Surprisingly, I slept really well the night before we went to the hospital. I guess I knew it would be the last night of really good sleep I’d get for a while. I called the hospital to make sure they had a room available, and we got the last room! We got to the hospital at 7:30 in the morning. The nurses were all really friendly and had just come on duty and made it their mission for me to be comfortable and have everything go according to plan (or as close as it could). I got settled into my gown and got in the bed. They did an internal (worst thing in the world) and turned out I was already in labor and was having contractions, which I couldn’t feel. They said we would have been at the hospital regardless of whether I had gotten induced or not, so that was comforting.
Most of the day we just hung out and waited for things to happen. I tried to rest as much as I could and we watched tv and I read. Robin dozed. I got an epidural, which was no big deal. Even though I had been having huge contractions before that, I wasn’t feeling anything. We continued to wait. At 5:00, we heard screaming. The nurses in the hall were yelling for an epidural. We heard a lot of running and Robin peeked his head out—they were heading next door! We then heard screaming for about 5 straight minutes. We were joking that the woman should have gotten an epidural sooner so she wouldn’t disturb everyone. A while later a nurse came in to check on me and we asked what happened. Apparently the woman had gone to another hospital for an induction but was sent home because it FAILED. What? She was then on her way home when she realized that no, it actually hadn’t failed, and she was in full labor, so she stopped by the hospital. That’s how Peaches K. (Yes, that was her name, according to the white erase board outside her door.) had her baby within 5 minutes of arriving at the hospital. I still feel bad for her.
Around 5:45, I got really nauseated and actually threw up all over my gown and bed because it came on so suddenly. The nurses were thrilled and said that meant I was close to having Z! My doctor came in and did another internal and said “Well I’ll be damned; you’re dilated to 10 centimeters!” The whole crew came in and at 6:20 I started pushing. It progressed slowly and is really hard…even though you’ve never done it before;instinctively you know how to do it. At 6:55 my doctor came back in and could see I was getting really tired. He asked if I wanted to use the vacuum and I agreed. At 7:03, Z was born! She was gorgeous and was looking around and got mad when they cleaned her up. R cut the cord and took photos while they weighed and measured her: 18.5 inches, 7.4 pounds, and she scored 9/9 on both Apgar tests. After I got cleaned up, we snuggled for a bit and took our first family photo. My mom came and held Z before they took her to the nursery for her hearing test and the other things they do with babies after they’re born. The nurse ordered my dinner: hot dog, chips, andjello. I took a shower. The nurse brought Z back and we all settled in…then we couldn’t figure out the swaddle. We called the nurse and she showed us. Even though I was exhausted, I couldn’t fall asleep. Z was whistling and making a lot of loud newborn noises and I was paranoid about watching her. R suggested Z spend the night in the nursery with the other babies so we could get some rest. Z was born one day before her due date. She’s a very punctual girl and likes to keep to her schedule.
The day after Z was born, my grandparents, mom and aunt came to visit. Z smiled for the first time. And no, it wasn’t a fake smile—she’s been smiling ever since. We got to go home the next morning. Getting Z dressed in her going home outfit was so scary. She was so tiny and I thought we’d break her. She didn’t even fit in her car seat. When we got home, we quickly fell into a routine, most of which included resting and watching the Olympics. My birth experience was very positive. I’m thankful I was not Peaches K. that hot day in July.