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My Labor Day (Part 1)

A few of you have asked about my labor story so in honor of Little Ricky’s three-month birthday. Here goes.

(For the squeamish in the crowd and/or the menfolk, I will try to be vague whenever possible and limit the use of words like “cervix” and “placenta.”)

(Oops, just used them. Sorry.)

In order to really get the gist of the story I have to backup a few weeks to May 23. On May 23 I had my weekly check-up and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was 1 cm dilated! (The goal is ten for those of you who have never had babies or don’t spend time watching A Baby Story on TLC.)

Well, I was thrilled. I didn’t expect the baby to come that day, but I did think I was on my way. (I know, foolish, right?) At my check-up a week later I just knew I would be told I was at a three or a four. (Again, foolish, right?)

Nope, still a one.

Okay, that’s fine. It’s only been a week, I can be patient. Plus, it’s still May, the baby wasn’t even due until June 13, so we can wait another few days.

Skip ahead another week. At this point I’m REALLY tired of being pregnant. My back hurts, my hips hurt, I pee all the time, I’m getting no sleep (I’m still not getting much sleep, but at least I’m holding a cute baby while not sleeping), I get winded putting make-up on. I’m DONE!

As we sat in the exam room waiting for the doctor I said to Ricky “if there’s been no progress I am going to throw myself into traffic on Michigan Ave.” (Yes, this is a direct quote.)

Guess what? STILL A ONE! At this point the doctor said to me “Don’t worry. We won’t let you go more than ten days past your due date.”

(I think she thought she was being helpful, but NO! TEN days past? That’s June 23. I was expecting a baby early June and now she’s talking late June? Oh, hell, no!)

I managed to hold it together in front of the doctor, but by the time we left her office I was officially moping. Ricky took me to breakfast where I proceeded to pout over my Corner Bakery egg sandwich.

And then as we were sitting in Corner Bakery and I was using every bit of strength I had to hold my shit together I received a text message from some Nashville friends who were due AFTER us. “Water broke, at the hospital, baby coming today.”

At this point I did what any good friend would do.

I became insanely jealous and burst into tears.

(I was happy for them later, but in that moment I just wanted it to be me, dammit!)

Ricky had to head to work at this point, so he put me in a cab and sent me home where I spent the day alternating between pouting and crying, pouting and crying.

This all happened on Friday, June 5. On Saturday I got up and decided to just enjoy the weekend (although it was work, because I really did want to spend another day pouting and crying, pouting and crying.)

Ricky and I had a good weekend, we got out and about and enjoyed the lovely Chicago summer and I resigned myself to having this baby at the end of June.

Fast forward to Wednesday, June 10. I wake up around 6AM feeling crampy. Because I have resigned myself to having an end of June baby it takes me a few minutes to figure out what’s going on.

And then it hits me. CONTRACTIONS! I’m having contractions!

At this point, they are pretty mild and pretty sporadic, and I am still pretty convinced that they don’t mean much. (Remember I’ve been dilated 1 cm for a few weeks now, so I figured this was just my body screwing with me and trying to get my hopes up yet again. But I’ve wised up now; I will not be optimistic ... yet.)

I go about my day. Ricky takes me to lunch, I go get a mani/pedi and I continue to have contractions. But they are 30 minutes apart, and then an hour, and then 45 minutes and then 30 minutes, etc. So I still think nothing of it. In fact, I think so little of it that I jam pack my schedule for the next day—coffee with a friend from out of town, lunch with another friend, dinner with a different out of town friend.

And then around 4:30 I start to notice that they are getting closer together, anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.

Hmmmmm. Perhaps my body isn’t screwing with me after all?

Ricky gets home from work, we eat dinner and the whole time I’m having contractions and they are continuing to get closer together.

We had been told to wait to call the doctor until the contractions were coming every 5 minutes for an hour.

At 2:50 a.m. we hit that hour. We called the doctor and were told to head to the hospital.

OH MY GOD! Really? Is this it??

But wait, I had gotten my hopes up before so I continued to assume this was not it.

We arrive the hospital and get checked in at triage and despite the fact that the contractions are coming pretty hard and fast and I am in a good amount of pain, I still refuse to believe this is it.

Until the nurse checks me, tells me I’m at a four (Thank God!) and that I’ll be heading upstairs to labor and delivery soon. (Have I said Thank God yet? Well, let me say it again, Thank God!)

Now I’m one of those people who uses humor to diffuse tense situations. While we were still in triage the nurse is asking me lots of medical questions. I’m answering them all in a mature fashion until she asks about pain meds.

Do you want an epidural?

YES.

When do you think you will want it?

I was hoping you’d be waiting for me in the parking lot when we pulled in.

(That’s funny, right? I mean, it’s not Kathy Griffin, stand-up funny, but considering the situation it has a fair amount of humor, right?)

The nurse looks me dead in the eye and in all seriousness says “We don’t do that.”

Okay, so I guess we’re not supposed to joke about these things. Sorry. 

Part 1 | (Part 2)

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