Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The story of Kate (part II)

How fast time has passed. Three years ago today my labor with Kate started. Nope, today’s not her birthday. Tomorrow isn’t either. Okay, so time didn’t pass that quickly then, but it has since!

I was teaching classes when the contractions started. That was pretty standard. They had been a fairly frequent visitor for weeks now, but the difference was that day they didn’t stop after a few hours or a lot of extra water. At the end of the day, after we got the students onto their busses, one of my assistants asked if I had had a lot of contractions that day. I laughed and got the paper from my desk with all the times I’d been jotting down all day—nearly a hundred of them. The poor football player who was our peer tutor nearly passed out. The poor kid was always afraid I was going to have the baby right there and he was going to be called upon to help, no matter how many times we promised he wouldn’t.

The contractions continued into the evening, usually running about five minutes apart. We put the hospital bags put in the hall expecting to get up in the middle of the night. The next morning came, and though I hadn’t slept very much, we were still home and the contractions still didn’t warrant a trip to the hospital. We went to a pancake breakfast as a fundraiser for my school.

Then we went home to start the bathroom vent Justin had planned to put in that weekend. Justin rented an extension ladder, by the time he got home the contractions were closer and harder. I told him to go ahead and start working. It would be hours I was sure. Then he needed my help to steady the ladder. I would wait for a contraction to end and then I would steady the ladder as he climbed up. I’m not quite sure how we managed it, but we got the vent in and he returned the ladder. The contractions spread back out to about seven minutes apart.

We went to eat spicy Mexican food. Surely tonight we thought as we climbed into bed again. Another sleepless night and we were up again. We decided not to go to church for fear my water would break in the middle of the service. We went for a long walk. The contractions grew harder and faster, but again they slowed when we got home.

Finally that evening, the contractions stayed close together even as I rested. They were also stronger than they had been during rest before. We finally made the trip to the hospital.

My labor was long and petocin augmented, but finally ended with a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I decided my labor must have been especially difficult when the nurses, who weren’t mine, came to congratulate me on making it without an epidural. Kate was “sunny side up,” which is what caused all the delay, but she was worth waiting for.

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