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A peanut unshelled

Written by: Josh Conley August 30 2012 So…I have a daughter now, Peanut. Still weird to say that, much in the same manner that kid(s) has become plural. Yikes. I’m torn here, because from a writing perspective, I wish I had a really exciting birthing tale to unfold here, full of ‘PUSH!’s and doctor-ly heroics...

Written by: Josh Conley

So…I have a daughter now, Peanut. Still weird to say that, much in the same manner that kid(s) has become plural. Yikes.

I’m torn here, because from a writing perspective, I wish I had a really exciting birthing tale to unfold here, full of ‘PUSH!’s and doctor-ly heroics and tears of joy. But on a more selfish level, I’m relieved that I can instead relay to you The Most Boring Birth Ever.

Beautiful, with crescendos of excitement, but all things considered, largely uneventful. This is in no way a complaint. We had enough drama for both of them with the Bubster. He decided to bust out on us after just 32 weeks, and didn’t even have the common courtesy to turn himself head down!

Similar to last time, my wife woke up around 5 a.m. Friday, complaining of a contraction. We waited for another one, fell asleep. Around 6:30 another one came, and this time we were awake for the follow-up, around 7:00. And either her water broke or she just peed the bed.

I sprung out of bed at this point, in task mode, while my wife grumbled about not wanting to go to the hospital too early and why was I calling our babysitter and moving around so much? They’re still way too far apart, and could I just slow down, I was making her dizzy with all this activity! Also, she needed to wash her hair.

So I got her in the tub and finished packing up our hospital bag, called the babysitter back with a green light, and we were on our way to the hospital just like that. This was a weird case of role reversal—she’s normally the impulsive one, and I like to wait and assess. But I did learn one thing from last time—things can escalate quickly.

Another contraction hit in the car, then another. She was nearly 3 cm dilated when we got to the hospital. This was at around 8:30. This was not a drill.

The contractions kept coming and pain increased with them. The epidural was set up and…we waited. In contrast to the ambush that was Bub’s birth, we were in for the long haul here. We were laying siege to this baby.

By noon, my wife was already 5 cm, and I’m thinking, man, we’ll be home in time for Everybody Loves Raymond re-runs. We hurried up and waited. It was a lot like the DMV, but with more comfortable chairs.

Next check came at around 2:00, still 5 cm. Oh, okay. Should have set the DVR, I guess.

Same thing at 4:00, then 6:00 and 8:00. If her labor were a beer I was homebrewing, I would now officially refer to this as a ‘stuck fermentation.’ Yes, the baby was coming, but it might need some extra coaxing.

We tried a small dose of Pitocin (normal doses are not given to C-section moms) and waited some more. Some stronger contractions, but the frequency did not pick up. We had gone round and round, toe to toe, but the doctor finally stepped in and called the fight. Because her water had broken well over 12 hours ago, they could not risk infection by letting this go on; C-section it was.

Waiting to learn the sex of your child is obviously not for everyone. In fact, the whole staff seemed moderately amused at our novelty. Like slap bracelets or pegged jeans, they remembered our kind fondly.

If there was any drama whatsoever to the story, it wasn’t the 12-hour labor, it was three little words saved till the end. The doctor pulling and tugging behind the curtain, then delivering in a (perhaps intentionally) slowly-relayed voice, “And…it’s…….a……………………GIRL!”
I’m glad we waited to find out. We’re overjoyed it’s a girl. I have a daughter. It sounds better every time I say it.