Last night I slept much better than I did seven years ago when I knew that at 7 a.m. I would be going in to the hospital to be induced to have my first child.
Of course, to listen to my gynecologist talk, it sounded like she scheduled me for a day at the spa. Two years later, this same woman delivered her fifth child in the car on the way to the hospital and made the front page of the paper for it -- so really, what did she know? But I loved her so. She induced me on my actual due date because she thought the baby would be big (8lbs 6 1/2 oz, she was right!) and because she was going on vacation the next week and gave me the choice to have her there or have a partner do it.
So back to the day at the spa. As she described the induction it would go like this: Come in, break my water, walk around for a little while, hop into the jetted tub for a bit, and then I'd leave with a beautiful baby. It sounded lovely.
Then she broke my water and I had my first contraction. Holy crap. I made it two trips around the hallway before I just wanted to be back in the room. On the first trip we ran into a woman being pushed in a wheelchair, she was sobbing. I didn't know what was wrong and, at that moment, I didn't want to know what was wrong (a rare occurrence for this curious kid).
Next round we ran into another couple making the same laps. Suddenly I felt like I was in the mommy Olympics. First one to go 26.2 miles would win! I didn't want to be part of the competition, I just wanted the contractions to STOP. So, we went into the room for the next 11 hours of labor.
I did get a little time in the jetted tub. But it had the feeling of a hotel room bathtub and the drain wouldn't close. So as I sat there trying to do all that breathing crap, the water kept draining and I was ready to scream it was bothering me so. No focus to be found in that.
I hung through the first 5 or so hours, but then knowing that I was only at 4 cm, I was over it. I had never worked so hard for so little result. So they brought in the tall, handsome anesthesiologist (I'd really like to see him when I'm not in labor to see if he's a tall and handsome as I remember -- he was there to drive a needle into my spine for both my deliveries and the second time around when he came into the room I said, "You're my favorite." I think he said, "That's what all the girls say."). The next few hours were lovely again.
But then the clock start running out. See, my labor nurse was getting ready to go on vacation and she was due to get off at 7 p.m. I also had decided I didn't want a labor that lasted longer than 12 hours. And I am a deadline-driven person: My water was broken at 7:30 a.m., in my mind I had until 7:30 p.m. to get that baby out.
At 6 p.m. I told a lie. I looked my doctor in the eye and said, "I think I need to push now." Having never had the urge to push, I thought I was convincing (a little different than the second go around when after being checked and told I was at 7 cm, turning over and suddenly having the urge! That time there was no mistaking that this was a woman who needed to push). She, being the awesome doc, said, "OK, we can start." It was about 30 minutes later that I learned what the urge to push feels like and the doctor knew I had lied. Didn't matter at that point. My nurse was checking her watch, she had to pack still. At 7:13 p.m., Maxine was born.
The days between June 21 and June 29 are a little bit of a roller coaster for me every year. The year before Maxine was born I had a miscarriage on June 21. I now know that if I had that child, I wouldn't have Maxine and I can't even imagine what my life would be like without Maxine. My Nana's birthday was on June 26. She was a very important part of my life and she passed away when I was about five months pregnant with Maxine. That one still hurts. I wish more than anything that she could have met Max just once. But, I guess she had to go so that she could be Maxine's guardian angel.
And, of course, June 29 is the day that my life changed forever.
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