Dan must have been rather surprised yesterday morning when upon arriving at work he got a phone call telling him to turn around and come right home. "My water broke" I told him. "Oh!" he said, "Let me just tell them inside." Poor thing, he had barely set down his bicycle. He ran inside to tell the administrators he was leaving and then came zooming back home. That's 12 miles in 45 minutes and in work clothes, people! I'd only be more impressed if he'd actually given birth himself.
I too was pretty surprised when I stood up at 8:15 am to find myself covered in amniotic fluid. The baby's due date wasn't for another two weeks, and since Harvey was late we were really expecting this baby a week or two late as well. Certainly not the first week of May. Indeed, many things were surprising about the series of events yesterday. For example, when you're used to going into labor at 42 weeks and then your water breaks at 38 weeks, it really does seem as if the difference in the amount of liquid that comes out is like how much water you could possibly drink in a whole month. Seriously, it was like the friggin Hoover Dam. All those jokes from TV that I always ridiculed. All true.
Since I wasn't in labor yet the midwives decided to come around noon. By 11am the contractions were 5 minutes apart. The 5 intervening minutes felt like no labor at all, but the contractions felt like the dickens, which I told to the first midwife who arrived. She checked all my vitals and the baby's heartbeat, and then sat with me through a few contractions. Since they were between 2-5 minutes apart and not longer than 30 seconds, she figured this was still early labor and suggested I get in the shower while she set up her supplies. I stood in the shower for 5 minutes and thought it felt pretty good. Then I had a contraction in the shower and thought I was dying. Then I thought all would be better if I just made a poop, so I got out of the shower to sit on the potty. Once sitting I let out a big yell and the other midwife rushed in. "I just want to check to see what's going on," she said. She gave one poke with a gloved finger and said, "Um, I can feel the baby's head. Do you want to have this baby on the floor here? or can you make it to the bedroom?"
A plastic sheet was thrown over the bed faster than a magician's trick, and less than five minutes later a 9-pound baby plopped onto it. I don't think I gave more that four pushes and Harvey stayed asleep in the next room the whole time. The plastic tub was all ready and inflated, but we only ever got a few inches of water into it. Harvey played in it later that night.
Look, I don't recommend this type of labor. It was rather shocking and unpleasant, and the kind of pain you're mentally ready to face after 5 hours preparation is just not the kind of pain you can process in 10 minutes. Then again, I can't say I was sad to get it over with either. And how hard core is it to say that we did all of labor and delivery in the time it took Harvey to take an afternoon nap?
I have to admit I was a little shocked for the rest of the afternoon, but by evening I started to warm up to the idea that we really did just have a baby, that now we have two sons, and that the second one is a big-cheeked butter ball who loves eating just as much as his big brother did but thankfully loves sleeping just a little bit more.
So here's to baby Zion, who was apparently in a great hurry to meet us. We're pretty happy to meet you too, little guy. Now let's all just chiiiiill out for a little while.