I can't believe Jane was born almost a week ago. It feels like just one day. To be fair, I haven't had more than two hours of sleep in a row since last Sunday night, so it really is kind of like one long day.
There are some parenting blogs that go into great detail about the birth of their children. If you want the bells and whistles and gory details, just email me, and I'll be glad to provide. This is not the forum for me to go into great detail about the particulars. But here, with some editing, is what happened last Monday...
I had another NST (non-stress test) last Monday morning. It went pretty well, but they judge these things on both a national level of acceptance and a hospital level of acceptance (which is stricter). The baby was scoring slightly low (in terms of activity) on the hospital level, but no big deal. To be safe, they went on to do a more detailed biophysical exam (basically a fancy ultrasound) and everything looked good, so they sent me on my way.
I was pulling into the garage at work when I got a call from my doctor, who was none too pleased that they let me go. She felt that since I was one day shy of my due date, she had no reason to accept any tests that might be showing an early sign of an issue; in this case, she thought the placenta might be showing signs of maturing. Not a big deal, but if you let something like that go, it can cause complications later, like not providing the baby with enough oxygen. So she told me she wanted to induce me that day, and to go back to the hospital.
Well, I kind of panicked. Sure, yeah, I was thisclose to being due, and I knew it was going to happen, and all of my exams were showing that it was going to happen really soon, but to be told that it was going to happen NOW, today, was...scary. I really didn't want to be induced, because I had heard that labor can be much longer and more painful if you have to be induced. Anyway, I called Greg and my mom and went home to finish packing. Like a total nerd I finished up some work stuff online and cleaned up the house. I think they call that denial.
Here's the part where I will skim. We got to the hospital, they got me ready, they hooked me up to an IV of labor-inducing medicine at about 1:30 p.m., and jacked up the dose every half hour. The contractions started to intensify, they did some more stuff around 4 that really intensified the contractions, and by 4:30 I had finally asked for my epidural. I wanted to go as long as possible without it, but I wasn't going to be a hero and not have one at all. EXCEPT...the anethesiologist was running late with another patient, and it took him about a half hour to get to me and...well, let me just stop here and say, holy *(&!*. I knew, theoretically, that contractions hurt. But I can't even describe the hurt. In fact, I think I've mentally blocked the hurt. Greg was a star and talked me through it all, but oh my Lord, I now truly know the definition of "ouch." Multiplied by a million. I made it through the "transition" part of labor, which is the hardest part, without the epidural. Score one for the scaredy-cat.
Anyway, moving on...I got the epidural around 5:15 and then everything started to move really fast. Initially they told me I'd probably deliver by midnight; I soon was being told it was almost go time, and the nurses kind of had that controlled panic look on their faces as they told me they were calling my doctor to come. I'm pretty sure they didn't think she'd make it in time. In fact, she did, and, la la la, push push push, pain pain pain - at 7:27 p.m., Jane was born.
Whenever I had pictured that moment in my head, I always figured I'd be crying. That the whole experience would just take me over and I would be an emotional basket case. Instead, I felt like it was an out-of-body experience. All of the sudden, it was over. I had done it, this thing that so many women I know have done, and it was so huge, and major, and there was a crying baby there, a baby that belonged to me. I was so scared that there was something wrong with her - I was kind of a maniac, repeatedly asking if she was OK - but they said she was and then soon they handed her to me. And after 40 weeks of worrying EVERY SINGLE DAY about this baby, she was there. Looking back at me. Looking a whole lot like Greg. And all of the sudden, we were a family.