It was a dark and stormy night…
I was sure that God had forgotten about me. Oscar was ten days late and my doctor would not let me go any longer than that without inducing labor. Induction was my biggest fear — I believed that my body and my baby would tell me when they were ready and I hated the idea of staging an intervention while the baby and I were still healthy. That being said, I also trusted my doctor with my life and respected her medical opinion. She was nothing but supportive throughout both my pregnancies, always complimenting my ankle bones (because she could see them) and telling me “you do this so well,” so I knew her recommendation to induce was for my safety and my benefit, not to fulfill her own agenda or cash another paycheck. We were put on the induction list for Thursday (9/13) and were told to wait for a call any time after midnight. Brandon came home Wednesday night (9/12) with a cough, so I put him and Elliot to bed at 8pm and moped around in despair for the next four hours watching Prison Break and eating my feelings (what empty ice cream carton?). I finally relented and went to bed, cursing the heavens for overlooking all the desires of my tender little extra pregnant heart.
What a dummy.
I woke up at 3:30am due to some painful ruckus in my uterus. I mean contractions, due to some contractions, but I didn’t yet believe that they were real contractions because, if you remember, God had forgotten about me. I got up (I’ll sleep when I’m dead) and paced my bedroom while timing the ruckus with a handy dandy iPhone app. It’s a modern world, folks. When I saw that I had had three what-I-was-still-calling-“fake” contractions in ten minutes, the sun started to part through the grey clouds of my despairing heart. When I had to hold onto the wall and moan through the next one, the angels started singing.
God hadn’t forgotten about me!
I packed up some last minute things for the hospital, woke Brandon, and called my mom. She came over to our apartment so Elliot could keep sleeping and would take him to her house for the rest of the time that we would be gone. On the way to the hospital, I played “He Leadeth Me” over and over and over. My gratitude for what was happening was already bubbling over.
At the hospital, I got dressed and strapped to the monitor, still having to make noise through each contraction but not quite to the Annoying Labor Lady stage, which I think is pretty impressive since I was seven centimeters dilated during my first check by the triage nurse. They started an IV and we were moved to the delivery room, where I got an epidural from the nicest anesthesiologist ever (bedside manner is sort of a big deal when someone is inserting a giant needle into your spine). I am a big fan of epidurals and I’ll stop to tell you why: I know that my body was made to birth babies and I know that I could do it naturally. BUT. I also know that I don’t handle pain well and that my memory shuts down during the times that I’ve been in mind-blowing pain (like contractions), and the birth of my children is something I want to not only remember but enjoy. With the absence of pain, I felt so completely present with each birth and was able to scoop each baby up and hold them for the first time without any sensation other than joy. My positive experiences might be the exception to the rule, but that’s what they are — my experiences, and I wouldn’t change a thing about them. Epidurals for the win.
I rested in bed until I was jolted by a firm “pop” and rush of fluid. My water had finally broken (on its own! Remember when God didn’t forget about me?). I called the delivery nurse, who was the reincarnation of Mother Earth and Mother Goose (and by that I mean AWESOME), she checked me, and I was fully dilated! Woot woot! My doctor arrived in record time and we proceeded to “get this show on the road,” as they say. Except it wasn’t much of a show because five minutes and four pushes later, our perfectly perfect little man was welcomed into the world and I clutched him to my chest in all of his glorious amniotic wetness. “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you. Thank you.”
Oscar Maxwell Piersol was born on September 13th, 2012 at 8:05am, after only four and a half hours of labor. He was 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20.5 inches long.
I loved my hospital birth. I never felt disempowered. Oscar was never taken from me without permission or explanation. I felt nothing but taken care of by every nurse we ever had. I felt safe and informed and understood.
I had worried this whole pregnancy that I couldn’t love another kid as much as I love my first kid, but then this kid looked me in the eyes and I fell completely in love. I’m in love, you guys. Three times over.