Some of you might remember how grumpy I was as I approached 42 weeks pregnant - I had been having "cramps" for 4 days that while painful, weren't strong or regular enough to be called contractions. Also, as each day passed, my chances of being induced increased (this wouldn't be the end of the world, but my 1st 2 were induced, so I wanted to see if things could be different this time).
January 17 came (the day I turned 42 weeks) with no call from the hospital. I stopped by my doctor's office on the way home from my dd's preschool, and he said the call could come as late as 9 pm - I was surprised that they induced that late at night. I had a NST appt at the hospital that morning, so dh took the kids (luckily, he had taken the day off work, anticipating that we'd be at the hospital). The NST was just fine, which was good news...now I just had to go home and wait. That afternoon and evening seemed to last a really long time - I hadn't slept well the night before, anticipating being induced, so I had a rest on the couch and a long, soaky bath to relax. Finally, at 7:30 pm, I got a call from the hospital - could I come in as soon as possible for the induction? I was apprehensive and excited all at the same time (and ironically, by the time we rocked ds to sleep and got out to the hospital, it was going to be 9 pm).
We arrived at the hospital at 9, to find that my dr was going to be delayed. So we hung out in the hospital room (and finalized baby names
). At 10 pm, we got a call from mil - our ds had woken up and was screaming for us - could dh come home and put him back to bed and then come back to the hospital? Dh agreed to do this, since it looked like I was going to be on the oxytocin drip all night, and it would be hours before labour started. He'd be back in approximately 1 hour. Once dh had been gone about 15 minutes, the dr came back in and said things had changed somewhat - if I wanted to do the oxytocin drip, the nurses would probably send me home, because the ward had suddenly become very busy...if I would consider AROM, they could induce me right away. I agreed, because AROM would allow me to move around freely (i.e. without the IV attached to me) and stay in the shower as long as I wanted without being constantly monitored.
I didn't worry too much about dh not being there - I had had AROM with my first dd, and labour didn't start for 1.5 hours afterwards...dh would be back by then.
So they broke my waters, and (no exaggeration) my first "real" contraction was 2 minutes later. It was just like my "cramps" from previous days, but instead of only feeling the pain in my lower abdomen (like menstrual cramps), the contraction was centered in the middle of my uterus and stretched around to my back. I mentally went "Uh, oh", since my labour with ds had been very short (2 hours), and this one could potentially be very short, too.
Into the shower I went, where I spent the next 45 minutes riding out the contractions (the hot water really helped!). At that point, I felt like I needed to come out of the shower. I made my way to the bed, and spent a couple of contractions leaning over the side, when I felt the urge to push. It was almost uncontrollable, but surely I couldn't need to push after less than an hour? Plus, dh wasn't back yet... The dr checked me and said I was fully dilated, other than a small cervical lip, so I’d just have to wait a little bit, until that moved out of the way. At this point, things were pretty intense and I was reaching my breaking point, so the nurse handed me the mask for the nitrous oxide – that helped me breathe through the next few contractions without pushing. Dh walked in after 3 or so of these contractions – I’ve never been so glad to see him in my life! I breathed through a couple more contractions before asking if I could push yet. Dr said that if my body wanted to push, then I could go ahead, but didn’t make any move to come closer to the bed. Well, I gave a gigantic roar and pushed my baby out in one fell swoop…dh says that he’s never seen anybody move so fast, as when the dr and nurse realized that the baby was coming in that one push! And only 2 tiny tears, one stitch each. I lay there afterwards, shaking from adrenaline – I couldn’t believe it was over already. Madeleine Cecile Marie came into the world at 12:05 am, January 18th, measuring 8lb4oz and 20.5 inches long and a 14 inch head, after only 1 hour and 25 minutes of labour.
So dh was there for Madeleine’s birth….barely. But that’s one better than dh’s birth – he was born while his dad was parking the car.