I got up and walked to our adjoining bathroom. MH had the bed stripped before I completed the short trip. Thankfully, we had purchased (and were using) a waterproof mattress pad for our bed. MH was raring to go to the hospital. I (possibly less calmly) said, "I don't know about you, but I am taking a shower."
In movies, the dad sometimes leaves without the mom or the bag or the mom has to slap sense into him. We had been to classes and had numbers programmed in phones. The bags had been packed for at least two weeks, yet somehow we were like Keystone Cops doing circles and saying, "What do we do? Are we supposed to do something?" We called my dad because he was scheduled to go out of town*. We texted my brother because he was coming home from Wyoming that day. Somewhere in there, we told a still awake Teen to freshen up and get ready to go. MH decided to shower. While he was in there, it occurred to me to call the "emergency" number provided by my doctor. I already knew that he wasn't on call that weekend and that our boy would be delivered by a doctor we'd never met.
The doctor called back quickly and asked me this question, "What pregnancy is this?" I answered, "Mine? I don't understand the question." His exasperated reply was, "First? Second?" "Oh, first." After explaining the situation to him, he instructed us to come on in to the hospital. It was about to get real, and we departed for the hospital at 12:15 am. If I had contractions before that morning, either they hadn't hurt or I didn't register them as contractions. On the way out the door, I paused for a real contraction. MH tried to rush me and I told him that I would wait to walk down the stairs until my contraction passed; he agreed that I had a wise plan.
I sat on a towel in the car and became entirely filled with glee when MH turned on the hazard lights and hit the gas during the 30 minute drive to the hospital. It WAS like a movie! On the way, we made a spur of the moment call to our niece who lived in the same town as the hospital hoping she could come keep Teen company in the waiting room during times that don't need to be shared with a laboring woman's 15-year-old son. Fortunately, she was happy to oblige. I also called my good friend who lives in California because I knew she would still be awake.
Once at the hospital, I was taken almost directly to L&D. During the short delay for check-in, we were very conscious of what we were touching since this was prime swine flu season. By we, I mean MH and I. Teen is a toucher. He was promptly and frequently doused with antibacterial gel. Once in our room, I was checked to make sure my water had actually broken (it had). A nurse who would be with me until shift change gave me an IV and left a horror show. She did warn me that she was a messy IV placer. At least it didn't hurt.
My contractions were not very strong or very regular. At barely 2:00 am, the doctor wanted to "augment" my labor. He was speaking quietly to the nurse, so I asked what he said and what it meant. He was dismissive then left. The nurse fully intended to carry out his orders ASAP, but I started asking questions. I wondered why I had to start pitocin so soon after my water breaking and was told, "You're not in labor." I begged to differ. Then I asked if I could walk around to help and was told that the baby wasn't engaged enough and since my water had broken, cord prolapse was a concern. I asked if I could refuse the pictocin and was hesitantly told that I could, buuuut...
So I told the nurse, "I may be a first time mom, but I am not unintelligent or uneducated. I am not going to do anything that will risk harm to my baby, but I have the right to make informed decisions about this**. I also don't want to make the doctor mad and get a "necessary" episiotomy (I did use air quotes)." Then I explained that I had concerns about going from my current bearable contractions to out of control pitocin ones in the course of minutes.
I asked for about 10 minutes to think about it and talk it over with MH. She gave us 45. During those 45 minutes, we watched and monitored my irregular, weak contractions, and my sister K showed up. We did consent to the pitocin, and she started it a very low rate and only increased it hourly. I also explained to her that my blood sugar gets wonky, and I would like to have a snack if possible. She brought me a Sprite and said to point the straw in MH's direction. I took the occasional nibble from snacks we brought from home. The experience improved drastically from this point forward.
Throughout the morning, after we got a little sleep, more family started trickling in. Shift change brought with it a wonderful nurse who was with me nearly the entire time from 7:30 until I left L&D. Nurse Wonderful dismissed everyone except MH from the room and checked me around 9:00 am and said I was progressing nicely. She let the family come back in and said that she fully expected our baby by 10:00 am. However, more family showed up and everyone got distracted. As far as centimeters, I only know that I was about 3.5 when I arrived and 9.5 just before starting to push 9.5 hours later. Right about 10:00 am, she dismissed everyone again and gave MH and me a few minutes alone. Before my dad left the room, I whispered Tot's middle name in his ear. We hadn't previously shared his name, and his middle name was in honor of Dad's mom. From that day forward, Dad called Tot by his middle name.
We were so happy and ready to meet our boy. I prayed. I was asked to push gently to help reach 10 cm. At 10:20 am, I started pushing for real. I pushed with just Nurse Wonderful and MH in the room for the first several pushes. Nurse Wonderful reminded me to keep my chin down toward my chest. I believe another nurse came in later. I felt Tot's hair and refused a mirror. The doctor came in, and I pushed about 3 more times. Tot was placed on my chest at 10:47 am, September 27 - his due date. MH and I both remarked several times how tiny he was, and we were completely shocked that he weighed in at a hefty 8lbs 1 oz.
Tot was passed around to meet his grandparents, brother, aunts and uncle, cousins, and some friends. While he was bathed, I ate the most delicious cheeseburger of my life and spoke to my aunt on the phone.
The following day, my sister C, who had been sick the day before, came to meet Tot. We came home on Tuesday afternoon.
MH promptly took Tot outside, and I remember being SO thankful for him and thinking how great he was because I wouldn't have thought to do that in a million years. What do you mean tiny, newborn babies can go outside?!
*out of town = going to visit his friend and future wife
**Teen beat a hasty exit right about the time this sentence came out of my mouth.