She’s here, and this is what we already know about our new little girl: she’s a champion sleeper, heavy drinker and she does everything in her own sweet time. Actually, we knew that before we even met her—despite rounds and rounds of contractions beginning in earnest on July 4, she made us wait 12 entire days more before she graced us with her presence. And when she did decide to come, boy, she wasn’t messing around.
Contractions began around 4 p.m. on July 15, and since this was nothing new, I tagged along to my 7–year-old son’s karate class. I sat on those uncomfortable bleachers, leaning against my husband, absentmindedly noting the regularity and increasing intensity of this round but figuring that since this child was never going to be born, things would peter out pretty quickly. By the time we were home and making dinner though, I knew things were about to get real. My in-laws rushed over and off we went, contractions holding steady at five to seven minutes apart.
At the hospital, we checked in and got settled. I had been three centimeters and 75 percent effaced at my last doctor’s visit, and a quick check here showed, well, not much. Three centimeters, a measly 85 percent effaced. The nurse said she’d call the doctor, and that’s when I decided that there was no way I was leaving that hospital bed without my baby in my arms. She came back in and said they were going to admit me, and that’s when I explained to the nurse my typical M.O. Contractions begin, water breaks, lots of progress and then I stall around the four-centimeter mark. Three pregnancies, three infusions of Pitocin—I doubted highly this was going to be any different.
And so it went. My contractions were coming further apart and lessening in intensity, to the point that my husband and I started watching some home improvement show on HGTV. Not a good sign. Around 8 p.m., the doctor arrived. Not my doctor, who has only delivered one of my kiddos, bless her, but one of the three in her practice. He took in the scene – a casual television fest—and asked if we could try breaking my water, which was fine with me. The hope was that things would then intensify, and we set a timeframe of a few hours to see how that worked. About two and a half hours later, during which my husband and I switched to American Ninja Warrior—interrupted by my focused breathing whenever a mild contraction hit – the doctor explained that I wasn’t progressing on my own. Would we like to begin a Pitocin drip and see how that helped?
Sure, doc, let’s do it.
Well, that got the party started. I think the TV stayed on, but no one was watching anymore. I lose all sense of time during this part of labor, closing my eyes and breathing and waiting. My poor husband kind of hovers next to me, holding my hand and waiting things out. It’s perfect really, since the nurse is in and out and he’s there when I mumble, “Almost time to push,” so he can freak out and shout for a nurse. That’s what happened this time, except on the very next contraction it was already time. The doctor was still snapping on his gloves and the nurse was dropping the front part of the table, and whoops, here comes the baby. Another twenty seconds and there she was—finally! Healthy, beautiful and totally outraged.
She’s a week old now, and already, we can’t imagine our life without her.