He was due on April 14. I had been dilated to 3-4 cm for about 3 weeks when the due date came and went without a single contraction, not even Braxton Hicks. My midwife, Cindy, was a bit concerned that my blood pressure was inching up during the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy. That, coupled with my history of fast labor with M, and she decided to schedule an induction on April 17. She did try to jump start things by stripping my membranes but with no luck.
I was honestly relieved that we wouldn’t have to make any frantic midnight calls to friends to come watch M had things taken their own course. Instead, Grandma and Grandpa arrived on Friday night to spend the weekend taking care of her. We were scheduled to be at the hospital 10:30 AM on Saturday and Cindy told me to eat a big meal before arrival since I couldn’t eat once I got there. We all went out to the Original Pancake House for breakfast, then took Grandma, Grandpa and M over to her swim lessons. Then Mark and I went to the hospital.
Once we got settled into the labor room, Cindy tried stripping my membranes again. We spent the next hour walking laps around the maternity ward, hoping to get something going. Nothing happened.
Finally, at 12:45 she broke my water. Nothing happened until I stood up, and then small contractions began almost immediately. But, they only continued as long as I was moving about the room. Cindy wanted me to be hooked up to the monitor for 30 minutes so we were stuck in the room. Finally, she let me go walk the halls again and the contractions continued. We walked for about 30 minutes until contractions were coming about every 3 minutes and were getting stronger. As we walked, I had to clutch on to Mark to help me get through them since my knees buckled. When Cindy checked me again an hour after she broke my water, I was up to 7 cm.
At this point Cindy asked that I stay in the room, so I paced around the perimeter while the Cavs game played on the TV. Contractions were fast, steady and very, very strong. I really didn’t think I could take much more. Each time I had one I had to hang on Mark as I rode out the pain. I asked him to call Cindy to give me something to dull the pain. I felt like my pelvis was going to split in two.
Before Cindy even arrived, I got the urge to push. She checked me out and declared me ready which was a good thing because I wasn’t waiting since I could already feel the baby drop down. A flurry of activity happened around me as a small army of people came in the room. I had given permission for the resident and a nursing student to attend the birth as neither had seen a drug-free birth before. Including Mark there were 6 people in the room with me.
Contractions were intense and pushing felt great. Cindy worked me through the whole process and all I remember was gripping the sides of the bed and grunting/shouting through the pain. The couple of times I opened my eyes the only thing I could see was the TV with the Cavs game. The pain was much more intense then I remembered and I just wanted it to be over. I believe I chanted “get him out!” a few times. A couple of pushes later and Cindy lifted him up and placed MAD on my chest. All 8 lbs. 1 oz. , 20.5 inches of him.
It was 3:45 PM, only 3 hours after it all started. I only pushed for about 45 minutes, but that was the most painful and intense 45 minutes of my life. But in hindsight, I only really remember about 3 pushes and the searing pain that came with them. I had 2 small stitches and was shaking like crazy the whole time. Mark called my parents and they headed to the hospital with M. After a little while I ordered dinner as I was starving.
M, Grandma and Grandpa arrived around 5:30 to meet MAD. M was so excited and couldn’t wait to hold him. About 2 hours after he was born, he went to the nursery for his bath while I moved to the postpartum recovery room. Daddy, M and Grandma watched him get your first bath. After some time under the warmer he joined us in my room.
We spent 2 nights at the hospital. Mark would go home to put M in bed, then come back until about midnight. My parents brought M to visit and she took right to him, giving him kisses and wanting to hold him.
We brought MAD home with us on Monday, early afternoon. I took full advantage of the food delivery/clean-up of the hospital and had lunch before I left. I knew it would be the last “easy” meal we had for awhile! My parents stayed one more night, and then we were on our own as a family of 4 for a few nights. M went back to school on Wednesday and got back to her schedule, which gave us a chance to bond with MAD and get some naps in.
Almost 3 months later and we are all doing just fine….