When I first learned I was pregnant with Nicholas, I was actually fairly surprised at how laid back I was. I mean, yes, it was a shock and I wasn't sure I was ready for a third...ever...but at that point, there was no going back. One thing I wasn't really truly concerned about was the actual birth - after all, I'd already done that twice with no real problems, so other than having to go to yet another OB (I had a different one for every child), I didn't give it too much thought.
My official due date was 12/31/09. Everyone who knew this told me how exciting a due date that was - I could have the year's first baby! Well, they were excited about it...but I wasn't. And as November rolled into December, I got less and less excited as my belly got more and more bigger! Getting ready for Christmas was kind of tough, and the unknown was killing me - would I have the baby early? Would my water break on Christmas morning?
Time was growing short, and I had most of my Christmas preparations ready about a week early. Around that same time, Mark had a Christmas office party and I had my weekly appointment the same day. I was up very early that day, preparing our contribution to the party, getting Jonathan off to school, getting Matthew dressed for a big morning, and getting all of it out of the house. By the time I arrived at my doctor's office, my blood pressure was a bit elevated, and it wouldn't come down. I tried to tell the doctor it was all the melee of the day, and all the Christmas excitement, but he didn't like it. This was a Thursday - the Thursday before Christmas. He told me to come to the hospital early Saturday morning to get my blood pressure checked again and to get a non-stress test on the baby.
Well, Saturday morning arrived along with a blizzard. Snow was piling up faster than an inch an hour, and it wasn't going to stop all day. I called the hospital, and asked if I still needed to come in - and my doctor was there! He'd been there all night as well, and he said I did indeed have to come in, if I could make it. So Mark, me and my mom piled into the 4 wheel drive and took off.
When we got there, my blood pressure was a bit elevated, but the baby looked okay. They kept me on the monitors for about 2 hours, all the while snow still coming down outside, and it was getting toward 4pm. I had also started to have some irregular contractions. Finally, the doctor came in and decided to check and see where my cervix was and where the baby was. I was dilated to 3cm, almost completely effaced, and the baby was down low and engaged. He quickly decided to go ahead and induce labor - after all, if I were to head back home in that weather, I may have had to turn around several hours later and come back in even worse weather.
So at 5pm, they got my IV and the pitocin started. It took over an hour to start really feeling the contractions, but once they started it was pretty intense. By around 6:30, I was in a lot of pain, and asked for an epidural...but I couldn't get one until the whole bag of IV fluid had drained in! Wait another 10 minutes. Then go find the anesthesiologists. Wait another 15-20 minutes. Contractions still coming, and now coming hard. Cervix to 5. FINALLY, they located the anesthesiologists and they finally got the epidural set around 8pm. Lovely. Except it really didn't work all that well. I had some numbness, but I could still feel much of the contractions.
Within 25 minutes, I was at 10 cm and ready to push, but the epidural still wasn't working! But at that point, there wasn't much they could do. So I pushed. All I can say is OUCH. It took 14 minutes of pushing, and probably only would've been half that much if it hadn't hurt so much! I felt everything, including the doctor sewing me up afterward.
But Nicholas was here. 6lbs, 13oz, 21 inches long with lots of dark hair. It's funny how once you have a healthy little baby in your arms after nine months of waiting and wondering, you kind of forget all else that's going on, and the fact that the epidural was crap, and the fact that there was a blizzard raging just outside the window, and the fact that Christmas was a few days away, and the fact that life as we know it will never be the same.
Nicholas was here. All the other stuff didn't matter anymore, not at that moment, anyway.