Thursday, November 18 (3 days overdue)– Todd begins his paternity leave today because tonight will be the night I go into labor. It’s happened the same way for all three of my previous children: I’m overdue, the midwife strips me and voila, labor begins a few hours later. After my appointment, I head to my favorite thrift store to do a little browsing (I need to stay on my feet after all) and then go get a pedicure to make sure my toes won’t be an embarrassing hawt mess for all to see. I opt for dark blue polish with light blue polka dots to celebrate the new baby boy. When I finally get home, I throw on my running shoes and take a jog around the block with the kids to make sure my labor will be eminent. I call all of our “people” to make sure child care arrangements are all set. For my final dinner i choose Souplantation–a place I love and Todd hates so I save it for days he can’t turn me down (like my birthday, Mother’s Day and “I’m pushing your baby out of my body’s” Eve). I go to bed happily feeling a little icky and knowing that in a couple of hours I will surely be woken up by my contracting body.
Friday, November 19 (4 days overdue) — I wake up feeling great. I’m terribly dissappointed. Desperation is setting in. I find a reflexologist in Koreatown. When I try to conivnce her to put me into labor, she smiles and tells me in a thick accent “no, it’s too dangerous”. I want my money back. Later in the afternoon I send Todd to get castor oil (which I never take, but somehow it’s comforting knowing it’s in the house). I make my famous apple crisp to feed my sorrow.
Saturday, November 20 (5 days overdue)–Still pregnant. I plan on going on a morning hike, but the rain foils my plan. I take Princess on a 3 hour thrift store shopping excursion instead, hoping all the walking will be just as effective as the intended hike. My thrift store finds make me happy for a moment. Contractions come and go often enough to get me excited then let me down.
Sunday, November 21 (6 days overdue)– I play hookey from church. Not only do I have nothing to wear (because I packed up all my maternity dresses last week), I also can’t bear to hear everyone at church say “You’re still pregnant!?!” when they see my walk in the door. I call my midwife to share my fear of having to push out an enormous baby hoping she’ll get the hint that I’m open for an induction. She assures me the baby is not big and patience is the best course of action. I have always trusted my midwife so I end the conversation with a new resolve to wait it out with a happy heart. I make a list of everything I am grateful for and put on a pot of beans to soak so tomorrow, I can make my favorite soup.
Monday, November 22 (7 days overdue)–I send Todd back to work because I’d rather have him take time off after the baby comes than before. I feel more at peace with waiting game I am playing, but it doesn’t stop me from playing reverse psychology on the baby by threatening to unpack my hospital bag & plan an expensive European vacation for the following week. Since today is the first day of the kids Thanksgiving week break, I decide to take them for a stroll around Shipley Nature Center once again hoping the walking might get things moving. Midday, I get a phone call from my midwife. She’s been researching baby size estimates. Apparently studies show mothers can more often predict the weight of their baby more accurately than their doctor, midwife or ultrasound technician. She asks me, “How big do you think this baby is?” I quickly and confidently answer “Over 9 pounds.” She suggests an induction for the following morning. I agree.
Tuesday, November 23 (8 days overdue)
5:00am I eat as much as I can before we head to the hospital since one of my biggest fears is being terribly hungry during labor.
5:30am We check-in to the hospital
6:00am Turns out I’m already 5-6cm dilated. The nurses assure me I’ll have this baby before lunch. I know myself better than that and hope he’s here before dinner.
8:00am Pitocin is working its magic. I listen to my “mellow” music mix on my iPod but wonder if my “Eye of the Tiger” Pandora station would be more effective in moving this labor along.
10:00am We find out my nurse is a mountain biking grandma. We share stories of our favorite local rides. I admit to my midwife that I may have gone on a downhill mountain bike vacation at 6 1/2 months pregnant. Todd pulls out a photo on his phone to confirm the story,
10:30am I’m bored. Contractions are consistent but not painfully strong so we decide to watch a movie -The Proposal.
11:30am I get an epidural right before the midwife breaks my water. My stomach rumbles with hunger.
12:00pm My epidural rocks. The movie is entertaining. The nurses and midwives place bets on the size of the baby. They all guess between 7 and 8.5. I hold firm at over 9 pounds.
1:45pm It’s time to start pushing. In between contractions I try to decide if I’d rather eat steak and potatoes from Black Angus or IHOP swedish pancakes as my post-delivery meal. I am so hungry, I might need both.
2:00pm Why is this hurting so freaking bad? Oh, yeah, “Your epidural just ran out” they tell me.
2:10pm The anesthesiologist gives me a little more of the good stuff.
2:30pm The Baby is born. I sob with relief, both emotional and physical. I’m already in love with his dark hair and double chin. While the nurses try to be patient during our post- birth, skin-on-skin bonding time, I can tell they can’t wait to get him on the scale to see who wins the baby weight bet.
2:45pm I give him up to the baby nurse to get his stats. 9 pounds 1 ounce. 21 inches long. The Mom is right again.