The Pea's birthday is actually on Friday (April 6), but it goes without saying that she is the topic of this week's Love Thursday. After all, it was actually the day before, April 5, a Thursday, that I went into labor. Here is our story:
April 5, 2001, Thursday, approx. 3PM: I'm already 5 days late and fed up with being pregnant. On March 19, I was 1cm dilated and on my due date, March 31, I was almost 2cm, so I was sure it wouldn't be long. Indian food, long walks and sex have not helped to bring upon labor. I secretly resent every woman who ever gave birth early or on time. Walking home from Ace Hardware with my in-laws, I begin to feel "twinges" that come and go, like regular menstrual cramps. Hmmmm.... wonder if this is it?
April 5, approx. 5PM: Yes, it's labor. These are definitely contractions. Still pretty far apart and bearable, so I'm content to sit on the sofa and watch TV.
April 6, 2001, Friday, approx. 1AM: OK, it's going to be a sleepless night. Contractions are keeping me awake because they are starting to hurt. I envy my husband sleeping beside me (he claims I woke him up with my moaning at each contraction but I know better --I heard him snoring).
April 6, 4AM: Contractions are 4 minutes apart. We start to think about calling the doctor.
April 6, 5AM: We arrive at the hospital, and are disappointed to find out that I'm still only 2.5-3cm dilated. With this kind of pain, I thought I'd be 7 at least!
8AM: At 3cm dilated and 75% effaced I'm outraged to hear that contractions have stopped! There is no way I'm going through a night like that again, not when I'm already in so much pain. No way, baby, you're coming out today. We agree to have bag of waters broken to speed up contractions. Contractions become REALLY painful. Now there's no turning back.
2PM: After all this time, still only 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. I'm exhausted, discouraged, defeated. All the hot showers, Lamaze breathing, squatting, hanging down from Graham and walking have not helped manage the pain. Graham is begging me to get an epidural so we can both get some much-needed rest. We decide to get the epidural. It kicks in.... o blessed relief!! Graham takes a break from holding me up for the past 6 hours and immediately falls asleep, as do I.
5PM: 5cm dilated. I'm cold and puking right and left, but I can move my legs and contractions are still coming on nicely.
6PM: 10cm dilated. It's time to push -- but Graham is away at Walgreens!
6:30 - 7PM: Thank goodness Graham's back. We get down to the business of pushing, but it's a bit difficult to do when you can't really feel anything. Push what? Push where? Bear down? I decide to pretend I'm constipated. That seems to do the trick.
7:30PM: I'm discouraged again -- this is taking a looong time. We're already on our third nurse shift. Doctor and nurses cheer me on like I'm winning a marathon. I feel ridiculously proud of myself for doing such a good job (later, I wonder if they say that to all the women in labor).
8:3oPM: Hang on, I thought I had an epidural down there? How come I can feel contractions? How come I can feel my legs now? No time to wonder, because there is a commotion; the head has started to show and She's Blond!! What??? A mirror is held up and sure enough, I can see wisps of damp blond hair on a very pale head.
8:45PM: OOOOMIGOOOOD! It HUUUURTS! What happened to the f***ing epidural??? I'm dazed and confused, in pain, it's burning, just want it to stop, I'm screaming I can't do it, my skin is being ripped apart (yes, I tore), I want to pull back but I have to puuuuUUSH!! Ahhhhh.... momentary cessation of pain... head's out doctor (calmly) and Graham (not so calmly) tell me to stop pushing for a moment, so I stop (later on I'm told that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck).
April 6, 2001, 8:49PM: One final push.... I feel a funny shhlurrping, deflating sensation as the body comes slithering out.... and there she is on my chest, all wet and soft and pink. Why hello, little baby, we've been waiting a looong time for you. Happy birthday my love.
Love is saying hello to your very first granddaughter just minutes after being born. Love is peering up at your very first grandpa and liking what you see.
Love is coming home, stretching out on the sofa after a sleepless night and finding some rest, with the love of your life snuggled up on top of you.
Happy Love Thursday everyone, and may your Thursdays be as precious as the one we had six years ago.