I’ve delivered nine babies, so you’d think I’d be a pro. You’d think I could have a “TV delivery” — contractions start, I look lovingly at Adrian and tell him that “it’s time”, we gather my (already packed) bags, we kiss the kids good-bye (who have a baby-sitter on call), and we go to the hospital to have our baby. That is NOT how it works, though.
Last week, the contractions started. Every 2-4 minutes. I wasn’t especially uncomfortable, but I knew that the contractions were coming very regularly. After nearly two hours of contractions, I called Adrian and told him that he better come home from work. (He works an hour and half from home, so I am a little afraid that he may miss the birth if I don’t call him soon enough.) I called a dear friend and asked her to come and pick up a few of the kids. I gave the kids who were staying home some basic instructions – don’t answer the door, call Adrian if they had a problem, heat up leftovers for supper, be on their best behavior… Two hours later, when Adrian was finally home and my bags were packed in the car, I was still contracting. Adrian and I drove to the hospital. The nurse hooked me up to the monitor and confirmed that I was contracting very regularly. She checked me – I was dilated to 2 cm.!! (I wasn’t dilated at all at my last OB appointment.) My doctor admitted me. The nurse told me that I could get an epidural whenever I wanted. With the contractions coming regularly, but no real discomfort, I knew that I would wait. The contractions continued for several hours, but the pain never came. (Perhaps I’d have a pain free delivery?? I have heard of those, but am assuming it’s a big lie.) The nurse checked me again – no change. WHAT?!! My doctor came in and told me that he’d like me to sleep there overnight, then get checked in the morning.
Sleep did not come easily. I knew that I was contracting, but I also knew that the contractions were not helping me to progress into a good labor pattern. I was, to say the least, frustrated and embarrassed.
By morning, the contractions had slowed down. The nurse checked me and said that I still hadn’t changed. To make things worse, the baby had become unengaged!! My doctor came in and told me that I could go home. The day before, the nurse was offering me an epidural…and now I was being sent home!!
My 10th baby…and I was going home…still pregnant. Seriously?!