Friday, February 16, 2007

A Birth Story (Son #3)

NOTE: For those of you who don't know, I'll be on vacation from Feb. 18-24th. I hope to post again on Monday, February 26th, which just happens to be my birthday, so check back!

Back in June around their birthdays, I posted the birth stories for Son #1 and Son #2. This Sunday is Son #3's birthday so I thought I'd post his birth story. It's hard to believe The Baby is turning 5. I was a working mom until he came along. We had purchased a small home in April 2001 - three bedrooms, two baths, 1163 sf. In June we found out we were expecting Son #3, essentially outgrowing the home we just bought. (We're still living there, though - but it's, um, cozy.)

They say every pregnancy is different. I wasn't sick much at all with Son #3, but I was very tired all the time. I didn't know if it was just fatigue or if it was my age. I napped a lot.

The boys were okay with the idea of a younger sibling, but they were rooting for a brother. They've shared a room at different times in the past and were ready to do so again. As for me, I didn't really have a strong sense whether this baby would be a boy or girl. I knew very early on - even before the ultrasound - with the other two. I sort of figured that law of averages would mean a girl this time and was getting used to the idea. After two boys, one does have to learn to "think pink", I believe. A later ultrasound showed that our future would be blue. Yea! (If I seem partial to boys, it's because they're all I know.)

It was pretty much a textbook pregnancy. There was one visit to the OB in my 7th month that was scary. He thought the baby's heart rate was slightly low. That in itself wasn't alarming, but he poked and prodded at my belly hoping to elicit a reaction (an increased heart rate) from the baby. It didn't work. The nurse fed me cookies and orange juice and had me hang around for 30 or so minutes, in hopes that the baby would get a little sugar rush. Didn't work, either. Doc was a little concerned that the baby was non-responsive so he sent me to the Labor & Delivery ward of the hospital (his office adjoins the hospital, so it was just a brief elevator ride and a short walk).

At the hospital, they hook me up to an even more sophisticated monitor, gave me an IV with something in it - possibly Mountain Dew? (kidding). I was lying there by myself, listening to the hwoo-hwoo-hwoo of the fetal heart monitor, and - because I am who I am - imagining the worst. A Eucharist Minister from our church happened to come by to offer Communion to Catholic patients. We prayed together and he gave me Communion. Just a couple of minutes after he left, the baby's heart rate increased to its more acceptable range *and* he started kicking and moving all around. Hmmmm..... Within minutes, we were sent home.

Later on, I tested postive for Group B strep (as I had with Son #2), which simply means that an antibiotic IV would be administed to me before delivery. Because my job involved a commute of a 24-mile toll bridge, Doc thought I should give up the idea of working right up to my due date, which was Feb. 18. Dear Hubby and I had pretty much decided that I'd quit working when the baby was born, so I left my favorite job two weeks early on February 4th, and haven't regretting it once.

At that point, I was visiting Doc weekly and we were charting my labor progression (I'll spare you the dilating/effacing details). On Friday, Feb. 15th, he mentioned that the volume of my amniotic fluid seems to be decreasing slightly, which is typical as a woman approaches delivery. He said to come back on the Mon. Feb. 18 - my estimated due date - and if nothing much more was happening, he'd like to induce labor. I should point out that back in the Spring when we conceived, there was a lot going on in our lives - buying and moving into a new home, the death of my mother-in-law among them - so I wasn't exactly tracking my monthly cycles. We sort of guessed.

Well, Monday arrives and I visit his office first thing in the morning. Minor dilation, rather effaced, but really not much different from the previous week's visit. He tells me to enjoy my day, not to eat after 3:00 p.m., and to go to the hospital at 7:00 p.m. They'd admit me, start a pitocin drip to jump start the contractions and he'd stop by the next morning on the way to his office and deliver the baby.

I walked around, did a little window shopping, lined up a sitter for Sons #1 and #2, and ate a leisurely lunch at LaMadeleine (salmon salad and a rich chocolate dessert - yum!). The young fellow who served my lunch asked when was the baby due. I'll never forget his face when I told him, "in about 4 hours." :-O Truthfully, during lunch I had a few maybe-Braxton-Hick's contractions, but that was it. I went home, took a shower, shaved my legs, polished my toenails (a diversionary technique that never works - hey, she has such wonderful toe nails that I'm not even noticing her Va-jay-jay!).

Dear Hubby and I arrive at the hospital at 7:00 p.m. as expected, we're shown to our room, I change into my gown - backless is still "in" apparently - and settle in to watch TV. The nurse comes in around 8:00 p.m., looks at my chart, takes a peek at me, doesn't even comment on my pedicure, and says, "Why are we inducing you? You're fully dilated. Would you like your epidural now before we call Dr. T?" Hey, I've done a medicated birth (Son #1), and a natural birth (Son #2). For those of you who prefer the natural route, that's great. More meds for me. ;-)

If you've read the two previous birth stories, you'll realize that I've always had very irregular, inconsistent, yet apparently productive contractions. Not that they weren't painful - some were very much so, while others were barely noticeable. And so it went...

The anesthesiologist arrives around 9:15 p.m., administered the epidural and we wait for Doc. He arrives around 10 p.m., we get to work, and Son #3 is born just before midnight. Interesting that Son #3 did indeed arrive on the due date estimated by Doc, just under his own terms. That's a pattern we've seen repeated a lot over the past five years. And maybe, just maybe, Son #3 was getting even for all Doctor T's poking and prodding while he was enjoying a deep, interuterine slumber two months prior.

Happy Birthday, Baby!


Anonymous said...

I love birth stories. so, you were fully dialated but didn't feel the urge to push?? You make it sound sooo easy. theBeast's birth was way easy too, but not that easy!! Oh, and she was born on her duedate too, which only happens in like 2% of births!!

Anonymous said...

Aww...I loved reading your birth stories! Hope you have a blast on your vacation...enjoy your time off!!!!

Just Being Me said...

That's a great story. Do you watch Grey's Anatomy? I just LOL when I read the part about the painted toe nails and Va-jay-jay.

Have a great vacation!

Nicole said...

ON the due date huh? WOW. You don't hear that very often. I love to read your birth stories. I need to write my own I guess. It takes forever though, right???

Sorry I've been a bad blogging buddy this week!! I am going to be BETTER!! I promise.

Elle*Bee said...

Hi all, thanks for commenting. No, Nicole, it really didn't take that long at all. I was actually surprised about how many little details I had forgotten about until I sat down at the key board.

Yes, JBM, I love Grey's Anatomy. I only saw the last 10 minutes this week b/c of vacation. Fill me in on what I missed, will you?

Our trip was great! I'll start blogging about it soon. I'm just trying to decide how to structure it so it's not a massive post. LOL

Renee said...

Wow! I never heard the story about #3! Get blogging! I'm loving it!