I grew up listening to stories of my brother being born before my mom could even change into a hospital gown, and my mom going from nothing to delivering my sister in 27 minutes.
I should have been more prepared.
Lilly was born about 35 minutes after we parked in the hospital parking lot, and 10(ish) minutes after my water broke. If you want the short version of what happens when you deliver that fast, here it is: no delivery room, no epidural, no doctor, one push.
The long version, for the curious few:
Around 9:30 Sunday night my contractions were 40 seconds long and 2-3 minutes apart, so I decided we’d wait an hour and then go to the hospital. I was painstakingly waiting for the ‘one-minute long, 3-5 minutes apart for an hour’ contractions they tell you to. I was also annoyingly paranoid of being one of those women who show up at the hospital ‘in labor’ and get sent home, so I kept waiting.
Feel free to laugh at me.
At 10:40, we called the babysitter (my sister). At this point, my contractions were uncomfortable, but still manageable. I didn’t feel like it was urgent that we get to the hospital. During our brief drive to the hospital, I looked at the clock at 11:16 and joked with Matt that unless she was born in 45 minutes, she’d be born on June 25th. It wasn’t so funny later. I also made a comment about how I didn’t think I was more than 3 centimeters dilated.
Feel free to laugh at me again (I was off by 5-6 centimeters).
We get to the hospital, the slowest nurse on duty eventually comes with a wheelchair, we go into a generic exam room to change into a hospital gown, and answer dozens of questions I felt could have been asked at a different time. After about 20 minutes of questions and waiting for the nurse to do something, I started jokingly asking about an epidural (I wasn’t really joking, I was just trying to be pleasant. I should have been like those screaming women in the movies).
Shortly after me ‘joking’ about an epidural and the nurse telling me that she was ‘almost done’ asking me questions and then she’d get us moved to a delivery room and check to see how far along I was, my water broke (it was about 11:50). That’s when I knew we weren’t leaving the exam room. The nurse finally checked to see how progressed I was and declared, “holy crap girl, you’re nine and a half centimeters” and left the room mumbling something about my epidural under her breath. She came back with a wheelchair and said that they were going to try to move me to a delivery room. She came to help me get into the wheelchair, but soon left the room swearing. With the wheelchair. (No one told me this then, but apparently they could all see Lilly’s head.)
It’s a sad moment when you realize you’re giving birth without so much as a cough drop for pain. And yes, at this point I was in considerable pain. I don’t have the words to describe it, and you probably don’t want me to anyway. I’ll admit that I was no longer trying to be pleasant, no longer just sitting in silence through contractions, and my arms hurt for two days after because of how hard I was gripping the side of the bed (and Matt). Eventually I resorted to biting the sleeve of Matt’s shirt and squeezing the life out of anything I could get ahold of.
The next 10 minutes were spent in frantic insanity. Nurses were RUNNING in and out with supplies to deliver a baby (this room had only a bed, sink, and computer for asking questions), my doctor was finally called (he didn’t make it in time), I was yelled at not to push. Suddenly I was told, “push for the shoulders” and Lilly was born at exactly midnight.
It’s hard to convey in written form just how fast it all happened; it went FAST.
My ‘recovery’ has been great. Aside from the painkillers they finally gave me almost 2 hours after giving birth, I only asked for 2 ibuprofen for a nurse-induced headache a day or so later. The hospital has a big jacuzzi tub in the maternity wing that I could use literally whenever I wanted, and that my friends is how you spend your nights at a hospital: in a big jacuzzi with water as hot as you can stand it and jets blowing full-blast.
Lilly is absolutely worth it. She’s seriously the BEST baby. I’ve been ‘on my own’ for the last few days, and so far having two kids is completely underwhelming. I’ve honestly been a little bored. I’ve cleaned the bathrooms, reorganized the pantry, cleaned out the fridge, made bread, did all the laundry, played with David, and napped.
If you’re not sick, feel free to visit.