Eliza was born on October 14th, 2011 at 3:41 pm. 7 lbs, 6.6 oz. 19.5” long. Originally purple but pinked up quite nicely. Lots of indignant yelping upon exit of her original abode.
Y’all, that was cool. This whole pregnancy, I’d been saying I wasn’t that worried or focused on the whole labor/baby arrival part – I’ve been much more anxious about what happens after. Mostly, I meant that I knew one way or another, I’d end up with a baby, whether she came out the front door or the sunroof. It would take no more than 48 hours, it would probably hurt quite a bit, and I’d probably be distracted enough at the end that it wouldn’t really matter. And that ended up being totally true, but I didn’t anticipate how neat it would all be.
I went into labor while I was cooking dinner with the grandparents to be on Thursday Oct. , after having my membranes swept at my appointment earlier that afternoon. Basically I was having regular contractions that were getting slowly more intense (just like they said it would be! hah.). At some point during dinner, my dad noticed me wincing and gripping the edge of the table every now and again, and called me out for being in labor. I said that we would see, as I was still relatively convinced the contractions would stop or slow down. I didn’t start timing them until several hours later, after Kevin got home from soccer and everyone but my mother-in-law had gone home for the night. The contractions were about 4 minutes apart and a minute long, but weren’t speeding up or getting notably more intense. We ended up calling my doctor to see what he’d like us to do, figuring he’d say wait a while and come in eventually. But no, he wasn’t that busy and was already at the hospital (I think he lives there), so he said come now and get checked. So off we went, at about 11 pm 11/13…
Got put in a limbo room and all hooked up and checked, and I think I was at ~1 – 2 cm (i.e. not much further than I had been at my appointment earlier that day), which was disappointing. So we started walking… 45 minutes out of each hour, round and round the L&D wing. After 2 or 3 hours, though I hadn’t gotten past 3 cm, they went ahead and admitted me and we moved to a birthing suite. I spent the next million hours walking, bouncing on a ball, and getting progressively more tired. My contractions still weren’t really ramping up that much, and it turned out my cervix wasn’t really doing too much either – when they checked me around 6 am, I was still at 3 cm. So they decided to break my water – that happened around 7:30 am, and I think I made it through TWO (2!) contractions post-water before I was BEGGING for an epidural. It was in place shortly thereafter, and I commenced sitting still. The epidural really was nice, though I didn’t want it (why take the risk if you can make it without it? but I was WAY too tired at that point) – I certainly didn’t like not being able to feel my legs and having to sit still, but I couldn’t feel my contractions at all. I should have slept but I didn’t really.
Probably because that was when we had the singular bad nurse of the whole experience – stinky old lady nurse, wearing old lady perfume, and not answering my questions (“because that’s the way we do it” is not a sufficient answer, dude). She was also technology averse. We got along fabulously. Also, after my epidural got placed, my contractions went all wonky and irregular, so they hooked me up to pitocin. Which didn’t seem to help, but whatevs… I couldn’t feel anything. If you’re keeping track, that’s two things I really wanted to avoid that I ended up not caring about at all (epidural and pitocin). Also during this time, I started having wonderful puking sessions. I HATE puking in front of people, and in fact had managed not to do it in my memory. So that was great.
Fortunately the shift changed at 12:30, and my new nurse Jenny was FANTASTIC. She finally checked me for the first time since my epidural got placed, around 3:00 pm – I swear I thought she was going to say I hadn’t progressed, because my contractions looked deranged and irregular and weak on the monitor, but nope – I was at 10 cm, ready to go. Turns out all the puking was transition, heh.
So then I decided I didn’t care if my mom and MIL stayed in the room, as long as they basically stayed up north. Also, Carolyn got recruited to hold a leg, for which I be forever grateful, because that was pretty much above and beyond the call of duty. Oh, you’re going out of town in a hour? Thanks for visiting and could you just hold my leg and try not to be grossed out for a while? Thaaanks. So that’s a big 3 for 3 on eating my words. I only stuck to my guns on no dudes except Kevin – though I think dad and FIL didn’t want to be in there anyhow
So la di da, pushed for a while, and eventually the baby started to make an appearance (and the doctor came in). I couldn’t feel anything, of course, except some weird pressure, but everyone poked the head and said it was cool. I mostly thought it was weird. Eventually, after her head was out and her shoulders, the doc told me to reach down and pull her out. I was like, what? No, that’s your job! But I did it anyways… I really almost declined, but man I’m glad I didn’t. That was so cool – I pulled her out and up onto my chest and biology went all crazytown and I totally got that wave of happy maternal emotions that I had cynically thought was bullshit. I’m all crying and happy and I have this gooey human on my chest that I just pulled out of my brewster – WEIRDEST experience of my life. But AWESOME.
The medical folks took her and cleaned her up and did some tests (she passed them all, obviously, because she is an overachiever) and then gave her back. Everyone was excited and happy and lots of pictures and videos were taken, and we all lived happily ever after, until Eliza mauled my boobs.