On Tuesday November 27th around 5am I woke up for my hourly trip to the bathroom. A 50 lb baby really takes its toll on your bladder…. Anyway, as I rocked and rolled myself out of bed (surely comic relief if anyone had seen it) and stood up I had the strange feeling maybe I didn’t make it to the bathroom. It wasn’t a lot, but enough to know that something was out of place. I realized that it was possible that my water had broken so I ran (ok, slowly waddled) downstairs to the computer to do an internet search for the signs of someone’s water breaking (yes, I’ve done this before and no, I’m not an idiot). Since I wasn’t having contractions, I took the advice to lay down for 20 minutes then stand back up to see if it happened again. It did. Twice. That combined with the smell of “Comet” (yes, apparently amniotic fluid smells like Comet. I didn’t believe either it but it’s true) pretty much was the proof I needed. So, I jumped in the shower – there was no way I was going to the hospital not clean.
By then it was around 6:30 am and Ed came groggily into the bedroom to shower (he’d been banished to the couch for my comfort). I told him what was going on and we paged the doctor. The doctor told us to go to the hospital but that we had some time to drop the dogs and our son off at the appropriate assigned caregivers. Since we’ve moved almost an hour away from both our family and the hospital where I was to give birth, Ed was even more of a crazy driver than usual, especially when I told him I started having mild contractions. He’s fairly calm in these situations, but he channels Mario Andretti when driving to begin with, and that day he was Mario Andretti on speed (no pun intended)!
We safely made it in under an hour to my Mom’s house (about 10 minutes from the hospital) where we deposited both canine and human children. By that time I had to pee but everyone told me just to stay in the car. By then, Ed could smell the comet smell and my contractions, while still mild, were fairly regular. I didn’t listen, and ran into to the house. No worries, we made it to the hospital on time.
At the hospital, they did all the normal things you do when in labor. Asked me a million questions, had me sign my life away, made me wear an oh-so-stylish open back gown and set me up on all the monitors. I’d been through this part before when they induced my son so it was fairly familiar. Well, almost….until the word enema was mentioned. I seriously tried to leave. Then I flat out refused. Then I gave in. Then I sat on the toilet. It’s amazing how immodest one becomes once like 3 or 4 people have not only viewed your nether regions, but poked at them as well. When I asked my doctor about that fun experience he insisted that it reduces labor pain. Funny, I wonder how HE knows that.
By 5pm the doctor decided that since my contractions were regular, though not strong enough and I wasn’t dilated enough, that he would help the process with some induction medicine. Apparently once your water breaks you have 24 hours to deliver or you end up with a c-section because of the risk of infection and fluid loss to the baby. The induction worked. By 7pm I was screaming for an epidural. My doctor asked me to try Demerol first. Let me say….I ADORE Demerol. It put me in a state of semi-consciousness where I wasn’t feeling any pain for almost an hour and a half. Wee…………. Then it wore off. Then I screamed some more for an epidural. My doctor told me they were looking for the anesthesiologist, but in hind-sight Ed and I both think he bamboozled us. He doesn’t like epidurals and believes you recover quicker without them.
They gave me another shot of Demerol AND IT DIDN”T WORK. Within seconds I was yelling that I had to push and nurses were yelling back at me not too. I’ve never seen a group of people move that fast! Then the shaking began. Oh my gosh! I was lucky I didn’t shake right off the bed or crack any teeth. Man! Wasn’t easy to push that way either. I actually did have trouble pushing this time. With Jake I was a champ, but with this one I think the Demerol messed with my head a little too much. I just couldn’t get the timing. I kept breathing when I was supposed to be holding it and pushing. At one point, the baby’s heart rate dropped and they had me on oxygen and broke out the vacuum. I’m glad I didn’t know until it was over that they used it…I was too out of it. Too bad I wasn’t too out of it to feel the pain.
So, Abigail was born at 9:11 pm that day. She had fluid in her lungs and needed to be cleaned out with a tube. We had few incidents in the next few days with her choking and having trouble breathing so they cleaned her out again and she’s been fine since.