Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dale's birth story

I think it is inevitable that somewhere along this stage of pregnancy you start to look back on previous experiences.  Even though I still have over 6 weeks to go, my mind is already traveling back to the 'endings' of my previous two pregnancies.  The part where you stop being pregnant and start being Mama-to-a-Newborn instead.

Of course, I also recently read Connie's series on natural childbirth.  That too, got me to thinking about how things have gone before, and wondering how they will go this time around.

So, since it is on my mind anyway, I thought I'd share Dale's story here.  

With less than 8 weeks to go, Greg got a new job, and we moved an hour away from my OB.  Not only that, but our old insurance coverage would expire 7 days after Dale's due date.  Even though the new insurance should kick in with no problems, we all know insurance can rarely be trusted to work exactly as it's supposed to.  At least not without a hassle.

So, knowing those two things, my doctor made the offer for an induction.  It was a regular Tuesday appointment before my due date the following Sunday.  I had never thought about the fact that you could choose when your baby would be born.  Really?  That was... allowed?  Wow!

We left saying we'd think about it, and called back within 24 hours to say, 'Sure!  Let's go for it!"  My doctor happened to be on duty at the hospital that weekend, so it was convenient for him, convenient for us... what a deal!

Greg and I showed up early on that Friday morning and, after a good bit of paper work, got all checked in and settled in.  We had family arriving from the East and West later and expected things would soon be getting fun.

The only birth we'd been a part of was two years before, when our friends from church were having their first.  We hung out in the room with them, laughing and visiting through the night, then ever-so-politely moved to the waiting room when it was time for actual work to be done.  Thirty minutes to an hour later (I'm sure Margie could tell us), ta-da!  We went back in to celebrate a beautiful new baby girl, all pretty and snug in a blanket.

I think that was how we pictured our own experience would be: relaxed, visiting with a room full of family.

Yeah, right.

What actually happened, was that whatever drug they gave me mid-morning to start my labor had a fairly quick and pretty strong effect, so that by mid-afternoon I was having almost continuous strong contractions.  And progressing very slowly.  Slowly enough that no epidural was anywhere on the horizon, for fear it would slow down an already slow process.

Around this time, my mom, dad, and sister arrived, followed not too far behind by Greg's mom and step-dad.  But unlike my picturesque visions of labor, I was in no mood for a party.  I asked Greg to make sure nobody but he and my mom be in the room.  Surely, later, after I had pain relief flowing through my spine, we could start the real fun.  Because so far?  This was not fun.

The late afternoon and evening all ran together for me.  While I can't remember how the hours passed, I can remember the colors of both the popsicles I ate and threw up.  Odd, isn't it?

Finally, finally, around 11:00 that night, it was decided things had moved along enough that I could have the long-awaited epidural.  Thank you!

Of course, by this time, no one was much in the mood for a party anymore, and we all settled in to sleep, expecting a long night ahead.

Imagine our surprise when nurses checked in around an hour later and announced, "It's time to have a baby!"

Excuse me?  We're sleeping here, thank you.

But they weren't really interested in our sleep.  The lights came on, equipment came in, and things got busy!

And, surprisingly easily, after the long day of pain and waiting, little Dale arrived at 12:50am.  

"Little" being a relative term, as Dale was a solid 8lbs 4oz.

Amazing how all the hardships, aches and pains disappear when you are holding a healthy baby.  All that suddenly doesn't matter anymore, when you have a new person to snuggle, admire, and feed.

And for that little bundle of sweetness?  I'd do it all over again.  


Cindy said...

So what colors were those popsicles? LOL!

Linda Jacobs said...

I'm such a softie; this acutally brought a lump to my throat!

And what a cutie!

When I was in labor for my first, Nathan, my husband was trying to entertain me by reading jokes from the Reader's Digest and I was ready to shoot him. I was in no mood for humor!

Kristin said...

I remember that day too. I left school early to be there for the big event. Dale is my buddy.

Shanna said...

Oh, he was quite a handsome baby!

I was actually induced with my all of my first six. Levi was the only one I actually went into labor on my own.