Friday, March 15
Last year was hellish. And I mean hellish in its most serious terms. Not in terms like, "Oh, that subbed toe was hellish," or "Waiting in line at the Wal-Marts is hellish."
I mean in terms like, "Oh, we found out I was pregnant a few weeks before both of our final semesters of school (his law, mine English), and he spent the entire summer studying for the bar, and then he actually had to take the hellacious test, and then we moved to another state, and then his second oldest brother died, and then his oldest brother died, and then my grandma died, and then I went into labor three weeks early, and then we found out our baby had cystic fibrosis, and then we found out our cat had heart failure and a few weeks to live, and then we found out our baby had tracheomalacia, and then we curled up on the floor and stayed in the fetal position for the next seven years sucking our thumbs and asking for my mommy."
That's what I mean by hellish.
Rosie came three weeks early, which was insane. Babies in my family don't come early. My siblings and I took our sweet time and came from two days to two weeks later than our due dates. My dad was three weeks late. My sister's babies would still be in the womb if she hadn't been induced two weeks and one week after their due dates. So... yeah. I was planning on having my baby (which the ultrasound tech also told us was a boy, by the way) sometime around the last week in January.
When I started having regular contractions bright and early on a Tuesday morning barely halfway through December, I figured they were just my Braxton Hicks increasing in intensity a little. I puttered around the kitchen, making some freezer meals, and texting my mom things like, "Did your false labor hurt?" "Did your false labor make you stop and sit down?" "Did your false labor catch your breath in your throat?" "Did your false labor make you want to put a tongue depressor between your teeth and scream bloody murder?"
Everyone told me that when I was in labor, I'd know for sure. And my mom's first labor lasted a grand total of six hours (you can be bitter toward her about that with me, if you want). So contractions three weeks early, six minutes apart, that are making me clutch the counter top and close my eyes? Must not be labor!
The next day, I had an appointment with my midwife, which got my husband off my back, because seriously, how many times did I have to tell him I was not in labor before he stopped freaking out and let me writhe in bed in peace? Sheesh. My midwife hooked me up to a monitor and said, "Yup. Labor. But you could be doing this for another week." So I went home.
Bryan called me when I was just about home and I answered the phone very sweetly in a sweet voice and said sweetly, "WHAT!" And he said, "Whoa, what's wrong?" And I replied in very dulcet tones, "WHAT DO YOU THINK?!?"
Child labor: bringing out the best in women since Adam and Eve.
Bryan decided to meet me at home, and I said, "That's dumb, I'm going to stay like this for the next month!" and the butthead didn't listen to me. So we chillaxed at home for the next few hours while I did some more awesome writhing in bed. I tried to time my contractions, but got confused, because they were lasting for about five minutes each, at which point, Bryan very rudely insisted I call my midwife, who then told me she'd meet me at the hospital. Even though I wasn't in labor, the worry warts.
Six hours later, we had a baby. And my dear husband, who runs ultramarthons (as in 52.4 miles with 12,000 feet in elevation in eleven hours) and compared his first experience to what he imagined childbirth to be like, will never again make that comparison.