By 7:00, Hubby is about to leave, making a bowl of cereal, when he hears from upstairs: "Ahhh! HUUUuuubbbyyyYY! MY. WATER. JUST. BROKE!"
Which it did. In the bed.
Aaaannnnnddd... PANIC. Because that's what I do. It's kinda my thing.
Hubby calls the hospital. They say we should come in, but we could probably have breakfast first. We jump in showers, wolf down cereal, pack last minute crap in our bag, climb in the car, and of course STOP FOR GAS because Hubby's goal in life is to make me crazy.
We arrive at the hospital around 8am. I'm having regular contractions but they aren't much different from the constant Braxton Hicks I've been having for eight weeks already. Problem is, I've learned, even if you are in labour, no medical professional will even look at you until you're screaming. There are six screaming women ahead of me.
So we sit. And wait. My contractions are getting worse, but I'm breathing through them. Maybe I won't be one of those screaming woman, maybe I'll be able to breathe through it, at least until my epidural.
We finally see Smart Smiley Nurse. I'm three and half centimeters dilated. Progressing, but still early enough for MORPHINE. Shoot me up, doc.
We go sit in the "Early Labour Lounge." How charming. Hubby gets snacks and I call our car dealer to ask him to hold the car I've been trying to buy. True story.
A couple hours pass, I keep leaking, but pain is fine. I try to pay brain games but I'm loopy from the drugs. Bonus. Hubby discovers a cereal spoon in his back pocket that he apparently brought from the house. You know, in case he needed it.
By noon the pain is getting worse. Back to Smart Smiley Nurse. Five centimeters!
Time passes. OUCH OUCH OUCH. Epidural please! NOW.
Funny how they start paying attention to me. Now I'm the screamer. Seven centimeters.
Oh, the anesthesiologist is in surgery? Oh, he can't come and drug me up? Oh, I have to keep enduring this pain? Oh, you can't find a wheelchair? Oh, FUCK YOU.
Somehow I get to my delivery room, screaming every minute or two. It's getting worse. WAY WORSE. Where is that godforsaken anesthesiologist? I'mma kick that mofo in the shin.
I remember staring at the wall, trying not to lose my fucking mind, smacking my lips as a signal for Hubby to feed me ice chips. I remember wondering why the hell we attempted that pinky toe massage reflexology shit the night before to encourage labour because it apparently worked and I totally regret it. And I remember the worst part: when each contraction begins because I know what's coming...
Mofo Anesthesiologist arrives. Once upon a time, I was afraid of the needle-in-the-spine process, but now I'm just terrified that I have to STAY STILL for ten minutes, through a few contractions, while he does his work.
I lean over Friendly Nurse André's shoulders begging her "You. Have. To. HELP. ME." Hubby sits helplessly nearby.
Oh, that's better. Hey
Clearly, I'm feeling much better and acting less insane. New Nurse is putsing around the room, and informs us that it may take a few hours to get to 10 centimeters. Once I do, we'll wait TWO MORE HOURS before pushing, so the baby can get closer to her grand entrance on her own. Baby will probably arrive around 10pm or midnight.
Huh. Clearly New Nurse has not met my baby. My baby is in a rush to join this world, or hadn't you heard? But ok, you're the professional. I trust you.
Hubby goes to grab dinner.
All of a sudden, a skippy dude doctor waltzes in. Apparently Fraggle's heart rate has been too high for a while...
Doctor Skippy: "I'm just gonna check you. If you're fully dilated we're gonna start pushing. If not... well, let's check before I scare you."
Yes he said that. And no, Hubby was not there.
He checks, I'm fully dilated, and Baby Fraggle is blowing New Nurse's estimated timeline out of the water.
"Let's try pushing."
"Just try a push. I want see how you do. If it's tricky, we'll do a C-section."
WHAT THE FUCK. Uhhh... ok... here goes...
"Oh, you're doing great. You push for a while and I'll come back in a half hour."
Hubby returns, hearing from Doctor Skippy that I'm pushing. "Not my wife" says Hubby. YEP, YOUR WIFE.
New Nurse is panicked because she was too stupid to set up her baby table. I'm begging her to warn me when I'm having a contraction so I know when to push. She says she will, but she never does, so I end up pushing whenever the mood strikes.
And here's where it gets really nuts.
Apparently I'm a rock star pusher (something for the resume). This baby is coming out, and she's coming out NOW.
From across the room, New Nurse is counting to five instead of ten on every push, and Hubby and I are concerned that there's nobody there to catch the child when she slides out of my body.
Finally, Smart Smiley Nurse returns and makes this seem fun and exciting instead of TOTALLY FUCKED UP.
We do a few more pushes and everyone praises me for my skills. Hubby looks at all the hair emerging from my vagina. Everyone says "So much hair!" - a phrase I've been hearing on a daily basis ever since and, for some reason, take great pride in.
Smart Smiley Nurse adjusts our pushing pattern, counting to TWO instead of ten. I push a couple more times.
In total, I push for 17 minutes, mostly miniature pushes.
Baby Fraggle arrives at 7:40. ("Arrives" makes it sound like she danced into the room. Let's be clear: the tiny human is pushed out of my loins through an even tinier hole.) They plop her on top of me. I think whoa, she's bigger than I thought. Hubby cuts her cord, I don't notice.
They take her away for a second to clean her off (damn meconium), then bring her back. She's 7 pounds, 8 ounces. She's round and cute and pink and LOOKING UP AT ME and HOLY FUCK WHAT IS HAPPENING.
New Nurse gives me a shot in the leg, I don't notice. Smart Smiley Nurse grins and pushes on my tummy, I don't notice. Doctor Skippy marches in (a bit late there shit head) and Hubby gets a rundown of the placenta. He does not eat it. I wouldn't notice if he did.
I puke. Then Student Doc somehow squirts my blood all over the walls and ceiling. Seriously. It looks like a CSI scene in there.
Doctor Skippy parks himself in front of my vagina and goes to work like a mechanic or a painter. I pay very little attention, but I do notice.
After a couple hours, Young Hot Nurse helps my broken body into the shower. "This is a weird part of your job," I tell her. She doesn't seem to mind. Of course she doesn't - she looks great.
We spend the next two days trying to breastfeed, trying to absorb fifty different "expert" opinions on breastfeeding, trying to sleep, and trying to crack the code of this tiny child who is totally and completely dependent on us being at least somewhat competent in caring for her.
In the end, I could totally do that again for the reward. It was survivable. Pregnancy SUCKED, but if you could promise my next labour would go like that? Sign me up.