So, those of you who guessed that blog silence = baby were correct: our adorable son was born on Thursday, October 1, surprising the heck out of me that he didn't wait to be ejected by force, though he still required medical intervention to make his way out.
Here is his True Birth Story:
Somewhere around midnight on Wednesday, I started feeling contractions. I had felt "false" contractions before, but there was something about these that felt different--they were more painful, I guess--so I got up. Around 2:00 I started timing them, and by 4:45 they were coming every 4-5 minutes, lasting anywhere from 45 seconds to 1:20, and had been doing so since about 4:00. They tell you to call once your contractions are 5 minutes apart, 1 minute in duration, and have been so for one hour. So, I jumped the gun a little, and called my doctor's office.
The doctor on call said I could either go to the hospital and have them check me out, and if I wasn't very far along they might send me home or have me walk around a bit before checking me in, or I could wait until the contractions got "more intense" and regular, then come in. By about 5:00, I thought, "Well, gee, they feel pretty intense to me, and I'd rather know what's going on than not" so I woke up my sweetie. He was mighty annoyed I had let him sleep all night! I told him he had time to take a shower and have some breakfast--I even made the coffee (which is my sweetie's favorite part of the story). Then we woke my mom and got on our way to the hospital.
We got there about 6:30 am, and by that time the contractions were really starting to hurt. We got to labor triage, they checked me in, then examined me, and what do you know? I was already dilated to 7-8 cm. The nurse later told my sweetie they were amazed I had walked in under my own power. She asked me if I wanted an epidural and I screamed, "Yes!"
It took maybe another 45 minutes before I got the epidural, and they were not the proudest minutes of my life, even if they were maybe the longest. I can only say, wow, those contractions hurt. I really started to panic a little, thinking there was no way I could do this, it was way too painful. But they finally got the needle in, and let me tell you, the difference was amazing. I couldn't feel the contractions at all, yet I could still feel my body. It's some kind of weird voodoo. Creepy.
Since I was already at 7-8 cm, everyone thought the delivery would be quick, but we pretty much just stalled after that. The baby was in the wrong position (sunny-side up), and the usual things they do to try to get him to turn were not working because every time I changed position his heart rate decelerated. They gave me some pitocin to try to make the contractions more productive, but they could only increase the dose so much before his heart rate objected. He was a very particular baby!
Finally about 5:00 pm or so, they decided I needed a c-section, so off we went. Our son was born at 5:23 pm, weighed 9 pounds, 6.5 ounces, and measured 21 inches. It turns out when they opened me up, they saw that in addition to being the wrong way up, he was trying to come out the wrong way (over my pubic bone instead of under), so there was no way I could have pushed him out on my own. As my sweetie said, "You can tell he's my kid: always going the wrong way."
The weirdest thing about the whole experience for me was that I was incredibly sleepy all day--maybe because I had been up all night the night before, maybe because of the drugs they gave me, but during labor, I would doze off between contractions, and during the c-section I could not stay awake to save my life. I was dimly aware of things going on, I could feel them doing things to my body (no pain, but I could definitely feel pressure and movement), and I heard the baby's first cries and heard everyone saying how big he was and how cute he was, but I could not wake up. For this picture, I forced my eyes open, but I cannot say I really saw him:
I feel a little sad that I essentially slept through my son's birth, but the days since have been sufficiently intense that I don't feel I missed too much :-).
Here he is in the bassinet in our hospital room the next day (they no longer take the baby from you unless you specifically ask them to--more on that in a later post, maybe).
And at home:
I am SO HAPPY to not be pregnant any more! And I love having my cutie in my life, even though he has been quite a handful so far. But he is amazingly cute, even though, whatever anyone says, he doesn't look like either my sweetie or me. Recovery from the c-section has so far been painful but not problematic, and since I never got to push since he never descended that far, recovery "down there" has been pretty much unnecessary. We've already had our first pediatrician appointment and have been told that we are successfully not killing him, so we feel pretty proud. Only a couple decades to go!