Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How Mothers are Made : Early Labor

After 9 months of the best pregnancy I could ever have asked for I was keeping my fingers crossed for an equally easy and pain free birthing experience. I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Each minute after her ETA felt like an eternity. I was so grateful to have my mom here so I could distract myself by playing tour guide. I probably over did it most days as we felt pretty beat by our third day of hard touring. So on Thursday we took it nice and easy. We slept in, got things ready, did some laundry and called it a day after a nap or two. We decided by 5 o'clock that we needed a celebratory dinner for my mom who had just passed some pretty important exams. We headed downtown to grab Zach, walk to Times Square and get some grub. With bellies full and energy restored, we walked over to Bryant Park. We picked a few chairs to sit and people watch while my mom called up the future grandpa.

By this point I had started feeling my contractions get a little less comfortable. Instead of just a hardening of the abdomen I  noticed some mild discomfort kick in my back and where I like to imagine my ovaries still reside. Still the discomfort was bearable and I really didn't want to get my hopes up so I didn't think too much about it. My mom started pointing out how funny my belly was looking and it was obvious that the contractions were more visible, not just to me, but to everyone else as well. So, we started timing. 8 minutes apart, 9 minutes, 8, 7, 8, 10, 6..... They stayed consistently inconsistent but within the 10 minute mark until we got home. I decided to take a shower to see if that would calm things down and hop in bed. Well no, and as a matter of fact they started to hurt, like knock the wind out of you but you try and play it cool by talking through it or just rolling over for that minute or two, kind of hurt. Midnight passed, and contractions were getting close. They were 5-6 minutes apart lasting 1-2 minutes a piece and getting stronger.

Zach called the hospital and we were told we would get a call back from the attending doctor soon. 2 am came and went, the Taxi was called, I was perfecting my breathing and laying as still as possible routine. The doctor finally called back and gave me the green light to head on in. I got up and dressed and started the rocking back and forth while bending over and looking like I was about to die routine. Standing felt better than lying down and gave me something else to focus on. To be honest, pushing her out was the last thing on my mind. I just wanted to survive past the next contraction. With all three of us up and ready to go we hopped in the cab and headed to the Hospital. A 15 minute drive, a quick check in, and I was finally getting hooked up to all the monitors around 4 am. Zach was the only one allowed to stay with me during the initial testing, so my mom explored downstairs and found a place to curl up and relax for a bit. Sitting and waiting in that room I was finally able to think about what the next day would bring. It was happening, we were finally going to meet our little girl. Part me, part Zach, she would come and our lives would never be like they used too. I was scared and excited and altogether exhausted by the overwhelming emotions that flooded  over me. The contractions came a little quicker and a little stronger and my resolve to see this through naturally gave way. I was moved  to the delivery room and I announced my readiness for the epidural. They asked me what my pain level was, like Brian Regan I announced "8!".  As soon as the anesthesiologist could get out of the operating room she hooked me up. Again my mom was dismissed at this point and they sat me up, wiped down my spine and put the tube that would deliver the pain relief on demand between my vertebrae. Relief was instant, happy 8 day. I could breath and relax again. My legs felt warm and I was surprised how much I could still feel, but the pain was gone. So from about 6 in  the morning to 12 in the afternoon we all slept, watched food network, ate jello, drank juice, chatted, watched the contractions increase on the monitor and listened to Annas heartbeat.

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