birth: part 2

It’s Friday, August 19, 11 am.

I’ve been at this thing for 10 hours. Intense contractions coming every 2-3 to 3-4 minutes, and I’m exhausted. Remember, I’ve only had 30 minutes of sleep since 1 am.

We get to the hospital, and in spite of myself, I’m hopeful.

Hopeful that this time, I’ll be dilated 5-6 centimeters. Something that will give me the strength to keep going.

The nurse checks me.

2-3 centimeters.

I want to cry. I might have, but details are fuzzy at this point. I do remember the nurse saying that I should just walk around more. So I do. We begin a pattern of walking that looks something like this: shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, contract. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, contract.

Minutes pass. Or hours. I’m not sure which one.

But here we are back in the room and the nurse is checking me again.

3 centimeters. But when I’m in the middle of a contraction, I’m 4 centimeters.

I’m frustrated. And angry. And tired.

She says that they can admit me at this point. And break my water to speed things up. But that if I don’t begin making progress, they’ll have to give me Pitocin. We’re not sure what we want to do, so she leaves us alone to go check on another patient.

I look at Luke. He looks concerned and helpless. He wants to do something, anything, to fix this for me, but he can’t.

We weigh the pros and cons. As much as I can weigh pros and cons at this level of exhaustion. We decide to get admitted.

We tell the nurse as much, but one of her other patients is “very sick” so she says it may be another 45 minutes to an hour before she can take me back to labor and delivery.

I don’t care either way.

Luke and I are silent until she comes back. I’m surprised he has fingers left at this point, I’ve squeezed them so hard during contractions.

The admitting process is fuzzy to me. I remember a nurse collapsing my veins twice before a nurse named Georgie steps in to IV me. I remember a super-peppy nurse whose happiness seems fake and annoying, but she’s not in my room for very long.

Then a nurse checks me and tells me that I’m 7 centimeters dilated.

I’m relieved but I’m also aggravated. The intensity of my contractions is no different than when I was 3 centimeters dilated. No wonder I’m exhausted. I wish I could go back to that nurse with 23 years experience who said that my contractions weren’t really active-labor contractions and punch her. But I’m too tired.

I make the decision to get the epidural. I feel week and defeated. It’s a decision that I made that I’m still not happy with. It’s the only thing that I would change about my experience {well, that and the timing}.

The anesthesiologist comes in. He’s a lovely man with an adorable southern accent. I ask him where he’s from.

“North Carolina” he says.

“I love North Carolina” I reply.

I think we talk about North Carolina for a little while.

Before I know it, I can’t feel my legs anymore.

And all I can think about is the fact that morphine is being pumped into my little man.

I apologize to Luke for getting the epidural. He tells me to stop apologizing. He seems relieved that my pain is relieved.

It’s this moment that I register that a different nurse is in my room. Her name is Christine. She’s upbeat and professional. It’s apparently the perfect combination. We all love her instantly. You would too. Trust me.

Before I know it, I’m 10 centimeters, and it’s time to push. At some point, the discovery is made that the baby is face up or “sunny side up” the connection with my blog name is not lost on me. But apparently this means that it’s going to be more difficult to push him out.

Of course.

I push. And push. And push. And push.

I’m making progress, but it’s slow going.

Christine tells me that we’re just going to keep trying different positions until he’s out. That C-sections are not necessary, no matter how long you push, as long as progress is being made. I want to hug her. I guess my doctor feels the same way too which makes me happy.

My mom is there, as well as my sister, and of course, Luke.

They all take turns holding my legs. They all encourage me to keep pushing. They all tell me that I’m doing great.

The doctor comes in the check on things. He can kind of see the baby’s head, and tells Luke to look.

Luke does, but he can’t see anything.

The doctor goes away and I keep pushing. And pushing, and pushing, and pushing.

The baby’s head is crowning, and Christine calls the doctor back in.

I push some more.

He tells me that he thinks we should do an episiotomy. He says if we don’t I’m just going to be pushing for even longer and that I’m going to tear either way. But it’s my decision.

I tell him to do it.

He does, and it seems like seconds later, that I see my son for the very first time.

It’s Friday, August 19, 10:48 pm.

He’s even more beautiful than the ultrasound pictures.

They lay him on my chest and start cleaning him off, but he and I just stare at each other. And then he starts crying and they whisk him away to do their thing.

I look up at my sister and she’s crying. She’s the only one.

Luke has the biggest smile on his face.

And so does my mom.

The baby nurse picks him up and says “Whoa! You have a 9-pounder here!” She puts him on the scale.

8 pounds 9 ounces.

She doesn’t believe it. So she clears the scale. And weighs him again.

8 pounds 9 ounces.

We’re all in a little bit of shock. What a tiny baby!

Then she measures his length.

22 1/4 inches.

I think we all give a collective “Ahhhhh.”

That’s why he was measuring so big! Because he’s so long!


We call him Marcus James. The nurses tell us that they love it.

We do too.

And we love him.

He was SO worth the wait.


6 Responses to “birth: part 2”

  1. 1 Ellen September 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I’ve heard the story, seen the pictures and held the baby and yet there is something special about reading his story… good job Mom! Welcome to the world little guy… we’re glad that you’re here.

  2. 2 Elizabeth Miller September 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Congrats to you, Luke and baby Marcus James. He looks so WISE! Like he’s ready to impart a wisdom or message to you that you’ve waited all of your life to hear. But then I guess the brilliance of motherhood is like that, huh? Enjoy every second with that sweet little baby. And thank you for sharing your story with us…strangers and friends. I’m celebrating for you!

  3. 3 lifelemons September 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I can’t wait to see him again! <3

  4. 4 manar September 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    congratulation laura, I am so happy for you.
    your baby is so cute and tall as his dad. enjoy with you baby, he will grow fast believe me.

    say hello to luke and all your family.
    Manar Altamimi

  5. 5 Humanmama AJ Dilling September 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Amazing!! I love it. Thanks for posting how you really felt…and you’re not a wimp for getting the epidural. You’re just like the rest of us [me].
    He’s so gorgeous! Good job! Great job, in fact.

  6. 6 cash installment loans December 15, 2013 at 1:37 am

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