I had a baby.
Finally. After 41 weeks, 6 days and 2 hours, I had a baby. I had the most beautiful little blue-eyed, brown-haired baby boy, during the wee hours of the morning, in the midst of the big Nashville ice storm.
We’d been eagerly anticipating Archie’s arrival for weeks, especially because my mom (AKA Saint Peggy) flew in from Boston on my due date to help stock our freezer, pamper me, entertain our nearly three-year-old and pick up any last-minute baby essentials. And when I say “eagerly anticipating” I mean I was in full-on, over-due pregnant lady misery mode, trying to will myself into active labor every waking moment.
I tried everything. I took walks. I ate spicy food. I went to the chiropractor. I drank balsamic vinegar. I tried acupressure. And that thing that you’re thinking of that I didn’t mention? We tried that too. Nothing worked. Nothing.
On the morning before my scheduled induction, I woke up feeling completely defeated. I was weepy, scared and completely distraught that my plan to have a natural, unmedicated labor was about to go out the window. I felt like my body had failed me and that there was no way I was going to be able to experience the labor and delivery I had imagined.
Why I thought things would go exactly as I had penned in my birth plan is beyond me, but as hormonal and stressed as I was, it was all I could do not to sink into despair over my lost chance at the perfect entrance into the world for my baby boy.
I realize now, that in the midst of all my self-imposed misery, I had completely lost sight of whole reason I was going to be giving birth in the first place – to meet my son. In my mind, the act of giving birth had itself become a challenge, something that I was going to tackle like every other challenge in my life – with every ounce of Type A, anal retentiveness I could muster. I had allowed my desire to “win” at childbirth muddy up my perspective on the beginning of a brand new life.
As the hour of my scheduled induction approached, Brian and I said goodbye to Oliver and Saint Peg and headed to the hospital to meet our midwife. This ride to the hospital was a far cry from my first labor, during which I was practically screaming in agony in the front seat of the car and required a wheelchair to get up to the OB floor. No, this time, we calmly parked in the (wrong) parking garage and carried our bags over to get checked in for delivery. Hell, I even had on some makeup.
After thumbing through some local Nashville magazines in the waiting room for a few minutes and signing every possible HIPPA document under the sun, we were welcomed back to our delivery room by our nurse Alexandra and got ready to get the baby-having party started. We discussed how we were going to manipulate my Pitocin drip so that I received only half the standard dosage (Thanks Aunt Madeline!) and got me all nice and hooked up to an IV, BP cuff and fetal monitors.
It was all very calm and casual. We joked about running down to get a few late-night pastries at Au Bon Pain before it closed (and by joked, I mean Brian definitely ran down and got some.) and laughed over the indecency of hospital Johnnies. Then the clock struck 10:00. Within 20 minutes of starting Pitocin, my water broke and – It. Was. On. I will spare you all the delicious details, but suffice it to say, having a baby hurts. It hurts bad.
And then, after 41 weeks, 6 days and 2 hours – it happened. At 2:04am, on the coldest night Nashville has seen in years, little Archie finally made his way into the world. With a full head of brown hair (just like I wanted) and a goose egg on his noggin (just like his brother) my son, my second, perfect little son was finally at home in my arms.
And everything was good.
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