I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
March 18, 2007
Hubs and I were taking a walk Tuesday night when, for the first time in my life, I wet my pants.
I had already hit rock bottom in this pregnancy at least a month ago; wetting my pants was like drilling a large hole in the limestone. I didn’t say anything to Hubs when it happened, of course- I’d never have heard the end of it. Anyway, it was only a little, so no one could tell. I figured the baby was sitting right on top of my bladder, making me go whether I needed to or not.
An hour or two later, we went to bed and I fell asleep almost instantly. Suddenly at 1am, I sat bolt upright in bed and felt a little gush.
“What?” I said groggily. It felt like I had wet my pants again, except that there was a lot more liquid there than there should have been. Oh no. Had my water broken? Panicked, I looked over at Hubs snoring beside me.
“Hubs,” I whispered loudly. Nothing. “Hubs. Hubs. Hubs. Hubs. Hubs. Hubs. Hubs. Hubs!”
He kept on snoring.
“Shit,” I said and got up to head for the bathroom. I was pretty sure that this wasn’t pee I was dealing with, but having just read several stories about women who’d gone to the hospital with broken water, only to be told that they’d actually wet their pants, I had a bit of a phobia about it. I stood in the bathroom for a moment and stared at the clear liquid pooling at my feet. After a few long moments, the realization hit me.
“Hubs!” I shouted. “My water has broken!”
Nine days before my due date. Two days before my scheduled induction. No contractions. No warning. I hadn’t planned for this possibility at all. We called the doctor’s office and headed for the hospital.
When we got there, the place was packed. A cold front was coming in and the resulting drop in barometric pressure was causing broken water all over town. Thank God I took that walk Tuesday night- I’m pretty sure that and the eggplant mojo pretty much sent the baby packing. And thank God I got to the hospital when I did- They had only two rooms left and overflow patients would have to deliver in the women’s center, separated from other patients only by curtains.
We were checked into a delivery room and since I had tested positive a few days before for Group B strep, I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and an IV for antibiotics. I had started having contractions, but I could barely feel them. While I was answering the nurse’s routine questions, the fetal monitor machine went off and within seconds, the room filled with nurses and anesthesiologists. Inexplicably, the baby’s heart rate had dropped from 140 to 60.
As my nurse began prodding my stomach, an oxygen mask was placed over my face and an anesthesiologist began firing off dozens of questions about my medical history. I realized with a shock that they were all preparing for an emergency c-section. Within a minute, though, the baby’s heartrate had returned to normal. The nurse assured me afterward that it was common for the baby’s heartrate to drop once like that during labor, probably because I was lying on my back or possibly, he had grabbed his umbilical cord. However, they were going to closely monitor me and if it kept happening, they’d do a c-section.
“So if it’s all right with you, we’d like to go ahead and put in your epidural,” she said. “That way if we have to do a c-section, we can keep you awake for it- and it also gives us about ten extra minutes to prepare.”
I felt like I was cheating- I hadn’t had a single labor pain. But how could I say no? I got my epidural and settled in for what would be a long wait. A long, lonnnnng wait. I had dilated to between 4 and 5 centimeters by around 6am, then stayed that way until about 2pm.
Finally at about 2:30, I started feeling intense pressure from the contractions. The nurse checked me and I had dilated from 4 cm to 9 cm within about 30 minutes. The baby, who had stayed pretty high in my uterus all morning, had dropped and I could literally feel his head between my legs. We cleared everyone but Hubs out of the room and I pushed through three contractions. At that point, the nurse called in my doctor, I pushed through two more contractions, and out he came. I couldn’t believe how easy it was-and how HUGE he was when they put him on my chest. For ten pounder, he’s not very chubby, just extraordinarily solid and barrel-chested like his dad. He looks like his father, too, which makes me really happy since Baby is my Mini Me.
He was purple and covered in scratches and bruises, which didn’t surprise me, considering how much he’d been kicking and moving around during the last few months. As soon as the nurses took him, he peed all over everyone- twice. That’s my boy!
We were something of a circus side show in the maternity ward. Bruiser was the biggest baby they’d had all week, Hubs was creating minor chaos in the hallways by being “that TV guy,” and I was the talk of the nursing staff,who couldn’t believe I’d given birth to a ten-pounder and had only a first degree laceration to show for it. I actually came out of this birth in better shape than I did with Baby, who was a comparatively tiny 8 lbs, 14 oz. All I can say is that some women have fabulous metabolisms and others have perfect abs, but I, I have a proven pelvis. Try to contain your jealousy.
So now comes the rough part. Breastfeeding. Sweet Jeebus, the pain of childbirth was nothing compared to the pain of nursing the first week. More later.