On the way to the hospital we suddenly realize that we have forgotten to call the doctor’s office. When we call while on route, a snarky nurse tells us that we should wait for a call back before leaving for the hospital, in case I’m not really in labor. We inform her that we are sure and are already almost to the hospital. We listen to Goat Rodeo on the way and my contractions are not as bad as I feared given that I’m confined to the car with limited movement. I bob my head with the rhythm of the music to distract myself from the pain. I have another contraction in the hospital parking lot, hoping I don’t scare passersby too much, mostly not caring. I’m finally going to have this baby.
We get to the hospital, and the contractions are hitting hard- every 2-3 minutes- all the way through the parking lot and up to the 3rd floor. She is checked at 8:29 pm. She is 5-6cm (the midwife says a possible 7cm w/ a contraction), 90% effaced, and -1 station. . . Good news! (But- seriously, Robin, read the memo! You should be HERE by now, honey! Poor mommy!)
Mommy’s doctor (Dr. Malhijah) is a new face to all of us. But, his first question is, “Do you have any birth plan or special requests?” (I like this guy already). Mommy forgot her “official birth plan” at home, but says the 2 most important things to her are
1. let me hold the baby right away
2. don’t cut the cord until it stops pulsing
He wholeheartedly agrees to these requests (providing there are no complications). I am pleasantly surprised! Request #2 has never happened at a birth I’ve attended.
At 9:20 pm Mommy is moved from triage to a delivery room. She is having very hard, intense contractions about every 5-7 minutes. She is considering the epidural, but worries if Daddy or I will think she has “failed” is some way. . .NO WAY, MAMA! Her goal all along had been to get to at least 7 cm before getting the epi. A cervical exam shows she is 6-7 cm and “paper thin”. We reassure her that if she WANTS to “do this” (go without drugs) she CAN, and we are here for her. But if she doesn’t want to, we support her 100%. At 9:45 she declares, “I want the epidural. I KNOW I can do this [naturally]. I just don’t WANT TO”.
IV fluids are required before the epidural can come. Mommy powers through more hard contractions. It is 10:40 pm when the epidural is finally in place. Sweet relief at last. Mommy thanks me for helping her and says there would’ve been much more “flailing” had I not been there. This elicits more laughter, and we decide that “flailing” is the word of the night. At this point, Mommy’s mother and sister join us.
At 11:20 pm Mommy is 7cm, 95% effaced, and 0 station. The doctor breaks her water. At first the resident thinks there’s meconium, but the nurse reassures everyone that there isn’t. Things go VERY quickly from here on out.
11:34- Mommy is 9cm.
11:38- 10 cm, ready to push!
The doctor comes in and says, you are ready to push. I looked at him like he was crazy. I remembered an irresistible urge to push when Thea was born, but not now. I don’t feel ready. The doctor tells me “Don’t worry, we’ll wait. Baby will be here before midnight.” I think he’s crazy but four pushes later . . .
11:51- Robin is born!
He had a cord around his neck 3 times! But he is beautiful and is put right on Mommy’s chest. The doctor complies with her wishes, and the cord isn’t cut until it stops pulsing.
Stay Tuned for Part IV
Catch up on the story here: Part I, Part II