On Wednesday, February 24, 2010 I visited my OB in hopes that the ultrasound I had the previous day estimating my baby at ten and a half pounds and an exam would necessitate me taking a trip to the hospital to be induced.
My hopes were granted.
Dilated to 4/5 cm, I went back to work, tidied my desk, said my goodbyes to my students and co-workers, called my husband and mother-in-law, and then drove to the hospital and admitted myself. I happily settled in and prepared for petocin and a labor similar to those I experienced with my girls.
Unfortunately, however, the arrival of babies is about as predictable as the children they later become, and I was in for some waiting. A lot of waiting. And my poor husband and in-laws were in for some waiting as well.
Luckily I had my trusty iPhone to help kill the time while I was mostly comfortable.
I played scrabble.
I checked my e-mail.
I recharged my iPhone’s battery.
When I was admitted, I met the attending OB who introduced me to the doula who would overseeing my progress. Kaiser was now employing doulas to lead most uncomplicated labor and deliveries. And it’s not that I’m against doulas – I’m actually the kinda girl a doula wants…I had two natural deliveries without pain medication prior. But the longer and more petocin I was getting was not making me friendly or interested in hearing about her missing the grand opening of Whole Foods on Maui. Luckily I had funny nurses (one of whom was with me when I had my 2nd daughter), and we joked about her until shift change came and they all left me for a new crew.
By the time the next crew came on, I was getting grumpy. It was night-time. I was at the maximum allowed dosage of petocin. I was dilated to 8/9, fully effaced, but baby’s head was not all the way engaged – meaning that there was space still for the umbilical cord to prolapse if my water was broken. The OB on that shift was basically trying to tell me that I was going to have a C-section. I tried to convince him to break my water…with the girls, that was the trick. Once my water was broken, I was fully dilated and ready to push fast. But Dr. Elbow (that’s what my DH and I called him, long story) was not hearing it. He told me to “prepare myself” for a C-section.
I was not happy. I was in pain. I was tired and hungry (no eating on petocin). I did not want a c-section.
I noticed this absurd picture on the hospital bed:
I know the lower part of the bed comes off when it’s “time to push,” but do I need to lose my legs, too? I mean, I’m here to have a baby…I’ll keep my legs, thank you.
It cheered me up a little, until Dr. Elbow came back.
I don’t like Dr. Elbow.
But then he left, and then my savior came! Dr. Song.
When Dr. Song came on it was most likely the 25th already. She reviewed my progress and told me she wanted to try to break my water while a nurse pushed on my belly forcing baby down (to avoid cord prolapse). She explained everything clearly and prepped me for what would happen if things didn’t go well. I was already in love with her. I needed her 12 hours prior. But I was happy and ready to get a move on. The procedure was uncomfortable, but successful, and as I predicted, I was fully dilated and insisting it was “time to push” in a very short time.
Because baby was estimated to be 10+ pounds, there were lots of extra people in the room in case baby got stuck or there were other complications during delivery. Luckily they were only there for the show. At 3:30am I became the proud mama of my precious baby boy…
Robert David III was (thankfully) a little smaller than predicted – weighing in at 9 lbs 12 oz and 21 in long.
My biggest, and last baby.
He’s as sweet and sweet can be. Melts my heart. Loves his Daddy and sisters and dog. Climbs everything. Throws everything. Kisses and hugs and talks constantly. Not quite walking, but has taken about 5-10 steps. Sleeps through the night most of the time (knock on wood).
And he’ll be one year old in about 4 hours.
I love you baby boy.
Happy (almost) Birthday!
And to Dr. Song:
Thank you. You totally rock.