So here's the thing.
When you're expecting a baby, everyone keeps giving you the same threats talking points ad nauseum. You can't prepare for this. It's the hardest thing you'll ever do. Your life will change.
Let me tell you one thing: They're all under-exaggerating. You really can't prepare for life with a baby, because until you bring that baby home, you have no *$#^ing idea what it means to have every moment of your day completely and utterly consumed by something completely and utterly uncontrollable.
I'm a big fan of control—I like order, I like rules, I even like laws. I may not choose to follow them, but I appreciate having them so I know when I'm (or more often someone else is) out of line. So I spent nearly 10 months reading about babies, learning about babies, and watching other parents do things I would or would never do with their babies, all in the name of preparing for how we would behave, react and interact with our own baby.
And then on February 19, it all started disintegrating. Because on that day, my due date, there was supposed to be a baby. I'm prompt. Hubby is prompt. So this baby was going to be on time. But on February 19, there was no baby. Or the day after, or the day after that.
I woke up 5 days past our due date with contractions every 15 minutes or so. In total denial, I sent the hubs off to work. By 10am, I was about 7 minutes apart and freaking the f%$& out—I absolutely was sure I no longer wanted to have a baby. It was fine just where it was. Quiet, cheap, and obviously comfortable. There was no reason to inconvenience either of us by changing the present situation any.
By noon, however, contractions were less than 5 minutes apart and hubby had come home to help convince me to get my ass in the car and to the hospital. (At this point, dear inquiring minds, contractions felt like that massively bad stomach ache you get when you desperately need to poop-that awful crampy feeling? It would wrap around from my back to my front, and then back.)
By about 3:30, the nurse began throwing around the dreaded "E" word. And because I am a stubborn, stubborn girl, I refused the epidural. I could DO this. Temporary pain meds? Sure, hit me up. Problem was, they were great for the contractions, but did nothing for the excruciating back pain I was having. And so I cried. I tearfully asked the hubby if he would judge me. If he thought my friends would judge me. And I cried some more because I was so disappointed in myself. And he's no idiot, so I'm thinking you can guess his answer here.
And so I caved. And after a surprisingly short and pleasant session with the anesthesiologist—we chatted about celebrity chefs—the pain was gone. Gone. I could finally focus on the situation. I could process what was happening, and I could do something other than focus on the Food Network logo on the TV every time the pain hit.
By 8:15pm, the doctor decided to break my water to move things along, especially since the baby's heart rate was consistently dropping with each contraction. By 9pm, I'd progressed to 6.5cm, and by around 10pm I was at 8. After that it was a bit of a blur—I was at 10cm within minutes, and the nurse was telling me to practice pushing. The doctor was paged, a team was assembled, and suddenly I was holding one leg while the husband held the other and I was being directed to push. And so I pushed. And five minutes later (seriously), my husband was grinning at me, tears streaming as he announced—quite triumphantly, and quite to both of our surprise—that it was a boy.
I later found out the cord was so tightly around E's neck they'd had to cut it in two places as soon as the head was out (so much for hubby getting to do it!), but we ended up with a 7 lb, 5 oz, 20 inch, perfect, ridiculously good looking little man.
I've learned a lot in the past 11 weeks (including how hard it is to find time to write), which I'm hoping will be easier to get into words now that he's a bit older and less demandin—I'm sorry, I can't even type that without completely losing it. He's no less demanding today than he was at 11 days old. He can't control his needs any more than I can....I'm just getting (a little) better at dealing with it. So I'll be around to share my thoughts, gripes, and lessons-learned...when I'm allowed, that is. Mister Man's the boss now. There's no controlling that.
~ Pam Huber of Seriously Yum