I started feeling promising contractions at around eleven-thirty at night Thursday. I was out to the world. My husband was sleeping in another room because he had a cold…again. I had so many false starts with my contractions that I wasn’t taking them all that seriously; didn’t bother to time them for quite a long time. For a bit I was dreaming of contractions, so wasn’t entirely sure which were happening and which were in my head. Twelve-thirty in the morning it occurred to me that not only were they strong, but seemed fairly close together. I tried tracking them on my alarm clock, and failed…miserably. I levered myself out of bed the way all small and very pregnant women do in a bed that is too high. I drop my legs with enough force to use gravity and momentum to actually get up without managing to hurt myself in this most seemingly mundane of tasks. With that, I groggily and uncomfortably trek downstairs to retrieve my phone…I’ll blame mid slumber for my need to utilize my never before accessed cell stopwatch. It took a good hour-and-a-half for the awareness to hit me that my contractions were five to seven minutes apart. In no traffic it can take forty minutes to get to the hospital, but it isn’t quite so dramatic as all that.
With my son my water broke at three in the morning. My contractions never progressed beyond vague discomfort at random intervals. With the Warrior Queen I had intermittent and frustratingly hopeful contractions for four days. I prayed my water would break in these early hours; in no way did I trust this latest contraction progression.
After excessive internal debate and a lukewarm urge from the on-call physician, I wake my husband. I call my parents who arrive a bit after three in the morning. Fortunately, my mother was prepared and only brought the necessities from her home…like her coffee maker…My husband and I aren’t coffee drinkers, which is why my mother had bought us such an appliance years ago that she’s utilized often. It was a good laugh, and we were off to the hospital. Some time during our twenty-five minute drive my water broke.
The triage continued far too long. Once it was determined I had my prized ruptured membrane, the time was calculated when I would be induced at the latest. The doctor I spoke to said it was pointless to wait the full twelve hours; this was happening shortly once a delivery room was available…that ended up twelve hours later. No one communicated anything to me, so my husband and I sat in the claustrophobic triage room for thirteen hours waiting. By then I had virtually no contractions; always glad to be consistent…
The delivery finally underway. The Pitocin drip began; I was so sensitive to it with my son that active labor was under two hours. I received my epidural with both pregnancies soon after starting the inducing process, and was unwilling to fully calm until the anesthesiologist finished the procedure in both instances. This time active labor was four hours. Not all that long in the grand scheme of this type of thing, but not according to my mother who had been texting with my husband. Apparently she inquired when they were scheduling a C-section, but she had made such inquiries since my Gestational Diabetes diagnosis. Had my contractions not started to become uncomfortable, I might have rolled my eyes at the time.
My son’s final push was forty-five minutes; the Warrior Queen was maybe five, and she was in my arms. Thirty-seven-and-a-half weeks she weighted seven pounds and one ounce. She was absolutely beautiful…or so I was told. Twenty-hours of wakefulness and the contented bliss of holding my little girl; I didn’t take the time to really look at her. On my bare chest she cried as all newborns do, but it ceased almost instantaneously as I sang some of my son’s latest favorite tunes that she spent months overhearing.
I finally saw my daughter’s face at one in the morning. I had only slept for an hour, but the anesthesia finally left my limbs enough to walk to the nursery. She is, in fact, as beautiful as everyone said. I let her sleep, and managed to rest another four hours before waking for the day where a new beginning awaited.