Now the story of a huge pregnant woman who lost her cool.
And the one son who had no choice but to stay put in the womb and have a good laugh.
It's: Arrested Labor & Delivery.
So, I realized that I was finally finally starting to have contractions, a week after my due date, the very first thing Friday morning, August 30. They were pretty easy, little hiccups of contractions ranging from 8 minutes to 20 minutes apart. I knew I'd be a while yet so I never woke Sean up, but I was super excited so I never got back to sleep that night. In the morning I told Sean all about it and we were all stoked. We packed Jordan for my parents' (who had just gone out of town but we pieced together some care for her with the odd sibling here, obliging family friend there..) and got ready to party down, labor-style in an air conditioned, spacious two-story home.
Womp, womp. I kid you not, I went into labor on the kick-off of the hottest weekend in the summer. And my parents' air conditioning BROKE THAT DAY. No, it broke THAT day. No, it was nearly 100 outside and it was fully 85 or warmer inside until 10 that night. Or maybe later than 10 but I wouldn't know because...
Around 10 or 11 I decided we should be hospital bound. My contractions were about 6 minutes apart and we had a 40 minute drive before us. Here was the thing though: I had been timing my contractions all day; I had felt them grow stronger and come quicker. Yet, the pain was manageable. Now I had never had the opportunity to experience "real" labor with Jordan's birth, so I had nothing to compare any of this to, but I was thinking to myself: "hey Jess, you've got this. It kinda hurts, and you're uncomfortable, but it's not that bad!"
*you're a huge idiot, you know that Jess?*
We got to the hospital and got admitted. Here's where I'd like to note that I walked myself into the hospital without leaning on Sean, I signed in and filled paperwork out myself and only had to sit down briefly, and I walked down the hall to labor and delivery without needing to lean on a wall. Basically, I should have seen what was coming next.
The nurse checked me all out and informed me I was only dilated 2 cm. Disappointment reverberated throughout my humongous pregnant body. 2? 2! I'd been in labor for 24 hours at this point, which I was later to find out was merely "pre-labor" or some crap like that. The nurse caught my distress and suggested we stay the night. I told her I hadn't been to sleep the night before, and she mercifully administered a shot of morphine that I might be able to sleep through the contractions.
Well, I actually wasn't able to sleep through a one of those contractions, but it did take the edge off. I watched the contraction monitor and Weston's heartbeat monitor the whole night while Sean attempted some semblance of rest in one of those ridiculous fold-out hospital chair-bed things. He mused that the huge pole sticking up the middle of it must be there for "lumbar support."
The nurse checked me in the wee hours and said I had dilated another 1/2 centimeter. Ok, body. What the deal is. We were obviously dismissed from the premises - unless I'd like to take that c-section right now? No! I was committed to this VBAC. But I was also really frustrated with my body and left the hospital feeling hopelessly defeated. Witness:
I'm not happy Bob. NOT. HAPPY.
We drove back to my parents house and greeted our girl without her new sibling. The house was still hopelessly hot, and I took two ice cold baths that day. By my second bath in the early afternoon, my contractions had stopped. We're talking, maybe one every 45 minutes. I called my doctor to discuss the situation, and she laid out my options. Was I sick enough of laboring to come in and schedule a c-section? Well actually my given name is Jessica Marie Stubborn Idiot, so no. We're riding this pain train. So then if contractions had stopped, she said, I should take this opportunity for a nap and some good rest. Since I'll need it, she reminded me. That's what I did, and it was a good thing because that was the first sleep I'd had since it all started, and the last I'd have until it all ended.
Enough for today? More woeful dispositions and bemoaning and bemusing next time then. Aren't birth stories the rosiest? Spoiler: it ends in BABY so they really are pretty cheerful after you wade through all the lamentation.
Oh! I'm going to make this post whopping #206 over at Grace's birth story link-up. Dang, we ladies like to have the babies.