Note: I wrote the following when Mason was about 10 weeks - he's 6 months now, but this post sat as a draft for quite a while. I thought I'd share it now. Enjoy. :)
It's 11:00 pm exactly, and the first time I have intentionally stayed up later than I had to since my little man was born, Mason Thomas Bacher, on February 17, 2012. 8 lbs, 13 oz, 21 1/4 inches. Delivery was fast and furious, once I had my epidural. Specifically, it was an unusual delivery. After trying for *weeks* to get things going on their own "naturally", with contractions coming and going (but never staying) for two weeks, we induced the on Friday the 17th, one day before my due date (only because they don't schedule inductions on Saturdays). The night before I suppose I cracked up a bit, first marching around my house to try and get my blood moving to shrink my frighteningly swollen hobbit foot (my right food was significantly larger than the left), and then to try and crank up the accompanying contractions. I marched back and forth between the kitchen and living room for a good hour before finally giving up. The contractions stopped within a few minutes. Damn. At least my feet were the same size now.
We had three sizes for my feet - normal, hobbit, and monster. Monster didn't appear until the very last week, but wow did it. Fortunately I was able walk quite a bit to help with the swelling, but there's a point where you just can't do anything about it. In fact, once we were past the stage of fearing preterm labor (read 36 weeks or so), we went on a good mile walk every night - Erich watching me carefully, making me hang on to him AT ALL TIMES lest I slip on the ice- and I imagine the
neighbors looking at me, wincing, and wondering when my giant body would finally produce a baby!
(To note, I did slip on the ice once, and fell, but I caught myself with my hands and did not squish the belly. I did, however, get such a reproachful look from Erich that I hung on tightly to him from then on.)
Anyways, so I went into the hospital the night before to receive a medication to initiate the process, and while it doesn't normally cause contractions, I began having contractions around 2 am. I foolishly refused the the sleeping pill my doctor offered me (it wouldn't have hurt Mason, I just don't like the crazy dreams it gives me), so between the contractions and the monitors they strapped to my belly (and since Mason was moving around right up until the end, they constantly had to come in and find his heartbeat every 45 minutes or so), I got almost no sleep at all that night. Next time: take the damn sleeping pill, weird dreams be damned.
So, by 8 am I had been working through my contractions alone (since they were fairly mild and Erich was sleeping on a cot next to me) but was a becoming a bit unwound. At one point Erich had shushed me (in his sleep!) and I exclaimed " I am in labor I am allowed to make noise!" and he apologized, sleepily. Of course he doesn't remember this at all.
So at this point the nurse tells me that they aren't going to start the pitocin (to induce labor) as planned, because the contractions I am having a pretty strong and regular on their own. Unfortunately later that morning they start to slow down (although just as painful, just not regular anymore), and after shift change, the new nurse marches in and matter-of-factly tells me they are going to start the pitocin now shortly. Wait, what? In retrospect I completely understand what happened, the nurses convened and made a decision without consulting me. Unfortunately, I am a patient who wants to be included in the decision making process, and at this point I was getting upset. (I will quickly explain: when I took my labor class, the nurse teaching the class completely skipped the lamaze/breathing section, saying that "we work with you at the birth to find a technique that works for you - we don't teach it in this class anymore". LIAR. The labor/delivery nurses at the hospital looked at my like I was a crazy person when I relayed this and asked (albeit a bit angrily) why they weren't helping me the way I had been told they would. So, my nurse had no interest in helping me manage my pain other than offering me an epidural or repeatedly saying "well, you can always go home and wait for labor to start on its own". Really? I will punch you in the face.)
So basically 1)the nurse was a little bit of a bitch and 2) I was a woman in labor who had not slept at all the night before. So it was a little rough for a few minutes. She was impatient, I cried and panicked, Erich tried to reason, the nurse was condescending, I yelled at her, and ultimately she fetched my doctor, who helped me decide that the best course of action would be to get my epidural and try to take a nap before pushing. Which I did. And how. It was great. I don't know anyone else who napped midway through their labor, but I slept for a good hour and a half, after which everything with my nurse was peachy-keen. Part of me knows that I was happier and therefore nicer, but part of me also resents that as soon I agreed to be medicated she was nice to me. Whatever. The point is, I went from 3 cm to 8cm during that nap, and delivered only 4 hours after they started the pitocin. 5 pushes and he was here! My doctor had barely left the floor when they paged him back to deliver. He walked in and said "wow! don't push! don't laugh!" and got his gear on as quickly as possible.
So, at the end of it all, I had a pretty easy delivery. Yes, I got pissed at the nurse, but the important parts went smoothly. He did use suction at the end because Mason's heartbeat was dropping a bit but it only took one try, I pushed extra hard (thank you yoga!) and there he was. Mason didn't cry right away (which I didn't notice, because I was so overwhelmed, but Erich did, and I think he was terrified). The nurses and our doctor joked about how big he was, shouting out weight guesses and laughing at how his big feet barely fit on the page (its true). I have to say that nearly 9 lbs is not really that big in our family, its more like average, but you know, whatever. The rate at which Mason has grown the the last 10 weeks definitely justifies his identity as a big baby - he gained 4 lbs and grew 3 inches in the first month, and was in 6 month clothing by 6 weeks.
I could probably keep writing for quite a while - like about how I think the spit-up on my shirt smells sweet or how I love his little cooing noises or how he and his dad have contests on who can burp the loudest or smile the biggest (so far Mason is winning hands down on both fronts)- but my battery is dying so I'm going to go to bed. I don't have any pictures on this computer, so I can't post anything tonight, but very soon, I promise.