I had enjoyed a pretty blissful pregnancy with the exception of about six weeks of mild morning sickness in the first trimester.
It was two weeks before my official due date. I didn’t know it yet, but my labor was beginning with the mild cramping I felt when I woke at 7am that Sunday morning, November 14, 1999.
As the “cramps” intensified, coming and going at about 10-minute intervals (umm, contractions, anyone??), I wondered if there was any chance this could be IT.
At 8am, when the “cramps” were coming every 8 minutes, I called my mom. She said, “Well, it’s probably the beginning of the end. You’ll probably be going into labor this week sometime.”
Around 9am, we decided we might want to skip church “just in case” something was happening.
At 9:30am, we hopped in the car to go check things out. I remember Hubby asking me as he drove, “What do you think are the chances that this is IT?”
Not wanting to be a drama queen (who? ME?) I said, “I dunno. Probably 50/50.”
Right then another contraction came on, taking my breath for a moment.
“Maybe 70/30,” I amended.
When I got to the hospital, they hooked me up to the appropriate apparatus. By the time the doctor got over to see me at 10:30 or so, the contractions were exactly five minutes apart and getting quite painful.
He took a look at the long accordion of paper trailing from the machine at my bedside and said, “Well, I think we’re going to send you home.”
I remember thinking, I don’t know much. But if this isn’t labor, what IS?
“But before we release you, let me take a look just to make sure,” he added, almost as an afterthought.
A minute later he declared, “4 centimeters! You, my dear, are having a baby today!”
You’re kidding, right? I HAVE ONLY HAD 38 WEEKS TO PREPARE! I’M NOT READY FOR THIS!!!
Needless to say, I had nothing to say about when this baby would decide to make his appearance.
I received my epidural at 11am, and by noon it was time to push with the assistance of the nurse.
The doctor was “on his way”.
After pushing for 30 minutes, the nurse took a look. She blanched and said, “I’ll be right back,” on her way out the door.
Leaving me alone with Hubby, she called into the hall, “Doctor! Doctor!” And away she went.
Hubby took a look and said, “I can see the head!” as he stood there helplessly, wringing his hands. Meanwhile there I lay, my feet locked in metal stirrups, my hind end hanging off the table, and evidently there was a head in site.
(My humble apologies to my pastor, if he is reading this.)
I just remember saying, “Catch. Him!”
At that, the doctor ran into the room and took a moment to wash his hands while I wondered if my baby was going to fall head-first to the floor.
He then proceeded to bring my baby boy into the world at 12:40pm.
To be continued…