June 21, 2017

Oliver’s Birth Story

Everyone told me with the second, it would happen faster. And they were right. Despite being convinced I was destined for another overdue pregnancy, after essentially being with child for 13 months considering my miscarriage, in the heat of summer (the day I delivered, it was 95 degrees), already very uncomfortable (acid reflux, sciatica, lightning crotch, waddling, chafing- so glam), oh and then there was the case of Hand, Foot and Mouth that my entire family contracted just days before, our little guy arrived 8 days early. Here’s how it all went down…

I was at the point of weekly OB appointments and, considering my loss and age (“advanced maternal”, insert eye roll here), deemed high risk so I was also going to the hospital each week for advanced ultrasounds as well. I’d just been to both on Monday, was told I was 1cm (which I remained at with Lilly for weeks so that didn’t cause any alarm) but my fluid was low. My doctor agreed to let me be induced a few days early (my due date was June 23rd) and we scheduled a delivery date for today, June 20th. But my guy had other arrangements- I love him already beating to his own drum!

For six weeks, since we moved, his crib was covered in baby clothes as his dresser was filled with his sister’s stuff while we waited for her closet to be redone. I planned on putting them away that weekend but Wednesday morning, I woke and all of a sudden HAD to do it. Right then. In that moment. For hours, I organized, reorganized, scrubbed and set up his and her rooms. My mom, who was there to help with Lilly, encouraged me to take a break, sit down, do the rest tomorrow but I was a determined to get it done. Women’s intuition never ceases to amaze me. Somewhere, somehow I knew he was coming.

Zach clearly did not. While he planned on being on self-imposed lockdown the week before, he had a work dinner that got rescheduled to that evening and, since we had an induction date, thought he was in the clear. We’d often joke about how this whole thing would go down, assume it would be Friday at rush hour, my mom would’ve left for the weekend, I’d be alone with Lilly, he’d be stuck on a train… Knowing our luck, it would not be ideal. But I don’t think either of us imagined that he’d be out to dinner… in the city, a few glasses of wine deep.

Now, I love a few cocktails and am never one to begrudge others of them but I find nothing more annoying than when my husband drinks and I’m stone cold sober. Not a beer here or there but buzzed, he’s super irritating. Regularly. When pregnant? Almost intolerable. In labor? Beyond!

He was in an Über on the way home when I texted him, “I just had my first legit contraction.” Then, “another one”. His response, “um, seriously?” He knew he was screwed.

I was watching Real Housewives, it was 9:45 and I paused the TV because something was happening. My Braxton-Hicks that I’d been having felt totally different than this, it wasn’t a poop pain (I’d confused those before too.), this was other level stuff. Unable to focus on Bethenny’s barbs or my Instagram feed, I had to work through it. I took record of the time and tried to breathe.

I walked down the hall to my mom’s room to tell her the news, downstairs to grab a string cheese from the fridge (because: pregnant), unlock the door for my tardy husband and headed back up to try and relax. Zach came home and I made him go to bed asap to sleep off his stupor, not entirely sure we were headed to the hospital but not sure we weren’t either. At 10:20, the next one came. Was this it? I still wasn’t sure. My doctor had previously told me to head in at 8 minutes apart.

I closed my eyes. How I fell asleep, I have no idea but the next thing I knew, was woken with pain at 11:45. The next one came not ten minutes later. This was it. Go time. I shook Mr. Sav Blanc, handed him my phone, told him to call my doctor and got in the shower.

A minute later, Zach came in, totally out of it, phone in hand, asking what he was supposed to say. I told him again, adding, “Get in the game, Zach!” He assured me he didn’t need a shower. I shoved him in anyway and cranked up the cold.

We’d, thankfully, already had a bag packed, I woke up my poor mom at 1am, handed her the monitor, grabbed a half-eaten, two-day-old bagel reject from Lilly (I’d had a pint of ice cream for dinner and the doctor’s last words to me were “eat a good dinner”), some seltzer and we were off.

To be clear, afters hours, sleep, a shower, food and drink, Zach was totally fine to drive. I never would’ve gotten in the car with him if he wasn’t nor would he have put us in that position. He really wasn’t even all that bad to begin with, I just like to give him a hard time.

At that hour, there was hardly competition on the road so we made it into the city in record time. But, it appeared, the parking garage attendant was trying to snooze too because we waited for a bit. By the time he arrived and I made my way to the trunk to grab a bag, my contractions had intensified and I had to hang on to the hatch for dear life, which terrified the poor guy. We checked in, waited in the waiting room for awhile (It never ceases to amaze me that they have women in labor, sit in a standard chair in the waiting room as if they’re there for a routine checkup. Same thing happened with Lilly and we were at a different hospital.), where I scared yet another man next to me with my gripping, wincing and heavy breathing. Finally I was brought into triage.

They stuck me for an IV three separate times and places (I still have the bruises.), which was fun and then they couldn’t figure out how dilated I was. So several people came in to check, several times. And by “check”, you ladies know what I mean. Not comfortable. At all. I got asked a series of questions (“Do you feel safe at home?”), several times over by separate people as well while Zach sat outside and waited. Finally, a full two hours or so later, I was transferred to labor and delivery where he joined me.

My blood pressure was low and they were worried about both of us so they put me on oxygen, which was a little concerning. And it turned out the cord was wrapped around his neck, which, in hindsight, is terrifying. We’re so lucky that everything turned out okay.

The rest is fairly uneventful, thankfully. And a bit of a blur, to be honest. I’m constantly asking Zach what time something was, what happened next. I got the epidural (Bless you women who choose to do it unmedicated. That’s so not for me. I appreciate modern medicine way too much.), this time, wasn’t weaned off and by 10am, they were predicting a noon-1pm delivery. Not my boy! Around 11, my contractions (with the medicine) were so intense, I called the nurse, who confirmed I was ready. And at 11:21am, after 90 seconds of pushing, Oliver made his debut.

I still can’t believe he’s here, that it was so quick and easy (compared to Lilly’s 2.5 hours of pushing and unintentional and painful natural childbirth) and à la Kourtney Kardashian, I actually helped pull him out! My two experiences couldn’t have been more different and I’m so thankful that this one was actually enjoyable. What a perfect note to end on.

That’s right- we’re done. Everyone says never say never but we’re saying… we’re good. As someone put it, we’ve got the dream team. Why mess with that? Plus, how can you get cuter than this? 😉