Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The beginning...

Sorry to keep my readers waiting!! It's nice to know there are a few of you out there! Unfortunately, getting a chance to sit down and actually write a coherent thought is difficult these days. But at the moment, the two big boys are in school, and A seems fairly content in his swing, so I'll try to get at least part of his birth story down....

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As I entered my 38th week of pregnancy, I was so tired and uncomfortable that I couldn't wait for the baby to be born. Hubby had been joking throughout the pregnancy that I just needed my OB to set an eviction date, and then we would know when the baby would be born. "As soon as she sets the date, you'll know that your water will break the night before." Hubby said. "Because that's what you do. And he'll be born on a Friday, because all our babies are born on Fridays!"  But since we'd relocated after O was born, I was now under the care of a new OB practice, and had no idea what their birthing policies were. Since this baby was also measuring big, estimated to be 9+ lbs at delivery, I tentatively broached the subject of induction with my new OB at my 38 week appt. "Well, this hospital is quite strict about not letting us do any elective inductions before 41 weeks without a medical indication. And a big baby can sometimes be that indication, but you've had large babies before..." my new OB said, her voice trailing off, clearly unwilling to commit to any plan at this point. I left the appointment despondent. Even though I knew she was doing the right thing to let nature take its course, the idea of waiting 3 more weeks for a baby was torture. I had really just wanted her to say firmly, "If you haven't delivered by XYZ date, we'll induce you." I finally admitted to myself that I had bought into Hubby's theory that the baby would be just like his brothers and wait until the absolute last second before making a spontaneous appearance. With no firm end date in sight, psychologically it felt like I was going to be pregnant forever. "With no eviction date, he's never going to come out!!!" I wailed to Hubby. And so, I went into the weekend fully prepared to be back at the office for my 39 week appointment the following week.

It's funny how quickly one's perspective can change. On Sunday morning, O developed a fever and spent most of the day clinging to me. I immediately flipped from wanting to have the baby ASAP to hoping he'd hold off as long as possible. "It's a good thing I'm still not due for another 2 weeks!!" I thought. "Hopefully, this will be a 24 hour bug, and if not, there's still plenty of time for everyone to get healthy before the baby comes. Besides, I have to wait a few more days for Gramma to get here anyway." Originally my MIL had been planning to arrive for a 2 week stay that Monday, and I had it in my head that I could go into labor only once Gramma was here to watch the boys. But then she postponed her flight, and was now arriving on Thursday.  Monday morning O seemed better, and we went through our normal routine. C went off to school and then I brought him to his afternoon swimming lesson.  While at swimming, I noticed that I was having more Braxton Hicks contractions, and that they seemed stronger than before because I was feeling some increased pressure with each contraction. "Maybe the baby is finally dropping down," I thought. "Maybe I really will go into labor soon after MIL arrives on Thursday. Maybe I really will have another Friday baby!!" But then pessimism took over. "Probably not...I bet I won't even have the baby until after Gramma's gone home again! Because she's leaving before I'm 41 weeks pregnant. And I'm not going to get induced before then..."

Unfortunately, by dinner time Monday night, O's fever had returned, and C was lying on the floor also feeling warm. "Uh Oh!" I thought. "I guess C is getting sick too." By the time Hubby got home from work, both boys were clearly under the weather and on their way to bed, and I was curled up on the couch feeling sorry for myself.  Around 9PM, I started feeling very anxious, and Hubby and I had this conversation: 
Hubby: "What's with you? You seem weird."
Me (grumpily): "I'm just tired. And stressed because the boys are sick. This had better be a short lived illness, and you and I had better not get sick, because I really need everyone to be healthy by the time I have the baby! And I'm uncomfortable because I'm feeling more pressure. But my contractions are still totally irregular, so whatever..."
Hubby: "Maybe you should call your doctor? I know you've been contracting for 3 months, but you seem different today."
Me (yelling): "I am not calling the doctor! What would I say?! I haven't even had a contraction in the last half an hour!  I am just stressed out because the kids are sick.  I am going to lie down on the couch and watch TV and try to relax. And the contractions will go away like they always do. Besides, C & O both have fevers, and your mother is not here yet! I am NOT going to have a baby today!  Just leave me alone!"
And so I settled down on the couch to watch the season finale of The Closer.  My rationale clearly hadn't reassured Hubby, but it made me feel better. I was NOT having a baby that day.

If I had been thinking clearly, I would have realized that I had just thrown down the gauntlet and issued a direct challenge to the baby.  I had told him to stay inside for a few more days, until my child care plan was in place and his brothers had recovered from their illnesses. And from previous experience, I should have known that my children never listen to my birth plans. Instead I got about 5 minutes into the show before I realized that my night was going to be very different than I thought.  

"You said you want me to wait until Thursday?" I imagine A was thinking. "Nah. I don't think so."

Because at 9:15PM my water broke.

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