As you most likely guessed by my week-long hiatus, I was busy having a baby boy!
Monday morning, bright and early, my husband and I drove to the hospital to get induced. It was such a different experience than with Little Man! With Little Man, we had an induction scheduled, but Little Man had the courtesy to arrive the day before the appointment. This baby seemed quite comfortable where he was, and so at 6:45 a.m., we headed to the hospital to get things going. I was a little nervous, since my first birth was totally natural. Despite my anxiety, I was thinking, “well, at least now I’ll have a nice comparison of a natural birth versus a fairly medical birth.” It was really weird, though, knowing that I was driving to an appointment to GIVE BIRTH. I mean, it’s not like a dentist appointment or something. It’s birth. So strange.
We arrived at the hospital and checked in. The staff ladies were very nice, and I didn’t mind at all the zillion questions they asked me as I was getting all hooked up to various machines. Again, so different from Little Man’s birth. With him, he came so quickly that the staff didn’t even have time to get an I.V. in me and I was barely on the fetal monitor. So being all strapped down and hooked up was weird. But I was prepared for it. I mean, it was an induction and all.
My doctor came in to check if I had progressed at all since my last appointment. I hadn’t. He got this look on his face like, “oh boy, this is going to take a while.” Being a good doctor, he didn’t actually say this. He started me on a pitocin drip and I thought, “well, here we go.”
Pitocin, I had heard, creates incredibly painful contractions. A friend of mine urged me to get the epidural before the pitocin drip. Another friend urged me to wait until labor had sufficiently progressed before getting the epidural, lest the labor stall. I elected to wait until I was at 5 or 6. Or until it hurt a lot.
One of the reasons that I was even electing to have an epidural, after having a resoundingly successful natural birth is that I was curious about this supposedly miraculous epidural which apparently renders contractions painless. I mean, it’s a GIANT NEEDLE in my back, so I wasn’t exactly eager to have someone, potentially a resident with scant experience, poking around back there with a mega needle. No thank you. But labor hurts. A lot. So I thought I would try this epidural thing out, and then I could make an educated decision about subsequent births (G-d willing). I was adamant that the procedure be done by an attending doctor, NOT a resident. I reiterated this to my husband over and over and over again (c’mon, it’s a really big needle here).
The contractions started almost immediately, but they didn’t hurt at first. It was just a tightening sensation. Not bad at all. I read my book, shmoozed with my husband and waited. A few times I needed to go to the bathroom, which entailed being unhooked from the fetal monitor and dragging the pole with my fluids and pitocin. Weird and weird.
I won’t bore you (or gross you out) with the rest of the details, but I will say that when it came time for the epidural, the janitor could’ve done it and I wouldn’t have cared. It was totally worth it. It kicked in just in time for transition.
And now we have really little man! Or little little man, or very little man….by tomorrow, G-d willing, he’ll have a proper name!