Giving Birth

My parents arrived in L-Town on November 18 just in time to meet Conservative Hubby, his parents, and I at one of the Mexican restaurants in town for dinner. It was, I guess you could say, our last dinner out before we became parents.

I had a few fairly strong contractions during dinner—strong enough to give me pause in the middle of eating my steak burrito—but didn't think much of it because I'd been having contractions off and on for more than a week. They had gotten stronger in the last couple of days but still weren't anything to write home (or, perhaps more accurately, rush to the hospital) about, as they weren't at all consistent in their frequency or length.

After an enjoyable meal, we headed home to get My Parents set up with their makeshift basement bedroom where they'd be spending a couple of weeks. Shortly thereafter, Conservative Hubby and I headed to bed, as we had to be at the hospital in Springfield by 6 a.m. to start the process of trying to flip our little breech baby and, hopefully, getting labor started.

At 1 a.m., I went from fast asleep to bolting out of bed with a start. Even in my not-yet-awake state, I knew instantly that my water broke. I'd read that despite what you see in the movies, in many cases labor does not start with a dramatic gush. It may be a trickle or your water may not even break until you're at the hospital and in the throes of serious contractions. But for me, the dramatic gush was real.

In the same moment I jumped out of bed, I was already telling Conservative Hubby to get up, we needed to go, my water broke.

We were both pretty darn calm about the whole thing. Conservative Hubby didn't say much except, "Let me take a shower and then we'll go." And for some reason it seemed totally sane that he would want to bathe before we drove 35 minutes to the hospital, so I set about getting dressed and trying to clean up a bit. I called the hospital to let them know my water broke and to confirm that we should come in right away since the baby was breech (they said yes). Then I headed downstairs to wake up my parents and let them know we were headed to the hospital earlier than planned and that I'd keep them updated.

And then we were off.

At the hospital, things proceeded much as you would expect. We arrived at the emergency room since it was after hours, I was wheeled up to the maternity suites, they got us set up in our room, and then a steady parade of nurses began coming in, hooking me up to monitors and preparing me for surgery.

Conservative Parents arrived in time to stop in and say hello before we were wheeled down to the operating room. Conservative Hubby was particularly excited to don scrubs for the big event—although less so when he discovered they were paper scrubs and not "real" ones.

Only about 10 minutes into the surgery, we heard the cries of our little guy. He was born at 4:15 a.m. One of the nurses brought him around the curtain that was hung over my abdomen to show him to us as soon as they cut the cord, then they whisked him to the corner to clean him up. Conservative Hubby went to watch them work on the baby and then, while the doctor worked to finish the surgery and close me up, Conservative Hubby held the little guy next to me so I could look at them both. It was a surreal moment, to say the least.

And as soon as we made it back to our maternity suite, I got a chance to hold the little fellow. It was an exciting moment, but also very strange to look at the little creature that I'd carried around for the last nine months and to be holding him in my arms and not in my belly anymore.

(For both Conservative Hubby and I, it was also a little bit overwhelming, knowing that we were wholly responsible for the little bundle in our arms. That's a feeling that still hasn't gone away and perhaps never will.)

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