Friday, June 10, 2011

The Labor Story

On Monday, June 6, I went to bed early. I set my alarm for 4 a.m., thinking that would be plenty of time to get up, take a quick shower, and be out the door by 4:30 a.m. I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 5 a.m. to be induced. Ben was going to make pancakes so I'd have energy for the day ahead.

The night before.

At 1:30 a.m. I woke up. My stomach was killing me. What did I eat for dinner? I sat in the living room bent over. After an hour, Ben woke up. He got his stopwatch. He informed me I was in labor. Well. How was I supposed to know? I'd never been in labor before. My contractions were 3 minutes apart. We called Labor and Delivery. The nurse told me to wait 2 hours, and if they were still 3 minutes apart to call back. Oh, and they are really busy and wanted to delay my induction anyway, but if I am actually in labor I'll have to come in. I wanted to scream. I didn't want to wait two hours, but I was also relieved that I had finally gone into labor on my own and wouldn't need to be induced.

The cat has no idea her life is about it change. I am crabby.

 At 4:30, we called back. The nurse said to come in. We arrived at the hospital in Janesville at 5 a.m., right when I was scheduled to be there.  We were taken up to our delivery room. The nurse checked me - I was dilated to 6 cm. Yay! I continued having stronger and stronger contractions, but resisted the epidural. At 8:30, my doctor checked me. I was at 7 cm. Wait - 3 hours later and I was only at 7 cm? I caved. Epidural, if you please. I had to wait for them to push the fluids, so at 9:30 I was finally given the epidural. And lo, it was good. I felt instant relief. I should have gotten it earlier! At 10:30, I felt the urge to push. Everyone was excited. This baby will be here in no time! I pushed. And pushed. 11:30. 12:30. Really, it will be here in no time, everyone said. "You are doing a great job!" "No one pushes for much more than an hour!" "The baby will be here any minute!"

Yeah, not so much. My doctor came in and was extremely bossy with me, for which I will be eternally grateful. She told me this baby was coming out, damn it. I don't think she said damn it, actually, but that's how I heard it. At 1:30 p.m., she offered to use the forceps or the vacuum. I said I'd try a few more times. I pushed, and pushed, and I think I briefly blacked out. And then I heard it - the most beautiful sound in the world. My baby was crying! I couldn't believe she was actually here. The sound of her crying is one I will never forget. They put her up on my chest. She was slimy and gross, but I have never been so happy or so relieved. Ben cut the cord. Then they took her away to weigh her and do tests, and while I was fixed up Ben sat nearby with our little girl. Our daughter.

Little Clare. We think she's pretty special.


  1. Em, your voice is unmistakable. I love reading your words. Why haven't you blogged before??? So glad you are now. I can't wait to hear all about your adventures in motherhood. This post is the best, I laughed ("How was I supposed to know?" and Ben's stopwatch), I cried ("my baby was crying!"), and I worried right along with your pushing. I miss you, friend.

  2. What a great story!! Your personality shines through in your writing, Em. I can't wait to read about more Clare observations.

    I think she's pretty special, too, just like her parents. :)

  3. My favorite part: "I am crabby." 1. Because that is so Em, and 2. Because, yes, contractions kind of do make one crabby!