“I feel like I can really relate to Mary right now,” I said to Chris after we were turned away from the hospital, having arrived exactly on time for our appointment, I might add.
“As in from Bethlehem?” Chris asked and I nodded. “The mother of Jesus?”
“I’m simply saying I relate to her, Chris,” I grumbled as I lugged my suitcase full of hospital “must-haves,” back out to our car, “I relate is all.”
“Was she scheduled for an induction too?”
“You know what I mean,” I snapped back. I was in no mood to be messed with right now. I had waited nine long months for this only to be told there were no beds ready and we had to come back in an hour.
I hate waiting. Little did I know this was only the start of it.
“I even called! Why would they tell us to come in and then just turn us away?”
“Tay, drop it. It’s only an hour.”
“You drop it,” I mumbled under my breath.
And so for the next hour we drove around in silence pretending to look at Christmas lights. But Thanksgiving was still ten days away so the lights were few and far between. We mostly just admired the glow of the stop lights bouncing off the oily night pavement.
Luckily we were let in the second time, although I’ll admit the thrill of “checking in,” had lost a bit of its luster an hour later.
We were shown to our room and I remember thinking I probably wouldn’t have a baby tonight still- it was nearly 8:30 p.m. by now, but she could be here by the early morning. How exciting! Should I put on the new pjs I purchased for such an occasion, or change right into the hospital gown? Would I go into labor in the night? How did this all work? I had no idea, but I was ready for it. I even had my “delivery makeup” meticulously applied, a little eyeliner, mascara, brow gel, etc, certain delivery would happen within the next 4-6 hours as that’s about how long makeup lasts on my greasy face.
Chris and I were both bright eyed and bushy tailed when the first nurse came in to “check things out.” I’d decided to go with the hospital gown after all having decided the pj gown I brought was much shorter than I remembered it. And at this point modesty was still a thing for me. LOL! Oh, how that would change soon.
Here we are shown above, just certain we’re about to be parents very VERY soon.
“Are you ready to have your cervix checked?” Nurse #1 asked.
“As ready as I can be!” I was a week past my due date and had been having contractions for the past 5-6 days. I’d also been eating pounds of pineapple and dates, my cervix had to be ready.
C’mon cervix, don’t let me down, I whispered to myself as the uncomfortable process began.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever had your Cerv checked, but in my experience the doctors and nurses doing it all seem to make the same face. They scrunch their mouths together, squint their eyes, and look toward their forehead, it’s like they’re trying to decide what the soup needs more of- salt or pepper?
“So how much am I dilated?” I asked, anxious for the cervix face to go away, anxious to get the show on the road.
“Well,” she said as she removed her hand, “unfortunately you’re not.”
“Not even a little?”
“Not even a little.”
Sonofabitch I was disappointed.
“But why? I swear it feels like the baby is about to drop out.”
“Don’t worry, this is very common. This is all new for your body, it’s not quite sure what to do yet,” the nurse explained.
“It figured out how to grow a baby, I would think this would be the easy part, you know?”
The nurse just smiled and told me it would be okay. And I’d just like to say this first nurse, as with the fifty others I would see, were all incredible. If you work in pre and post delivery, God bless you.
I don’t remember what else was said at this point because it had dawned on me that baby wouldn’t be coming tonight, or maybe even tomorrow morning. But hopefully she’d be here by tomorrow afternoon at the latest.
I was hooked up to machines to monitor the baby’s heart rate as well as my contractions. They weren’t terrible, but they also weren’t enjoyable. What Chris found enjoyable however was narrating the contractions via the screen he was watching them roll in on.
“Oh here comes a big one,” he’d say as if he was watching the replay of a football game and knew the pass that was coming next.
“Yes, I’m aware,” I said as I crunched over in pain.
“And another one! This one is really big.”
“Thank you Chris,” said in the THANK YOU VERY MUCH MISS LIPPY tone. If you know, you know.
The baby’s heart rate was strong and consistent which was the most important thing. But my contractions were so close together that I wasn’t able to take any pitocin (something that induces labor) I think that’s what it does, anyway. I’m not sure as I was never given the chance to take any. Instead I was about to have a buffet of a million other things to induce labor. Things that include but are not limited to: a balloon inserted into my uterus, bouncing naked on a medicine ball (I didn’t have to be naked, that was a personal choice I guess) sitting in a bath crying (also naked) and a few other things I’ll get to later.
Of course none of these things came on night one, but don’t worry, we’ll get to them. Like my labor, this is going to be the longest birth story you’ve ever read. Grab the popcorn and get excited!