The Birth Story – Part 1

February 21, 2011 at 7:20 am 21 comments

This has been a long time coming. I think we’re almost to the point where none of you care anymore, but I really feel like I need to get this on the blog so it’s here forever and ever.

Some people imagine that their labor will be a lot like the movies, they’ll be doing laundry while their husband is in the other room. They get a giant contraction and yell, “Honey, I think it’s time!” They speed off to the hospital, make it to the delivery room just in the nick of time, and 2 hours later they have a beautiful baby with a perfectly circular head in their hands. Other people assume their water will break and they’ll spend the next 17 hours huffing and puffing in the labor and delivery room before they have a rough battle delivering their baby.

Not me. I envisioned some contractions, strong but manageable. I imagined myself on the couch with Stephen saying, “Call your doctor! Where is your phone, I’ll call your doctor!” while I sit there repeating, “Not yet! Please, just sit down, shut up, rub my feet, and watch the clock.” You see, I didn’t want to be the first time momma who rushed to the hospital only to be sent home to wait it out or, worse, left to labor in a hospital room with nurses constantly asking me how I‘m feeling. I’m a people pleaser, it makes me feel bad to tell someone I’m feeling bad.

The thing about life is that you can’t predict it.

August 31 is my sister’s birthday, it fell on a Tuesday last year. That Tuesday night we gathered at my brother’s house to celebrate with my sister. We ate roast and mashed potatoes and I moaned… a lot. I wasn’t feeling well that day. I felt like I had gained 10 pounds in 24 hours and all of that weight was on my back and lower abdomen. I was miserable and it was written all over my face. I’m not sure that I smiled a single time that night. (Sorry Lindsay.) I was 37 weeks along and I repeated to anyone who would listen that I didn’t think this baby was going to wait much longer.

Jansen and I had a deal going on. He wasn’t due until September 19 but I had a feeling he’d want to come early because, let’s be realistic, he knew that life with Stephen and me would be fantastic. I had politely asked him to wait until September 1. My SIL turned 30 and had a big birthday party on Saturday the 28th. I wanted to be there and I wanted all the discussion to be about her, not on her little nephew that was freshly baked at the hospital. The same with my sister. As much as both of them said they wouldn’t mind sharing their birthday with their first nephew, I didn’t want to steal anyone’s thunder. (Remember: people pleaser.)

In the car on the way home from my sister’s birthday dinner, I told Stephen that I’d like him to do some research on the stages of labor. When the time comes, I’m not going to have the mental capacity to have any clue if this is “it” or if it’s just the beginning of a very long, exhausting previews of “it.” Also, I decided it was about time we pack a bag. I had a few things in a bag for a couple weeks because I’m a crazy person. But Stephen would need some clothes and we’d both need slippers because everyone knows that you can’t have an extended stay at a hospital without slippers.

Right when we got home, Stephen pulled out one of the books. He studied labor until he was comfortable in his knowledge. He packed his portion of the bag, and we went to sleep.

The morning of September 1, I had my 37 week OB appointment. The previous week I was 2 centimeters dilated and after my appointment, I’d had a serious case of Braxton Hicks. I had a feeling that if I felt that bad after last week’s appointment, I was likely to feel worse after this one. Stephen had quit coming to my appointments with me because neither of us saw the point of him missing several hours of work if there was no ultrasound involved. But because I had a yucky feeling about this one, I asked him to come with me. Every Wednesday morning he has breakfast with a few guys from church at the local Einstein’s Brothers, so he went to breakfast and came back to pick me up with a bagel in hand.

I felt better that morning than I had the previous night. I no longer felt that Jansen was about to fall out. (Can you imagine if it was really that easy? If you were just walking along and your baby just sort of slipped out?) We arrived at the doctor at 8:15 and sat down. They called my name and we went back. My nurse took my blood pressure and urine, good as always. She weighed me and I had only gained one or two pounds since the previous week, which was shocking to me since I was eating Oreos with wild abandon. My weight gain was up to 38 pounds as of that morning, and I was certain I’d hit the 50 pound mark by my due date.

My doctor came in at about 8:40 for my check up. I was 2 centimeters the previous week so part of me expected to be up to 3 or 4, but I’d also been told you can hover at 2 or 3 for weeks before you have any progress. My OB had told me that any dialation before labor was great because it was just work my body didn’t have to do later. So I was welcoming a bit of progress in that regard. When she checked me, her eyes opened a bit. “Hmmm.” Stephen and I looked at each other. “Have you been having any contractions?” “No, not really. I think a bit of Braxton Hicks here and there but that’s it.” She looked at me and raised her eyebrows, “Really?” I suddenly became unsure, “Well. I mean, I don’t think so. I’ve been feeling a lot of heaviness, but not contractions. I’ve never had a baby though, so maybe I’m wrong.”

She stepped back and took off her glove, “Well you are 3 centimeters and quite effaced.” That statement didn’t really phase me, I didn’t think 3 centimeters was a big deal. I had heard of this “effaced” business but I had no idea it made that huge of a difference. “All of our beds are occupied this morning so I’m going to send you to the hospital so they can hook you up to a monitor and see if you’re contracting because you are really soft.”

