Connor was due on Valentine’s Day. That day, a Friday, felt no different from any other day.
I went to work, hit Walmart for groceries on the way home, whipped us up some dinner, and exchanged Valentine’s Day cards and gifts with the McHusband. Then, to continue the romance, we headed out and BACK to Walmart to pick up the rocker I’d ordered that came in earlier than expected (a sign perhaps?). The McHusband and I carried it upstairs that night and got it situated.
We also went to Target for a few things: a lamp and blanket (the white one on the back of the chair) for Connor’s room and some other incidentals. The McHusband and I hoped to go to dinner the following night and celebrate a proper belated Valentine’s Day.
I’d been having a few contractions but none too serious; I just figured they were the Braxton-Hicks contractions that I’d read about. On Saturday, I felt a few more and was going to head to the Y to work out, but I just wanted to stay home and get some stuff up on the nursery walls, do some laundry, just generally nest, I guess. The McHusband and I also walked the dogs, and one of our neighbors said, as she went running by us, “No baby yet?” Famous last words…
I talked to my mom and to Bri that afternoon and basically told them the same thing: some contractions and I thought maybe the baby would come in a few days. At the time of the phone calls, I really didn’t think we’d be meeting our son that evening.
However, by 3:00 or so, the contractions started getting stronger and I knew I should probably get in the shower. After I dried my hair, I went out and told the McHusband, who was finishing washing his car, “I think I may get that 2/16/14 birthday I want after all.” He got kinda nervous about how much time we had before we needed to go to the hospital, but I told him that doctors don’t want you there until your contractions last for a minute and are five minutes apart for an hour. I hadn’t even started officially timing mine yet. So he finished with his car and gave mine a quick once-over before coming inside to clean up.
In the meantime, I downloaded a contraction app on my phone and tried to get ready around them – I put on a little make-up, straightened my hair, packed that stuff up, and got my bags downstairs.
I started timing my contractions at 5:00. Somehow I think I missed them being five minutes apart – they were more like 2 to 4 minutes – so I thought they were working to be five minutes apart. Finally we called the doctor at 6:15 and she told us to head to the hospital in 30 to 60 minutes. In that time, I continued to labor at home and let me tell you – contractions hurt! I have never been so miserable in my entire life. The McHusband called our moms to give them a heads-up and we finally left for the hospital at 7:30. On our way out the door, I said, “I thought I might do this without drugs, but I’ve changed my mind; I want an epidural!” I figured if I still had hours of this pain to go, there was no way I could handle that.
The drive to the hospital was pretty awful. I was so uncomfortable with each contraction and I remember that I kept my eyes closed for most of the ride. I don’t know why, but somehow not seeing anything seemed like the best thing to do.
We parked the car and walked into the hospital, stopping to have a couple contractions along the way. We had to check in with a security guard before we could ride the elevator up to Labor & Delivery and of course I had another contraction there and then another one in the elevator (it only had to go up two floors).
We finally got into triage (at maybe 8:15?) and the nurse proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions while I had contraction after contraction. I just wanted SOMEone (the nurse, a doctor, an orderly, I didn’t really care who at that point) to check me and see how dilated I was so we could get an anesthesiologist lined up for my epidural. My water broke at 8:49 and that prompted the nurse to wrap up her survey and see what was going on down there. After a quick clean-up, the nurse did her thing and declared, “And you’re at 10 cm, we’re going to have a baby!” No epidural for me.
So they rolled me to an actual L & D room – finally! – and amidst my contractions, I had to scoot myself onto the bed in there. I was hyperventilating apparently and my hands were sorta numb, which made scooting myself to the new bed difficult but that bought the doctor some time to show up. She got ready and explained how this was going to work: when I felt a contraction, I was to take a deep breath and push for a count of 10 and repeat that twice. So at 9:04 I took my first deep breath and and after three sets of three pushes, Connor was born nine minutes later at 9:13 pm.
He weighed 7lbs15oz and was 21 inches long. He had a full head of hair, which took us all by surprise. I don’t know why, I guess I just assumed I’d have a bald-ish baby.
I had a minor tear that required just one stitch. Overall, my recovery has gone very well. I took some Motrin at the hospital at the doctor’s urging, but I didn’t necessarily feel like I needed it. Maybe that’s because the two Motrins did their job. Connor was born Saturday night. The McHusband and I were out walking on Tuesday, the day after we got home, and by Friday, I felt really good. I haven’t done any exercising yet, but if I can manage to get there, I’d like to go my muscle conditioning class at the Y this weekend. There’s a class on Saturday and Sunday so I should be able to make one of those.
So there you have it – my tale of adding a human to the world. It was and wasn’t what I expected. Contractions hurt way more than I thought and I agree with other women who say that pushing felt good. I’ve said since Connor was born that I’d push another baby out if I could skip the contractions. My labor definitely went faster than I expected but I can’t say I minded that – no sense prolonging that misery.
Well, if you made it through my long story, I wish you a happy Friday and great weekend! And don’t forget to adjust your clocks ahead an hour on Sunday. The weather’s supposed to be very nice (mid-60’s and sunny) this weekend so I know we’ll appreciate the extra hour of daylight on Sunday. Should be a perfect evening for grilling turkey burgers.