On the way to Mass, I decided I should probably tell Dave about the little predicament I found myself in just in case.
Dave, predictably cautioned against going to Mass and tried to convince me to go to the hospital. He had this crazy theory that an ounce or two of fluid would not be the end of it all. Regardless, I insisted we just go to church and we’d decide later. I guess I’m pretty lucky I avoided a potentially mortifying experience of my water breaking completely in church and I really pressed my luck because I even insisted we head to coffee and donuts. It takes a lot for me to pass up C&D, and I guess an impending bodily deluge was not enough. Dave was about to clobber me, but was a good sport and said we could go.
We got home and my “incontinence” returned and still I insisted that we could not leave for the hospital until I did a load of laundry, changed all the sheets in the house and maybe vacuumed. Dave finally put his foot down and said it was time to go, explaining that if it was indeed a leaking bag of waters and I was still not having contractions, they would probably induce me and if we didn’t go soon I’d be looking at a very long night. So off we went to the hospital, praying all the time that Dave’s colleagues would not discover that I was incontinent after all.
Last time we went to the hospital to have a baby, Dave was just a rookie intern and hadn’t even done an OB rotation, so we didn’t quite understand that unless you declared a full-blown embargo on residents entering your room from the moment they put you in a triage room, you might end up with 15 people at the birth and your husband’s colleagues coming in to high five and congratulate you while you are awkwardly stuck in stirrups post delivery. In retrospect, had I but known, I might have sent out an evite and declared it a potluck. Nonetheless, I had Dave call ahead of us and say in a nice clear voice that there would be absolutely no residents involved. No matter how annoying that request might be for the residents who run the floor, I was not backing down. The amniotic fluid test came back positive and since the monitor is the only way I found out I was having light contractions, we decided (well they, I just smiled and nodded) to start Pitocin as I was hardly dilated (this is when my water went ahead and broke completely in a not-at-all awkward way right then and there. I did forget to mention that this story like most birth stories is brought to you by the word “awkward”.).
So I was admitted and I was assigned a nurse, whom everyone told me I was lucky to have because she normally is working for the nurse anesthetists, but was working PRN for L&D on holiday weekends. I’m pretty sure lucky doesn’t quite convey it well enough. She was out-of-this-world aaahhmazing and she ended up being the only one with Dave and I in the room for nearly the entire labor. She controlled the Pit, checked me infrequently and was able to coach me through the whole labor, even finding ways to help relieve the burning back labor I had from a child who remained stubbornly “sunny-side up” until she finally turned two minutes before I was declared “complete”. (BTW, I fully believe she was only face up because I had never heard of such a thing until my friend told me her delivery story that included this strange terminology right before I went into labor, and I distinctly remember thinking how horrible it sounded and feeling really thankful that after three births without it, surely I would never have it happen–ha!)
So that is the most eventful part of the story. Now I know it’s not the norm, but I didn’t find induced labor more painful than non induced. I think they are both awful and I prefer to opt out of the meds, not because I’m a masochist, (which one can reasonably question if you saw the amount of crafts i have pulled out to do with the kids this Christmas break–no, no, I assure you that is mere stupidity), but primarily because I really like the idea of being able to get up, not be cath’ed and of avoiding any extra spectators in the room. Oh let me just go ahead and add to the list my fear of large needles near my spine and the long list of caveats that you have to hear before getting blocked. So there you have it.
I must say I am certainly a more interesting patient without meds as I get quite loopy and often exclaim super awkward things to my doctor while calling her by her first name, like “Oh, Shannon, thank you so much for being my doctor! I have just loved having you! Isn’t childbirth AMAZING?!!” This time, as my doctor wasn’t there and I had the unknown “on-call” doctor, I nervously joked in a what I’m sure was a completely natural manner and not at all weirdly told him, “I’m glad I don’t know your first name, heheheh.” Thankfully, Dave was there to apologize for me and the doctor responded, “Oh that’s quite alright, she can call me Clifford if she wants to.” I’m just thanking our merciful Father that I have no recollection of the doctor giving that response. (Dave later supplied that info.) I’m not sure what kind of lame jokes I probably would have made at the expense of that kind doctor and his most unfortunate name.
So Evelyn Jane was born and her name was finalized by Dave at around 9.5 cm, but he claims I was the one who proclaimed it, though once more my memory fails. At any rate, I have no real regrets there and I think it suits her just fine. Well, one regret is that Gen can’t quite get it right and sometimes calls her Eleanor and sometimes Elwin, but who could have predicted that? And it is so much nicer to not be deliberating about a name choice 12 hours after the birth with the social security and birth certificate monkeys breathing down your necks.
And the kids react to Evelyn’s inaugural arrival home.
PS–And I realize I didn’t put in any fun details about how long labor lasted. Since you truly care, I’ll tell you. We got checked in at 1:30 p.m., they started Pit around 2 p.m. and contractions became uncomfortable around 4 p.m., at which point they checked me and said I was at 4cm. Somehow, not too long after I got to 7 cm. At around 7 p.m., they said I was 9 cm and this is when the doctor did a really fun manipulation to get the baby to go face down, which to this day I am amazed I lived through. And at 7:15, Evelyn was in my arms.