Interesting.

Stephen and I got in the car, my hospital was only a couple blocks away. I texted a couple people at my office to let them know that I was headed to the hospital for a quick check, so I’d be in a bit later than I thought. I honestly can’t remember if I called my mom at this point. It’s likely that I didn’t because I really didn’t think it was a big deal. I just thought, “Oh good, so now we’ll be somewhat familiar with the labor and delivery unit for when we have to run in there screaming, “BABY! We’re having a baby!”

We parked and walked up to the doors. We were talking about how weird this was and if it means we’ll be having a baby in the next couple days instead of the next couple weeks. I saw a sign that mentioned valet parking, “You will be using that when we’re arriving for real! Don’t even think I’ll be making this walk when I’m about to have a baby!”

And THAT, my friends, is what we call foreshadowing.

(Parts 2 and 3 will be posted Wednesday and Thursday.)

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Entry filed under: Jansen, Parenting, Pregnancy. Tags: , .

The Friday List Ten on Tuesday (68)

21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Megan S.  |  February 21, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Love it! Thanks for writing this! I’m due in 9 weeks and starting to freak out about knowing when I’m in real labor or when it’s fake. Can’t wait for the next parts!

  • 2. Stacie  |  February 21, 2011 at 9:07 am

    YAY!! I love baby stories!!!

  • 3. Katy Livingston  |  February 21, 2011 at 9:16 am

    SO glad you’re writing this! Also, I feel the same way about slippers. Definite necessity.

  • 4. Sister  |  February 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

    You did tell Mom when you were on your way to the hospital…cuz if you didn’t that’d be weird, because you told me.

  • 5. osarah  |  February 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Ahhh! I’ve been dying to hear this. Thank you for posting it 🙂 Now I just have to stay on the edge of my seat for tomorrow and Wednesday’s posts.

    PS You are lucky you hadn’t been to L&D before that day!

  • 6. Erin  |  February 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I’m so glad you posted this!

    I also went to L&D convinced that we weren’t actually having the babies yet. We had to go because of my pre-term labor and all the contractions I was having, but I was sure they were going to send me home or just hook me up to the monitors all day long. We didn’t even bring the camera in with us!

  • 7. jen  |  February 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    i LOVE how you told the doctor that maybe you were having contractions but you had never had a baby before so perhaps you were wrong! that is CLASSIC!

  • 8. Mama Fuss  |  February 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I remember reading your updates on that Wednesday and thinking “no way is she gonna have that baby before I have mine!” but you beat me, if only by a few hours. 🙂 I also remember reading the part about how you were on a bed in the hallway because they didn’t have room for you or something. I hung out in my Labor and Delivery room for 8 hours AFTER the baby was born because they didn’t have room for me in the Mother/Baby unit.

  • 9. mom (nana)  |  February 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    You did call me…. 🙂

  • 10. Southern Gal  |  February 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    It’s never too late for a birth story! I posted Rebekah’s on her 19th birthday, I think.

  • 11. Samantha  |  February 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this! I’m so excited to read the next parts of his birth story. 🙂

  • 12. Stephenie  |  February 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I have been hoping you would post this prior to my hospital experience, which is also scheduled to be 9 weeks away (Ahhh)! I can’t wait to read the Wednesday and Thursday’s post! Thanks for sharing, any tips of things to bring or not to bring, or to bring to occupy dad would be greatly appreciated!

  • 13. Kristin  |  February 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Gah! I can’t believe you are making us wait for the rest! I love your story so far!

  • 14. Megan  |  February 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    So interesting! When my sister went to the hospital last night (for false labor), she hadn’t been feeling any contractions. Her back was hurting, though… but the doctor was so surprised that she wasn’t feeling them because when she hooked her up to the machine, she was having contractions. She was 50% effaced and 1.5 cm, though, with no progress after a couple hours, so they sent her home. She’s 39 weeks, 3 days now, so hopefully she’ll have him soon!

    I love reading birth stories. Can’t wait to read more!

  • 15. That Married Couple  |  February 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    My husband just walked in while I was reading this and said, “Are you okay? You look like you’re in shock over there.” That is how engrossed I already am. Can’t wait to read the rest!

  • 16. The Birth Story – Part 2 «  |  February 23, 2011 at 7:16 am

    […] (Click here if you missed Part 1.)   […]

  • 17. Marlena  |  February 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I’m already teary eyed lol. Onto Part Two…

  • 18. The Birth Story – Part 3 «  |  February 24, 2011 at 7:12 am

    […] (Click here for Part 1) (Click here for Part 2) […]

  • 19. mintyfresch  |  February 24, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    What a great beginning to this story!

  • 20. The Birth Story – Part 4 «  |  February 25, 2011 at 6:52 am

    […] (Click here for Part 1) (Click here for Part 2) (Click here for Part 3) […]

  • 21. The Full Birth Story «  |  February 26, 2011 at 7:17 am

    […] (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) […]

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