Remember when I used to be pregnant? Haha! Yeah. Good times. Like when I was 39 weeks to the day and told the doctor that a scheduled induction wasn't really my thing? Well, at my 40-week doctor appointment, I looked at dear doctor a bit grimly and told him I wasn't sure this was ever going to happen and I had a wedding to be in at the end of July with a lovely dress to fit and let's get this party started, shall we? My exact words may have been "Can you just reach up there and yank them out?"
You may be wondering what happened between 39 weeks and 40 weeks, and the easy answer is NOTHING. NOTHING HAPPENED. But the longer answer is that I had a conversation with Reese that I remember slightly differently than she does.
R: Well, let's face it, you're a big wienie.
A: ... Yes?
R: And unless things happen really quickly, you'll probably get an epidural.
R: So if you're just going to have an epidural, why not go ahead and have the induction as well and just get on with it?
A: Hmm... you have an interesting point.
The more I thought about it, the more she was right on all counts: wienie (an accusation she denies she made, but is nevertheless true), probable epidural, therefore an induction wasn't so scary after all.
My mom arrived on Thursday June 14th, figuring she'd have a grandbaby by the morrow one way or another, and this way she could be available to watch Blake. Except I told her I wanted her in the room with me, and she got a little emotional until I carefully said that all I asked was that she limit her input to suggestions.
M: But I have great ideas!
A: You DO have great ideas and you are welcome to SUGGEST them. Please don't boss me around in the delivery room!
I called the labor and delivery ward at 5:45 in the morning on Friday and was outright relieved when they told me they were quite busy and could I call back at noon? We all went back to sleep. At 8:30, they called me and told us to come on down. By 10:00 am I had an IV in (getting it in nearly causing me to pass out because I am a fragile flower who is sensitive to needles and stuff and WHY WAS I DOING THIS AGAIN?!) with a pitocin drip and by noonish I was salivating over the sandwich Mom had brought Rob and was sneaking snacks of my own and negotiating with the nurse how long we thought it would take the anesthesiologist (side note: I spelled that word right on my first try. Thank you. Thank you very much.) to arrive vs. how intense my contractions were getting. Rob thought the monitors were really something and helpfully told me at one point, "Hey! You're having a contraction!"
We timed it perfectly, and I was having to really concentrate on breathing and relaxing through the increased pain in my front as the epidural was going into my back. At some point (2:00?), the doctor came in with what he termed "the eviction notice" and broke my water. Nothing like the sensation of uncontrollably peeing yourself. I think this was about the time I decided make-up was in order and delicately added liquid eyeliner and mascara to my peepers.
Throughout the day, Mom, Rob, and I all played Words with Friends on our various iOS devices and watched Modern Family. I remember turning to Mom at 5:00 or so and saying, "You know, it just feels like this day has flown by!"
She could not agree with me.
Still, once my water was broken, I dilated at 2 centimeters an hour and was pushing very shortly after that statement. The epidural was so effective that only a severe hip cramp indicated a contraction and that I needed to push. The actual delivery of a baby is a trip. There's about 90 seconds of intense energy, directing all your might to a very focused area, lots of vocal encouragement from those around you, then rest. Rest. Rest. But you're resting in a very, ah, alfresco position that is not at all restful. During one of the rests, Rob leaned in and said "All eyes are on you, sweetheart."
"Yes. That is why mine are closed."
Forty minutes later, at 5:52, V entered the world in a rush of "What did we have?!" and "A GIRL!" and tears and laughing and tears and holding her and tears and feeling my heart explode in my chest.