Zoe's Birth Story
Two weeks and five days before my due date, my husband and I lay down to take a nap. He read aloud, “Oh Baby, the Places You’ll Go!” a book by Dr. Seuss, meant to be read in-utero. Right after he finished, we were laughing at some of the names in the book (“Wump a Lump”, …etc.) when all of a sudden I felt a pop! My water had broken.
This was our first baby and we were totally shocked. The doctor told us that if the baby was still moving a lot, we could wait to come to the hospital until 6 p.m. We spent the rest of the afternoon rushing around packing bags, finishing things up in the nursery, and trying to think of baby names (we thought we had at least three weeks to go!).
We had planned to have a doula attend the birth, and had set up a meeting for the following Tuesday to meet her. I called and left a panicked message on her machine, saying that if she still wanted to help she should come straight to the hospital.
We got to the hospital at 6:30 p.m., and waited and waited. I really wasn’t progressing. By 11 p.m. I was 90% effaced but still not dilated, and the doctor suggested we start a Pitocin drip to get things moving. Our doula hadn’t called back, and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to be exhausted by the time it was time to push, so I agreed.
Things started moving pretty fast after that; I could really feel the contractions getting painful. At 1 a.m. Angela, our doula, called. She had been out of town, but said that if I still wanted her she’d be right over. She came about half an hour later and began helping me and my husband relax and get ready for delivery.
The pain was getting more and more unbearable. Everyone kept saying I was still in early labor, and had a long time to go! I told Angela, “If this is early labor, I don’t think I can do this natural childbirth thing.” At 3 a.m. I said, “That’s it! I need something for pain!” The nurse said she would check me and let the doctor know, but if I wasn’t at 4 cm. yet, we’d probably have to wait.
All of a sudden the nurse looked up and said, “You’re 9 cm.!” We found out later that she had lied to us, I was actually 10 cm. but she didn’t want us to panic. Then there was a flurry of activity around us: nurses, technicians, lights, tables, …etc.
My husband said, “I know you don’t want me to talk to you, but I want you to know I love you and am proud of you, and you’re doing great!”
By then, all my pleas for pain medication were being ignored. The nurse told me to push at the next contraction, and I said, “No, I’m not ready to push, I need something for the pain!” But it was too late. I pushed for a total of 20 minutes and then my daughter was born.
At six pounds, three ounces, she was two weeks and five days early. She is such an angel. I guess she just couldn’t wait to see all of those places we’d been reading about in the book!
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