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I slouched into the hospital, trying to hold my stomach up independently of my body and hoping like hell that this time the induction would take.
I was so tired of being pregnant.
Two weeks overdue, I was beginning to wonder if there actually was a baby in there. Before B figured out I was pregnant, I had been convinced that I was slowly dying of something. Maybe it was just a baby-shaped tumour. With a heartbeat.
Once there (I had the same room and was blearily surprised to open the closet and find the coat I'd left a few days before still hanging there waiting for me) I stripped off, put on the disgusting hospital gown, and hiked myself up on the bed.
Properly smeared with gel, I then spent forty minutes watching two nurses and a student doctor watch my stomach for signs that anything was happening.
Nothing was. No contractions. I began to prepare myself that this wasn't the day.
After an hour, the nurses wandered off. The student doctor went out in the hall to chew gum or tie his shoes or something, and I sent B to the cafeteria for a drink.
Three minutes later, the machine next to me recording heartbeats began to shriek. I looked over and the numbers were falling like the speedometer of a DeLorean whose Flux-Capacitor had been....incapacitated. I hollered for the nurse and hit the panic button at the same time. It says 53! I'm hoping that's me!
It wasn't, and the room was suddenly full of people. I was tossed around (Lay on your side! On your knees! Quick! Other side! Oxygen!) and nothing made those numbers go up.
Induction suddenly over.
'Your baby doesn't seem to want to come out that way, Jess. He's showing a lot of stress, and his heartrate isn't recovering like we want him to. We can wait, but I'd feel better if we started things moving now.'
I looked at the doctor. I knew what he meant. And suddenly, I didn't care.
Bye bye, birth plan.
I am apparently quite sensitive to epidural medication (something sadly I did not remember for my daughter's birth) and so was loaded up a bit too high. Feeling like Two-Ton Tessie with cement legs, I was hoisted up on the operating table and quickly unzipped. I spent much of the operation blearily watching the reflection of my insides in the operating room light (Whoa, is that me? Looky the colors!) and didn't react much to the alarm bells that began to shrill again.
Bear knew enough to know those sounds were not good. He sat, swallowing, patting my hand as the doctor made a few hurried slashes and hoisted the baby out, giving him over to the waiting staff that would check him over.
I was waiting for a cry. Or for someone to tell me (The half-empty Glad bag on the table) what was going on.
There were a few scccchwick! noises as the baby was suctioned. Then silence. It was strange - everything in the middle of the room (where I was) seemed so peaceful - quiet, serene - while over in the corner of the room there was frantic activity and an ominous hush.
I licked my lips. "What is it?"
B patted my hand. He was tense. 'I think it's a boy' he said, craning his neck to see, and visibly relaxed as a furious wet-cat squall echoed through the room.
One of the nurses smiled. 'It is.'
My daughters birth story is here