On Monday the 14th, I went in for a final ultrasound. He was squished in there so tightly that the tech had a hard time getting accurate measurements, and could only say that he was probably between 7 and 9 pounds. My doctor decided that that was big enough, and he was late enough, that she wanted to induce. She prefers to have her patients deliver no more than a week beyond their due dates.
I was kind of uncomfortable with that decision, but I decided to accept it because the stress of waiting was starting to drive me pretty crazy. So, before leaving the office, I had an appointment for 8:00 am on 9/15.
I called Dan and had him come home to spend the rest of the day with me. I needed the moral support. We got the last few things packed and had sushi for dinner to celebrate our last night as a family of two.
On Tuesday morning Dan made me a light breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast, and we headed to the hospital (with a quick stop at the grocery store so he could pick up a couple of snacks).
We checked in at about 8:15 and were set up in a room on the labor and delivery floor. By 9:30 I was hooked up to the pitocin and the fetal monitor, and we settled in. I was ready for a long, long wait, based on my sister-in-law’s experience and stories I’d heard from other friends about induced deliveries. I had some knitting with me, a book, and even had my mom go out to get me a copy of Scribblenauts, which came out that day, so I could play it while we waited.
At about 11:30, after two dosage increases, I was told that the baby wasn’t tolerating the pitocin very well and they were going to shut it off. Later, we’d see where my contractions were and reassess the situation then.
Dan went for lunch a little after noon. While he was gone, the doctor came in to say that my contractions weren’t progressing and she wanted to break my water. I asked if I should call my husband. She said, “no, it’s quick, no big deal.” Five seconds later, it was done, and holy crap. Yeah. I was not prepared for what exactly was involved. There is a lot of fluid in the amniotic sac. A lot. Seriously.
So there I was, trying not to panic, praying for Dan to get back quickly. He finally did, and was able to calm me down.
At 2:30, I was having contractions regularly every minute or two. I was dilated to 4 cm. It wasn’t terrible, but had moved a bit beyond uncomfortable.
At 3:00 or so I asked for the pain medication. It helped.
At 4:50 I was dilated to 5 cm.
At 5:03 I was dilated to 8 cm. I think it was at this point that I asked for more pain meds, because things had gotten really painful. I was told that even though it had in fact been two hours and my first dose had worn off, I couldn’t have any more because I was too close to delivery. I was not pleased with that answer, as you can imagine.
At this point, then nurse stepped out into the hall to have the doctor come in. By the time the doctor made it into the room (5:05?) I was at 10 cm and it was time to push!
I have to admit, I yelled. I swore. I had a hard time focusing, because everything was happening really quickly. All I could really do was grab onto Dan’s hand on one side and the bedrail on the other, and try to follow instructions. The doctor had to tell me to stop yelling and put that energy into pushing instead. I managed to do it after a couple of tries.
After a few minutes, the monitor showed that the baby’s heartrate was fluctuating. He wasn’t handling the contractions as well as the doctor wanted. She decided to help him out by using the vacuum extraction. I agreed right away, because of course I wanted him to be safe, even though I had really wanted to do it by myself.
Two more pushes, I think, and he was out. It was 5:18, barely 10 minutes since the doctor had stepped into the room. I don’t remember hearing his first cry, but Dan does.
They put him on my chest right away, after just a quick wipe. I remember it, but not well. It’s sort of a blur. After a few minutes they took him across the room to be cleaned up and examined, and weighed, I think.
Pretty soon, he was in Dan’s arms and they were both right next to me. The doctor and nurses left us alone for a little while, which was such a relief. We looked at him, and at each other, and talked a little I think, but I don’t know what we said. I do know, though, that we had to decide on a name. We’d each arrived at the hospital that morning with a different first choice, and Dan had talked me into waiting until we met him to decide. I didn’t think for a minute that it would make a bit of difference, but it really did. When I saw my little boy, I knew that Benjamin was the name that fit him best.
A while later, they took Benjamin to have his full exam and a bath. In the meantime, I was moved to a recovery room. We made a ton of phone calls, and my parents came up to visit us and meet Benjamin. My dad also brought dinner for Dan, who’d not made it to the cafeteria before it closed at 6:30. Everyone stayed long enough to hold Ben and hear about our day, then left so we could get a little rest and start adjusting to our new little family.
And that’s how Benjamin David was born at 5:18 pm on September 15, 2009. He weighed 6 pounds 13 ounces and measured 20 inches.