My Labor Story: Part One

The Set-Up

Oh, where to begin?

As you may recall, when we last left the labor "story," we'd chosen NOT to induce the baby on Thursday, July 3. This was because we'd hoped that she'd magically decide to pop out of me -- naturally -- shortly thereafter.

But when the holiday weekend (and my birthday) came and went without so much as a single Braxton-Hicks contraction, we found ourselves back at the doctor's on Monday afternoon. We entered the doctor's office prepared to offer a lot of shoulder-shrugging, and rightfully so. Upon seeing us the receptionist exclaimed, "You're still PREGNANT!?!?"

We were still in good spirits, though. We met with the doctor who delicately explained that we'd need to go to the hospital in the morning and that we should be sure to bring our bags with us.

We didn't sleep well. We called the hospital at 8 a.m. and asked when we should come in. They apologized but said they were too busy and to please call back at noon. We called back at noon, they asked us to please wait a little longer.

I sat on the sofa in utter disbelief while Ish worked upstairs. Just another day, except for the part about waiting for the hospital to call us to say Yes, you can come have your baby now. I alternated between watching DVR'd episodes of Law & Order: SVU and the Michael Jackson Memorial Service. Both seemed like the most totally, completely wrong things to be watching while waiting to (possibly) go to the hospital to have labor induced. But there you go. Life, stranger than fiction.

Just before 2 p.m. we got the green light to go in. For no reason that has anything to do with anything, the garage door broke on our way out.

We managed to get it closed, but what an odd thing to happen, you know? I don't think there's a single omen that could be harder to interpret. Ah, yes. Your garage door has closed at a broken angle. To the ancient Greeks, this meant your child would be born a girl and in the early evening.

Note, if you can make it out, how lopsided the door is.

After tests and consultations and all that jazz, we said yes. Let's get it going.

At 4 p.m. they gave me Cytotec, a drug that sparks menstrual cramps. The idea was to start things off slowly, to hopefully jump-start my body into a natural(ish) labor.

For the next three hours, I sat in bed in my street clothes feeling nothing but pregnant.

Me. Street clothes. Giant pregnant belly.

We'd positioned the bed so that I was upright. Ish and I had our laptops open and the tv on. We had in-room wifi.

My "throne." I love the way the reflected sunset shines on my laptop.
(The tv is in the top right corner.

I got to order dinner.

This was the last thing I ate for two days.

And the view from our room afforded us a charming view of the sun setting over the St. Helena hills.

It was really quite pleasant.

And then I had my first real contraction.


  1. Wow, awesome view for a hospital!

  2. Wow! what a great view!

    I was with a friend of mine when she had her first bad contractions. Let me just say, this girl never cursed - not because she was an angel, she was a "grammar whore" and abhorred curse word. But man, she knew ones that I didn't even knew existed and then when in a tirade on me because I was laughing (which made me laugh harder). She immediately changed her mind about natural labor. :-)

  3. Wowee what a nice view and the food doesn't look half sure do know how to have a baby in style

  4. Wonderful, wonderful post...and the one before. Thank you for sharing a beautiful pregnancy/birth story.

  5. I was having bad contractions when I got to the hospital and I immeditaely asked for drugs and she told me the pain wouldn't get any worse than it was right then. I relaxed and said, "Oh. Well. I guess I can deal with this." SHE LIED! They got worse, then there was the pushing to deal with. I found out later I was too far along for drugs to work and she told me that so I wouldn't freak out. I didn't freak so I guess I should thank her. Now whenever a man in my vicinity complains about a sprain or something minor I say "Try natural childbirth." That's my pain benchmark and hope it will stay that way.

  6. So far it's the equivalent to having your plane delayed on your way to vacation at a quaint little B&B in the valley.... although the "this is the last thing I ate for two days" does carry a sense of impending doom, doesn't it?

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  8. You got the plush hospital for sure. The food looks pretty good and when I had my kids they didn't want me to have eaten anything beforehand for like a week or something. Plus it was in the days before laptops, so there wasn't a lot to take your mind off the contractions. My poor husband was like a deer caught in the headlights. I'm sure he was glad as hell to get out of there when she, our baby, finally made it into the world.

  9. hey, when's part two coming, biting my nails here :)


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