Be shocked even though you KNOW you’re 9 months pregnant and can go into labor at any time. Then rush to the hospital in a controlled panic.
My water breaks. I lie there for a few seconds in disbelief. But it’s unmistakable.
“Babe, my water just broke.”
“Are you sure?”
“Umm..yes. We better get going.”
He hops up and gets dressed. Then heads off to wake up Leila. I waddle to the bathroom because, OMG, my water just broke! I remain outwardly calm although my brain is screaming “oh shit! This is it!”
I manage to call my in-laws to meet us at the hospital so that they can pick up Leila.
I change clothes. Grab my bag. Charles get the car seat (which we’d installed in my car…which was no longer drivable. Something about a broken subframe). 😦
By the time we get in his car, the REAL contractions start. What does that feel like?
It feels like the alien from Alien is in you squeezing and twisting your insides in a rusty vise. Eye-crossing pain.
I don’t want to freak out Leila, who is sitting silently in the back seat.
I tell her that I’m fine, but she’s seen episodes of Call the Midwife, so I KNOW she’s nervous.
Throughout the drive, the contractions get closer together, every 3-4 minutes.
I tell Charles to drop me at patient drop-off, and I’ll get somebody to wheel me to labor and delivery.
Do paperwork and answer questions. Lots of questions. It makes the baby come faster.
I hurry into over to the customer service desk and tell the lady at the desk that I’m in labor and I need help. She just points across the expansive lobby, at the elevators and says “6th floor”.
So, apparently this whole thing is myth. You have to hobble your own ass up to L & D.
I make it to L&D where a little African lady is moving papers around at the nurse’s station. She does not immediately address me. The papers were obviously in a more active stage of labor than me.
After a few seconds, I just interrupt. “Um…my water broke about 30 minutes ago. I’m in labor. Already registered.”
Instead of leaping into action, Mama Esther* hands me a pile of forms to sign. Did I bring valuables? No.
Do I agree to be treated by the hospital? Duh. That’s why I’m here. Xa&#jgt2(&#Hne? (<–contraction). I just initial the rest and push the papers back over to Mama Esther, hoping I haven’t signed away parental rights to my unborn child. She then saunters away from the desk to “see what room is available”. Meanwhile, I continue dying.
I’ve gotten a room, changed into a hospital gown and managed to drag myself up onto the bed. My nurse, Olga**, says she’s going to check to make sure that my water broke. I assure her that it did. But she has to check anyway.
“Yep, your water broke.”
What, really? -_-
She goes over to the computer station and starts typing away, pausing only to ask my questions that I had already answered when I pre-registered. All during this time, contractions are getting more intense and coming about every 2 minutes.
After passing Leila off to my in-laws, Charles comes in the room.
The original plan was that he would stay with me during labor, but when things were about to go down, he could go to the waiting room a la Mad Men era until baby was cleaned up and I’d had time to fluff my hair and put on my pearls. (eye-roll)
Olga pulls herself away from the computer to give me more papers to sign. I push them away. Charles ends up having to sign them.
Olga tries to hook up my IV, but can’t get the needle in the vein. After a few tries, she has another nurse come in and do it. I don’t even care, because contractions. I’ll have to finish the bag of IV fluid before getting an epidural. Boo. I hate Olga. She has gone back to pounding away at the keyboard. Wtf is she writing? A book?
At least Charles is there, holding my hand.
Ask for an epidural. Wait for the anesthesiologist. Then your impatient baby will jump out of you.
Fifty years later, the anesthesiologist arrives. He sets up a cart with all of his equipment as I drift in and out of sanity. I can barely manage to sit up so that he can prep my back for the needle. There’s this crazy pressure accompanying the contractions now.
The anesthesiologist is rubbing that iodine stuff on my back. Suddenly, I can’t take it anymore. The pushing has begun, against my will.
I have to lie down. Now!
Charles helps me lie down, and the nurse starts yelling down the hall for help, but it’s too late.
Maya decided that everybody was taking too long, and she was just gonna do this herself. I push maybe 3 times, and she’s out.
12:47 am. 6 pounds 3 ounces. 19.5 inches.
And that, my friends, is how you have a baby in 3 hours or less.
*Mama Esther is not her real name. I was going for something Nigerian.
**Olga was her real name.