3:45 a.m.: The alarm goes off. This sucks! Why must we wake up so early? The getting ready part is pretty easy since we essentially slept walk through it.
5:00 a.m.: We leave the house and are on the way to the hospital. We have a good laugh as Bush's Machine Head (Breathe in, Breathe out, indeed!) and the Ramones' I Wanna Be Sedated play on the radio.
5:30 a.m.: We enter Labor and Delivery exactly on time and there are already two other women laboring there.
6:30 a.m.: We have met our L&D nurse, Stacey. We are her only patient and we really like her but for her Red Sox sweatshirt. Boo asks if there is way to get "fluids" on it so she has to change. We meet with a resident who gives me a once over and then I am juiced up on pitocin. I start having contractions. They appear on the monitor and I giggle. So cute, my little contractions. This shit is easy! I start knitting on my second sock.
7:00 a.m.: We meet with the doctor and she comments on my sock. She approves. We discuss the game plan and I giggle at how easy this labor thing is. She smiles and ask if I am going to want drugs. I explain that my plan is to wing it. Wait and see. She thinks this is a great idea and asks if we have an actual labor plan. We reveal that our entire labor plan is to: 1) have a healthy baby, 2) keep me alive with all of my parts in tact, and 3) keep Boo at my head end. This is a big hit and voted in as one of the best labor plans ever. Man is this birthing a baby thing easy.
7:30 a.m.: Boo gets an awesome, comfy chair that reclines, but nearly cries when it's revealed to be broken. Nurse Stacey gets him another one and he forgives her for her Red Sox sweatshirt. There is no more talk of fluids ruining the shirt.
9:45 a.m.: The contractions are more real. Not painful per se, just noticeable as contractions. They are getting stronger, at least in my back. I fear that at this rate, I'll birth the baby out of my ass. That can't be good. I start to walk around and the back pain ebbs to some extent. I am still drug free and feeling pretty good. Stacey gets me a heating pad for my back which also helps. I labor pretty uneventfully and am bored enough to send out a few e-mails, though I have a hard time typing with all of the monitors on me.
1:00 p.m.: I am dilated about five to six centimeters and the doctor decides to break my water. This is quite a nasty feeling as it feels like I am peeing myself. Constantly. I'm told that labor will really start now. I (foolishly) say, "Bring it!"
1:15 p.m.: Wow! The contractions are kicking it up a notch. I start to discuss pain medication with Boo.
1:30 p.m.: Stacey comes to check on me and asks if I have any interest in pain medicine or an epidural. She, Boo and I discuss it and I decide to go with an epidural.
1:50 p.m.: The anesthesiologist goes over all of the medical and legal stuff and then gets to work. He is a really nice guy and he an Boo chat about sports as if he isn't going to stick a huge needle in my spine. The actual epidural part is unbelievably easy. There is no pain and not even any discomfort. I am glad I hadn't been stressed over it.
2:15 p.m.: I feel good and my legs are kind of warm and toasty. I can move my toes, sort of.
2:30 p.m.: All of my machines start beeping from the baby warmer to the epidural. It is almost comedic in that every time I fall asleep (love you epidural!), something goes off. Stacey apologizes profusely but I tell her it is fine as I am amused
4:50 p.m.: I wake up feeling as if I have to take the most massive dump ever. It is really uncomfortable. I immediately regret my last Outback dinner and wonder if anyone will let me use the loo with the epidural in. It is then that I realize my legs are normal and not warm and toasty. I fear my
5:00 p.m.: The shakes kick in. I am shaking like an epileptic and it is weird. Stacey is in with us and assures me that I don't have to poop, and instead that I am about to go into active labor. I politely tell her she is wrong and that I totally have to pooh. She smiles and contacts the doctor and anesthesiologist.
5:15 p.m.: I am checked out and almost fully dilated but my cervix has a lip so I can't push. I am given a small shot of juice in the epidural which does nothing for my lady parts but does ease the contractions in my belly. I continue to shake. A lot. Boo comments that my milkshake brings all the boys in the yard. I continue to fret over the massive dump I am sure to take any second now.
5:55 p.m.: By now I have a death grip on the bed railing. It helps with the contraction pains and the shakes. Boo is patting my back and being encouraging. Stacey has everything prepped and is also cheering me on. A new nurse, the baby's nurse, comes in and finger prints me. This strikes me as odd.
6:00 p.m.: The doctor tells me to push. Time stops. For the next hour I push whenever I feel a contraction. It is painful, but not unbearable. I push and I push. I do not, however, pooh. The whole thing is very intimate as it is only Boo, Stacey, the baby's nurse and the doctor.
6:45 p.m.: I joke that this hurts more than the time I gave birth to the gall bladder anesthesia pooh. The doctor jokes that she bets I will want to keep this thing that I am giving birth as opposed to the other.
6:55 p.m.: My crotch is on fire. I announce this and am told, vary sternly and forcefully, to push.
6:58 p.m.: Crotch? Still on fire. I tell everyone this again, in case they missed it the first time. I also note that this hurts A WHOLE LOT. But, I do not cuss. Nary a fuck, shit, or holymutherfuckinjesus passes my lips. I push and I push and I push.
7:00 p.m.: Lady Bean is born. She is perfect. She is immediately placed on my belly and my first words are, "Wow, she is tiny!" I forget all about my fiery crotch. Her cord is cut and she is swooped over to the warming tray to be tagged with Baby LoJack and wiped off. We get some pictures while I deliver the placenta. Much to my all of my (weird) friends' dismay, I don't ask to see the placenta or ask to save it for stew. Lady Bean and I have some skin to skin time and I am amazed that she is over seven pounds, she looks so small. Lady Bean is bundled up and given to Boo. He cuddles her while I am stitched up. I need a local anesthetic because I feel everything. The doctor repeatedly requests extra packets of sutures. I am freaked out by this. I ask exactly how many stitches I am getting and she says it isn't something you count, that it is like a seam. My vagina is being whip-stitched. Everyone makes general conversation and I learn that the doctor was worried towards the end. I'm not sure if it was for Lady Bean's well being or my crotch's, and I don't ask. Lady Bean is brought to the nursery for the pediatrician to check out and I am cleaned up and then am allowed to walk to the restroom to clean up some more. There is a lot of ... fluids. I still do not pooh.
10:00 p.m.: I am in my new room with Boo. Lady Bean is brought in from the nursery. I have to use the loo again and as I am cleaning up more fluids, Lady Bean starts to cry. I hear Boo immediately work some magic and she is soothed. I start sobbing in the bathroom. I am the luckiest woman in the world to have a healthy perfect little girl and a husband who loves her lots.
As soon as it was over, and now, over a week later, I can only see my labor experience as positive. My bits are sore from the tearing and my boobs are not being cooperative. My hormones make me cry. A lot. We've had some ups and downs trying to get the boob thing, the sleep thing, and the what-does-this-cry-mean thing going. Nonetheless, I feel very lucky.