I have to qualify that first statement with “I hope” because yesterday was supposed to be the day – the day I was to appear bright and early at the hospital, get myself pumped full of drugs, go through all manner of torture, and then joyfully, if exhaustedly, finally get to meet my first daughter.
(I’m such a romantic about childbirth.)
Alas, it was not to be. When we arrived yesterday morning we were ushered riiight into the waiting room, where we remained for more than an hour and a half. (Let’s call that clue #1.) Then we were allowed behind the Big Locked Doors, but still kept waiting. Then paperwork and getting set up in a triage room, not a delivery room (clue #2). Then another hour and a half of attempt after attempt to monitor Baby Girl, who was dancing around so much they could barely find her. And during all that time, there was nary a mention of starting me on any of my get-to-it-already drugs (clue #3).
Finally, after we’d been at the hospital nearly four hours, we were told to go home. “There is no room at the inn,” they said. They were slammed, they said. I guess everybody who was fortunate enough to not go into labor during the blizzard decided to do so in the first 36 hours of February instead.
Everybody except me.
Because my body refuses to do something so normal as to go into labor on its own. (Just like it refuses to produce enough milk to sustain the fruits of those labors.)
But let’s not wallow right now. Let’s recognize the benefits of getting sent home from the hospital without a baby to show for our efforts: First, there’s the fact that I didn’t have to start a long, drawn-out, uncomfortable process in the afternoon, my meager breakfast a distant memory and my baby likely not to arrive until late at night. Second, there’s the fact that I got to have lunch. (Food on the brain, Julie?) Third, Brennan and I were both able to fit in afternoon naps. Fourth, we got to spend a reasonably relaxed evening with our boys – a big difference from the rushing of the night before. Fifth, this morning we didn’t have to leave two boys crying at the kitchen table like we did yesterday. Sixth, overall we’re much better rested and prepared to meet our daughter today than we were yesterday.
So as long as they actually do take us today, I promise to not be too fussed about the delay. (And anyway, this way I get to give my dear old Uncle Tom a birthday buddy. Love you, Tom.)
I have to break here to share with you a clever little something my big five-year-old said the other day. On Monday (one day after my due date and one day before the originally-scheduled induction), our neighbor, who was bringing our guy home from the bus stop, asked him something like, “So, are you ready for Baby Yesterday? Or Baby Saturday?” (Our nickname for the baby during the pregnancy.)
“How about Baby Tomorrow?” he replied.
Then last night, when I said to him, “Hopefully your sister will come tomorrow,” he said “I’m sensing… she will.”
Love this kid.
I have to share something funny I did a couple of weekends ago — something that seems ironic given my current please-baby-just-come-already situation. I was interviewed on CNN about the possibility of going into labor during The Blizzard of 2016.
Yes! Isn’t that funny?!
The Friday afternoon the storm started, I received an email from a woman at CNN who’d read my “(Please No) Having a Baby in a Blizzard” 7 Quick Takes post. She said she worked on CNN Tonight (anchored by Don Lemon) and that they were wondering whether I might be interested in appearing on that night’s show to discuss my concerns about potentially going into labor during the impending snowstorm.
After a good laugh and about three seconds of hesitation, I said yes. I did a quick Google search and dashed off a Facebook post – “Tell me what you know about CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” because – yes, Julie is a dweeb who watches zero television. I knew nothing about the show. (If it had been an NPR program/host, I would’ve been set.)
A few hours later, after everyone else in my house had gone to bed, I found myself changing into some semi-decent clothes and putting on make-up for my television appearance. I called CNN via Skype from my hastily-cleaned-up bedroom. I sat in front of my laptop and followed the tech guy’s instructions. I found a pen to fidget with while I talked.
Around 10:40pm, I was on. And it was so much fun! The whole thing was good-natured and laid-back – the exact opposite of my few previous experiences of being interviewed for radio or television. (For work, on topics like emergency contraception, immigration, and poverty – much more stressful than snow and babies!) Don and I chatted baby names and contingency plans and how my friends had suggested that I pretend to have contractions during the interview. (He seemed a little nervous at the prospect of any such thing occurring.) Our conversation was light and fun and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. If you’d like to see the interview for yourself, you can find it here.
There was, of course, no blizzard baby after all. I’d say I’m about seven parts relieved that it didn’t happen. (The stress! The safety concerns! The wanting to deliver at my own hospital, which is not the closest one to us!) But I’m also about three parts disappointed: One because it would have been a cool story, one because my parents came out to be snowed in with us for “nothing,” and one because I wanted this baby here by now. I didn’t want to be driving into the hospital three days after my due date to induce labor for a baby estimated to already weigh something like 9 pounds, 12 ounces.
I am so impatient.
I am also so afraid for my pelvis and baby’s shoulders.
But, here we are. I finish writing this post on my phone, in traffic, just a couple of miles away from the hospital where, God willing, we’ll meet our baby girl later today.
Please pray that she arrives safely, with all of us in good health. (Praying for a not-horrible birthing experience would be cool too, but at the end of the day, I’ll take safety over everything else.)
Thank you kindly. I’ll update here after baby’s born.
We’re now here and they’re all set up for her arrival. I guess this is real.