So I’m lying here in a hospital bed in the middle of the night, less than 24 hours after she was born, and I can’t sleep. Maybe I still have that post-partum high, or maybe it’s just my first night in about seven months without Unisom? Who knows? In any case, I’m literally lying here in a silent hospital room with my eyes wide open. Normally around this time, I can be found shoveling a bowl of cereal and chocolate milk down my throat while shopping online (have you checked out the 60% off J Crew sale? They update that quite frequently!). But here I am, awake with nothing to do, so who wants to hear Gabriella’s birth story? You know me, I love over-sharing. And in the meantime, nurses, please feel free to refill my ice bucket and contribute to my stockpile of incontinence panties.
I’m not one for birth plans. The plan is to have a baby. A healthy baby. With minimal pain. In a hospital bed. Hmmmm… well look at that, I had a plan after all! All of my babies have been pretty much on time. On Monday, four days before my due date, I went to the doctor to “get checked”. I was a two (that’s two centimeters dilated). I had been holding steady at that two for the last couple visits, so basically there was nothing doing. I was pretty disappointed but then, in the middle of the night while devouring some Berry Berry Kix in chocolate milk, I felt a contraction. I bounced up and tapped the green button on my contraction timer app. Then I woke Craig. Craig, I think it’s happening! (It was like 2am.) How far apart are they? I dunno. Oh wait, there’s another one! They’re 20 minutes apart. He chuckled and went to sleep. Oh no you don’t. Go get dressed — I refuse to have a taxi baby! He reluctantly complied, then went back to sleep again in his clothes. Clearly, he wasn’t convinced that this was labor and, in all honesty, I wasn’t convinced either. Sure, they hurt and all, but there were no other symptoms. I tried to go back to sleep, but of course I was waking up every 15-20 minutes to hit the green button.
By the time it was 6am I saw that they were like ten minutes apart. F this; I’m going to the hospital. I’d rather chill in the waiting room with a bag of Cheez-Its than futz around with my contraction app any longer. This time, Craig was on board. I called the cab and was ready to run out the door. Do I have to time to make myself a tea? Really, babe? REALLY? Then I thought about it. Fine. I need a happy husband in case this is fake labor. And then off we went.
It was one of those really quiet summer mornings. No traffic on the West Side Highway, I could smell the humidity, hear the birds chirping… WAIT, another contraction! Damn. I tapped the green button and focussed on the dashboard. It wasn’t terrible. We pulled up at the hospital. Actually, it was the Dubin Breast Center. I know it’s immature, but we always get a kick out of that. The guard quickly looked at me. 2nd floor. Oh come on, how’d you know?!?
Hi, I might be having a baby? I’m not sure. No problem; we checked in and chilled. I was thinking about where we’d grab breakfast if this wasn’t the real deal. Then the resident came. We followed him into the room, where I changed into the gown and he checked me. Yeah, you’re a 2. No fair, he had big fingers!
We chilled some more, and I wondered if they’d give me Pitocin to induce labor. All I could think about were the Milky Way bars I had stashed in my hospital bag. And then my doctor showed up. She’s the best. She checked me. Oh, this is totally Alison style… What, am I still just a two? Nope, you’re a nine! Now I’m totally smug. I knew it was the real deal all along! She broke my water, which is kind of the coolest feeling ever. She changed into scrubs and set up the table. Hey Craig, wanna help? He totally helped; heck, he practically delivered her. In fact, he’s still talking about how slippery she was. And that was it.
Gabriella totally redeemed any negative feelings (sorry Lisi, kisses!) I had toward labor. It was really awesome and uneventful. It totally went according to my plan!