My husband and I waited 10 years after we married to have our first baby. The pregnancy was no fun. I was sick (morning sickness type) the whole nine months. We had no ultrasounds, no *real* problems. I had had a lot of Braxton-Hicks (sp?) contractions the last few months. That is what I thought was happening on Blair’s birth day. We live close to my parents, and had had lunch with them that day. I started having a few contractions. Wally (dh) went back to work at my urging. I thought it was just B-H again. My mom went to a meeting. That left my 70 year old dad, who got plenty nervous. After I couldn’t just walk them off, stay on my side and drink water, etc., he began urging me to call Wally home (he works about 3 miles from there). The man was plainly nervous.
BTW, the first contraction was at 12:30. By 1:30, Wally was there, took me home to get the suitcase and call the doctor. I was sitting on the toilet ( I could have sworn I had to go … how was I to know what labor feels like?) when the teacher who had taken over my 9th grade English class called to ask about a student’s grade. She’d had children, she knew. She asked me if I was having the baby and I said yes. She said she’d make up a grade. At that point, I didn’t care.
The doctor’s office told us to come on. It was one day past my due date, and I had been dilating about a centimeter a week for the past 3 weeks ( I was 3 1/2 cent. the day before). Wally drove like crazy to get us to the hospital. We live about 45 minutes away. I had the ac on full blast. He kept wanting to stop at places we passed, like the rescue squad, our family doctor’s office, etc. I told him to shut up and drive. Then, in front of the hospital, he turns left instead of right and I screamed at him. WHY ARE YOU GOING TO THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE! Standard policy during daytime labors, as it turns out. They told him to check by there first. Luckily, they were just across from the hospital. The nurse took one look at me and sent us across the street.
It gets a little blurry in my mind at that point. Wally went to park the car and they wheeled me up to the beautiful birthing suites we had seen on the tour. He soon found us, without the luggage or camcorder. He was a little panicked.
The first nurse examined me and quickly announced she needed to find her supervisor. That nurse examined me and said she would go find the doctor. The doctor examined and took a look at our *birth plan*, basically a list of what we wanted, what we didn’t. He told us we would be okay on most things, but the bad news was that the baby was in a frank breech position (butt first). He did an ultrasound to confirm. The good news was that I was already dilated 8 cm. My water broke while he examined me and I was at 10 cm. quick. Let me tell you, it was INTENSE! We were rapidly wheeled into the OR (no pretty birthing suite), and I was moved to a quickly put together combination birthing/operating table. We had to be ready for a quick c-section if necessary.
This little bitty nurse, about the size of my little finger, held one of my monstrous legs while Wally held the other. The doctor made a joke about the baby having big feet ( Wally couldn’t get the surgical scrub slippers over his size 12 feet). After 45 minutes of the hardest work I have ever done in my life, Blair’s bruised little behind entered the world, followed quickly by his beautiful, perfect head. It was 4:45. It all happened in 4 hours and 15 minutes. I didn’t even miss a meal. (well, I didn’t eat the turkey al a yuk they brought to the room at 6:30 — -I was much too pumped up!)
What I didn’t realize until later was that a) half the hospital was behind me while I was pushing. Not many of them had ever seen a vaginal breech birth. Most of them had never seen a totally unmedicated breech birth ( I mean not even a Tylenol —- we had no time to even consider it). And b) most of the doctors in my group, and those who practice at this hospital would have immediately done an emergency c- section. I was quite thankful that this one didn’t. Like Jen pointed out, recovery from a c-section is much worse than from an episiotomy (which I had — one of the compromises from my l*st). Blair’s APGAR was 9.8, quite a relief since he made his entrance in such a backwards way.
From the very beginning, Blair was so alert. He slept almost none that 1st 20 hours. Wally stayed with us the entire time ( he even wore one of my nursing gowns the second night we had to stay to give his clothes a rest). We had to stay a bit longer because of Blair’s circumcision. I would have left that day if I could have. He nursed like a pro from the very beginning. He’s my beautiful strawberry-blonde, blue-eyed boy (also quite a surprise coming from dark haired parents with brown eyes and hazel eyes).