Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Freddie's Birth Story

This long overdue tale begins on a Wednesday. Wednesday March 9th, to be exact. I had an appointment with the midwife in the morning, and had been sadly informed that I had not really dilated much from the previous week. After what I thought was a rather, um, rough internal examination, I was listed at 1cm with some wiggle room. Based on the exam, I think the "wiggle room" was created by my midwife, not that I'm complaining.

That night, SOB and I went out to dinner, and I was having contractions throughout the whole meal. Once we got home, I experienced what those in the business of delivering babies refer to as The Bloody Show. Which is a pretty horrific term, if you ask me. It was about 10pm, so I called my folks just to give them a heads-up that we might be heading to the hospital sooner than later. This was how things started during my labor with Lucy, and I ended up at the hospital in less than four hours.

That was not the case with little Freddie, however.

I spent most of the night sleeping, with intermittent painful contractions. I woke up on Thursday and spent the entire day in the same situation. Noticeable, irregular contractions with no indication that things were going to be getting serious any time soon. SOB was on call that night, so he was hoping that I would make it until at least 7am on Friday when his shift ended.

He got his wish.

On Friday morning, annoyed beyond belief, I called the midwife. My next appointment was not scheduled until Monday, and I knew my patience wouldn't last that long. She had me come in, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had dilated to 4cm since Wednesday. She asked if I wanted my membranes stripped, and I emphatically said YES! If I didn't feel ready to head to the hospital by the end of the work day I could come back into the office to get checked again, just for my own information.

SOB and I went out to lunch, where he informed our server that I was in labor, totally freaking her out. Then we went and walked around Lowe's. At this point I was feeling some pretty good contractions, and frequently needed to stop while picking out light bulbs. After we got home, my parents quickly arrived. I decided to take a bath, in the hopes that relaxing would speed things along.


Instead of quickening things, the bath slowed everything down to a near stop. Since it was about 3:30pm, I called the midwife's office to see about coming back in. And as I suspected, I hadn't progressed at all. So we went for round two of membrane stripping and headed back home to wait. One thing the midwife did mention was that multiple pregnancies may have made my uterine muscle less efficient. She suggested tying a half sheet from the office around my waist, just above my belly button, as tightly as I could stand. In her past experiences, the sheet would kind of hold things down, so that the contractions could be more effective. Which is how I came to spend the next three hours pacing around my house looking like I was wearing a backwards apron.

After dinner, which I did not eat, we put on Monsters, Inc. for the kids and I began timing my contractions. After 40 minutes or so, things seemed to be getting pretty consistent. I was averaging a contraction every 4 minutes, so we headed to the hospital. As soon as we got there, they checked me out, and I had only dilated to 5cm in the last few hours! I was a wee bit crushed, but asked to have my water broken ASAP. With Lucy and Maggie, once my water was broken the babies came out in a matter of hours, and even though my other experiences hadn't been a good predictor, I was optimistic that this one would work.

Finally, I was right about something!

Around 10pm, I was really feeling the pain. I asked to be checked, and decided mentally that if I was past 7cm I would stick it out. I wasn't quite as committed to going drug-free this time around, but it still seemed attractive to me in the right setting.

Sadly, I had only progressed to 6cm since breaking my water two hours earlier.

So the epidural went in, and despite being a little patchy, I was able to get some pain relief. For about half an hour or so. Maybe 45 minutes. Because then, well, Freddie was ready to make his entrance.

Three solid pushes later, my boy had arrived. He was screaming and slimy and absolutely perfect. He was born at 11:46pm, weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.

love at first sight

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susan said...

Beautiful. And beautifully written! Congrats to all of you... I can't wait to meet the new little mister!

Arizaphale said...

Loved reading about this. Brought back memories. And a divine photo!