…and so it happened. On the 25th of April, late at night, I felt like peeing, and when I did, it didn’t stop, continuing in the fashion of those cute bladder-control drug ads. Thinking that it was, like my first pregnancy, just the cervix beginning its great metamorphosis, I did nothing, going to work the next day and continuing as usual. When the dribbling didn’t stop by afternoon, I called my midwife, who said to come in right away and they would check for ferning (which would indicate the presence of amniotic fluid). Positive. Not even enough time to get my things at home, and since it had already been 18 hours since my water broke, they had to start me on antibiotics. I was admitted in the late afternoon, they started me on antibiotics, and an IV to administer them and the planned epidural. Pitocin and monitors and IV, oh my!
Actually, I am fairly laid back about medical interventions, as long as they present minimal risk to the baby, so other than the discomfort of the 2 monitors and the needle in my hand, I was fine, and labored for about 3 hours, progressing only a centimeter. I sent my birthing team home to sleep and R and I settled in to wait it out. About an hour later, the epidural was placed, and within another hour, I had progressed to 8. Gotta love those epidurals….but at this point, my body was going into overdrive, and though I should not have been feeling anything, I began to feel the contractions again, which were manageable, on one half of my body. The nurse and my midwife suggested talking to the anesthesiologist, who could place the epidural again, but it was now a familiar feeling- it happened with my first pregnancy, too, right when it was time to push. Not desiring a new placement, I decided to manage the contractions myself and asked the midwife to check my progress. Somehow I had dilated to 10 centimeters and the room broke out in a frenzy of activity. 10 minutes and three pushes later, my lovely, healthy son was born-just before midnight.
Looking back over this post, it looks rather emotionless and steely. I haven’t quite processed the whole thing yet, and emotionally I’m all over the place anyway, being one month post-partum (today). It wasn’t what I expected, but I hadn’t planned anything in advance anyway, knowing how disappointed some mothers get, when their birth plan doesn’t work or doesn’t happen. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness, both that the labor and delivery were successful, relatively painless, and quick, and also that it resulted in a healthy, perfect baby boy. Reflection will come with time, I know, but looking back on the experience now, I don’t see how it could have been any more amazing, significant, and life-changing.