Sunday, August 16, 2009

a birth story part one

August is hot in NYC.  This summer it has seemed hotter than ever, mostly because of the humidity, and the fact that I've been pregnant forever. Or I guess I should say had been pregnant forever. The heat was a main factor in how Jude was born...Late Tuesday evening my husband and I decided that if Wednesday dawned hotter than Jesus, we would spend the day at my parent's house on Long Island. We figured spending the day lounging by the water would be preferable to staring at my belly in our hotbox of an apartment.

Plus being out in Long Island brought an opportunity to see my favorite aunt, a favorite family friend and a favorite sister all in one fell swoop.

So off we went.

We lounged by the pool, we waited for my aunt and my sister to arrive, we frolicked in the backyard, and we almost forgot to check my belly for signs of impending birth. We kept waiting for the day to feel over, waiting to feel the need to go home. But that feeling never came, the day felt like a holiday from our lives; a holiday from worry about the bills, about the husband being out of work (again) and free from worry about when the baby would come. In short we were able to relax.

Our midwife had called around 3pm to tell us that we could try an at home induction of Castor Oil the following day, and if that didn't work we could do a pitocin drip to induce actual labor. The midwife was less than happy that we had decided to go so far away, but you know what? At that point I didn't care what she thought, I'd been feeling uncared for in her care for awhile. So we went to the local very expensive natural food store and bought some Castor oil (which right there on the bottle says for external use only) made plans to bring Joe to his other Grandma's house on the way home, and rejoiced over the idea of having a baby the next day. This added to the relaxation.

Dinner came with sangria, my favorite aunt and family friend. It was a gathering of the women in my life as dinner ended and we sat around talking about the crazy painter family that lived with us for a time, my other sister's artwork and blog, my brother and his new house. My nieces and Joe wandered in and out requesting cake and milk; and a feeling of content spread over me. This is what family time should always be like, there was no bickering, no arguing, no table side fights, no tears. Just good food, a little wine and good company.

 At some point I thought, "maybe we should hit the road" and as I went to the kitchen to check the clock, I tried to pick up the broom and dustpan that Joe had been playing with....And felt a rush of liquid down my legs.

Is it wrong that I kind of assumed I had just peed on myself? I had had a glass of wine and was feeling super, it was not out of the realm of possibility that the rush I felt was just me not being able to hold it in... The dog followed me to the bathroom where I tried to remain calm and rational. "Maybe it's my water, but I don't feel any contractions; oh god if I peed on the kitchen floor I'm never going to be able to come home again; but if I am in labor I don't want to give birth on the side of the highway; hmm maybe we should just go to the hospital. No maybe we should just rush home. No I think hospital. hmm lets see what mommy thinks."  This was the conversation that I had with myself as I tried to determine if I had peed or was about to have a baby. 

Everyone always says "oh amniotic fluid doesn't smell or look like pee." Well when you drink enough water and your pee is odorless and colorless this description doesn't help you. And when you have a dog that likes to lick up any liquid on a floor you really don't have a puddle of evidence to investigate either. So you start to think to yourself, "my mom, who birthed 6 kids and was a nurse will know for sure." But the reality is no one knows anything.

I tried to be discreet about telling my mom. I tried to avoid having everyone excited. I tried to avoid the inevitable "do you want us to come with you" conversations. But that all happened and I hope no one was offended by me saying I didn't want them to come with us to the hospital...

The hubby put Joe to bed, my father had a mild freak out over the fact that we were not moving fast enough, and off we went to the hospital. The hospital that we had programed into the GPS about a week before in anticipation.


Anonymous said...

You have totally made my day. I'm so relieved to not be the only one who thought she peed herself!

I'm looking forward to part 2.

Mary said...

You crack me up. :-)