The Perfect Birth: Part 2
September 28th, 2010
…then the waiting began. Everything you hear about induced labor makes it sound like head-spinning whirlwind of painful contractions, but that wasn’t our experience. The whole thing cranked into gear very slowly.
First came a 12-hour course of a med called cervidil. I started it, watched a movie with the hubby (Penelope, if you were curious — I heart James McAvoy), and got a pretty good night’s sleep. At least as far as hospital sleep is concerned, given the fact that people keep popping in and out of your room all night to poke you, check your monitors, and pump fluids into our veins.
In the morning, I was pronounced 3 cm dilated and the Pitocin started flowing. Pitocin’s job is to activate your labor, but again, it’s a process. Starting at about 8:30, they slowly started dripping the Pitocin into my IV, increasing the dosage every half hour or so. I immediately started having regular (2 minutes apart) contractions, but they were super weeny contractions. If it weren’t for the monitor strapped to my belly, I’d have been oblivious.
So we waited. And added more Pitocin. And waited. We hung out, chatted with our doula, read a book, watched some CSI. It was a bit surreal. One fun thing was that one of my very good friends was doula-ing for another woman who was laboring just across the hall. Periodically, Amy would be able to pop across to add her reassurances and love. Fun!
Finally, by early afternoon, I actually felt like I was in labor. The contractions were strong and regular and we were cooking. We watched another movie (Wolverine — I also heart Hugh Jackman), much to the amusement of the labor nurses. By 6pm, I was 5 cm dilated, they were ready to break my water, and I was ready for my epidural.
As soon as I got the epidural, my water broke on its own and we were on the fast track. A quick 3 hours later, and it was go time. Having been content to wait an extra week, once Little Bear decided to come, there was no stopping him. I pushed for exactly 17 minutes (three rounds of pushing) and — voila! — a stunningly perfect baby boy.
We spent a wonderful initial hour together, snuggling, bonding, and feeding (the kid had amazing boob radar — more about that another time) before I reluctantly allowed them to clean him up, weigh him, and check him out.
This time around, I felt (feel) so happy about our birth experience. I felt like I was in control throughout, that my vision for the birth matched the reality, and that the choices I made were the right ones for all of us. All in all: Perfect.
It’s funny — you can actually see all that in the post-birth photo. I compared the Miss Mouse Birth Photo to the Little Bear Birth Photo and I have to say, I look way better in the latter. Happier. Glowy-er. (Thinner, not that I’m paying attention to that.) Less exhausted, and all together far less like a wet dish rag.