The ride to the hospital was quicker than I would have liked. It’s about 30 minutes from our house, but since I was nervous and not sure what to expect, I wouldn’t have minded taking a little bit longer to arrive.
As we got out of the car, reality sort of started to creep in. I was gathering my bags and suddenly, it dawned on me: the next time I’m in this car, there will be a baby in that empty car seat, and we will finally be a family of three.
It was a sweet but scary realization.
After checking in, we settled into my delivery room, I put on my gown and the nurses came in, introduced themselves, and made small talk as they placed my IV and got me all hooked up.
I had a minor panic attack when I imagined a bassinet with a baby in it next to my bed. “Am I ready for this?” “After he’s born and everyone goes home it’s just up to Anthony and me to figure this out.” “Sleepless nights and crying and what if I’m not good at it or something happens to him? Can I keep a baby alive?”
Thankfully Anthony reassured me that we were going to be fine and that this is an exciting thing, not a negative one. I sat there wondering and sit here still wondering to this day what it’s like to be him and not overthink to the point of burning an ulcer into your stomach on the regular. Must be nice.
Don’t worry, once I was calmed down on that front, I moved right on to getting anxious for the inevitable cervix check that was destined to be soon. I have to say though, even amid all the nerves, once they placed that fetal heart monitor, that sweet sweet sound was enough to take my mind off everything, at least for a little while. 💓
Side note: I have a super high pain tolerance. Except in the “gynie region.” 😂I got 2nd degree burns at Starbucks like it was my job, and I almost sliced off a part of my finger while cooking the other night and it didn’t bother me. But a simple cervix check? NO THANK YOU. BYE. NOT TODAY SATAN. Seriously. I suck at gyno visits. I have psyched myself out about them hurting since I was a kid before I even had to go to a gyno, and so I get all nervous and tense and uh.. “tight” so, in essence, I probably make them hurt, thus confirming the imagined pain. ♻️🙂
So, real talk? I was 100% more nervous about cervix checks than I was about being in L A B O R.
Therefore, aside from me anxiously wondering “oh f*ck is this it?” every single time a nurse came in to check my vitals, the early hours in the hospital weren’t too bad at all. I mean, minus having to pee with an IV cart.
When the dreaded cervix check finally happened, (you’d have thought I was actually in labor. Poor Anthony was probably sitting there wondering how in God’s name I was going to get an almost 8lb baby through there) much to my RELIEF, I was already at 3cm. So thank God and Buddha and whomever you personally thank, they didn’t have to put whatever “medicine” they described earlier to start dilation. I swear my cervix heard that possibility and was like, “it’s go time, ladies” and stretched to an instant 3 centimeters right then and there.
After battling infertility and PCOS — basically a malfunctioning lady region — all these years, believe me when I tell you I almost got a little choked up when I found out my body was actually doing something it was supposed to when it was supposed to.
In fact, according to one of the nurses, given my cervix’s natural progression through the night (I was at a 4 by 11pm), I more than likely would’ve come to the hospital in labor the next day anyway, so the induction just got me here in a more organized manner. She did say they’d help me along with a hit of Pitocin anyway though, because, why not.
After my second cervix check, the residents decided enough was enough, and went ahead and ordered an epidural.
To be clear, my contractions were still barely there at this point. Period cramps, at best. The epidural was so these pour souls could perform a simple cervix check without me writhing in pain like they were sticking a knife up there. But like, they might as well have been. 😵🗡
The epidural was easy & the catheter was amazing. After three months of peeing every 20 minutes, that nifty little doo-dad helped me forget peeing even existed.
It was pretty much smooth sailing on toward midnight. (I mean, my newfound PTSD still had me dreading cervix checks, but they weren’t nearly as bad.)
A little later, Anthony and I were sitting in the hospital bed watching the new season of Dark on Netflix when there was a sudden flood of nurses coming through the door. Apparently Lincoln’s heart rate had dropped below a normal range. They assured me this happens often and had me get on all fours with an oxygen mask, rocking back and forth to help change his position a little bit. After a couple minutes, his heart rate was back up to normal, and mine was probably through the roof.
That little scare kind of killed the mood, so we put Netflix away, Anthony made up his couch and went to bed, and I pulled out my phone knowing I wasn’t going to be getting any sleep anytime soon. Initially it was the adrenaline after the heart rate scare — I wasn’t tired at all. But, when I finally did start to feel tired, I was too busy spending most of the wee hours of the morning rolling over every few minutes to check the fetal heart monitor.
Thankfully, morning rolled around pretty quickly, despite me being awake to watch it go from dark to light outside. Anthony ran downstairs for some breakfast to eat in front of me and my exciting cup of jello, and my mom had just showed up with her Starbucks. Bon appetite everyone. Everyone but Sam.
About an hour later, my least favorite resident came in around 9am to check my poor cervix again and explain that it would feel like I had to poop when it was time to push. I was only at a 6, but things could progress super quickly from that point on. I sat there ignoring the fact that I already felt that way so that my mother in law, who was on her way, had time to get there.
As it turns out, this ridiculously uncomfortable pooping sensation wasn’t in fact Lincoln’s head popping out prematurely like I had envisioned, but actually B A C K L A B O R . Back labor that should be called ass labor that was laughing at my epidural. And laughing at me every time I hit the epidural button stupidly thinking it would “oh, it’ll make a difference this time.”
Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
to be continued…